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Review: Zero World by Jason M. Hough


Zero World
Author:  Jason M. Hough
Publisher:  Del Rey, August 18, 2015
Format:  Hardcover and eBook, 592 pages
List Price:  $27.00 (print); $12.99 (eBook)
ISBN:  9780553391268 (print);  9780553391275 (eBook)
Review Copy:  Provided by the Publisher

Review: Zero World by Jason M. Hough
Published in rapid succession, Jason M. Hough’s first three novels, The Darwin Elevator, The Exodus Towers, and The Plague Forge, earned mountains of praise and comparisons to such authors as James S. A. Corey and John Scalzi. Now Hough returns with a riveting near-future spy thriller that combines the adrenaline of a high-octane James Bond adventure with mind-blowing sci-fi speculations worthy of Christopher Nolan’s Inception.

Technologically enhanced superspy Peter Caswell has been dispatched on a top-secret assignment unlike any he’s ever faced. A spaceship that vanished years ago has been found, along with the bodies of its murdered crew—save one. Peter’s mission is to find the missing crew member, who fled through what appears to be a tear in the fabric of space. Beyond this mysterious doorway lies an even more confounding reality: a world that seems to be Earth’s twin.

Peter discovers that this mirrored world is indeed different from his home, and far more dangerous. Cut off from all support, and with only days to complete his operation, Peter must track his quarry alone on an alien world. But he’s unprepared for what awaits on the planet’s surface, where his skills will be put to the ultimate test—and everything he knows about the universe will be challenged in ways he never could have imagined.

Includes the complete bonus novella The Dire Earth, a prequel to the bestselling sci-fi adventure The Darwin Elevator.



Qwill's Thoughts

With Zero World, Jason M. Hough shows that he is at the top of his game. The majority of the novel is set on Earth's twin which is startling in both its similarities to and differences from our Earth. From language differences to cultural and geopolitical differences Hough has captured in great detail how someone from our Earth would feel when being dropped in the deep end on Earth's twin. Peter Caswell is learning on the fly while hunting down a crew member missing from a spaceship in our solar system that had disappeared years before. He's a spy in a familiar yet strange land.

Peter Caswell is an incredible character - a clever spy with personal technology that helps him be faster and stronger among other things. However, even without the technology, Caswell is formidable. He's resourceful, smart and dangerous. He ends up having to rely on the help of a local, Melni Tavan. Melni is not just the 'Bond girl'. She's a fully developed and strong character who is an excellent match for Caswell. Melni helps him even though she has doubts about him. Melni is also full of surprises and has more of an ethical compass than Caswell.

There are unexpected twists, turns and revelations in Zero World that deepen the story. The world building and speculative science is well done and impressive. The pacing is breathtakingly fast and the writing crisp.

To say that I absolutely loved Zero World would be an understatement. Zero World combines everything I like about smart Science Fiction and edge-of-your-seat espionage thrillers with great characters and a genuinely engaging story. I hope that we will see more of Peter Caswell in our near future.

Cover Reveal: Zero World by Jason M. Hough

Over the weekend, Jason M. Hough treated his newsletter subscribers to the reveal of the cover for his next novel, Zero World. This is the first novel in Jason's Conduit series and will be published by Del Rey on September 15th in North America. Jason is the author of the fabulous Dire Earth Cycle novels (3 novels and 1 short). So without further ado, Zero World:



Zero World
Conduit 1
Del Rey, September 15, 2015
Hardcover and eBook, 464 pages
Jacket design: David G. Stevenson
Jacket photograph: © Gene Mollica

Cover Reveal: Zero World by Jason M. Hough
Published in rapid succession, Jason M. Hough’s first three novels, The Darwin Elevator, The Exodus Towers, and The Plague Forge, earned mountains of praise and comparisons to such authors as James S. A. Corey and John Scalzi. Now Hough returns with a riveting near-future spy thriller that combines the adrenaline of a high-octane James Bond adventure with mind-blowing sci-fi speculations worthy of Christopher Nolan’s Inception.

Technologically enhanced superspy Peter Caswell has been dispatched on a top-secret assignment unlike anything he’s ever faced. A spaceship that vanished years ago has been found, along with the bodies of its murdered crew—save one. Peter’s mission is to find the missing crew member, who fled through what appears to be a tear in the very fabric of space. Beyond this mysterious doorway lies an even more confounding reality: a world that appears to be Earth’s twin.

Peter quickly discovers that this mirrored world is indeed very different from his home, and far more dangerous. Cut off from all support, and with only days to complete his operation, Peter must track his quarry alone on an alien world. But nothing can prepare him for what awaits on the planet’s surface, where his skills will be put to the ultimate test—and everything he knows about the universe will be challenged in ways he never could have imagined.





Cover Reveal: Zero World by Jason M. Hough
Photo by Nathan Hough
Jason M. Hough (pronounced 'Huff') is the bestselling author of THE DARWIN ELEVATOR, THE EXODUS TOWERS, and THE PLAGUE FORGE. In a former life he was a 3D artist, animator, and game designer (Metal FatigueAliens vs. Predator: Extinction, and many others). He has also worked in the fields of high-performance cluster computing and machine learning.

THE DARWIN ELEVATOR began in 2008 as a Nanowrimo project.  The book released on July 30th 2013 in the US and reached the New York Times Bestseller list the following week. DARWIN is Jason’s first published fiction.

The trilogy, collectively called THE DIRE EARTH CYCLE, was released in the summer of 2013. Jason's next book, ZERO WORLD, is due out in September 2015.

He lives near Seattle, Washington with his wife, two young sons, and a dog named Missbuster.

Website  ~  Twitter @JasonMHough  ~  Facebook  ~  Google+  ~  Blog  ~  Newsletter

Review: Zero World by Jason M. HoughCover Reveal: Zero World by Jason M. Hough

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