The Legend of Zero begins the epic journey of 14-year-old Joe Dobbs in a post-apocalyptic universe following a massive alien invasion of Earth. The oldest of the children drafted from humanity's devastated planet, Joe is impressed into service by the alien Congressional Ground Force - and becomes the unwitting centerpiece in a millennia-long alien struggle for independence.
Once his training begins, one of the elusive and prophetic Trith appears to give Joe a spine-chilling prophecy that the universe has been anticipating for millions of years: Joe will be the one to finally shatter the vast alien government known as Congress. And the Trith cannot lie. But first Joe has to make it through bootcamp.
©2012 Sara Jean King (P)2013 Sara Jean King
“Ah, the outdoors,' Shallan said. 'I visited that mythical place once.” ― Brandon Sanderson, The Way of Kings
I was searching for a military scifi book and came across this book as a new release this week. It only had two reviews that both marked it all 5's and no written reviews so I was pretty skeptical. I decided to look up reviews on Amazon.com and was amazed at the amount of positive reviews for the book. Interestingly enough this book is only available in kindle format, besides audible, no soft or hardcover releases yet.
As for the book please read some of the amazon reviews. As for me I finished the book in one continuous listening. Only a few authors can provoke a response like that from me (Orson Scott Card, Brandon Sanderson, Patrick Rothfuss). I was shocked when I hit part 2 of the book and it was 6am.
The story starts right after Earth is visited and lacking a better word annexed into a large alien "supposedly" republic. As for joining the republic the children of Earth between ages 5 - 12 are forcibly taken at gunpoint from the earth where they will be trained into soldiers for this galactic congress. They are so many interesting parts to the story but it mainly focuses on the children soldiers being trained and the aliens who are training them. Every time I thought I had this book figured out it throws a new curve at you. As an example I find myself at times empathizing with the aliens who at times don't seem to like what they are doing but believe it's for the greater good. Only to then find out they see things totally different from what I expected. The aliens in this book are truly alien in both body and thought process. There not just some humanoid antagonist military that are doing things for reasons we humans would normally consider evil, rather their thoughts and reasonings are just that, alien. You can follow their reasoning up to a certain point, then you get thrown a curve. What's really interesting is that eventually these curves are explained in a way humans can understand without necessarily agreeing with them. This is some of the best alien development I've ever seen in a scifi book. As for the human children think something close to Ender's game without the kids being geniuses. They pought, cry, whine, but it never gets irritating. It really made me think of how when real children experience traumatic things in their lives they are quite resilient. That's not to say the trauma doesn't leave it's scars. With the children in the story, it's just that, they are traumatized but you are with them as that innate human resilience kicks in. You wanna cry for them, cheer them on, and most of all watch them grow. This is a book I probably wouldn't have given a chance but the publisher summary and the reviews on amazon.com convinced me to take a chance and I am so glad that I did.
As far as Narration, this is the first time I've heard Liam Owen. He does a very good job. He's no Stephan Rudniki or Scott Brick but while the voices among the children don't vary to much and with literally hundreds of children that have maybe 1 or 2 speaking lines you can kinda understand why. Yet he does get a lot of variation with the six main children and also he gets in a lot of variation between the different species of aliens speaking and they're a whole lot of different aliens.
I've noticed the volume tends to drift during the performance. Nothing horrible but maybe once a hour or so you find the volume is now to soft to hear or it stars to get uncomfortably loud. As it only happens about once an hour you can easily adjust your volume to deal with it. I have a suspicion that maybe the recording was done using cheaper equipment or maybe at a home studio. As this is the first release of an audio book for this author I believe it's something that can be overlooked. I do hope in time that here books become more well known and the quality of the recordings will improve. Maybe one day she'll be popular enough to have this book re-recorded with a full cast reading like they did for Ender's Game 20th Anniversary Edition. With all that being said I hope that you will give Sara King's "Forging Zero" a try and enjoy it as much as I have.
One last note is that there is already a sequel and a short story prequel to this book but again they are only available currently on Kindle. If you like this book as much as I do please request that audible carry Sara King's sequel/prequel as well as her other works. You can make a content request by emailing audible.com using: firstname.lastname@example.org Personally I have medical issues that severely limits my ability to read for any extended period and having these books available on audible is a life saver.
GACK! Stop with the sound effects, Please! (more on that later)
This is the second Sara King book I've read, and like the first one, I found it very creative, very descriptive, and the prose well constructed. So why isn't it a great book? There's something very amateur about it. There is very little respect for many of the characters. Oh sure the protagonist gets treated with soft gloves, and one or two of the author's favorites are consistent and enjoyable, but the rest are furniture and their personalities change as needed. Like the other King book, this one doesn't shy away from some issues of sex in it's characters -- but also like the other book, much of what is described is painfully juvenile. I would expect scenes like that written by a 14-year-old, not an adult woman.
As to some serious production issues -- although Liam Owen does a solid job and has great range for characters, some of the attempts to add effects to the production were really annoying. They had some kind of bell/tinkle effect between sections, I suppose to signify the change from one section to another as some authors might do with a line of asterisks or something. Not a horrible idea, but it was done much louder than it should have been, out of nowhere and louder than any of the text being read. It was jarring and annoying. The use of sound chamber effects (like an echo chamber) to cover certain things said were more distraction than helpful and were often out of sync. Another production issue is that when the various chapters were patched together, not enough empty space was placed before the new chapter number was read. So the last sentence in one chapter would end, and with almost no pause at all -- not even as much as for a sentence end, suddenly you'd hear, "Chapter 23..." like there wasn't even a period after the last sentence. It was just poorly managed and should be re-done.
Say something about yourself!
I had read the book and thought the story was amazing. It has an Enders Game feel to it.
Earth being overrun, and not even putting up a fight, families fighting back as their kids are taken away...the journey, the training the alien culture.. the idea that the aliens were not all "bad" but they had rich complicated emotions. The sense of suspense. Seriously unforgettable.
You kept wondering what was going to happen next? To the kids, to the planet? Unexpected twists where key characters are just....don't want to have spoilers here but it was good!!!
Wow, this guys is talented, Really brought passion and feeling to the characters here. Simply amazing.
It was just an amazing experience, you get so wrapped up you secretly hope the story will never end.
Incredible moving experience.
The story is great (military Sci- Fi at its best) and the narrator is excellent
When he made the decision to destroy the resistance - there are other scenes as well
Joe Dobbs aka Zero
The scene in the ship with his neighbor
I've listened to it twice which is a first for me. Sara King is now one of my favorite authors and Liam Owen did an amazing job of narration
the thing i liked best about zero is how he dosent know realy anything about being a leader or leadership but learns form his misstakes to become a battle master.
my favorite part of the book is when zero speaks the alien tong with out relising what he isdoing then kill's the sentinal with a simple knife
i realy wished sasha and munk could have been saved that was a sad moment that turned the story dark, i loved it.
Sure, but I would tell them to read the book first. It allows you to visualize the story better.
The last battle, and the pain endured because of it.
I just prefer to read more, the narrator did a great job.
I really enjoyed this series so far I can't wait for the 4th book to be released.
My most pleasant surprise of the year.The author did an excellent job introducing new alien environments and cultures. I can not wait for the other Zero books to come to audio.
I have read this masterpiece and it's sequel twice in the past year and I can say without the slightest hesitation that I have no regrets about buying the audible version as well. Miss King delivers a sci-fi masterwork that is easily among the greats for it's creativity, innovation, and character development.
this is a must listen. The inspiration of Enders Game is evident. I have read several ripoffs of enders game and they don't stack up. This however does justice to the child warrior saga.
Great story with a great voice performance. With that being said there is a chime used in this production that is loud, brash, and terrifying when not expected. The first time it sounded I almost crashed my car. It had the same effect on my wife...
"Best book of the year so far, for me."
It mixed elements from some of my favourite stories, Enders Game, Star wars, Star Force and still managed to feel 100% original.
He gave each character a unique voice that seemed to be just right for the story. It's hard to choose one.
I emailed Sara King to ask if the other books in the series are going to be converted to audio.
She responded straight away telling me Liam Owen is doing the voice work and they'll be available within the next couple of months.
Loved this book and I'll be getting the next ones in the series the day they're released.
"don't wast your time on this book"
This book does not make any sense the characters motivation thinking and what exactly is going on not well written not well narrated half the time you are confused in why this kids are being like this.. I did not like maybe you might but I doubt it.
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