“A baffling robber.
A mystery hidden for years.
And an elite boarding school where no one is who they say they are.
Kyle Bradford is the envy of Drayton College, but everything takes a turn when a dangerous shadow, hidden in the darkness, starts to stalk him. From then on, his life falls apart. Unjustly accused of being the main suspect behind the robberies terrifying high society, he is forced to prove his innocence. And to do so, he has to find the real culprit: Zero, an infallible criminal who keeps his identity hidden under a silver mask. What Kyle does not know is that his enemy is keeping a secret. A secret he would sacrifice everything for.
A dizzying, heart-stopping thriller you won’t be able to put down.”
*I received a free digital copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.* Thank you to Rubiños 1860 for giving me the opportunity to read and review this ARC!
After reading the little blurb about the ARC of Zero by Morgan Dark, I immediately knew that I would have to give it a go. This book was actually already published in Spain in September 2015, and an English translation was recently released on June 28th in the United States after experiencing fantastic success overseas. Eager to see what the buzz was all about, I dove into Zero ready to be thrilled and surprised.
+ Suspense. I love how this book is suspenseful right from the beginning, before you’ve even met the main character or the stage has been completely set. The result is truly an edge-of-your-seat feeling that kept me reading long after I should have gone to bed for the night. There are plenty of twists, turns, and unexpected obstacles that pop up along the way, making this novel an engaging and exciting read.
+ The setting. There’s something about a boarding school setting that hooks me right into any story. Drayton College, though a bit unrealistic, intrigued me endlessly with its interesting history, traditions, and perspective on education. Besides, it seems like fictional boarding schools are the perfect place to brew up some trouble (Hogwarts, anyone?).
+ The main character. Although there are many characters in this story, the primary focus is Kyle, the main character. In fact, we almost exclusively hear about his own thoughts, feelings, and actions. Such a narrow lens might seem too specific at first, but with time I realized that it actually suits the story quite nicely. Zero is much more plot-driven than it is motivated by characters. By concentrating on Kyle, the narrative allows the plot to come to the forefront of the reader’s mind without being clouded by too many other characters.
+ Originality. The overall premise of Zero is a unique modern twist on an old idea: the enigmatic, masked thief who steals from the rich without getting caught. The reveal of how Zero manages to maintain his impeccable success record, while not necessarily realistic, is undoubtedly unique.
I honestly had no complaints about this novel until I got about 75 percent through it and accurately guessed Zero’s actual identity. After that, the story dulled in comparison to the suspenseful tale it was before. There were still a few suspenseful surprises at the very end, but I couldn’t help feeling as though the driving question behind the entire novel had been much too easy to answer. It makes logistical sense when considering the details that lead up to the big reveal, but knowing how it would ultimately end rendered the conclusion quite anticlimactic for me. However, had I not correctly guessed Zero’s identity the ending would have been completely satisfactory.
Despite the rather disappointing ending, my overall experience reading Morgan Dark’s Zero was a positive one. I loved the feeling of being so invested in the story and desperately needing to know what on Earth would happen next. It’s not every day that you can find such a mysterious, suspenseful read!
My Rating: :0) :0) :0) 3 out of 5 smileys
Would I recommend it to a friend?: Yes! Especially to a friend who loves mysteries, boarding school stories, or Robin Hood-like thieves.
What are some great mysteries that you’ve read recently? Let me know in the comments section below!