About a week ago, I’d never heard of Nora Roberts and I definitely hadn’t heard of her book Year One, however, when my partner went out to a Christmas Market and popped into some charity shops instead, she brought me in back as well as another book. When I posted the two books on social, nearly all of the responses said that I should read Year One and then finish off the trilogy.
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Year One by Nora Roberts is an apocalyptic book that was actually published in 2017. A disease ravishes the world that ends up taking out a vast amount of humanity and Year One tells the story of two groups of survivors who are attempting to build another world on the other side of this pandemic.
As well as this, people are beginning to experience new powers that adds another element. This then leads to people questioning the people with powers as those who may have caused the pandemic – it’s a whole thing.
Year One plot – 4.25/5
Year One felt very confusing. A lot of the time it felt like a post-apocalyptic story about regular people who are just trying to survive in a world where some people are dangerous and others are friendly. However, every now and then it would remind us that there are characters in this book who have fantastical powers. It seems the powers are completely random too but that there are people who have the same power. Ie, some have the ability to grow wings and fly, others can move objects with their mind and others can shapeshift.
It took me a while to decide if it was something that added to the story itself or whether it was something that dampened the story and was just added in to try and give it another layer. I feel like it’s something that may be explored more in the sequels.
The plot itself was quite interesting too. At no point did it feel like there a middle and an end. there’s definitely a start which starts with the pandemic before jumping a month ahead to many people dead. However, the following few hundred pages essentially just tell the tale of our survivors trying to survive really. I think I enjoyed this as I know there are subsequent books and I’m looking forward to seeing what else comes.
Year One characters – 4.5/5
If you’re writing a book about the fact the world basically ends and there are very few people left then you need to make sure those characters are actually interesting and Nora Roberts absolutely nails that.
There are a few sets of main characters throughout Year One including nice people, bad people, arrogant people and sometimes you’re not even sure which ones to like and which to dislike.
Roberts has managed to write characters aren’t one-dimensional ie, they’re not always nice or not always horrible – sometimes they lose their temper, sometimes they’re kind because they’ve done something mean prior.
What this does is create a brilliant perspective of a person and it allows you to understand that they are in fact human and not some character in a story.
When you’ve got great characters like this, it allows you to focus more on the story and their interactions with one another the world that the author is building as opposed to not caring because you couldn’t care less of the characters lived or died.
Year One final rating – 4.25/5
A week ago I hadn’t heard of Nora Roberts and definitely not Year One. However, I now find myself very interested to not only carry on this series but explore much more of Roberts’ books. Year One is a post-apocalyptic book that focuses brilliantly on the lives and stories of human beings and their attempts to remain human when it seems humanity may be lost. Did I like the random fantasy elements? I’m not sure and I’ll let book two decide that but I mostly certainly liked almost everything else about Year One!