Review: Version Zero

Review: Version Zero

Rating: 2 out of 5.

*I received a copy via the publisher and NetGalley in return for an honest review. This in no way affected my opinion of the book.*

After questioning his employers, data technician Max finds himself fired and blackballed across the industry. Taking his insider knowledge, he gathers his friends in a daring plan to rip the curtains off the stage and make a stand. When they receive a mysterious invitation from a reclusive tech legend and access to his technology, their plans go further than they could ever expect. But what is the cost and is it worth the risk for Max?

I’ll apologise for this review in advance because like my reading experience, it was a jumbled up mess. There were so many moments that were quite thrilling, but in the end, Version Zero was not the one for me. 

Where do I begin? I guess the setting and plot. Version Zero takes place in reality similar to our, same significant events. There are five major media companies; names are familiar enough that it doesn’t take much to know who represents which major corporation. I have to admit I didn’t understand what was going on in the beginning. Yoon introduces a pecking order that doesn’t seem to have any relevance to the book, a tidbit to make it seem more science fiction when the story could have quickly done without such information. The story didn’t work for me. Despite what appears to be an eventful plot from the synopsis, the story was messy and underwhelming.  Reboot the present. Save the future. Version Zero tried very hard to be a book about human life online, and how we’ve given up privacy in the age of digital information. I was invested in the anger Max felt about these top percenter who hide from accountability on their platform, the hate that is a constant cycle that moves from site to site, taking innocent lives. I feel like it wasn’t as nuanced as it could have been and fell victim to the simple “internet bad, the time before good,” debate. 

I could have forgiven this book for its flaws if the characters were remotely interesting. I wasn’t sure if the characters themselves knew what they were doing. Max, our protagonist, is our down and out, data technician who is fired when he mentions how uncomfortable he is with Wren (think Facebook) and their plans to gain more of their user’s information. There was a part of Max that I liked, the man who wanted to do good by his family, make something of himself. Every time he spoke, I could not feel any passion for the other stuff he says. The best way I could describe his voice is empty. He recruits his best friends, Akiko, and her boyfriend, Shane, in his plans to reboot the internet. It goes well, gaining the attention of Pilot Markham, a key figure in internet history, who disappeared off the face of the earth and wants to help in their fight. He’s joined alongside teen Brayden and together forms their group. I wish I knew what the hell was happening in this strange dynamic. Max harboured a crush on Akiko, partakes in emotional cheating and Shane is just there to be pure muscle and be weird. Pilot Markham was fascinating; to say the least, he’s responsible for most of the book’s thriller parts. I don’t understand how Max was willing to accept him into his plan, considering what you learn about his background. It just screamed red flags, and you would have thought Max would have picked up on it. Brayden, this poor child, why was he even there? Nothing meshed well, and everyone just contradicted each other in the worst way. 

Overall, I wish I could saying something more positive that you could take away from this review. I tried to give it a chance. Max and his friends might have changed the world, but this project failed to spark any real interest in me. 


GOODREADS | AMAZON | AUTHOR

Latest posts 

Review: Warcross

Review: Warcross

Rating: ★★★★★ (5/5)

Warcross has taken the world by storm. Millions log in every day, millions are made every day from it. And Emika Chen has hacked her way in. Now its creator, Hideo Tanaka, wants to hire her, a teenage hacker, to undercover its biggest security issue.

Warcross is seriously one of the best books I’ve read this year. I can’t believe how much I loved this book. It’s so thrilling and engaging that I was so shocked how well this book suited my reading taste. (Seriously, if anyone knows any other books like this, throw them my way.) I loved everything about this.

The world its set in is so annoying amazing that I’m mad we don’t, as humanity, have not reached the kind of technology there is in Warcross. Warcross is, in simple terms, a VR game where the player is literally immersed into their environment. The sky’s the limit basically in this game. And like we have Smash Bros tournaments, there are competitions where the best players are pitted against each other in the ultimate gaming tournament. It’s so brilliant to read how the game worked, which connected users worldwide and made VR practically actual reality. The workings of the game were so much fun!

I have to admit the plot twist in this book was very predictable. I picked it up quite early who it was that was hacking into the Warcross system, but I have to admit I was completely thrown off by the other half of the reveal as well. I’m just glad I read the book now when its sequel, Wildcard, is closer to being released.

Just from this one book alone, I now understand the hype around Marie Lu’s books. If my TBR list weren’t so jam-packed, I would’ve read everything else she has written in a heartbeat straight after reading Warcross. Her cast of characters here are so amazing and brilliant, and I quickly grew to love in like seconds. They’re all so different but work so well together. I can’t tell you how great they are. I think Hideo may be the only character that still hasn’t grown as me, especially as the love interest. His role out of that was so engrossing, and I absolutely loved him. I’m a picky romance reader even in a book I loved like this, it just didn’t get to me. Like the development between them was sweet but, again, not for me.

Overall, there were certain elements, such as game design, to its world that left questions and some moments of predictability but nonetheless, I enjoyed it a lot. Like damn, I’m more upset that this is the first Marie Lu book I’ve read. What have I been missing out?


GOODREADS | THE BOOK DEPOSITORY | AUTHOR SITE

BOOK REVIEW: The Bone Season (The Bone Season, #1) by Samantha Shannon

you can find the book at:

GoodReads
Amazon
Barnes and Noble
Author Website

goodreads summary:

The year is 2059. Nineteen-year-old Paige Mahoney is working in the criminal underworld of Scion London, based at Seven Dials, employed by a man named Jaxon Hall. Her job: to scout for information by breaking into people’s minds. For Paige is a dreamwalker, a clairvoyant and, in the world of Scion, she commits treason simply by breathing.

It is raining the day her life changes for ever. Attacked, drugged and kidnapped, Paige is transported to Oxford – a city kept secret for two hundred years, controlled by a powerful, otherworldly race. Paige is assigned to Warden, a Rephaite with mysterious motives. He is her master. Her trainer. Her natural enemy. But if Paige wants to regain her freedom she must allow herself to be nurtured in this prison where she is meant to die.

The Bone Season introduces a compelling heroine and also introduces an extraordinary young writer, with huge ambition and a teeming imagination. Samantha Shannon has created a bold new reality in this riveting debut.

my review:

Rating:★★★☆☆

 

The novel follows Paige, a dreamwalker in 2059, her ability alone makes her a criminal. But when she accidentally kills someone, she is sent to a prison-like place which is controlled by creatures called Rephaim who want to use the voyants abilities for their own gain. She is assigned to a keeper called simply “Warden”, a mysterious man who takes a deep interest in her. (lmao you can already tell can’t you?)

I know this sounds stupid, but I feel really guilty for not liking this book as much as I should have. For the past two years, in every trip to the bookstore, I always saw this on the shelves and really wanted to read it.

The author creates a fantasy novel that is already familiar and fundamentally over complicates it by throwing in new words for things that already existed making it such a long-winded read that’s so overly descriptive, it all sounds original. The book, primarily, is a massive info dump, making it difficult to read. The novel prioritises action over a plot that makes more sense and better character development.

The characters were too dull in my opinion. You could probably kill them all off, and I wouldn’t care at all. They lacked any sort of personality or development that was built gradually. It felt as if the author only included such moments at the time it felt appropriate and useful to the plot.

Despite all the cons in this book for me, what really dragged it down to three stars was the romance. So forced and completely unnecessary, with no decent development at all. It literally comes out of nowhere. Paige gets captured by the Rephaim and is told that she is part of Bone Season XX. The Rephaite catches people and saves them for every 10 years to compete in this unique contest to see who gets to be their exclusive servant. Paige is then picked by the Warden to be his individual slave. And their romance is literally stretched throughout the novel, the gradual development just didn’t feel realistic because of the situation. It is a master/slave type of a relationship, which felt so disbelieving and was slightly uncomfortable to read.

Paige as a character was completely weak. People hail her as such a strong woman, but the author has literally only created a character with one good quality, the power everyone is using her for, and even she doesn’t realise it fully. She just felt too predictable. Also, I did like her growing relationship with Seb. His character was interesting since he was the only one of the leading group with no ability, but it’s a shame it didn’t last long.

I will probably read the next book in the series. Hopefully, the info dump had lessened, but the prospect of an eight-book series does not excite me at all, maybe the sheer number of books is what made it felt stretched out.

Overall, I think the writing is well done, and the action scenes were exciting and thrilling, but the plot and characters were all over the place, and the flashbacks which tried to give insight just took too long, and some scenes felt non-contributing to the book or could have been shortened.