Zeroes by Scott Westerfeld (Book Summary)

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‘Zeroes’ is a name a group of friends with special powers calls themselves. There are 5 of them, each of them with code names: Ethan (Scam), Riley (Flicker), Thibault (Anon), Nate (Bellweather), Chizara (Crash).

The 5 of them are no longer friends because of Scam. His power is the voice – he has a voice he could not control. Sometimes the voice helps, but sometimes it puts him into trouble. The Zeroes fell apart when Scam’s voice said terrible things – but Scam couldn’t even remember most of what he said.

The Zeroes bonded again because of Scam’s voice. Scam just wanted a ride home after a date, and he let his voice do the talking to get a ride. He ended up riding with The Craig, who turned out to be a drug dealer. Scam helped The Craig gain some money, but after that, Scam got scared and panicked, so he ran away along with the money. After a few moments of not knowing what to do next, Scam decided to deposit the money in a bank. He went to the bank carrying the duffel bag that contained around 30 grand, but just in time – 3 bank robbers in masks went inside. When one of the robber’s attention turned to Scam, he let his voice do the talking once again – the voice made it sound like Scam knew everything about the robbers, and it worked. The robber named Jerry got scared when there were sirens and started arguing with his co-bank robber. 2 bank robbers were dead (they shot each other), and only Jerry was alive. Jerry was ushered to the police station and Scam because Scam was talking to Jerry like he knew him very well.

Scam was interrogated, but it was tough to get out of the situation because there was a video of him. Desperate, he called for their leader, Bellweather, who was quick to respond.

Bellweather’s power is his charm. He can manipulate how a crowd could feel temporarily. To help Scam, Bellweather made use of Crash and Flicker. Crash’s power is her ability to crash machines. Flicker’s power is that she can hop from one eyeball to another. She is blind, but she can see well in everybody else’s eyes. So Crash went inside the police station while Flicker’s sight guided her. Crash was able to save Scam, but something else happened – she crashed the entire system of the building, which resulted in the prisoners escaping.

Jerry, the bank robber, was also able to escape. Jerry has a daughter named Kelsie. She is not part of the Zeroes, but she also has power. They haven’t discovered her yet. Her power is she can connect with the crowd’s emotions and manipulate them. Slightly similar to Bellweather’s. Jerry asked for Kelsie’s help after he escaped. He told her about Fig, their friend that owes him $3,000. He also told Kelsie to not go home yet as the Bagrov would be looking for him and may harm her. Lastly, he told her about the boy from the bank who knows him very well. When Kelsie watched the video, he confirmed that the boy knew too well – since that boy, Scam, mentioned her name while he was talking to Jerry in the bank.

After Zeroes rescued Scam, they had a meeting at Bellweather’s place. They decided that the money would be hidden by Flicker, and Scam would hide with Anon. Anon’s power is his ability to be forgotten. People forget them right after looking away from him. Even the Zeroes know that they have a 5th member, but they always wonder who he is every time he shows up at meetings. Nobody can remember his name too.

Anon lives in a hotel penthouse. Since he is close to being invisible, the hotel staff got no idea that he lived in the hotel for 3 years. He is no longer living with his family because they forgot him. He got so sick that he was rushed to the hospital – he almost died because his own family forgot about him, along with the doctors and nurses.

Scam lived in the hotel with Anon and also had the same difficulty in remembering him. The hotel was an excellent place to hide – if only they were not discovered. They got busted when a staff knocked on the door, and Scam opened it. Anon was in a shower. Later on, that staff remembered Scam because his video in the bank is still viral.

Flicker (the blind girl) developed a crush on Anon. She stole his file from Bellweather and made her twin sister make up stories with Anon as the main character – this is her way of not forgetting. Flicker was able to track Anon down through the photos from the files. When Flicker found the hotel, the Craig and Kelsie also saw it through the hotel staff. The Craig wanted his money back while Kelsie wanted answers. Because of the hotel’s security, they found it hard to go to the penthouse. Kelsie got there first before the Craig, and she ran with Scam and Anon away from the Craig. At that time, the Zeroes have been aware of the commotion.

When Scam and Kelsie were outside, they were greeted by a crowd who recognized Scam. To get away, Kelsie used her power. She directed the crowd’s direction to the money she threw in the air. The money was the one from Fig, the payment for Jerry. Finally, Scam and Kelsie got away. Scam already had the chance to tell Kelsie the truth: he told her about the voice. Kelsie didn’t fully believe him, so she asked for him to use it. The voice spoke. It told Kelsie events in her childhood that no one else could know. But before it stopped talking, the voice revealed that Kelsie has a superpower too. Scam made Kelsie believe that they were meant to find each other and team up to save her Dad.

Kelsie finally got a text from his Dad containing the address. She and Scam went there and was stunned at what they saw. Jerry was still doing drugs – he was already skinny. Instead of handing him the money, Kelsie only gave him $50 and some water since she found out that he was gonna use the money for drugs again. On their way out, they met Misha – Bagrov’s man. They are after Jerry. He asked them where Jerry was, and Scam used his voice to get away from them, but the voice told them the truth, to their surprise. Kelsie was frantic. He ran towards the building to where Jerry is but Ethan stopped her. He told her that there are other people like them with powers, and he promised her that they (the Zeroes) would help her save her Dad. Kelsie agreed.

Kelsie was introduced to the Zeroes, and they formulated a plan on how to save Jerry. They will be using the Craig’s money. When the meeting ended, Crash announced that she would not be joining the mission because she was still upset at what happened at the police station. Aside from freeing the prisoners, one officer was beaten up and was in a coma.

On the fourth of July, on the night Bagrov and Kelsie agreed to meet, the cops trailed on the car Bellweather drove. It caused a delay since Bellweather had to lose them, which meant Anon and Flicker needed another ride. Flicker stayed behind, standing by the sidewalk while Anon stole a motorbike from a pizza delivery guy. Anon was able to follow where the bag of $30,000 was taken. Meanwhile, Flicker was using Scam and Kelsie’s eyes, and she knew that something was wrong when it suddenly went dark. Bagrov didn’t keep his promise even though they paid him more than enough. Nothing worked as well, even when Ethan and Kelsie used their powers.

Ethan and Kelsie were taken to Parker-Hamilton – the hotel blown up for the fourth of July. There was a crowd outside yearning for the building’s demolition. Jerry was also there, very weak and beaten up. The three of them were tied, and they grew hopeless. Scam’s voice even managed to make Misha cry, but he still didn’t set them free.

Bellweather and Flicker were still trying to find Ethan and Kelsie. Flicker was finally able to find them in Parker-Hamilton. Since they were running out of time, Bellweather called Crash and asked for her help. Hearing that Ethan, Kelsie, Jerry, and Bellweather were on the verge of death, Crash stole a car and drove to the hotel. There was only a minute left before it exploded, but she succeeded. The crowd was growing impatient because there was no explosion, but Crash was triumphant. Inside the building, the four of them were already making their way outside.

Since Jerry’s condition was terrible, Kelsie had to do something to get an ambulance. She teamed up with Bellweather, she caught the crowd’s attention, and they took her to where the ambulance was. Kelsie succeeded. While Jerry was already in the ambulance, the Craig appeared and threatened Ethan. They asked for the money, which Anon handed to them. However, the Craig still wanted to show Ethan how he shouldn’t have messed up with him, but Crash interrupted. She led the Craig to control the explosion, and it scared the Craig and his men.

The doctor told Kelsie that his father’s condition was something they could no longer do anything about in the hospital. Kelsie and Jerry talked – they apologized to each other, Jerry told her the truth about her mom (who’s still alive but is violent), and Kelsie said to him that she would be okay since she now has many friends.

After Jerry’s death, the Zeroes gathered and stayed with Kelsie so she would feel better. Flicker was the one who left first since she had an appointment with her shrink. Bellweather escorted her outside. While Bellweather was out, two detectives approached him (he already talked to them, and they were the ones who followed him last night). They were looking for Ethan, but they revealed that Ethan was no longer in trouble with the law. They just wanted to give them a ride home.

The End Zeroes by Scott Westerfeld.


List of Characters: 

          • Ethan – aka Scam / his power is his voice he can’t control
          • Riley – aka Flicker / she can see using other’s eyes
          • Thibault – aka Anon / his power is his ability to be quickly forgotten
          • Nate – aka Bellweather / the leader / his power is his charm
          • Chizara – aka Crash / her power is crashing machines
          • The Craig – a drug dealer
          • Jerry – one of the bank robbers
          • Kelsie – Jerry’s daughter / also has a power – she can manipulate other’s emotions / she will, later on, join the Zeroes
          • Fig – a friend of Jerry
          • Bagrov – an enemy of Jerry
          • Misha – an enemy / hired by Bagrov
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Forever Winter

Just reading and writing my way out of this messy adult life! I have transitioned from having piles of notebooks stacked underneath my bed from writing on the internet and allowing people worldwide to read.

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