Cas Russell wields math as a superpower: The vector calculus blazing through her head lets her smash through armed men twice her size and dodge every bullet in a gunfight. But does she stand a chance against someone with a power that rivals her own, someone who is intent on becoming the world’s puppet master?
Zero Sum Game is a fast, hard-hitting, gonzo superpowered thriller. Huang builds tension scene-on-scene, skillfully manipulating the pace, and every second chapter feels like a cliffhanger ... Zero Sum Game is enormously fun, with vivid, visceral action scenes and a main character who’s definitely on the darker, more scuffed end of the 'moral shades of grey' spectrum. Huang’s taken liberal inspiration from old-fashioned noir as well as from superhero stories and the modern high-octane Hollywood-esque thriller to create a novel that’s a souped-up blend of all three. I really enjoyed it. I recommend it, and I’m definitely looking forward to seeing more of Huang’s work reach a wider audience.
In Zero Sum Game, we have a selection of main characters who are not easily defined as 'good' or 'bad.' In fact, that’s why they are so interesting. Cas makes decisions based on self preservation and getting out of bad situations that often end in collateral damage. She’s also a fun character to follow. Her quips, mostly internal, are humorous ... I had my doubts when I started, but after reading through Cas’s high-energy, pulse-pounding adventures, I became a believer. Zero Sum Game delivers a smart, calculated action thriller that keeps the reader guessing.
The novel pushes a relentless pace, with countless well-executed action scenes and an impressive body count ... Zero Sum Game's pleasures lie in the protagonist's repeated ability to extricate herself from seemingly impossible predicaments, whipping up math-based solutions to gunfights on the fly. In one memorable scene, Russell makes a number of small adjustments, one involving an umbrella, that allow her to eavesdrop on a distant conversation. How? It involves sound waves and, of course, math. In Cas Russell, Huang has created a protagonist with a distinctive hook.