She could change things...
Pages: 51 (Roughly.)
Chapters: -- (Doesn't have any.)
Publisher: Magus Tor Books and Games
Book Links: Goodreads
Holy crap! Yes! Gimme that short jolt of emotion!
Ground Zero, prequel to the author's Numbered series, is awesome! Giving us a brief look at Aurelia Cole's upbringing before the core series starts, we go through a tumultuous ride of heartbreak, doubt and the beginnings of change. The novel is short, so expect to spend maybe twenty minutes on it, but hell yes read it. I actually think it would be best to start with this entry: The way it builds the protagonist and world totally eclipses the other stuff I've read so far.
Don't worry if this review is also concise, there isn't a lot to cover, but what I do want to cover is only filled with praise.
Synopsis (Not a copy from the book, but I always keep my interpretations close.)
Aurelia Cole is on the verge of her graduation: The time has come for her to be a full-fledged medical Worker.
But as she waits for the ceremony, she can't help but reminisce the trials she faced along the way.
Drawn to the medical field, Aurelia is talented but wary.
The rules regarding life and its end don't sit well with her.
But she dare not challenge those in authority, at least not yet.
Not until she can actually make changes...
Plot - 5/5 Stars
So, for the most part, Ground Zero focuses on Aurelia and her best friend Marnee's medical education. The bond between the two is sweet and completely authentic, but more on that below. What we really get a proper feel for is the way Aurelia's world works. Set in the future, war has ravaged Earth and resources are low. To compensate, anyone who cannot contribute is, well, disposed of (killed).
It's brutal and shocking, but it does a great job of setting the dynamics that lead to the rest of the series.
Aurelia, of course, doesn't believe in this discarding life approach, feeling that there's value in all life. When Marnee is hurt before she can graduate, and in turn left without use of her legs, the law dictates that she be removed to save resources.
God, it's heartbreaking, especially when Marnee asks Aurelia to administer the drug that'll kill her. It's even more emotional given that our protagonist is practically dead-set against the practice.
It sets up what will rivet us in the future, and the punch to the heart just drives our protagonist's later actions home.
Pace - 5/5 Stars
Twenty or so minutes, people, that's all you'll need.
Characters - 5/5 Stars
The best part of Ground Zero has to be cast chemistry, because Magus nails it. Aurelia and Marnee are convincing and captivating; Aurelia and her parents are also fantastic highlights. You really feel the love, which makes the world's rules that bit more infuriating. Reading this short will have you racing to sign up for the Resistance.
Aurelia herself is the best I've seen her (I've just finished the third book before realising there's a prequel). Her motivations and development in this entry are perfection. Her goodness and desire to change the world for the better are completely justifiable. And that's one of the reasons I recommend reading this instalment first: It connects you to the character in a much better way than future entries will.
Writing - 5/5 Stars
Clear and concise, and that's an achievement for a book that's less than 100 pages.
Overall - 5/5 Stars
A lovely and enthralling prequel.
Next Instalment: Want
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