Zero Repeat Forever, by G.S. Prendergast (2017)

Science Fiction
14-18
Zero Repeat Forever, by G.S. PrendergastCalgary teens Raven, her boyfriend Tucker, and Tucker’s twin Topher are all sent to do community service as camp counsellors in the Alberta foothills of the Canadian Rockies. While they are in training, aliens called Nahx invade Earth, and the teen campers are left to fend for themselves. Their only hope is to hunker down, “sheltering in place” and wait for a rescue, but weeks pass and no one comes. When a Nahx kills Tucker while he is on a hunt for food, Raven and Topher swear revenge. But are all the Nahx killers? Eighth is a Nahx who struggles against the directives to “Dart the humans. Leave them where they fall.” When Eighth uncovers Raven’s hiding place, he chooses to not dart her, but instead protects her from the other Nahx. Eighth finds himself falling hard for this delicate, weak, yet brave creature he calls Dandelion due to her light-coloured Afro. I wouldn’t call it a love story, though it is a deeply emotional tale, told in alternating points of view by Raven and Eighth. This is the second book I’ve read Prendergast. Like Audacious, this is a coming of age story, but this one involves both protagonists who struggle with their own identity and wildly changing emotions. I can see the same star-crossed lovers theme in this novel, though I would not describe this as a romance at all, despite the hints of it for the sequel. I am looking forward to that sequel; it will be interesting to see where Prendergast takes the story. Of particular interest is the origin of the alien invasion – there was a hint in advance of the surprise ending, but it’s definitely a cliffhanger that will leave most readers waiting impatiently for the next installment. One complaint – the use of miles instead of kilometres was just plain irritating. No Canadian kid uses miles; I’m three times Raven’s age, and even I had to mentally convert to clicks. I know the publishers are marketing to a North American-wide audience, but it’s grating to a Canadian reader. Why not celebrate the Canadian-ness of this book’s setting and let our distinctiveness stand? Okay, end rant. I do thank Simon & Schuster Canada for the advance reading copy provided through NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.
More discussion and reviews of this novel: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28945665
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