TWO HOURS TO VANISH
Ten people have been carefully selected to Beta test a ground-breaking piece of spyware. Pioneered by tech-wunderkind Cy Baxter, FUSION can track anyone wherever they are on earth. But does it work?
ONE CHANCE TO ESCAPE
Each participant is given two hours to 'Go Zero' – to go off-grid and disappear - and then thirty days to elude the highly sophisticated Capture Teams sent to find them. Any Zero that beats FUSION will receive $3million in cash. If Cy's system prevails, he wins a $90 billion-dollar contract with the CIA to develop FUSION and revolutionize surveillance forever.
For contestant Kaitlyn Day, the stakes are far higher than money, and her reasons for entering the test more personal than Cy could have ever imagined. Kaitlyn needs to win to get what she wants, and Cy will stop at nothing to realize his ambitions. They have no choice but to finish the game and when the timer hits zero, there will only be one winner…
I was a big fan of the Channel 4 TV series ‘Hunted’, so the premise of ‘Going Zero’, featuring a competition where contestants try to disappear to test private and government tech was really intriguing.
I loved the first half of the book where the competition is in full swing. The book is really well paced and although there are 10 contestants, they are introduced slowly so you never felt overwhelmed. The fact that they are introduced as both their names and numbers during each chapter also really helped it not to get too confusing. There are some characters that are introduced and lose the game in one chapter and some that are around throughout. I thought the characters were nicely varied and there were some really funny moments in this part of the book.
The chapters are headed up with the location of the characters, but they change locations often (they are on the run after all!). I think perhaps using their ID Number would have been less confusing, particularly as someone who doesn’t know American geography very well.
The chapters are also interspersed with the perspective from the hunters, led by Cy Baxter, who’s a bit of an Elon Musk type character. He’s not particularly likeable and we see a real darker side to him start to come out as the game progresses. The latter half of the book then turns into a bit of a techno-thriller, full of hacking and politics and meetings. I must admit that I didn’t really enjoy this half as much as I had enjoyed the first half. I knew that something darker would be happening, but I was hoping for something else rather than what was presented. The ending seemed a bit far-fetched and was a little disappointing. I’m aware that this is very much a personal preference though!
Overall, Going Zero is a brilliant premise and has a perfectly paced and gripping first half, but I was less enamoured by the second half of the book. Thank you to NetGalley & Pan Macmillan for the chance to read the ARC in exchange for an honest review.
LINKS TO BUY