Book Review: Year One by Nora Roberts

Did you ever start a book and knew you disliked it right away? A couple years ago Nora Roberts announced she was writing a new book that was different from stories she had written before. I was excited! Nora Roberts. One of my favorite authors. Year One was released and I happily downloaded the audiobook and started listening. In the beginning of the book there is a sickness that starts to decimate the world’s population. Wait! This is not going to be “the world is coming to an end and let everyone turn to cannibalism” story. Shoot! Not my kind of story. At. All. So I returned the audiobook and moved on with a great deal of disappointment. 

Fast forward to a few days ago and I was looking for a book to listen to with a story that would captivate my imagination. I don’t know why (divine guidance?) but as I was searching through the books on Audible I came across Year One again. I had just finished a Nora Roberts book and thought “hey what the heck let’s give it a second chance”. Wow. Am I glad I did. What a story! I think with the recent pandemic my mind was in the right space to get into this subject. It became much more real.

The book is the story of many people but specifically Lana Bingham and her lover Max. When the sickness hits New York they watch in horror as their city is wiped out. They both are witches with a little bit of power but with the rise of the sickness, which also has a supernatural element to it, their power becomes stronger. The story also follows other characters as well all running away from cities and towns that are being overrun by people who were always mean and ugly and those who are being tempted to the darker side of the magic that has been unleashed. 

There is a lot going on in this book as Nora Roberts builds a world that is both hopeless and hopeful and she does this very well. She also has created characters that you love immensely and fear for and those who you truly hate and just flat out fear. And the story is just getting started in this book. There are two more books which, by the way, are currently available. Once I finished the first book I immediately downloaded the second book and have started listening because I wanted more of this world and of these characters.

Is there anything I didn’t like about the book? No. Just no. I loved this book. When Nora Roberts crafts a sentence to set a scene the picture forms in your head so beautifully. She uses an economy of words to great effect and you’re right there in a room, a field, a car. It doesn’t matter, you’re there. I’ll be honest I thought “oh no this isn’t going to be like Stephen King’s The Stand is it?” That thought stuck with me for a bit and there were somethings that were similar but about halfway through you realize while the idea is the trope she turns it on it’s head and brings it to another place full of magic and madness. 

Do I recommend this book? Absolutely! It is a great read and will touch your heart and your mind. So, if you want an engrossing story, some urban fantasy and a whole lot of heart then read Year One, you won’t regret it.

Did you ever look at your dog and see them laying in their bed and their head is hanging down over the side and think “how can she breathe?” Well, that’s the thought in my head right now. Libby is sound asleep with her nose touching the floor. I can’t believe that’s comfortable at all. Dogs. Sheesh!

It was one week ago I had the thrill of going to the beauty salon and getting my hair done. A chorus and angels sang hallelujah! Honestly quarantine hair was ruining my life. Now I look in the mirror and smile with simple pleasure.

One note, real life has changed a little bit so instead of posting on Wednesdays I will be posting on Thursday afternoons instead. 

So, that’s it for this week and it’s been a good one. I’m really excited about the next book in the Chronicles of the One series because I think things are going to get good. I’ll review that next week. Have a safe and healthy week my friends.

Therese

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