Zero by Jacob Whaler

Zero (The Fringe Collection Book 1) by [Whaler, Jacob]

5 Stars

Publisher: Self-published

Date of publication: December 2nd, 2018

Genre: Science Fiction

Where you can find Zero: Amazon

Goodreads synopsis:

He won the election. He ended democracy. He built a wall of glass 1,000 meters high. Now, 150 years later, his descendants have infinite wealth and control the Sanctuary, a high-tech paradise for the rich where money equals rank.

She’s from the slum. She has no money or rank. She vows to tear down the wall and end the nightmare.

Her weapon? Zero.

My review:

Alix has spent her entire life in The Fringe. She has spent her entire life looking in at the rich while struggling to survive. With the help of her friends and spurred on by the injustices done to her people, Alix is going to start a revolution. But, the question is, can she pull it off? Or will she become another of President Quinn’s casualties?

Link is the best of the best. He is the youngest Patrol Commander in the history of The Sanctuary. In a society where money equals rank, Link is fast approaching the top. He is dating President Quinn’s daughter. He is happy. That is until Alix arrives with her talk of injustice and suppression. Ordered by President Quinn to find and kill Alix, Link has to go to The Fringe to find her. Will, what he sees and experiences while there change his mind? Or is he still focused on being at the top?

Zero caught my attention when I first saw it. What intrigued me about this book was that I could see it happening. The middle class is fast disappearing. There is a huge gap between the rich and the poor. We are becoming more and more dependent on technology. I had no problem imaging the series of events that went down 150 years earlier actually happening in the world today.

I felt Alix’s frustration at what was going on in The Fringe. She was seeing children dying from a disease that has no cure. She has seen friends damaged from doing time in the brain lab. She has seen the effects of working in the chem labs. She was sick of it and she was going to do something about it. I enjoyed reading her character. I connected with her and rooted for her.

I didn’t like Link at first. He was too focused on his rank and money to be likable. Also, I thought he was almost to gung-ho. But then he met President Quinn and a lightbulb went off. I understood why he was the way he was. For a lack of better words, he drank the Kool-Aid like the rest of the people in The Sanctuary. The talk he had with President Quinn rocked his world. It also made him want to wipe Alix off the face of the Earth. I started to like him when he was in The Fringe and saw what was being done with to the people. He saw the brain labs, the chem plants, the pits of toxic waste. He couldn’t deny it.

The secondary characters made this book. From the Presidents daughter to Merf, they added an extra depth to the book. My favorite character was Merf. He lived in the Mesh and was able to do things with it that no one else was able to do. He made me smile every time he showed up in the book. Plus, he created Zero. Which was pretty awesome unto itself.

Zero is a fast read. What I liked about that is that the author wasted no time in getting the book going. The first chapter is Link being woken up to alarms and Alix making her speech. It didn’t slow down until the last chapter. I loved it!!

President Quinn creeped me out. The more he appeared in the book, the more he creeped me out. He was also unhinged and that became more and more clear as the book went on. Knowing all that, I was still surprised by what he did. And on live TV too!!

The end of the book was fulfilling. Fulfilling isn’t a term that I use much when describing the end of the book. I liked seeing how everything turned out. I liked seeing that Zero was able to do what it was programmed to do. I liked seeing the healing that went on also. It made me happy and I was left with no questions about anything.

I gave Zero a 5-star rating. This is a fast-paced, well-written science fiction book. I was able to connect with the main characters. I got involved with the plotlines. I had nothing to complain about (which is amazing).

I would give Zero an Adult rating. There is language. There is violence. There is no sex. There are no triggers. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.

I would reread Zero. I would also recommend this book to family and friends.

I would like to thank the author for allowing me to read and review Zero.

All opinions stated in this review of Zero are mine.

**I chose to leave this review after reading an advance reader copy**

Have you read Zero?

Love it? 

Hate it?

Meh about it?

Let me know!!!

Suri Five by Jacob Whaler

Suri Five

Title: Suri Five

Author: Jacob Whaler

Publisher: Self-published

Date of publication: December 29th, 2016

Genre: Science Fiction, Fantasy, Cyberpunk, Dystopian

Number of pages: 310

POV: 1st person

Where you can find this book: Amazon

Goodreads synopsis:

A monster lurks inside Suri.
Consumed with grief and rage at the death of her mother, Suri channels her anger into a mysterious virtual reality war zone called the Game where she quickly rises to the top. A covert government unit is watching. Using a deep copy of Suri’s brain, they build Five, the ultimate artificial intelligence.
As the digital embodiment of the monster inside Suri, Five is the perfect weapon for the cyberwar with China. But when Five is unleashed online, she slips off her chains, turns against her creators and, with all of Suri’s rage boiling inside, vows to annihilate humankind.
Only Suri can stop Five.
But will she?

My review:

Suri Five is a fast-paced cyberpunk/dystopian/science fiction book about what happens when the government creates an AI who becomes self-aware and starts to wreak havoc on the world. Their only hope is the rage-filled teenager whose brain they illegally copied to make the AI.


I am going to start by saying this had to have been one of the best cyberpunk/dystopian books that I have read to date. The book sucks you in and then takes you on a wild ride following Suri. Then it spits you out and makes you think about what you just read. Because fighting wars digitally and with AI’s are definitely in our future. As well as a world that totally relies on the Internet (known as the Mesh) for everything. If you think about it, its scary and that is what made this book so good.

I thought that the class separation (just rich and poor with no middle class) is spot on also. The middle class is quickly disappearing and unfortunately, this is something that I can see happening. And the wall, don’t even get me started on that.

What also makes this book good is that Suri is a totally unlikable character. She is a self-admitted bully with severe anger issues that started when she was 8 and her mother died of a brain tumor. The only time she was nice was when her younger brother, Tommy. Then she acted like a normal human being who wasn’t consumed by anger. To be honest, that was the only saving grace that she had in my eyes because I couldn’t stand her. I actually said out loud, and my SO just gave me this look when I said it, “Girl, you need therapy and meds”.

I liked Richard (or Dick as Suri decided to call him) a lot but I did think he was a fool to keep coming back and trying to warn Suri about The Game. She even got him expelled from school by hacking into the school’s system after he dared to try to talk to her during school. I don’t think he liked her that much but I do think that he felt that he needed to warn her about Blodgett. I mean, he was always there to save her. At one point in the book, I thought that there was going to be a romance blossoming and I was so thankful that nothing happened from it. To be honest, romance wouldn’t have fit into this book.

Blodgett was so slimy in this book. He did things so underhand, like get a copy of Suri’s brain under the guise that she had the same type of brain tumor that her mother did. What an awful, underhand thing to do to people. And all the training in The Game that he did had a double purpose too. I felt so dirty after reading the scenes with him in it that I wanted to take a shower.

Suri Five, I kinda felt bad for but at the same time, I was chilled by what I read. I mean, she didn’t ask to be brought to life,  she didn’t ask to be an exact copy of Suri and have her rage issues and she definitely didn’t ask to be a weapon of war. But however, she was self-aware and once she turned off her fail-safe, she could have made the choice to not do what she did. Instead, she turned into what Suri couldn’t be in real life, a mass murderer.

Oh and I do have to mention her name. Her same is actually Suri V. Take a good long look at it. So fitting for the book!!!

There is a huge plot twist that actually broke my heart. I did not see it coming and when it happened, I cried. It literally broke my heart. I couldn’t understand why it had to be that person but at the same time, I understood….if that makes sense.

The end of the book was actually pretty sad too. The last words of the book wrenched my heart. Arrgggh.

How many stars will I give Suri Five: 5

Why: I really enjoyed reading Suri Five. Like I stated above, it is a very fast-paced book with scenarios that could actually happen….given time. After I finished reading it, I had to stop and think about it.

Will I reread: Yes

Will I recommend to family and friends: Yes

Age range: Older teen

Why: Violence and some mild language.

**I received a free copy of this book and volunteered to review it**