January 18, 2018

Review: Year One by Nora Roberts

Year One by Nora Roberts (Dec. 5, 2017)
Length: 432 pages
Genre: Adult Post-Apocalyptic Fantasy
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Source: I received an ARC from the publisher. Thank you! This did NOT affect my honest review.
Purchase: Barnes & Noble | Amazon
My Rating:

Goodreads Summary: 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.

My Review

Year One in Three Words: Dark. Different. Surprising.

Year One gave me some serious The Stand and Walking Dead vibes. This was not a bad thing since I love both. It's a different book than Nora Roberts' many others, but you can still hear her voice in the writing.

This was my first read of 2018 and I was not disappointed. I am thrilled to say that Nora Roberts can write any genre. Some may be disappointed that this novel doesn't focus on romance, but I was very appreciative of its new style and story. It was a breath of fresh air. Just for the record, there is still a little romance in this book.

Year One has an amazing cast of characters. At the beginning it was a small challenge to follow who everyone was, but once the story got going I had no problems identifying the different characters. Although I loved all of them, I think Jonah the paramedic and Max the witch and fearless leader were my favorite characters. Roberts did a great job at showing each character growing and adapting to the challenges that they had to face when a plague hit the world.

In a post-apocalyptic novel readers expect to be able to visualize and feel what the characters are going through to better understand them and their world. I had no problem doing this while reading Year One. Roberts created a scary world of survival and chaos that was also filled with hope. I could see the looted stores, the quite in the streets, the madness, and everything in-between.Would I survive this world? Maybe, if I had some help. It's pretty bleak. I found this novel to be a good addition to the post-apocalyptic genre with its interesting end of the world plague that isn't fully explained by the end of the book. I am ready for book two.

The Bottom Line: Give Year One a try! It's dark and wonderful at the same time. I became lost in this story.


  1. Wow, this is such a departure from her usual stuff! I'm not entirely sure it's my cup of tea but goodness, it sounds intense!

    1. I love Nora Roberts and it is most definitely different than her usual stuff, but you can still hear her voice in the writing and it was a really good story.


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