Zero Repeat Forever is the first book in The Nahx Invasions series.
The novel follows a girl called Raven. As a result of a rebellious streak, she lands herself in a summer camp in the Canadian wilderness along with her boyfriend, his twin, and a couple of other teens. Along side Raven, we also follow Eight who’s a ‘Nahx’, a soldier who’s part of the invasion.
Comes out August 29th.
Zero Repeat Forever is action-packed and the plot is engaging. It’s a slow burn, and it took me a good while to read because of the density at times. The first 150 pages or so were rough to get through. The writing style threw me off, but it either became more complex after the initial couple of hundred pages, or I just got used to it.
The thing I liked the most about this novel is the feeling of dread that shocked through me whenever something intense happened (which is a lot). That feeling of dread rarely creeps up on me, but the thought of being in the midst of an invasion on that big of a scale, trapped, scares the shit out of me.
There is a point in the story where Raven questions the validity of her having the mental health issues a court-mandated therapist diagnosed her with. She wonders if it’s possible that it’s bullshit. She argues that ADHD, attachment disorder and anger issues are labels that therapists love to put on people who looks like her (I will update this part with quotes from the finished copy). It’s important to clarify here that Raven is biracial, which has caused her plenty of struggles throughout her life. I don’t know how to interpret that comment exactly. On one hand, I can see how it’s supposed to signify that racism plays an inexcusably large part in labelling people. But on the other hand, as a person with ADHD, I feel a bit offended. That small comment enforces the harmful stereotype of people with ADHD as being a bunch of selfish bad-mannered brats. Trying to put focus on the unfairness of one stereotype with enforcing another is very unfortunate.
Then there’s the aspect of martial arts. The martial arts I’ve grown up with, and have studied for over 10 years, teaches self-control, discipline, respect and humility. I do not see any of that in Raven.
The romance is also kind of far-fetched. It seems a little unrealistic. There’s this whole Stockholm syndrome thing going on in a way. Falling in love with your captor, that’s not creepy at all. But then again, in the last third of the book the story gets better and better, until it finally ends with a massive cliffhanger. I want to know what happens next, and find out what exactly those Nahnx are. Where do they come from? Why are they here? Who are they exactly? And who sent them? I have so many questions that I can’t wait to get the answers to.
Zero Repeat Forever is about the struggle of coming to terms with a new and awful reality. It deals with grief and the many faces it bears, while wrapping it all up in an action packed story of humans vs. aliens. It explores how humans react in desperate situations, and at the same time it’s about holding on to humanity.
While I have a couple of problems with the book, I think it’s good entertainment and it will appeal to a lot of young adult readers.
*I received an arc from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*