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Year Zero

3.56 of 5 stars 3.56  ·  rating details  ·  1,922 ratings  ·  129 reviews
In his sensational novel The Descent, Jeff Long created a world of stunning terror and adventure, "an imaginative tour de force" (Jon Krakauer). Now he imagines a scenario so vivid, so haunting, it anchors his place among storytelling masters.
YEAR ZERO
An archaeological manhunt is raging in the holy land -- a hunt for the historical Jesus. For Nathan Lee Swift, a young A
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ebook, 416 pages
Published March 13th 2003 by Atria Books
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Seizure Romero
Reading this was like waiting for a mystery package from UPS. I sat waiting for it to deliver on some fairly interesting ideas but we kept missing each other and I kept getting those damned yellow stickers and then when it all finally came together it turned out to be one of those nasty nut-covered cheese ball things dropped off by a guy wearing brown socks.
Brian Steele
Okay, don't go by the nonsense on the front or back cover. Some idiot at the Publishing House tossed that on to sell more books. This is a decent enough novel, although boring in a few spots, but terribly misleading based upon first glance. Fortunately, I had already read "The Descent" (excellent!) and "Deeper" (meh) by Jeff Long, so I gave it a shot.

Forget the whole "cloned Jesus" garbage. This is an apocalyptic thriller about a plague that drives people crazy, then blissful, before finally kil
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Gertie
Hmmm, this book was kind of like a banana- it needs the outsides to hold it together but the part worth consuming is in the middle. Pardon the bad simile but you get the idea, right? :-P

It took me 50 or so pages to get into the book, and then I was pretty intrigued, but the last 100 pages or so (the climax and wrap-up) weren't as sharp and punchy as I'd hoped for.

In a few years when I think of this book I'll probably remember glassy people, clones, and a cranky jesus.

Memorability Factor 7/10
Marvin
A science fiction piece reminiscent of Michael Crichton, though less intense as a thriller, but with the same kind of smart, heroic but flawed characters who confront the destructive power of science. It's billed as a story about the conflict between science & faith, & the incident that initiates the devastating plague at the center of the story is a byproduct of a search for the historical (physical) Jesus, but that's pretty incidental; the heart of the story is less about a conflict be ...more
Elizabeth Moreau Nicolai
I LOVED this book. It features a series of characters with entertwining lives. One is an archaeologist who is in disfavor after a dig goes very wrong in Jerusalem. However when an antique collector opens a speciman from Biblical Time (the year zero, the time of Christ), he unleashes a plague. Soon most of the Earth is dead or dying and scientists are racing to save it with the help of some clones from the Golgotha mound in Jerusalem. It's fascinating and engrossing. Highly recommended because my ...more
Randy
I read the back cover of this book at a newsstand in the Atlanta airport ... and had to have it. Seconds later I had it on my Kindle. Here's what caught my eye (from back cover) -

"In Jerusalem, an American archaeologist working on Project Year Zero -- the search for the historical Jesus -- crosses the line between science and theft when he helps plunder an old Roman landfill beneath the crucifixion grounds known as Golgotha. Nathan Lee Swift's crime will have devastating consequences. When an a
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Lou
Ever since Jurassic Park I thought a book about the cloning of Jesus Christ coule be quite interesting. I was wrong ... sort of.

My major problem with this book was its misleading premise. The book makes you think you are getting a story about the cloning of Christ, but that is far from the truth. The overall book is a fine historical science fiction about an ancient plague re-released on an unsuspecting earth, but under the circumstances for which I picked it up I was extremely disappointed. I m
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Scott
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Joe
3.5 stars, really, but not enough to push it up to 4 stars.
Jeff Long has produced a surprisingly good story, with this book, its only problem is that he doesn't tell it as tightly as he could. I admit, it's not as drawn out as Justin Cronin shoebox-sized volumes, but it's heading in that direction. Basically, if you're going to take 500 pages getting to the point, you better be worth listening to. Alex Garland, for instance, is just one example of a writer who's told a story like this, in an ef
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Paula
Actually, I really enjoyed this book, although it was a little slow getting started. A plague is killing off the earth's population, and a group of scientists barricade themselves inside Los Alamos, NM to try to find a cure. They begin cloning human test subjects from DNA recovered from digs in Jerusalem, including some retrieved from blood drops on a splinter of wood. Low & behold, this particular clone claims to be Jesus! Makes for an interesting story, and a great ending!
Jim Wright
Archaeological black market, Golgotha, plague, pestilence, human cloning, and desperation to save the human race will keep your eyes glued to this fast moving story. This is the first book I've read by Jeff Long, but now I want to rush out and buy everything he's written. His writing style is tight and fast paced and never seems to flag anywhere along the way. I can absolutely give this book my very highest recommendation!
Farhan
An original and smart thriller that takes on the likes of Dan Brown and Robin Cook along with scores of apocalyptic novels and comes away mostly successful. Most of the world has been wiped out by a ferocious plague unleashed with the unearthing of an artifact from the time of early Christian history. In order to battle the pandemic, people from two thousand years ago are cloned into existence from their ancient bones in order to find one with immunity against the disease. Though Long manages to ...more
John


This book started out okay. Every hundred pages of so it got a little worse. The last fifty pages were a chore. I found myself reading just for the sake of finishing. Don't bother with this one. Jeff Long has no ability to end a story. He's basically a Crichton wannabe. I won't be reading anything of his again. PU!
Jessica Keeling
Though I had a hard time getting through the first few chapters to the meat of the story, this book definitely ranks as one of my favorite apocalypse stories. It has some religious undertones and a lot of genetic experimentation combined with a heartfelt story of love, loss and redemption.
Randy
Thriller with religious themes. A clone is grown from material found in an old bone, dated two thousand years, and the resukting human claims to be Jesus.
James Cormier
Pay no attention to the jacket copy--it's badly written and misleading. This is a character-driven thriller about a global pandemic unleashed when an ancient relic is opened by a collector. If anything, it could stand to be a bit longer: the story is large in scope and cries out for another hundred pages or so.

The "cloned historical Jesus" thing in the blurb is obviously something highlighted and pushed by the publisher's marketing department; it has little to nothing to do with the actual plot
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Farah (Zahra)
A Greek millionaire is obsessed with finding any relic or artifact that proves the existence of Jesus Christ. On his quest he discovers a 2000 year old artifact containing a small vial of blood. A sample of this blood is send to 3 labs in 3 different countries for analysis. And all Hell breaks lose. The blood in the vial was contaminated with a very deadly virus which killed millions of people during its time. Now it has been released into the 21th century.
Year Zero centers on Nathan Lee Scoot,
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Brian Taylor
It’s time for another book review! How excited are you? Yeah, me too. Today I’ll be reviewing Year Zero, by Jeff Long. You may also recognize Jeff as the author of The Descent, one of the most influential books on my budding writing career. Someday I will meet Mr. Long and we will talk…after I gush some. Right. I’m supposed to be reviewing a book. Here goes.

From the publisher:

An archaeological manhunt is raging in the holy land — a hunt for the historical Jesus. For Nathan Lee Swift, a young Ame
...more
Heather
a few years ago I read his book The Descent. a ripping yarn, as they say. needless to say, it set the stage for round 2: Year Zero. i was a little worried about the premise - a lot of threads to weave together - but felt reasonably sure he could pull it off.

good thing i didn't bet on it. this had its moments, sure. some interesting descriptive sequences. inner dialogue occasionally good. but it was trying too hard. there were too many threads to weave together, and in my opinion, yielded a muddl
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Isabelle
This is the first book that I've read written by Jeff Long. I enjoyed it, but the description on the back of the book was really misleading. The premise is that a plague from the days of Jesus is unwittingly unleashed on today's population. Scientists, using bones from a site believed to be the spot of Jesus' execution, are cloning people in order to find a cure. One of the clones claims he's Jesus Christ. Now, the last part doesn't even happen until 3/4 of the way through the book and it isn't ...more
Lauren
The description on the back cover of this book is very deceptive, and potentially off putting to many people who don't want to read about anything religious. There are many religious references throughout the story, but it mainly centers on the main character (Nathan Lee) surviving in a post apocalyptic world while searching for his daughter and exwife.
This book is SLOW and it took me a bit to really get into it, but it was worth it!

Please give this book a chance!
Wdmoor
I don't know what bookshelf to put this on...I'm not even sure I liked Year Zero. My 14 year old asked me to describe the latest book I'd read and while was able to give him a sketchy outline of Year Zero I found it impossible to truly convey the power of Jeff Long's writing.

I've seen comparisons to Michael Chricton, but IMO Jeff Long is the writer Michael Chricton wished he could've been.

I love Michael Chricton and he told a great story, but Jeff Long involves you on so many levels I almost fou
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Edward H. Busse, III
NO SPOILERS!! Another winner from Jeff Long. Having read The Descent and Deeper, I was very much looking forward to this book…and I was not disappointed. Again, as with other books I've thoroughly enjoyed, I loved the premise of the story and the writing was excellent. The characters were well thought out and the story itself involved religion, politics, globalism, tragedy, hope, family and many more themes that were all interwoven extremely well by Mr. Long. The premise itself was pretty invent ...more
Lisa H.
Interesting combination of elements - science vs. faith; the ugly underside of scientific competition; the variety of responses in different cultures to impending, unavoidable death...

In a nutshell - a deadly infectious agent is unleashed when an ancient artifact is opened and, with 100% mortality, humanity is doomed to extinction unless the best and brightest scientific minds, cloistered the labs at Los Alamos, can come up with a cure.

Not a good choice for the "happily ever after" fan - this
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Angela
In his follow-up to The Descent, Long once again combines adventure, horror, religion, and philosophy in a tale that can be, at times, absorbing reading. Nathan Lee Swift is a young anthropologist who falls prey to Professor Ochs, a grave-robber in the worst sense of the word. Miranda Abbott is a scientific wunderkind who has managed to create a way to clone humans. When a virulent plague dating from 00 C.E. (the titular year zero) is released and sweeps across most of the world, leaving billion ...more
Mazel
Aug 18, 2009 Mazel marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Quelle est la vérité historique sur Jésus? C'est ce que Nathan Swift cherche à découvrir lors de fouilles archéologiques à Jérusalem.

Mais la frontière entre le noble scientifique et le pilleur de tombes est parfois mince... Une frontière que l'archéologue est contraint de franchir.

A des milliers de kilomètres de là, sur l'île grecque de Corfou, un collectionneur achète un flacon de sang remontant au premier siècle de notre ère.

En l'espace de quelques jours, un effroyable virus se répand et fa
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Sarah
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jeff
When a 2,000 year old virus threatens to end humanity, scientists at mankind's last stronghold go back to basics, cloning men and women from DNA pulled from bones and other objects in Jerusalem and the surrounding area to experiment on them in hopes of finding a cure.

Year Zero is an epic tale about humanity's last stand and is filled with interesting characters and conflicts - - maybe too many, and it was hard for Long, even in the space of 500 pages, to carry the through-line of each sub-plot t
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Steven
Nathan Lee Swift is an archaeologist who essentially loots the Golgotha site of the remains of many crucifixion victims. Then he's off into the Himalayas on another adventure which goes awry and he spends 17 months in a jail. When he emerges the world is dying. A plague is sweeping across the planet with devastating consequences. In the United States all attempts to counter the plague have failed; however, a band of young scientists have gathered at the Los Alamos facility and are attempting rad ...more
Doug Cornelius
I remember enjoying Jeff Long's The Descent when I read many years ago. But I can't say the same for Year Zero. The story just never came to together. A plague ravages the world after being unleashed from an ancient Christian artifact.

The stories has interesting themes of Christianity, humanity, and sacrifice, but they never came together for me. I kept reading hoping they would get tied up in some interesting way, but it never came.
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