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Year Zero

3.58  ·  Rating Details ·  2,261 Ratings  ·  150 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
...more
ebook, 416 pages
Published March 13th 2003 by Atria Books (first published 2002)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Seizure Romero
Jan 02, 2008 Seizure Romero rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
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
Jan 29, 2010 Brian Steele rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scifi
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
Aug 20, 2007 Gertie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
K.M. Weiland
Aug 31, 2016 K.M. Weiland rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The marketing for this book blaringly declares it a thriller—which frankly (with no disrespect intended to thrillers) does it a terrific disservice. This is not a thriller. This is an elegiac, literary, almost floatingly dreamy examination of humanity in a time of world-ending crisis (it reminded me, in a not-so-stark way, of Cormac McCarthy’s The Road). The writing is poetic and beautiful, the characters accurate without misstep, and storytelling as a whole a tremendous example in restraint and ...more
Edward H. Busse, III
Feb 15, 2013 Edward H. Busse, III rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-owned
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
Marvin
Aug 07, 2009 Marvin rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Nov 09, 2008 Randy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Nov 17, 2008 Lou rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Oct 31, 2008 Scott rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Paula
May 17, 2010 Paula rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Mar 13, 2013 Jim Wright rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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!
John
Oct 09, 2012 John rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition


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
Nov 13, 2011 Jessica Keeling rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jul 21, 2009 Randy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Brian Taylor
May 17, 2013 Brian Taylor rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
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
Himtorton
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kat Kirkpatrick
This book had a lot of potential...the tug of war between science and religion. Unfortuantely I ended up disappointed because the story dragged in far too many spots and several seemingly good threads were abandoned or not explained properly. For instance, why did character "X" do this thing? Why did character "Y" act that way? And two supposedly very important characters were just abandoned without explanation after setting them up to be major game-changers. But...they didn't.
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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Isabelle
Sep 03, 2008 Isabelle rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
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
Joe
Jun 22, 2014 Joe rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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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Heather
Aug 28, 2007 Heather rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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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Farhan
Oct 23, 2014 Farhan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
...more
Sarah
Apr 02, 2009 Sarah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Wdmoor
Jun 29, 2013 Wdmoor rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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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Lisa H.
Jun 19, 2011 Lisa H. rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf
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
...more
Kelly
Jan 02, 2016 Kelly rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It took me a while to 'get' this book. Why the author decided to throw a clone of Jesus Christ into an apocalypse. Stumbling across that revelation didn't really change the outcome, though. The story is too...messy.

There is a lot to like here. I'm all for planet-killing plagues and one dug up from 2000 years ago is a nice new twist. I really enjoyed Nathan Lee's journey across China. The Journey is one of my favourite aspects of any adventure novel. I didn't really get the point of Miranda's re
...more
Alicia Utter
I really enjoyed reading this book. One could understand that there would be numerous labs owrking on a cure. I enjoyed the descriptions of the outposts. Nathan Lee's trek through it, very lucky but insightful. I found all the characters a bit too far fetched. Nathan Lee was such an extreme character but then would revert to weaker as far as helping further things. Miranda is just a little too much for a teen. perhaps a bit older. The entire concept was interesting, and I enjoyed reading about t ...more
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