Review: Zero Hour by Jordan Castillo Price

Zero Hour by Jordan Castillo Price

*ebook purchased from JCP Books*

Regina’s Rating: 4 stars/Grade A-


Ernest just turned thirty. It’s time for retirement, freedom from the tedious drudgery of his job as a data clerk. Time to explore parts of the city he’s never seen before, and hopefully meet some actual people. And at the end of the month? Time to die.

Will runs the counter at the historic coffee shop, and when he talks, he sounds just like an old-time data feed. Tongues are for talking, and Will’s got plenty to say. He’s nothing like anyone Ernest has ever met—though unfortunately that’s not saying much, since most of Ernest’s interaction to date has been with his artificial intelligence, L0U15E.

Ernest wants to believe Will’s radical notions, but what if Will is just working some angle to take advantage of him? Although he’s old enough to qualify for the senior discount at the VR Palace, Ernest finds his interactions with Will leave him feeling painfully naive.


Jordan Castillo Price has to be one of my top 5 favorite authors. I am purposely holding myself back from reading all of her books at once to ensure that I always have a backlist to read. Zero Hour is a standalone book, in a dystopia setting where human government has “evolved” to a point that it has convinced human beings to live literally in a bubble and to live short but productive lives. The main character, Ernest has come to the end of his short life and begin to feels regret for what he has not done but doesn’t yet know or understand how he truly has failed to live. Ernest meets a barista named Will and gradually discovers more about life and as corny as it sounds, more about himself and of course falls in lust (and then in love).

The beginning of Zero Hour is strong as is most of the middle and the end is strong. I did find myself skimming parts of the middle, but it didn’t detract from the story. In the end, I recommend this book — like I recommend all of this author’s books that I have read. The world is very unique, extremely creative and thought provoking. Readers have seen and read enough in the dystopia genre to not be surprised or interested in dystopia settings but .. Zero Hour has a different approach.  The world that Ms. Price creates is unique enough to make me stop and think, could this happen?  Would we let this happen?

What Jordan Castillo Price does so well (and it seems like I am really drawn to authors who do this) is that she writes character driven stories where her characters are flawed (like all of us are, right?) but have the potential of growth. Zero Hour is similar to her other stories in that respect, the readers get to join Ernest in his hope for experience and his desire to live.

I enjoyed Zero Hour enough to wish it was the start of a series but was satisfied with the end to be okay that it is a standalone.

*I feel the need to warn readers who are sensitive, there are references to pornography and there are graphic m/m sex scenes.

Rating:  ☠  ☠  ☠  ☠  ☠ 

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