Book Reviews

Year One (Chronicles of The One) by Nora Roberts

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List Price: £12.99


Paperback: 432 Pages.

Published: 05 December 2017 by Piatkus

ISBN: 0349414947

EAN: 9780349414942

They call it The Doom - a deadly pandemic that starts on a cold New Year's Eve in the Scottish countryside. There's something mysterious about the virus and the way it spreads. As billions fall sick and die, some survivors find themselves invested with strange, unexpected abilities.

Lana, a New York chef, has the power to move things and people with her will. Fred can summon light in the darkness. Jonah, a paramedic, sees snatches of the future in those he touches. Katie gives birth to twins, and suspects that she has brought fresh magic into the world, along with new life.

But The Doom affects people differently. Along with the light, a dark and terrifying magic will also rise. As the remaining authorities round up the immune and the 'Uncannies' for testing, Lana, Katie and others flee New York in search of a safe haven. The old world is over, and Year One has begun.


4.0 Stars4.0 Stars4.0 Stars4.0 Stars  by Debra Found

Post-Apocalyptic Fantasy

Post-apocalyptic science fiction meets urban fantasy in this book from the well respected author, Nora Roberts.

The book begins with a perfectly ordinary family who start cold like symptoms which progress into a worldwide pandemic. People are dying in their millions, governments are falling and in some places anarchy reigns. This is not unlike many science fiction books of this nature. However, this book has fairy dust - literally - which takes it away from being run of the mill. As "Doom" progresses it seems many of the survivors have gained special powers with many becoming fairies (complete with wings), witches, sorcerers and even demons. Not all the new powers are being used for good in a world which has lost over 80% of the population.

For many readers the combination of post-apocalyptic meets fantasy is not going to be appreciated. I wasn't too sure how I felt as the book progressed. However, having completed and enjoyed this book I can say that it mostly worked for me.

There are some excellent characters in this book. We follow several groups of survivors as they struggle to survive in the new world and many of them struggle to come to terms with their new powers. We have the good guys who work together to save each other whether they know each other or not. Then there are those who have turned to the darker side of their powers. In between we have "The Raiders" who don't have powers, blame them for the virus and seek to destroy anyone with extra powers.

As you can tell there is plenty of plot structure in this book. There are several threads at the beginning though with time some merge. I had no problem keeping hold of the different groups in my mind. The characters were distinct enough that they didn't start to blur into each other.

Did the fantasy/science fiction merge work? I think so. I do have some reservations about people discovering new skills at a very useful moment but that isn't that unusual in a fantasy book. It is a similar plot device to the people with amnesia who suddenly remember things at just the right moment! I found it interesting that the bigots in the world - those who had probably been sexist, racist etc in the past, become anti-uncanny (Uncanny is the name given to those with powers). The author made an excellent job of showing that whatever the situation they are some people who won't rise to the occasion and some who simply revert to type!

The book is well written with clearly defined threads. The logistics of the pandemic made sense to me and I felt that it had been well thought out. Some of the fantasy elements were a little woolly with a few too many undefined senses and powers.

The ending of the book makes it obvious that there are more to come. I would certainly be interested in reading the rest of the series.

I received a free copy of this book via Netgalley

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