BOOK REVIEW: Year One by Nora Roberts

Title: Year One
Author: Nora Roberts
Publication: December 5, 2017
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Genre: Fantasy
Pages: 419

SYNOPSIS: (From Goodreads)

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.


If I wasn’t a fantasy fan before, Nora Roberts has won me over. Year One was way better than I was imagining in my head and I cannot wait to read the second book in this series.

I want to start by saying that Fantasy is not my cup of tea. I am more a reality based person when it comes to books and movies alike. I want to believe this could actually happen. Year One was a selection for my book club and so I felt the need to follow through so I could partake in discussions. I was not disappointed.

Year One was fantasy based with magic and darkness and fantasy-like elements, but Roberts wrote it in a way that I felt like it could happen. It was realistic enough and based in the world we currently live in, just with magic involved. I loved the characters Roberts created for us. They weren’t all perfect individuals. They had problems and bad personality traits that I sometimes wanted to reach in the book and shake them for. I also found I loved other characters. Without giving too much away, I really liked Max and Eddie. Fred was also a bright spot in the story. The story was interesting and gave just enough away to allow understanding, but kept you guessing and on the edge of your seat knowing something bad was always just around the corner, just like it was for the characters.

My only qualm I have about this book would be how it jumped. I’d be really into a story line and then we would suddenly be a month later, or a few months later. It also jumped between characters, which I can find a bit confusing at times. I would prefer a single character view point, or at the very most two, but this book jumps between multiple people. While it wasn’t my favorite layout, Roberts did write it well and I didn’t feel like it was too choppy or confusing.

With all that said, I think Year One is a fantastic story for anyone who is a lover of dystopian tales and has no problem with a bit of fantasy wound in. This is only book one in the series and I will definitely be picking up book two. I never thought I’d have said that when I first started reading. Hats off to Nora Roberts for winning me over. Year One was a dark and twisty tale of survival, rebuilding, and life after death.


You can pick up your copy of Year One by Nora Roberts on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or your local book store. Also make sure to add it to your To Reads list on Goodreads and leave feedback for the author when you are finished. Make sure to check out book two, Of Blood and Bone, and pre-order book three in this series, The Rise of Magicks set for release this fall. Author Nora Roberts also has a lot of other books available by checking out her website HERE.

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