Zero Repeat Forever by G.S. Prendergast
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Release Date: August 29, 2017
Genre: YA Science Fiction
He has no voice, or name, only a rank, Eighth. He doesn’t know the details of the mission, only the directives that hum in his mind.
Dart the humans. Leave them where they fall.
His job is to protect his Offside. Let her do the shooting.
Until a human kills her…
Sixteen year-old Raven is at summer camp when the terrifying armored Nahx invade, annihilating entire cities, taking control of the Earth. Isolated in the wilderness, Raven and her friends have only a fragment of instruction from the human resistance.
Shelter in place.
Which seems like good advice at first. Stay put. Await rescue. Raven doesn’t like feeling helpless but what choice does she have?
Then a Nahx kills her boyfriend.
Thrown together in a violent, unfamiliar world, Eighth and Raven should feel only hate and fear. But when Raven is injured, and Eighth deserts his unit, their survival depends on trusting each other…
Hey, everyone! I haven’t been super active with blogging lately, but I recently finished Zero Repeat Forever by G.S. Prendergast, and I was pleasantly surprised by the unique story I discovered. It is an interesting science fiction read, very similar to The Fifth Wave. The characters are dynamic and challenge the idea of what makes us human. With incredible allusions to Poe’s “The Raven,” this book is an amazing read for anyone who loves a good sci-fi!
There are quite a few characters in the beginning of (and throughout) the story, and I found even the minor characters to have an important role. I really liked how each person had their own job and their own way of contributing to the story, even if you first thought they weren’t as important. Both Raven and Eighth face the death of people they are close to, and this stays with them the entire story. These characters don’t suddenly go away now that they are not longer living. They are continuously a part of their lives, affecting the things Raven and Eighth think and do on a daily basis.
Speaking of Raven and Eighth, I really liked the both of them. Raven was tough and was not whiny. It seems some girls (characters) put in situations like hers are a bit whiny and annoying, but she handled it quite well. After Tucker was killed, she was devastated, but she got back up and kept going with her life. As I mentioned earlier, she would think of Tucker quite often, but it was never annoying or in a childish way. All throughout the book, Raven was strong and willing to fight for the various things she believed in. She had a good personality, but it was not over the top.
Now Eighth was interesting. He is a Nahx with strange, impenetrable armor and can only communicate through his people’s sign language. At first, I thought he was strange and hard to follow. His chapters were kind of choppy and disoriented. After a while, he began to make more sense and seem more human like, which got a bit morally confusing. This aspect of the book really reminded me of Defy the Stars by Claudia Gray because it also has an android that has human thoughts and emotions. Both are challenging the traits and ideas that make us human, kind of redefining what a human should be.
Anyways, Eighth is not like the other Nahx, as he has these human like thoughts. He mourns for the girl he was partnered with, which is not something he should do. He also begins to have different feelings for a human girl, which is definitely not allowed by the Nahx. He has abandoned his people and begins to live by himself, trying to find the human girl and follow his human senses.
As the blurb mentions, Raven and Eighth are forced to come together in order to survive. At first, their relationship was really weird, because of their vast differences and their stereotyped thoughts toward each other. Raven thinks he is an evil Nahx, only out to kill her like he is supposed to. Eighth is captivated by her and her fragility. Eventually, they grow past these differences, as Raven picks up many of his signs and can communicate with him.
I don’t actually have a lot to say about the plot. It was a bit slow at first, and at various times throughout the story, but overall it flowed well. There didn’t really seem to be some great end goal, which usually drives the plot, it was just kind of things happening without a major purpose. For some reason, that didn’t seem to bother me a whole lot. However, in the middle, there is a large chunk of the story where there essentially isn’t anything happening. I almost put it down during that part, but I’m glad I continued. The ending is very powerful and very worth the wait. There was a quite the cliffhanger, too, so I am eager for the next book!
I really enjoyed the writing style of this book. There were many great descriptions, and the differences between Raven and Eighth’s point of view were wonderful. I found that Raven was very smart, yet a little emotional. She was contrasted with the disorganized, haphazard thoughts of Eighth. He was kind of hard to follow at times, but you begin to understand how he thinks and acts. His thoughts would dart around like crazy, and his language limitations allow for a unique experience with his point of view.
About Eighth’s communication skills, I really liked the words chosen to be represented by his signs. It really made you think about language and how there can be sooo many different meanings for words. While talking, we can change how a word sounds to alter its meaning, but Eighth can’t do that. Raven must decipher his thoughts on her own, and she is able to do so. I must say it seemed like she figured things out a little too easily, but that could just be me.
*SPOILERS AHEAD! Skip the next paragraph if you want to avoid them!*
Ok, I don’t usually include spoilers in my reviews, and this is not a huge one per say, but it is something I would not have wanted to know beforehand. But, it is an INCREDIBLE aspect of writing talent that I must acknowledge. I LOVE LOVE LOVE how the title fits into the story. At first, you think it’s kind of a strange title, Zero Repeat Forever, what the heck? But, it is really Eighth’s way of saying “Nevermore.” Since he speaks in his limited signs, he can say Zero, Repeat, and Forever. When he finds the poem “The Raven” for Raven (another amazingly creative aspect!), he tries to tell her “nevermore” but it comes out “Zero Repeat Forever.” He uses “zero” for never, “repeat” for again or more, and forever is, well, forever. I CANNOT explain how immensely in awe I am due to this masterful creativity! Like, I did not ever imagine that’s how the title tied in. So Creative.
This is an awesome book for fans of science fiction and action filled books. I easily enjoyed the characters and their many quirks. There were many creative, original aspects to the story, but it also resembled The Fifth Wave and Defy the Stars. The writing is lovely, and you will be drawn to these characters’ interesting journey to save life as they knew it.
Hey guess what! I started a bookstagram! I guess all the pretty books just drew me in. There’s not a whole lot on there yet, but check me out @bluebinding!!