Hollis Henry first appears in Spook Country, the novel preceding Zero History. She found her previous working relationship with Bigend (ostensibly, she was to write for Node, a European version of Wired) noxious and resents the ways that he lied to her, tracked her movements, and manipulated her. However, after a recent stock market collapse, Hollis has lost half her assets and reluctantly agrees to work for Hubertus Bigend again.
Hollis used to be the lead singer in The Curfew, but she has turned her back on both singing and music. Since Spook Country ended, she has written a book about her experiences investigating Locative Art but now is looking for a new direction. Her relationship with Garreth has seemingly cooled. In short, Hollis is lost and aimless at the start of Zero History.
By the end of the novel, Hollis has regained a great deal of her confidence and ability. First, she determines to quit working for Bigend rather than helping him discover the designer behind Gabriel Hounds. Finally, she even sings during the climax of the novel to calm Chombo down after he is recovered. The novel closes as she renews her relationship with Garreth and agrees to marry him. The only complication is that she still has nightmares about her time with Bigend.
Milgrim is Zero History’s second protagonist and was also introduced in Spook Country. Milgrim is a highly skilled Russian translator. However, he has little memory of the past ten years of his life because he has been addicted to painkillers. However, Bigend has taken an interest in Milgrim and has financed his rehabilitation and therapy, a process that included changing his blood. Now clean, Milgrim is very insightful but is often socially awkward as he attempts to overcome his fears and as his personality transforms.
At the start of the novel,...
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