Year One

Year One

Book - 2017
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A stunning new novel from the #1 New York Times bestselling author--an epic of hope and horror, chaos and magic, and a journey that will unite a desperate group of people to fight the battle of their lives... It began on New Year's Eve. The sickness came on suddenly, and spread quickly. The fear spread even faster. Within weeks, everything people counted on began to fail them. The electrical grid sputtered; law and government collapsed--and more than half of the world's population was decimated. Where there had been order, there was now chaos. And as the power of science and technology receded, magic rose up in its place. Some of it is good, like the witchcraft worked by Lana Bingham, practicing in the loft apartment she shares with her lover, Max. Some of it is unimaginably evil, and it can lurk anywhere, around a corner, in fetid tunnels beneath the river--or in the ones you know and love the most. As word spreads that neither the immune nor the gifted are safe from the authorities who patrol the ravaged streets, and with nothing left to count on but each other, Lana and Max make their way out of a wrecked New York City. At the same time, other travelers are heading west too, into a new frontier. Chuck, a tech genius trying to hack his way through a world gone offline. Arlys, a journalist who has lost her audience but uses pen and paper to record the truth. Fred, her young colleague, possessed of burgeoning abilities and an optimism that seems out of place in this bleak landscape. And Rachel and Jonah, a resourceful doctor and a paramedic who fend off despair with their determination to keep a young mother and three infants in their care alive.
Publisher: London, Piatkus, an imprint of Little, Brown Book Group,, 2017.
ISBN: 9780349414942
Characteristics: 419 pages ; 24 cm.
Alternative Title: Year 1


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Feb 19, 2018

Stopped reading Nora Roberts years ago, her books seemed to be the same with only name changes. Don't know why I picked this one up, but glad I did. Can't wait for #2.

Feb 14, 2018

I'm a huge fan of fantasy and post apocalyptic novels, but I have little experience with romance novels and no experience with Nora Roberts, so I have a hard to judging the book too harshly. I enjoyed the casual view of societal collapse due to a mystical virus that wipes out most of humanity in a matter of weeks. I wasn't expecting the brutality of a dark tome like King's 'The Stand', but it was surprisingly bloody. I also enjoyed a lot of subtle survival horror elements of Arlys's and Max's bands of survivors.
I didn't enjoy the random change in direction the plot takes around 4/5ths of the way in. It's as if the conjoining story that the author built towards was abandoned for a new plot. I also thought the villains were a bit shallow. Without spoiling, one group just ups and become villains with no real reason given. The other group congeals in a way that you could see coming, but the initial 'big baddies' just sort of take a hard turn towards villainy without an explanation. Strangely, the two villain groups hold diametrically opposing ideologies, yet they end up working together for a purpose that blends prophecy and petty revenge. All that said, I can't judge the book too harshly because of those minor foibles. Especially keeping in mind it's a mash between romance and fantasy with a bit of horror, but the book begins with a stronger than expected dose of horror that putters out 1/4th of the way in.
The last criticism I tried to ignore but has become increasingly difficult to shake off. The characters were woefully stereotypical and not very diverse. The heroes are a-typical alpha males who know it all and can do it all. The primary female character is a damsel in distress that constantly requires rescue or guidance from one of the alpha males. The very few characters of color seem sprinkled in purely for the purpose of slipping in a few jokes and filler. It feels harsh to criticize for things that only up until very recently were accepted standards in speculative fiction, but this was written recently. From a modern lens it's hard to ignore.
Overall: An OK read with a few flaws. I wouldn't recommend for those strictly reading for its fantasy or dystopia elements. If you are looking for light reading this might do, but it just wasn't for me.

Feb 09, 2018

I was so prepared to hate this book and almost gave up on it. Actually loved it and can't wait for Book #2!! I wanted to give it 5 stars and somehow it ended up only 4. Sorry about that, Nora Roberts.

Feb 04, 2018

This book is too dark and depressing. I won't read any more of this trilogy.

Jan 31, 2018

I loved the story line, more original then just a zombie epidemic! Can't wait for the second one!

Jan 25, 2018

This book is excellent, well worth the read. very intense.

Jan 24, 2018

i love reading nora roberts, but i gave up half way thru this one. story too slow and disjointed.

Jan 18, 2018

True, this is different, but I LOVED it! I hope she is writing the next one now.

romance_nerd Jan 17, 2018

In some ways, it's still very much a Nora Roberts book. The writing is wonderful and beautifully written to express the dangers, fears, and even joys of this new world. There are a few love stories to root for, but overall, I wouldn't call this a romance. Instead, we've been given an origin story for The One and I assume the next book will be centered around this person, years in the future. I would say, for anyone intending to read this, go in with zero expectations.

There are many characters in this one and each plays a role in the journey. I loved the different dynamics between characters, the groups that get formed, and the way they learn to grow and depend on each other. In particular, I really enjoyed Max and Lana, who I would say are the "main characters" in the book. Much of the story centers on their journey and I found them to be really interesting characters.

Jan 08, 2018

Although this work has many of the elements found in other Nora Roberts novels, the pandemic is a new and interesting angle. The back stories and subsequent intersection of the different key characters, is a refreshing change from her formulaic approach to trilogies. Overall it was very entertaining.

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