Book Review: Day Zero by Kelly deVos

Book: Day Zero by Kelly deVos

Published November 2019 by Inkyard Press|432 pages

Where I Got It: I own the hardcover

Series: Day Zero Duology #1

Genre: YA Sci-Fi/Thriller

If you’re going through hell…keep going.

Seventeen-year-old coder Jinx Marshall grew up spending weekends drilling with her paranoid dad for a doomsday she’s sure will never come. She’s an expert on self-heating meal rations, Krav Maga and extracting water from a barrel cactus. Now that her parents are divorced, she’s ready to relax. Her big plans include making it to level 99 in her favorite MMORPG and spending the weekend with her new hunky stepbrother, Toby.

But all that disaster training comes in handy when an explosion traps her in a burning building. Stuck leading her headstrong stepsister, MacKenna, and her precocious little brother, Charles, to safety, Jinx gets them out alive only to discover the explosion is part of a pattern of violence erupting all over the country. Even worse, Jinx’s dad stands accused of triggering the chaos.

In a desperate attempt to evade paramilitary forces and vigilantes, Jinx and her siblings find Toby and make a break for Mexico. With seemingly the whole world working against them, they’ve got to get along and search for the truth about the attacks—and about each other. But if they can survive, will there be anything left worth surviving for?

I really struggled with Day Zero.  I had a hard time getting through it, and I was pretty close to actually not finishing the book.  I liked the ending, but getting there was challenging.

My main issue with Day Zero was the beginning.  Things were slow and confusing, and the world didn’t make sense to me.

Jinx lives in a world where there are two political parties- the Spark and the Opposition.  It seemed like the Democrat/Republican parties were around before giving way to the Spark/Opposition parties.  I feel like we can’t say that definitively, because I also felt like we had no world-building or background on the world that Jinx and her family lives in.  I couldn’t begin to tell you how things go to a point where the Spark and Opposition were duelling it out in an election.

Even at the end of the book, I had a hard time telling you who was responsible for what, and what they did and why they did.  It was a little more clear towards the end, but I was massively confused at the beginning of the book because it wasn’t clearly explained what was going on.

And, as much as I hate saying this, I wasn’t a fan of the names of either group.  It felt too simple- almost like they were placeholders in a draft that was never changed.  Of course, the two parties can be called whatever the author wants to call them, but I think I just wanted something cooler.

I also had a hard time keeping the characters straight, and how they were all connected.  I figured it out in the end, but it took a while to get there.

Actually, I think that describes this book pretty well.  It took a long time for anything to interest me, and even though I did like the book in the end, it was too late at that point, because I didn’t care about what happened to the characters.

Except for Charles, because I really liked him, and I want him to be okay.  I really want him to be okay in the next book.

As for the rest of the characters?  I didn’t particularly care about them or what happened to them.  I felt like I only knew them on a surface level, and even though you could probably say the same about Charles, I really connected to him more than I did the other characters, and I’m not sure why.

2 stars.  I liked the ending but it wasn’t enough to give Day Zero a higher rating.  I was too confused at the beginning, and I didn’t really care about what happened to most of the characters.

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