Year One by Nora Roberts

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Rate: 4.5/5

Medium: Kindle

Overview (No Spoilers):

Following up my Steelheart read, I continued my quest to make more of an effort to physically read with Year One. Honestly, I’d forgotten how much I enjoy reading a chapter or two right before bed. I found Year One when looking at the top currently available fantasy reads at my local library and sorting the titles by global popularity. Quickly, upon starting this read I could understand how the mystery and dark foreshadowing in the opening scenes would capture the curiosity of my fellow readers, hooking you for the remainder of the journey. Throughout this read, I couldn’t help but draw parallels to other virus related dystopian fantasy novels I’d enjoyed in previous years from The Stand by Stephen King and The Fireman by Joe Hill to The Passage by Justin Cronin. That being said, Year One took the intriguing twist of involving fantastical creatures that are familiar from fairy tales, e.g.,  fairies, witches, elves, among many others. The mass confusion and devastation wrecked by the plague, along with the new powers emerging blurs the lines of society as you have good and evil entities on both sides of the surviving populations. Mid read, the story started to drag as our characters became bogged down in the mire of reestablishing a community post in the aftermath of the devastating virus, however after a shocking turn of events the pace resumed its frantic quality. Roberts developed intricate, unique characters that effortlessly carried their own voice and personalities, even if their role was short in nature. With how Year One concluded, I’m so very curious to find out how events will play out in the future reads as Roberts has countless avenues she could steer this literary realm. Overall, Year One was in some ways a quintessential contagion based dystopian novel, however Roberts fresh take gave this read its own unique voice to keep readers engrossed throughout.

Additional Insight (Spoilers Abound):

  • What about the circle of stones and the pheasant falling within them caused the virus? Did it have something to do with MacLeod spilling his blood there as a child?
  • What happened to the people of New Hope we’d spent so much time getting to know after Lana left?
  • What happened to Eric and Allegra? Or Poe and Kim?
  • Did Katie’s babies all survive?
  • What is happening all over the world? Are there remote islands that the virus never reached?
  • I want to know more about the different types of Uncannies! Did the people know they were different before the Doom or did they all of a sudden become fairies or elves and such.
  • What happened to Fred? She was one of my favorite characters throughout this read.
  • It was devastating when Max died, however I was surprised at the quick introduction to Simon. Don’t get me wrong. I liked Simon a lot, but the grieving time period seemed relatively short.
  • What is the history of the strange character from the epilogue?

Vocabulary Builder:
Colander: a perforated utensil for washing or draining food
Joneses: to have a strong desire or craving for something
Veracity: conformity with truth or fact
Tinny:  lacking depth or substance
Pillion: a light saddle for women consisting chiefly of a cushion
Gofer: an employee whose duties include running errands
Gaffer: an old man


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