Mike's Reviews > Year Zero

Year Zero by Rob  Reid
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Jul 23, 12

Read from July 16 to 21, 2012

It's clever, but not enough to make me marvel at the mind that created it. It's funny, but never laugh out loud funny, and never even "Lol" funny.

The description for a two-star review seems tailor made for this book: it was "ok". Nothing more, nothing less. And ultimately, from the setup and the comparisons being made, that disappointed me terribly.

There's some good ideas in there, but I'm not sure whether they were ruined for me by the fact that the book was too normal in some ways (the dialogue, for example, seems mostly pedestrian to me) or too unrealistic in another way (for example, the reaction of everyone to being told the shocking truth was jarringly weird to me. None of these people had given any indication in the story leading up to it that this was something they'd accept, never mind buy whole hog).

The storylines, while clearly aiming at something grander, felt limited and even rushed, to me, without really giving me the tantalizing glimpse at a universe so much grander and crazier than I could ever comprehend, which clearly was what the author was going for. The glimpse at the family of aliens having a poodle-race to determine the fate of the universe for totally logical reasons that you see in looking out the window when rushing from point A to point B (this is a metaphor, no actual aliens or poodles were harmed in writing this review, nor, I suppose, in writing this book) was a little too clearly made out of cardboard and put there only for the benefit of readers rushing past.

In short, these types of books (including the Guide which we won't mention for copyright reasons, just ask the publishers of the Encyclopaedia Galactica how ridiculous the universe's copyright laws REALLY are)) hinge on believably building an unbelievable world/universe. In that, this book failed to grab me.
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