Book Review: Year One by Nora Roberts

Year One

I am very pleased to bring you my latest book review, Year One by Nora Roberts.

As this world ends, a new one begins.

From number one New York Times bestseller Nora Roberts – an epic, apocalyptic tale of good and evil, love and loss.

With one drop of blood, the old world is gone for ever. And in its place, something extraordinary begins…

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.

So there is no getting away from the fact that this novel centres around a pandemic, and in a rather brutal way. So my timing at reading this novel was possibly not the best. However, given the fact that this was released before our own pandemic experiences, I think that we can forgive Nora Roberts and focus on her writing!

Year One starts in a dark and sinister way – The Doom, a mysterious virus, sets off a chain reaction that decimates the human race, save for a select few. Of those that survive, some find themselves developing magical powers, with those individuals choosing to follow either the light or the dark.

As governments fall and society crumbles, a group of immune and ‘Uncannies’ set off to find a place to build a safe community, as war and brutality threatens to close in on those remaining who seek peace. We follow these individuals as they seek to rebuild what was so cruelly taken away from them.

I loved this novel. The storyline is complex in places but easily followed. I loved the magical elements to this novel, but I also loved how it was set in the real world. The brutality described and experienced within this novel is, at times, difficult to swallow. However I think that is because as the reader, you believe that this really could happen if governments were to fall. Without law and order, society would fall apart. Fear can be a dangerous emotion, and this is something that Nora Roberts really highlights. How we deal with that fear sets apart those who follow the light, and those who follow the dark.

Nora Roberts paints the most colourful pictures with her words. The locations are vivid in my imagination and the characters are well-rounded and believable. The end of this novel left me wanting to know more. I am invested in these characters and where the story will take them. I can not wait to read book two, Of Blood and Bone! So if you love dystopian fiction and you are looking for your next read, I highly recommend that you grab yourself a copy of Year One!

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

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