Scott Westerfeld’s New Trilogy Will Turn Teen Zeroes Into Superheroes

Simon Pulse announced today that it will publish a new young adult superhero trilogy written by Scott Westerfeld (Afterworlds), Margo Lanagan (The Brides of Rollrock Island), and Deborah Biancotti (A Book of Endings). In a press release, Simon & Schuster shared the title and synopsis for the first book, Zeroes, out later this year. (Above, our concept of what the cover should be. JUST SAYIN’.)

The Millennials at the center of Zeroes share an auspicious birthday, which has blessed each one with a superhuman ability that makes their individual lives more interesting. But judging from the synopsis, it sounds as if they’re going to learn that there’s strength in numbers:

Who are the Zeroes? There’s Ethan, aka Scam, who’s got a voice inside him that’ll say anything you want to hear, whether it’s true or not. There’s Chizara, aka Crash, who can bring technology to its knees; Riley, aka Flicker, who can see through anyone’s eyes but her own; Thibault, aka Anonymous, who’s out of sight, out of mind; Nataniel, aka Bellwether, who can focus any crowd’s energy on a single goal; and Kelsie, who can amp up or damp down a mob’s emotions. They were all born in the year 2000, and live in Cambria, California. Their abilities make them anything but heroes—until a high stakes crisis changes everything.

Lanagan and Biancotti are both Australian writers of young adult and speculative fiction works; Lanagan set her short fiction collection Cracklescape in Australia. This trilogy is their first time working with Simon Pulse.

“We’ve spent the last two years coming up with these characters,” Westerfeld said in a press release, “crafting what we hope is a totally new take on superpowers. And we’re excited to finally unleash Zeroes on the world.”

Crash’s affinity for technology will certainly resonate with modern readers, and Bellwether and Kelsie’s crowd control powers could be a modern commentary on mob mentality on social media and the Internet. We’ll find out more about these powers’ real-world impact when Zeroes is published on September 29, 2015. The next two books of the trilogy will be published in fall 2016 and fall 2017.


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