My rating: 3 of 5 stars
**I would like to thank the publisher and NetGalley for providing me with an advance copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review**
Zero Repeat Forever was billed as “The 5th Wave meets Beauty and the Beast”. I’ve never read The 5th Wave but in reading this book I can clearly see a division between two stories. For me, it started off great. The concept of a bunch of teenagers stranded at a summer camp while the world faces apocalypse around them was brilliant. G.S. Prendergast’s writing struck a chord with me as she captured the anxiety and intrigue of the event perfectly. I read an undertone of Lord of the Flies in the early prose and loved the back and forth between characters as they approached the situation from different angles. Should we stay and “shelter in place” or go and try to find help. For the first quarter to third of the book I felt this was a solid four stars and possibly higher. And then…
The second of the stories began to take the lead. As the narrative encroached further and further into Beauty and the Beast territory the story lost all the excitement and verve that had so engrossed me. The narrative slowed way down and most of the promising threads vanished. Some returned near the end but by then it was too little too late.
Aside from the tagline, duality played a major role throughout the book in alternating POV chapters between Raven and Eighth. I enjoyed the present tense choice as I found it lent an immediacy to the story but need to say I found the chapters devoted to Raven were of a higher quality than those of Eighth. This I think had to do with the first person POV choice; as Eighth was confused in the story the writing had to likewise be confusing.
As for Raven, I personally found her to be unlikeable. I’d describe her as petulant and whiny and find these are not the traits you want in a solid protagonist. Nor the traits that make a Beauty and the Beast romance believable.
An interesting concept overall that squandered some great early potential.