Our first impressions of Zero Gravity

Find out The Space Girls first impressions of SPSFC contestant, Zero Gravity by Elizabeth Pridgen.

As part of the Self-Published Sci-Fi Competition, my team (The Space Girls) has been given 25 books to read. Of this initial allocation (or ‘slush pile’), we are reading the first 30% and then voting Yes or No on whether we’d like to continue reading further. You can see our full allocation in my previous blog.

Here are the team’s first impressions of Zero Gravity, by Elizabeth Pridgen. (You can find all of our first impressions posts here.)

The cover of Zero GravityBook blurb

The world is in a crisis. Almost all power is lost, the U.S. government has collapsed by a terrorist organization known as The Ravagers and there are unexplained, brief episodes of gravity loss which leads to numerous accidents, casualties and little to no arcas for shelter. Marlowe Benson is one of the few living Americans left in the United States, but has been separated from her partner, Jayden. After being rescued by other remaining survivors, they struggle to not only fight back The Ravagers but to find safety from the horrific gravity loss episodes known as “zero gravity attacks”.

Goodreads / Amazon

Our first impressions

Nancy: Gravity storm fiction! Oh… wait… more like a zombie slasher survival story! Uh… without the zombies. I didn’t find major typos in the book, but the prose just didn’t vibe with me. The book would have been more enjoyable if the uncle had been the protagonist instead of Marlowe. She just seems kind of… there. One minute, she is a confused damsel in distress feeling daunted because her boyfriend Jayden is missing. The next, she is all Rambo meets Macgyver who knows how to operate all sorts of weapons (which makes sense because her uncle is a Vietnam vet). I couldn’t connect to any of the side characters she teams up with. Whenever someone gets killed, the book shrugs its shoulders and helps Marlowe locate a car in a convenient place with a full tank of gasoline, keys, and maybe even a plethora of fully loaded guns. Getting some strong Mary Sue vibes here. Fans of survival stories with lots of guns being shot left & right might enjoy this book. (N)

Katherine: Technically: Needs editing. Speech tags incorrectly capitalised, sentences that didn’t quite make sense and some that didn’t make any sense at all. Had the common error of characters’ body parts doing things rather than the character themselves. Generally passive, jumps suddenly in time (could just be due to poorly formatted scene breaks) and fails to use the pluperfect where it should be used. Also, refers to a subway crash as genocidal. Unless they specifically shoved people from an ethnic group on a train and then crashed it, it is not, and that is a flagrant misuse of the word.

Otherwise: When the first zero-gravity storm happens, the main character appears to be able to kick stuff without yeeting herself backwards in an equal and opposite reaction. The car also flips randomly without any apparent outside influence. Not sure I’m keen on chapters altering between past and present in this case. Can work, doesn’t here. Somehow the government got bumped off without any prior warning or fanfare. Completely implausible. If nothing else, the army would immediately step in and blast them. Heck, just launch a missile at the White House at that point. There’s a chain of inheritance. Someone would have filled the gap. And people absolutely would have noticed an organised terrorist threat powerful enough to actually pull that off. (N)

Claire: I really didn’t enjoy this. The writing was really bad – there is some bad grammar, as well as missing words (for example, when explaining about the zero gravity attacks not happening on water).

I found Marlowe quite annoying – definite ‘pick me’ vibes. She’s quite rude to others and has weird hang ups about stealing cards, but then steals cars? Other characters had weird attitudes towards her, too:

Claudia and Jennifer glanced at one another. It had been years since they had seen someone so fierce, especially a woman. It was usually Ian and Tyler who’d put themselves in positions like this, not a woman. Then again, Marlowe was one of the few different women they had seen in a while.

There was a lot of repetition, too, such as Uncle David being a Vietnam war veteran (it’s mentioned a lot!) and the phrase “onward with the future.” I realise it’s important to the characters, but it didn’t need to be brought up all the time.

I liked the concept of the zero gravity attacks, and how things escalated from hearing about crashes in New York on the news, to happening locally. But the plot was not well explained and was confusing at times, such as the drive to Lightfoot, or Jennifer dying. (N)

Our verdict: Cut

Please note that these opinions are the judges’ initial impressions of only a part of each book. A book being cut doesn’t necessarily mean it is bad or not worth reading.