SPSFC Phase 2: Zero Day Threat by R.M. Olson

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I had a hard time with this one. I started out kind of liking it, but as things progressed I started to struggle with it more and more. I had this on audio and the performer did really well and helped keep me moving along.

I think people will like this if they’re fans of Oceans 11, or the trope of a bunch of very skilled people coming together (begrudgingly) to get a job done. The best of each “type” of person has been recruited to pull off a suicide heist.

So, I’ve read a bunch of these kinds of stories. I’ve seen a lot of these kinds of movies. This felt a bit overly familiar from the start just from the plotline, but when the characters showed up it got even more stereotypical and predictable. The snarky asshole, the brooding wounded soldier type, the “street kid” etc. Actually, the word street kid and street boy was used so often I started to get increasingly irritated every time it was referenced — and it was referenced a LOT. The issue I have with these characters isn’t just that they are common tropey types, but that they lean into those tropes so hard it almost becomes a caricature. I didn’t end up connecting with anyone despite the large number of POVs because they all felt familiar and two dimensional.

The writing itself had some issues, there were so many info dumps and repeated information. I would get told the same plot point or the same backstory repeatedly through different characters. The characters would relay their own backstories to each other through dialogue even if those two knew each other. They also really liked to describe each other so the reader knew they were really good at flying, or really brave, or really deadly rather than showing us through actions. A lot of telling instead of showing.


  • Plot: 7/15
  • Characters: 6/15
  • World Building: 10/15
  • Writing: 9/15
  • Pacing: 12/15
  • Originality: 7/15
  • Enjoyment: 3/10

Final Score: 54/100