In a world where the Walking Dead, Z Nation, Zoo, Contagion and I am Legend are popular television shows and movies, it shouldn’t be much of a surprise that books about apocalyptic, world-ending scenarios are becoming common as well. Year One is the beginning of a new series called the Chronicles of The One in which Nora Roberts joins this growing trend in popular culture. She does it in a fashion that is similar to a few of her other trilogies with the themes of magic, witches, and the Tuatha Dé Danann as her motivating factor.
On the last day of the year, an unintentional offering his made in a Scottish fairy circle which breaks a seal between this world and another. The result is a sickness that kills in a matter of days, with no cure in site. Within a month, two billion people are dead. By month four, five billion people are dead and those that remain are fighting for their lives. Even amongst all the chaos and death, people are still people, they have broken into groups of liked minded individuals. Those trying to build communities and work together to survive and those that have become predatory and are praying on the weak. Amongst it all, there are now also those that have developed or grown unexpected talents or abilities. They are quickly becoming known as the Uncanny, and are the main target of the predatory individuals.
As chaos reigns, we follow the personal stories of multiple characters as they learn to navigate and survive the unrest of New York, and eventually other parts of the country. One of these characters learns that she’s pregnant with a prophesized child that will eventually fight back the dark, The One. This first year of the new world is all about survival, banning together and learning to trust people when in fight or flight situations. Is there a way to tell which people are good and which are more inclined to destruction before they attack?
Ms. Roberts does an excellent job of creating this apocalyptic world and successfully represents human nature. With magic and mystical powers thrown into this extreme situation, it was interesting to read and leaves readers with an anticipation for the rest of the series. It will be interesting to see how many years forward the next book in the series will jump.
Susana Goldman is the Associate Director of Operations for the Alamance County Public Library. She can be reached at (336) 290-8679 or firstname.lastname@example.org.