Year One by Nora Roberts – a Review

Year One by Nora Roberts – a Review


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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.

In a world of survivors where every stranger encountered could be either a savage or a savior, none of them knows exactly where they are heading, or why. But a purpose awaits them that will shape their lives and the lives of all those who remain.

The end has come. The beginning comes next.




Year One by Nora Roberts is the 1st book in her new Chronicles of the One trilogy. I am a big fan of Nora Roberts/JD Robb, and I absolutely have love every one of her trilogies.  Year One is a post apocalyptic dystopian, with a bit of fantasy, and a totally different type of storyline book for Nora, but there are some similarities.  Year One begins with a family on vacation, a hunting that kills something more than a bird, and the start of a lethal virus (The Doom) that will destroy most of the world. In a short period, 80% of the world’s population will die, leaving the survivors that are immune to the virus.

We meet along the way, three sets of characters, who will travel to find others in a world that is deep in devastation, desperation and darkness.  In a new beginning, we will always find the dark (evil) and the light (good), that will divide and separate all. Magic (witches, elves, etc) will also arise, causing another division among those with newfound powers that are used for good, and those who are evil and want to hurt others, and the humans with no power at all, bent on destroying all magic, and those who have it.

Max and Lana is a married couple,  who have some magic ability that they continue to learn about, and they are good people.  Together they will leave New York to find a safe place to live and find others. Arlys and Fred (she is an elf) work at the radio station, and leave together, as word comes that they will be in danger.  Rachel and Jonah, both medical professionals, who also leave to find safety, along with Katie, who just gave birth to twins.  Along the way in this dark and doom, they will all eventually meet to start with about 300 others a land they call New Hope.  When Lana becomes pregnant, everyone is beginning to feel comfortable, with hope.

But just when the light shines beautifully, evil rears its ugly head; everything changes, and the last quarter of the book becomes centered on one person.  The ‘One’ who is destined to be the savior of this new world; who must stop the darkness that threatens to destroy them all.  This is where Roberts changes the game, and throws us for a loop, as she rarely ever does this in her other trilogies.  There are surprises, twists and deaths we never saw coming.  The only thing I worry about is that I want to know what happens to wonderful great characters we got to know during the majority of the book, but were not part of it in the last quarter. 

I am holding my breath to see where Nora will take us in the next book.  Bravo to Nora Roberts for giving us a fantastic start to a fabulous breathtaking, emotional, tense and exciting storyline.  I am hoping we do not have to wait too long for the next book, as I am already on pins and needles.  Year One proves that Nora Roberts can write anything at all, and give us a fantastic story. I strongly sugges that you  read Year One.

Reviewed by Barb

Copy provided by Publisher


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