Nerve Zero is a science-fiction noir novel. Idriel Ramirez evolved on Hinden, an ancient space station in zero-gravity. His people produce the finest pilots in the galaxy. They have been conquered by the New Terran Empire, people from a normal-gravity civilization. Ramirez has been enslaved to pilot one of the privateer vessels the Empire uses against her enemies. Now he is home for the first time in a long time, and he's approached by an old flame who wants passage offworld. When she vanishes, he searches, and finds much more than he'd bargained for.
Nerve Zero provides examples of:
- Action Girl: There's an entire monastic order of Action Girls: the Sekhinim. Because the majority of male Hinds are enslaved in one form or another, it fell to the women to pick up the slack. The Sekhinim are an order of exclusively female bodyguards.
- Anti-Villain: Azazel Santiago seems like a standard untouchable noir mastermind, but is actually a Hind patriot trying to create a better future for his people.
- Bi the Way: Ausiel Montoya is mentioned as having an ex-girlfriend.
- Fantastic Noir: A classic find-the-girl noir set in a far-future zero-gravity environment.
- Fantastic Racism: The Hinds are considered a lesser race by their conquerors (after all, Hinds will suffocate in normal gravity). Those who are half-Hind and half-Marite are disdained as "khakara." And lastly, the Hinds look down on anyone who is not a "zero," calling them "dirtwalkers."
- Genre-Busting: Far future science-fiction world. Noir plot.
- Hardboiled Detective: Ramirez is a pilot, but he becomes one of these.
- Minor Crime Reveals Major Plot: Ramirez begins to search for Montoya and uncovers an investigation by the secret police, a cult built around old human technology, and a plot to free the Hinds from the yoke of the Empire.