Fireflies and Zeroes by Liz Larson – Book Review

Fireflies and Zeroes by Liz Larson – Book Review

Fireflies and Zeroes by Liz Larson

Fireflies and Zeroes

I received a free copy of this book.
This post contains affiliate links.

add to goodreads


February 2018, Charlottesville, Virginia.

The Generation is back–finally. Over the course of a yearlong hiatus, the pop-punk trio has seen their beloved hometown rocked by racist violence and endured months of radio silence from their brilliant yet volatile front man, Max. But guitarist Jason is ready to put all of that behind him when a late-night call from Max reconnects the lifelong friends and reunites the band.

At a party on the eve of the band’s reunion tour, Jason watches in horror as Max is thrown to his death off a balcony. Or so he thinks. In the chaotic hours that follow, two things become clear: the victim on the balcony was an imposter, and–as usual–there are no simple answers when it comes to the real Max. He’s just . . . gone.

Troubled by the emotional storms that drove Max away even before his disappearance, but desperate to bring him home, Jason resolves to find Max himself. In the long winter shadow of Virginia’s Blue Ridge, Jason sets out on a race against time to save his friend. In doing so, he unravels a series of surprising personal truths about the people and places he cares about most.

Review by George

Charlottesville, Virginia, punk band The Generation has been on hiatus for a year, and its fans are clamoring for a scheduled return concert. Inscrutable frontman Max sets up a pre-concert party at an old mansion a few days before the show to get things rolling. But on the day of the soirée, he texts bandmates Jason and Tara that he’s skipping the shindig. Nor is his absence the only wrinkle. As the event winds down, a party guest falls (or was he pushed?) from a balcony to his death below, and Max’s stand-in, his brother Alex, gets shoved down a staircase, breaking his leg.

As if that weren’t enough, Max then disappears, going dark on his friends. Ensnared by the investigation into the death at the mansion, Jason, Tara, and Alex try without much success to get the police interested in their missing person, Max. When the cops don’t seem too concerned, the trio, especially Jason, vow to find their missing bandmate without help from law enforcement.

I found Fireflies and Zeroes slow going in the beginning. The first few chapters spent too much time handwringing over Max’s disappearance and mental state. Repetitious dialog slowed the pace. Plus, I had was surprised how the protagonists moved their investigation forward. They start with nothing but, through a series of remarkably accurate guesses, compile enough information to proceed. Accepting that all the stars and planets aligned perfectly to give the trio privileged insight into where to find the missing Max wasn’t easy. Suspension of disbelief only goes so far.

Once past the distractions in the first few chapters, the action picks up, and the story begins drawing the reader in. It engaged me right up through the penultimate chapter. The epilogue, though, was a let-down. I presume Ms. Larson intended it as a surprise twist, yet she telegraphed the developments in that closing chapter throughout the book.

All this isn’t to say I did not like Fireflies and Zeroes. I did. It was a decent airport read. At the same time, I felt it didn’t quite measure up to other mysteries and thrillers I’ve read.

Purchase Online:

The above links are affiliate links. I receive a very small percentage from each item you purchase via these links, which is at no extra cost to you. If you are thinking about purchasing the book, please think about using one of the links. All money received goes back into the blog and helps to keep it running. Thank you.

You may also like...