With her latest trilogy, Nora Roberts enters the post-apocalyptic genre. YEAR ONE is the first book of Chronicles of The One.
The story begins in Scotland where the MacCloud family is having their holiday reunion at the family farm. While there, one of the revelers is taken ill after having drunk too much the previous night. In spite of feeling sick, he and his wife make the trip home to New York City. His wife cares for him as she hopes that what resembles a stomach-virus will pass. But within thirty-six hours of returning home the husband is dead; a day and a half later his wife also succumbs. From the family farm in Scotland the illness spreads across the globe like wildfire.
Elsewhere in New York City, Lana and Max are physically celebrating their love before another routine day. For some unexplained reason neither has contracted the contagious disease that has become known as The Doom. Could their immunity be caused by the magick in their blood? Since the day of The Doom both became aware of their growing powers and struggle with harnessing it.
As society breaks down in the aftermath of The Doom, Lana and Max aren’t the only ones trying to escape a New York gone mad. There are other small groups – some magickal, others not – who band together to keep what’s left of society alive. As in all instances there is an evil element that’s become unleashed. A blackness that threatens the survivors and takes hold of many who are too weak-willed to fight back against it. These people are called The Raiders as they travel about wreaking death and destruction. This darkness seeks to destroy Lana and her unborn child whom The Raiders refer to as The One. This child has been foreseen as a modern-day savior who will take up arms to thwart the blackness. And when that child, that girl, is born will society truly be saved?
This reviewer has read many post-apocalyptic tales; having plodded through the fantastic scenarios there are only a small number that stand out. YEAR ONE is one of the best. Nora Roberts has created a post-apocalyptic world reminiscent of Stephen King’s The Stand but more nuanced and contemporary. The realism of the story is compelling and caused this reader/reviewer to stay up until the wee hours of the morning. There are twists and turns aplenty to keep the plot well-paced.
YEAR ONE is a thought-provoking story full of multi-faceted characters. It’s good to see Ms. Roberts branch out into yet another genre proving that she is, indeed, a master writer. Looking forward to the other two books in this trilogy.
Similar Books I recommend: Seabound (series) by Jordan Rivet, Sedulity (series) by David P. Forsythe
Rating: 5 stars