Zero One by Nicholas Nicolaides is an exciting and intriguing debut novel that focuses on a virus that is quickly turning the world into chaos. I found this to be a story that I could not put down, and its relevance to the tumultuous times we are living in now was uncanny and mystifying!
This book completely encapsulates the fear and anxiety that permeates the very fabric of society when a virus like this is out of control across the world. And it’s not just fear of the virus itself. In this novel, people that went to the hospital after contracting the illness never came back. Did they die? Were they being experimented on by the government? What is actually going on? Can the media and government be trusted to provide accurate information about the virus? I can’t say too much more about the book itself without spoiling anything but just know that I was kept on the edge of my seat the whole time!
One of my favorite aspects of this book was the illustrations. The beginning of each chapter featured a black and white illustration and I found them to be so engaging and eerie at the same time. One of my other favorite aspects of the book was the writing itself. It was completely engrossing. The chapters go back and forth between a variety of different characters and I found myself at the end of each chapter excited to see what would happen next and through which personality I would be experiencing the story. The writing for this novel is absolutely top notch and I loved every second of it.
I think that if you are the kind of person that has been made to feel extremely anxious during the pandemic you may want to stay away from this one. Despite it being science fiction, the parallels that can be drawn from this story to the current pandemic the world is experiencing is massive. So, if you are looking for a fun, escapist, beach read-this isn’t it. But if you’re looking for a well written, thoughtful, thrilling, eerie, mysterious book that will keep you on the edge of your seat wanting more than I think you will love it, as I did. Neil Gaiman once said that fiction is a way of coping with the world in a way that helps us to understand it and I certainly think this is the case with Zero One. It certainly helped me put things into perspective and watching the characters experience this through this fictional tale actually made me feel as if I am not alone. I highly recommend this book!
I am a librarian and a voracious reader with a never ending appetite for books! I read a variety of different genres, though my favorites are fantasy, LGBT fiction, science fiction, and YA. Last year I read over 350 books and there is nothing I love more than reading books and talking about them!