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Zero's Return (The Legend of ZERO, Book 3) Kindle Edition
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Now Joe is a hero and bigger than life, but he must go back to Earth along with all other humans because scientists on Earth have spliced the DNA of psychics to create soldiers who can kill using only their minds. Finding himself back on Earth is shocking for Joe. While he's busy killing the tyrannosaurus rex-type aliens that have been set loose on Earth as punishment because of the traitorous scientists, Joe gets spit on by the local humans gone mad as all of their technology gets shut off.
In this mad-max scenario, Joe runs into the 'new people', the enhanced humans who are as innocent as babes, but with the power to flatten mountains with only a thought. Hardened by his long years of military service, Joe feels as if he's tainted and that these 'new people' deserve better, although Joe knows that the desperate and murderous human race will kill anything that looks like a good(yes, humans are reduced to cannibalism)so he sticks with the group to protect them.
Sara King's characters are so real and so flawed that they actually transcend what it means to be human, and most of them are aliens. Unlike the previous two Zero books in the series, this book deals only with humans and a man-eating dinosaurs, so King as a chance to really give us some insight into just exactly who and what humanity really is down deep. Fear makes these humans do inhuman things to each other which felt real enough, and made me wonder how anyone but psychopaths could have ever survived the hard times in our history.
Even today we see that being ruthless gives you a better chance of passing on your genes in a cruel world, so it begs the question, why are there any nice people at all? I love when a writer has the skill to ask important questions without hitting the writer over the head with them. King lets the characters react to the circumstances according to their inner character, with Joe Dobbs giving us an example of how integrity is respected everywhere no matter what the language barriers.
I've also read the Moldy Dead which is a wonderful short book that fills in the story of Forgotten and his motivations in the second book of the Zero series, and I'm working my way through everything Sara writes with great pleasure.
Spoiler alert. And I am being a bit critical because this was the poorest of the 3 novels so far.
Lab rats escape secret lab. Lab rats meet Alice. Alice accepts a group of illiterate naked adults as normal. 11c learns to make cookies from Alice. WTH? I almost deleted the story based on that chapter alone.
Joe and Shael meet up with the lab rats. Shael has animosity toward Earthlings. Shael is a Jreet Prince warrior... 11C makes cookies. Shael: "Look Joe they made cookies!" Again, WTH?
Joe constantly refers to 12A and the lab rats as friends? Constant manipulation. Constant scolding. Occasionally getting his mind bashed around. Friends?
12A puts Joe to sleep. Mike and the gang subdue all of the them and takes things. Joe gets loose and gets their stuff back. 12A hasn't learned a thing and puts them all back in the same situation believing that Mike is a swell dude. When Mike shows up with a gun to 12A's head, WHY THE H*** DIDN'T HE PUT MIKE AND COMPANY TO SLEEP? He lets Joe know that "There's a problem". Really? Joe shows up and kills everyone.
Now on to Rat. A Congie with 50+ turns of experience gets caught by surprise by a handful of escaped convicts and gets tied up. Then she manages to get loose and kill all but one. Then she gets caught again by Sam/Slade who lures her in with gum. It would have been a bit more believable had he brought along a free puppy.
Geesh this was a haphazard read. I'd recommend reading the 1 star reviews to get an idea of the faults before buying this one.
Again, I have to discuss my main complaint with this book. Sara does an amazing job with her characters, but I feel that she takes all of the patients from the facility way too far. I mean, you can make people overly naive, headstrong, willful but then they actually have to suffer consequences for these faults. Instead, they seem to "luck out" to an unreasonable extend to where they never seem to experience danger even when it's all around them. Kind of the opposite of a George RR Martin. But then we have Rat and Zero who are basically punching bags for danger.....so it just feels kind of unbalanced, like the actual danger level is directly proportional to the skills of the hero no matter how dangerous it actually seems.