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Element Zero: James Knapp

Saturday, May 21, 2011
Summary:Would you allow the military to reanimate your corpse, knowing it would commit atrocities, if it meant avoiding service in a brutal war during your lifetime?

What if your level of citizenship depended on your answer? To gain a chance at a better life, or feed your family, which would you choose then? Or would you choose neither, and accept a life of hardship and poverty?

What if you came face to face with your own death, and realized too late you had made the wrong decision?

Nico Wachalowski has been waiting for years for the other shoe to drop, and finally it has. When Fawkes resurfaces and awakens his hidden army of revivors, the city streets turn into a war zone in a matter of hours. Before anyone can react he finds himself maimed, the streets overrun, and parts of the city literally crashing down around him. As the chaos unfurls, he follows the last lead he had which hints at something even more sinister than the attack itself. When the violence escalates, and the revivors begin spreading out toward the city limits, he determines what Fawkes true plan has been all along - but has he realized too late?

Faye Dasalia has played an instrumental role in letting Samuel Fawkes execute the final phase of his plan. No longer needed by or trusted by Fawkes himself she discovers the truth he's kept from her for so long. With this new information in play, she finds herself at a crossroads; will she put her trust in Nico and help undo everything she's worked for? Or will she follow through with a plan that turns out to have been much broader than she ever believed, and which might end up changing the world forever?

Calliope Flax has found her place in society as a soldier with the private contracting firm Stillwell Corps. Leveraging the revivor nodes that still lay half-formed in her brain, she helps track down others who have been injected in an attempt to round them up before Fawkes can activate them. When that day comes, and Fawkes' enemies discover her secret, they attempt to use her as a weapon against him. Caught in the middle of the war zone, she realizes that she might be one of the only people left who can help Nico stop Fawkes and save the city.

Zoe Ott now lives and works with the elite members of Ai's organization. Cut off from Nico, her visions have been a key to helping them understand the future they might all be facing. When she finally realizes what the specifics of that future are, she also realizes that she might be the only one left with the ability to stop it. Backed up against the wall, she finds herself faced with an impossible choice, and millions of lives in her hands.

This book has it all, from conspiracies to massive, full-scale wars.  The reader will never be bored, the scenes are fast-paced and intriguing, the characters are designed to make the reader feel a connection to them-no matter their choices in the novel.  The idea, the ability to reanimate a corpse and possibly use that corpse to commit atrocities, is very interesting and begs for deep, detailed questions.  What if there were stipulations to your theoretical answer?  Would your answer vary if your life or loved ones depended on it?  The author chose a completely new topic, the reader will never come across a novel quite like this one.  This book is great for young adult and adults who relish the challenge of a novel that asks hard questions and reveals a completely new idea.