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Reviewed by Tammy Ruggles for Readers' Favorite
Zero One by Nicholas Nicolaides is a riveting dystopian novel that hits very close to home. Set during the time of a pandemic, lockdown, and blackout, this story will have you zipping through the pages to find out what happens with this wide-ranging cast of characters and situations. As you read, you can't help but place yourself in their shoes, wondering how you would react and what you would do. This author knows how to carve out memorable characters and predicaments, and then follow through with clever plot points. I appreciate the cynical sense of humor throughout the novel--sometimes that's the most natural response to have. Deadly viruses, drones, and isolation are in full force, and if these things bother you, then that's good. This author has done his job.
Nicolaides has crafted a story that you hope will never happen, and so convincingly that you think it could. His writing is intelligent, thought-provoking, but above all, entertaining. You get the feeling he really enjoys writing for an audience, and you won't be disappointed. In fact, you could very well become an instant fan as this is a whopping debut novel. This book is well-paced if not challenging, but so rewarding if you can keep up with everything going on. As in life, this story is sometimes told in snapshots or snippets, but it all dovetails together in a satisfying way. The focus is more on plot than characterization, but that makes it even more realistic. Sometimes you encounter people in your life that you don't know well, or that you meet for only a brief but intense moment, then life moves on to the next thing. If you like techno-thrillers on a global scale, this one is for you. Don't be surprised if you find out a production company has picked it up for development at some point in the future. Fans of Black Mirror will love Zero One by Nicholas Nicolaides.