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Daybreak Zero (Daybreak #2)

3.57  ·  Rating Details ·  629 Ratings  ·  78 Reviews
What began as a technothriller continues as high adventure in the newly savage ruins of civilization.

In late 2024, Daybreak, a movement of post-apocalyptic eco-saboteurs, smashed modern civilization to its knees. In the losing, hopeless struggle against Daybreak, Heather O'Grainne played a major role. That story was told in Directive 51.

Now Heather's story continues in Day
Hardcover, 388 pages
Published March 1st 2011 by Ace Hardcover
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Alex Telander
Mar 06, 2011 Alex Telander rated it liked it
John Barnes sets the stage in Directive 51 by ending the world as we know it, and bringing to life a new, altered one as the diminished population tries to restart civilization. But just when it seems like the right start to getting things back to some semblance of order, people soon find out that the terrifyingly brilliant movement known as “Daybreak” isn’t completely finished yet, plus when its comes right down to it, people overall are just selfish and greedy, especially when their lives are ...more
Kristin Lundgren
This is the sequel to Directive 51, and I think it was even better than the first. It built on the foundation of what happened in the first book, and the people that were the main characters, and delves into why and how it might have happened, adding some twists and turns in that area, and brought the two factions to the brink of war, with other influences and dangers creeping in, such as the castles, and the outsiders. Pueblo remained the center of action, and this one was scarier, a little tor ...more
Bruce Baugh
Feb 12, 2014 Bruce Baugh rated it really liked it
Thoroughly satisfying. Middle volumes of trilogies are hard to do well, and Barnes does a great job resolving a bunch of threads while leaving enough dangling to lure us, or at least me, on into the third volume.

One of the things I like most about Daybreak Zero is just how seriously the narrative and characters take questions of government. Law matters. The foundation of governments matters. The tension between law and immediate realities matters. A lot of sf rather glibly breezes past governmen
Thomas Moore
This is the second book in a series by John Barnes. The first book, Directive 51, was mostly horrible. The world Mr. Barnes creates is quite interesting. It is set in the future where a group called Daybreak has decided to take down the system by infecting the world with things that wipe out plastic, rubber, and nearly all electricity. They also have set off massive nuclear sized bombs around the world. America is reeling and most believe that Daybreak is over. That whatever was going to happen ...more
Apr 03, 2014 Alan rated it really liked it
The second installment of John Barnes's "Daybreak" series (begun with "Directive 51). Still want more, and am looking forward to what happens next.

What happens to civilization when a mysterious entity known as Daybreak destroys pretty much all technology requiring plastic or petroleum? All kinds of weird stuff.

The United States is divided into two separate provisional governments, both of which promise to fulfill their mission to restore the nation under the constitution. But with the country fr
The second book in a series I started reading during my deployment last year. This book was a bit shorter, but equally as absorbing. I'd expected it to be the final book in the series, but the ending makes clear that there will be at least a third, and I'm happy for that. This is still one of the only science-fiction series I've ever enjoyed, and I enjoy it immensely.

My only real concern at the end of the first book was that there were some loose ends, but this book proved that there were none,
Nathan Shumate
Apr 17, 2013 Nathan Shumate rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This sequel concentrates on a matter which was a little undertreated in the first book: What IS Daybreak? And it turns out to be more than a social movement -- it's a virulent mind-control meme with eradication of humans as its goal. Not that the humans that are left need any help with that.
Tim Martin
If you are reading this review you probably already know that this is the middle book of the Daybreak trilogy. As such it both benefits and suffers from that. Mostly it suffers, I think, for reasons I will go into later.

On the benefit side the introduction of the characters, setting, and plotline is largely out of the way. Barnes plunges into the post Daybreak conflict. Or rather, the Daybreak War as it should be called, for apparently unleashing petroleum, plastic, and electric destroying nano
The Black Cat Researcher
Too much going back and forth between different locations. I would've liked to read more about the horrors that that nanotech virus or whatever it is brings but that would be more fit for a separate book.
Christopher Sewell
Feb 17, 2017 Christopher Sewell rated it really liked it
like directive 51, its predecessor this book was great and i suggest it to anyone who is a fan of PA/dystopian fiction
Lianne Burwell
May 13, 2011 Lianne Burwell rated it liked it
Shelves: sf, apocalypse, thriller
This book suffers from a major case of middle-book-itis, and if I hadn't just recently read Directive 51, I might have marked it one star lower.

The book starts several months after the end of Directive 51. People are adjusting to this new world with nanoswarms and biotes that attack anything electrical or plastic, and a moongun that attacks sites of strong radio signals, possibly controlled or simply automated. Daybreakers have formed 'tribes' in the wastelands, and attack any settlements trying
An amazing read, the second in this post apocalyptic thriller. Like Harry Turtledoves alternate history books, this shows us one the ways our country is going. Here's one of my favorite and most heart breaking excerpts, from an ex-daybreaker " “That was the warm-up in the Daybreak sales pitch to women,” Jason said, thinking how much that sounded like his father or brother. “Some women love the idea of being all Earth-mothery, I am woman, I give birth to the world, I am the mother the world needs ...more
Anna Louisa
An amazing read, the second in this post apocalyptic thriller. Like Harry Turtledoves alternate history books, this shows us one the ways our country is going. Here's one of my favorite and most heart breaking excerpts, from an ex-daybreaker " “That was the warm-up in the Daybreak sales pitch to women,” Jason said, thinking how much that sounded like his father or brother. “Some women love the idea of being all Earth-mothery, I am woman, I give birth to the world, I am the mother the world needs ...more
Iain Brown
Feb 20, 2012 Iain Brown rated it really liked it
Continuing the story of "Directive 51," "Daybreak Zero" takes us right into the doomsday initiated in the first novel. Society has already crumbled, technology is rare and treasured by survivors using it to prepare for the impending complete lack of technology. We learn that Daybreak wasn't a one-time event, but is a continuing process of transformation, and a much more malign one than envisioned by the Daybreak idealists who caused the collapse.

Without needing a half book to set up the premise,
Sep 11, 2013 Joe rated it it was ok
Shelves: scifi
Polished this off in a day and a half. Enthusiasm... fading... rapidly. Learned that this is no longer the second book of a trilogy, but of a longer series. Definitely started losing me when strategies employed by the Daybreak entity/meme/whatever start to look like one big Thanatos Gambit (where every outcome, even defeat or death, is just another step towards a master plan).

Oh, and Daybreak also enables (view spoiler)

Also, radical, Gaia-minded environmentalists (
Joe Slavinsky
Jan 16, 2016 Joe Slavinsky rated it really liked it
It's been over two years, since I read "Directive 51", which is the first book of this "Daybreak" trilogy. I'm not sure why, as Barnes is a favorite author, and I try to keep up with his work. At any rate, Barnes has followed up well, to his post-apocalyptic world. Unlike S.M. Stirling's "Change" series, in this series some remnants of the Federal government have survived, determined to put the country back together, despite having splintered into liberal, and conservative factions(surprise!), w ...more
Feb 01, 2012 Craig rated it really liked it
Really enjoyed this book. I like the small snippets and continually changing locales and characters. The main viewpoint is of decent people, the kind we'd like to have rebuilding our country in the face of such a disaster. You want everything to be okay and it looks like it would be, if only we'd trust the good guys. Which makes it all that much more surprising and shocking when things don't turn out the way we'd like them to, the way we think they're going to. Case in point: the ultimate fate o ...more
Feb 24, 2012 Steve rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction
Another review used the phrase "middle-book-itis" and that seems to really nail this book. The first book of the trilogy, "Directive 51" was somewhat of a conventional political thriller set at the end of the world as we know it, but this explores what happens in the year after the world ends and most of us go away.

On the bright side, we do a lot better than you'd expect. Despite microbes that eat all sorts of synthetic fibers and destroy gasoline and similar fluids, and nanites that destroy any
Victoria Osborne
Nov 03, 2013 Victoria Osborne rated it it was ok
I wanted to give this book more stars, but, in the end, I settled on two stars.

The on going premise of losing technology and fuel in the same subversive attack is intriguing.

My problem is readability. There is nothing to ground the story. Not even the scene titles. In one scene tile Barnes put immediately following, and the time signature was three hours later. It throws the reader off.

As a result of his chaotic jumping and time changes that do not make sense, it becomes very hard to follow the
Sep 10, 2016 Dale rated it did not like it
Shelves: abandoned
Listened to first disc of audiobook and abandoned. Could do with much more action!
Chris Aylott
Aug 28, 2014 Chris Aylott rated it liked it
I had my doubts about this series based on Directive 51, but Barnes does a lot to alleviate them in the second volume. The post-collapse world is more interesting, the characters are livelier -- I found myself caring who lived and died -- and there's a lot of the wordplay that I've enjoyed in earlier books like One for the Morning Glory.

We also learn a lot more about how Daybreak exists and operates. The details are still fuzzy, but the upshot seems to be that Daybreak is a superintelligent mem
Apr 06, 2012 Jim rated it liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
I have not read the first novel in the Daybreak series, but John Barnes does an excellent job of continuing the story, bring the reader up to speed, yet not providing a pendantic narration of what went before. He lets new readers discover the previous event as the story progresses as a natural by-product of advancing the further adventures of his considerable cast of characters.

I like Barnes' vision of post-apocalyptic America better than that of S.M. Stirling. It is more believable and certain
Christine Kayser
Apr 07, 2013 Christine Kayser rated it it was amazing
I bought this book and its predecessor on a whim in a comic shop based on the cover and have absolutely fallen in love with this story. I kinda dragged my feet finishing this one because I'm enjoying it so much.

I liked this book better than the first. Maybe because now I know the characters already and I'm attached. Maybe because I enjoy the post-apocalyptic better than the during-apocalyptic part.

I was thrilled to find out there's a third in this series and I can keep reading.

Highly recommen
Aug 03, 2014 Martin rated it it was ok
Shelves: library, sf
Well, sadly my middle of the road review for the first volume turned out to be unmaintainable for the sequel, and I've now given up on the series.

The biggest problem remains my total lack of belief in the feasibility of the conspiracy described, and since it turns out this didn't die with civilization but remains extant and gradually becomes the entire focus of the book, this is an insurmountable problem for me.

On top of which I still find the characters very cartoonish, with very little in the
May 31, 2015 Michaela rated it liked it
This book depressed the crap out of me. Note to self: stop reading post-apocalyptic NF and F. I did not read the first book in the series but found the premise of the storyline simple enough to pick up on and the storyline engaging. Not sure I can stick it out if it is supposed to be more than a trilogy though. Also peculiar was the author's end note stating how the views of the characters are theirs and not the authors. Maybe for those who would don't understand this book is shelved in fiction?
Oct 24, 2015 Kristi rated it really liked it
Again, more of a geo-poli-psycho thriller - and it takes a while to read, because it's complicated and you don't want to miss anything. Religion makes a rabid, unflattering appearance and Jenny Grayson made me want to vomit. People die in this book and it feels like they're never the ones you want them to be. Daybreak has a real presence here and it will freak you out; trust me, you will feel all creepy-crawly as you read this. There is more to come in this series, but I'll take a break and reco ...more
Jason Taylor
May 23, 2011 Jason Taylor rated it liked it
I'm close to giving up on this series. When I'm reading a novel of this genre, I'm not looking for plot innuendo. I appreciate a surprise here and there, but it seems that Barnes it working overtime to hide details and make the action difficult to follow.

Characters are developed poorly and rarely show much depth - except when they're not central to the story. Go figure.

At this point, the only thing keeping me going is the mystery of who or what is behind Daybreak. This Apocalyptic series is mu
The premise: what happens when a nano tech is released that dissolves all plastics into a liquid state, and assorted other eco terrorism attacks, with an unnamed group's objective of reducing the world population to 100 million and moving to a hunter gather society. Makes Berkeley look like a John Birch stronghold in comparison. Barnes is a seriously under appreciated writer, but hard science novels in general are out of vogue these days. This is the second in a trilogy.
May 19, 2014 Julie rated it it was ok
So I picked this up, and yet AGAIN, it's the 2nd book out of a trilogy. I wasn't really invested in any of the characters and there were LOTS of characters, but that's probably because I didn't get their back stories from the first book. The post-apocalyptic piece of this Daybreak world did seem fairly unique and I will go back and read the first book and continue on because the writing was decent and it was an interesting enough plot.
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John Barnes (born 1957) is an American science fiction author, whose stories often explore questions of individual moral responsibility within a larger social context. Social criticism is woven throughout his plots. The four novels in his Thousand Cultures series pose serious questions about the effects of globalization on isolated societies. Barnes holds a doctorate in theatre and for several yea ...more
More about John Barnes...

Other Books in the Series

Daybreak (3 books)
  • Directive 51
  • The Last President (Daybreak, #3)

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