A sextet of mutant superhero teenagers just want to be safe in this weighty tome.
Last summer, Ethan had so antagonized his fellow Zeroes that their friendship ended. Now his own carelessness has made him a material witness in a bank robbery, and only the Zeroes can rescue him. Ethan, you see, has a secret power: “the voice.” The voice knows more than Ethan himself ever could and uses Ethan’s mouth to tell people what they need to hear in order to get Ethan out of the frying pan—though there's often a nearby fire. The other Zeroes have equally strange abilities, including Nigerian-American Chizara's ability to crash the myriad technological gadgets that cause her chronic pain; rich, Latino Nate's "Glorious Leader" charisma; and blind, white Riley's (overdone and too-obvious) extraordinary vision. The teens undergo no particular quest; the story’s driving force is the desire to escape drug-dealing mobsters. Given the fizz superhero teens could contribute to any narrative, this tome is oddly weighty in both tone and heft. These solidly characterized 16- and 17-year-olds all have younger siblings who seem quirky enough for sequel-bait; hopefully they won't become more noise in the already-crowded premise.
In this series opener by three acclaimed authors, intriguing protagonists and cinematic powers will surely please adventure fans who don't mind an ensemble developed at the expense of the individual. (Science fiction. 13-15)