A baffling robber.
A mystery hidden for years.
And an elite boarding school where no one is who they say they are.
Kyle Bradford is the envy of Drayton College, but everything takes a turn when a dangerous shadow, hidden in the darkness, starts to stalk him. From then on, his life falls apart. Unjustly accused of being the main suspect behind the robberies terrifying high society, he is forced to prove his innocence. And to do so, he has to find the real culprit: Zero, an infallible criminal who keeps his identity hidden under a silver mask. What Kyle does not know is that his enemy is keeping a secret. A secret he would sacrifice everything for.
A dizzying, heart-stopping thriller you won’t be able to put down.
Publisher: Rubiños, 1860
Zero by Morgan Dark
I was approached by publisher Rubiños about this fantastic book called Zero by Morgan Dark that was just being released in English after being wildly successful in Spanish. With such a mysterious premise, and an author who is an American of Spanish heritage, I needed to give it a try. I am SO GRATEFUL I DID! Zero has got to be one of the most unique YA novels I have read in a very long time!
The start was a bit rocky. It felt cliche. All I could think was oh no, typical YA rich kid Gossip Girl type book where main character would turn into an amazing hero to stop villain Zero. I could not be more wrong. This book was so involved and well thought out, I am amazed by Morgan Dark’s foresight and planning. Once you finish Zero, you finally you realize how many small pieces fit into place, making the ending one that is extremely satisfying. It is an earned ending, and believable.
Character development may at first seem shallow, but the deeper you get into the book, the more you learn. You get hooked and want to find out more about why these characters do what they do and how I went from not really caring about Kyle, to becoming so intrigued and invested, I could not put the book down until I finished it. I want to say more about the “secondary” characters that also made an amazing impression on me, but I can’t without spoiling the entire book.
Zero by Morgan Dark is seriously a fantastic YA novel that is unlike any other on the market. If you’re looking to read something new and exciting, definitely pick it up! It is great to see an author actually respect their readers enough to give them a novel that forces them to think and piece things together, instead of simply following a typical and predictable YA trope.
A Word from Morgan Dark
I was lucky enough, thanks to the Fantastic Flying Book Club, to have the opportunity to ask Ms. Dark her thoughts on a few topics.
Roadside Reader: Originally published in Spanish, how difficult was it to maintain the integrity of the story when so many nuances can be lost in translation. After all, there are so many phrases and words in Spanish that simply have no coherent carry-over in English.
Morgan Dark: The translation of any book is always a challenge because a translator is, in some way, like a second author who has to maintain the gist of the plot, the essence of the words you use and make it work in a language that’s different from the one it was originally written in. I’m lucky in that I know English well (my parents are Spanish, but I was born in the US), so I was able to read the translation of the book when it was done and be sure that it was right. I won’t have that luxury when it gets translated into other language, but it’s a question of trust. I like to talk to the translators of my books before they start because it helps me get to know them and get a feel for whether they’ll do [a] good translations or not.
RR: Zero is very different from most other YA novels. What struggles did you face in publishing a book so contrary to the majority of the YA market?
MD: Zero is definitely different. Actually, I think that’s one of the most remarkable aspects of the book: just how different it is from other YA books. It’s also one of its major selling points and what people have responded most positively to. It’s interesting, but I didn’t run into any problems getting the book published. In fact, when I finished the manuscript, I sent it off to my editor to read, and he called me just a few hours later to tell me he was dead set on getting published at all cost. Finally, I’d like to emphasize just how important it is to dedicate yourself heart and soul to a book you really like and not follow the trends nor the work of other authors.
RR: What were your inspirations (literal or musical) in creating Zero (the novel, not the thief)?
MD: I often listen to music when I write. It’s something I’ve been doing since I was young. I always try to pick songs that go with the scene I’m writing; it helps me get inspired. For Zero, I listened to lots of songs from Thirty Seconds to Mars, Imagine Dragons, and Rihanna because they really fit the story. By the time I’d finished the book, I knew those albums by heart! Nowadays when I h;ear one of those songs, I think of Zero and the parts of the book I wrote listening to that particular song.
I think it would be amazing to see a spotify playlist perhaps of some of the major songs that influenced the book to listen to as readers read along. Thank you so much to Ms. Morgan Dark for taking time out to speak with me.
|ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Morgan Dark is one of the most original teenage literature writers. Always enveloped in suspense, as of yet no one knows her true identity. She began writing Zero after a hooded man robbed her in her New York apartment. Included amongst the stolen items was her favorite ring. Yet in exchange, she received a publishing contract for her new novel. After Zero became one of the most awaited teenage books in 2015, her ring showed up in her house again…in black envelope with no sender.