Zero Repeat Forever by G. S. Prendergast
The 5th Wave meets Beauty and the Beast in this fast-paced and heart-stopping novel about an invasion of murderous creatures and one girl fighting for her life at the end of the world.
He has no voice or name, only a rank, Eighth. He doesn’t know the details of the mission, only the directives that hum in his mind.
Dart the humans. Leave them where they fall.
His job is to protect his Offside. Let her do the shooting.
Until a human kills her...
Sixteen-year-old Raven is at summer camp when the terrifying armored Nahx invade. Isolated in the wilderness, Raven and her fellow campers can only stay put. Await rescue. Raven doesn’t like feeling helpless, but what choice does she have?
Then a Nahx kills her boyfriend.
Thrown together in a violent, unfamiliar world, Eighth and Raven should feel only hate and fear. But when Raven is injured, and Eighth deserts his unit, their survival comes to depend on trusting each other.
Zero Repeat Forever
by G. S. Prendergast
Series: The Nahx Invasions, #1
Publication Date: August 29, 2017
Young Adult Fiction, Action & Adventure, Survival Stories
Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
Hardcover, 496 pages
My Rating: 4 Stars
A dark and gritty sci-fi, Zero Repeat Forever ended up being an addicting read. It was also a much slower read than I prefer, but I found Eighth and Raven's characters so compelling, so heart-wrenching at times (especially Eighth's) that I just had a hard time putting the book down.
The story takes place here on Earth as we are being invaded by a shadowy race, aliens only known as the Nahx, who blindly follow the orders, a constant humming in their mind—implanted directives "dart each one. Leave them where they fall." Eighth is one of these alien invaders, but he is not like the others, he is defective.
Told through alternating perspectives, the story is strongly character driven, with the focus on the volatile relationship between Eighth and Raven, the human girl he ends up disobeying orders and rescuing. Much like Beauty and the Beast, their beginning relationship is one of hate and mistrusts, but also their mutual need for each other's survival.
Raven, though we see her in action as completely badass and fierce, ends up nearly dying and relying on Eighth for her survival which does not go well at first. Filled with rage and hate, she does everything she can to escape, making it clear that she would rather die than accept his help.
From the very first page, Eighth's character drew me in unlike a male lead has in quite some time. His confusion was so palpable. His alien self-conflicting with human-like emotions is what made for such a strong, realistic protagonist. There is also a language barrier between Eighth and Raven, one of hand signals and gestures, that they must bridge between the two in order to communicate.
As I mentioned before, the pace reads much slower than I usually prefer but is equally compelling. The reason for this is the build-up of both Eighth and Raven's characters, layer by layer, as we witness the horror the Nahx inflict and how it affects both. They don't even meet right away, yet by the time they do, we know how they tick, making for an intense read, if explosive at times, relationship.
Filled with gritty, realistic emotions, adrenaline-fueled action sequences and overall dire danger around every corner, Zero Repeat Forever by G. S. Prendergast makes this novel a page-turner in spite of its slow buildup. I was sucked-up into this survival story. A cliffhanger ending left me eager for the next book in The Nahx Invasions series.