Zero Day by Jan Gangsei | Book Review

 RATING: Political thriller filled with suspense (3.5/5) // AMAZON

PAGES: 368 PAGES | PUBLISHER: Disney hyperion

FORMAT: ebook | SOURCE: BOUGHT AGE GROUP: YOUNG ADULT


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SUMMARY

Eight years ago, Addie Webster was the victim of the most notorious kidnapping of the decade. Addie vanished—and her high-profile parents were forced to move on.

Mark Webster is now president of the United States, fighting to keep the Oval Office after a tumultuous first term. Then, the unthinkable happens: the president’s daughter resurfaces. Addie is brought back into her family’s fold…but who is this sixteen-year-old girl with a quiet, burning intelligence now living in the White House? There are those in the administration who find her timely return suspicious.

When a national security advisor approaches Darrow Fergusson, Addie’s childhood best friend and the son of the president’s chief of staff, he doesn’t know what to think. How could the girl he’s missed for all these years be a threat to the United States? Still, at the risk of having his own secrets exposed, Darrow agrees to spy on Addie.

He soon realizes that his old friend is much more than the traumatized victim of a political fringe group. Addie has come with a mission…but will she choose to complete it?

3.5 book 2 book 2 book 2 book 2

Cover Thoughts I bought the ebook copy of Zero Day, so I haven’t seen the cover in person. At first glance, the cover doesn’t seem to have much going on, but when I took a closer look I was surprised by the detail. The background seems to be some sort of code with random phrases, like “DON’T TELL” and “THEY’RE WATCHING,” which is super creepy and goes along perfectly with the computer hacking in this book. And I like the contrast of the American flag lettering against the dark background.
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Ever since I started watching the TV show Scandal, I’ve been drawn to political thrillers, so I was beyond excited after reading the premise of Zero Day. It quickly shot up to the top of my 2016 Debut Novels list, and I found myself with a great read full of lots of unexpected twists and turns.

Addie Webster was kidnapped at a young age from her family, but she resurfaces 8 years later to find her father is the president of the United States. Around the same time, a hacker terrorist group becomes bolder with each attack. The stakes are high for all involved, and nothing is what it seems.

There are multiple POVs in Zero Day, but the main ones are Addie and Darrow. I liked Addie, and her unreliability made the book even more startling. If I couldn’t even trust the MC, then what on earth was actually going on? She seemed to be suffering from Stockholm syndrome, and it was interesting to read about Addie struggling to adjust to her new life. I also liked to use the few flashbacks we were given to attempt to piece together what was going on in her mind.

Darrow was Addie’s best friend growing up and is the president’s chief of staff’s son. Soon he finds himself in a difficult position when his feelings for Addie and concern for her well-being collide. Plus, to add to the drama, he’s blackmailed into spying on Addie. What secret is Darrow hiding? And what actually happened to Addie? I enjoyed the romance in Zero Day, but I appreciated that Gangsei didn’t let it take over the story. Although the budding romance between Addie and Darrow was sweet, I was way more invested into Addie’s kidnapping and her alliances and finding the culprit behind the terrorist attacks.

Although I really enjoyed reading about the cyber espionage (since I’m considering studying computer science in college), it was sometimes hard to believe that Addie was some sort of super hacker who could hack into the government without being detected, but maybe I just don’t really understand how hacking works. Even though the believability was questionable, it was still cool (and a tad bit scary) to read about Addie’s tech savviness and it was pretty insane how powerful hackers can be.

Zero Day was a whirlwind of emotions and uncertainty. Although I found the pacing to be a tad slow at times, I still managed to finish it in a short amount of time. There are so many questions that readers will want to have answered, so you’ll be quickly and eagerly flipping through Zero Day trying to weed out the truth from the lies while also attempting to put together the clues Gangsei carefully lays out for us.

Unfortunately it seems as if Zero Day is a stand alone, but Gangsei wrote on Goodreads that there is “potential for more.” THERE IS HOPE! *crosses fingers* In my opinion, Zero Day ended with a big cliffhanger and there is definitely room for another book! Hopefully Gangsei will answer our wishes with a sequel because I would love to dive back into this thrilling, high-stakes world.

 

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