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Goodreads Choice Award
Nominee for Best Fantasy (2018)
It began on New Year's Eve.

The sickness came on suddenly, and spread quickly. The fear spread even faster. Within weeks, everything people counted on began to fail them. The electrical grid sputtered; law and government collapsed--and more than half of the world's population was decimated.

Where there had been order, there was now chaos. And as the power of science and technology receded, magic rose up in its place. Some of it is good, like the witchcraft worked by Lana Bingham, practicing in the loft apartment she shares with her lover, Max. Some of it is unimaginably evil, and it can lurk anywhere, around a corner, in fetid tunnels beneath the river--or in the ones you know and love the most.

As word spreads that neither the immune nor the gifted are safe from the authorities who patrol the ravaged streets, and with nothing left to count on but each other, Lana and Max make their way out of a wrecked New York City. At the same time, other travelers are heading west too, into a new frontier. Chuck, a tech genius trying to hack his way through a world gone offline. Arlys, a journalist who has lost her audience but uses pen and paper to record the truth. Fred, her young colleague, possessed of burgeoning abilities and an optimism that seems out of place in this bleak landscape. And Rachel and Jonah, a resourceful doctor and a paramedic who fend off despair with their determination to keep a young mother and three infants in their care alive.

In a world of survivors where every stranger encountered could be either a savage or a savior, none of them knows exactly where they are heading, or why. But a purpose awaits them that will shape their lives and the lives of all those who remain.

The end has come. The beginning comes next.

419 pages, Hardcover

First published December 5, 2017

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About the author

Nora Roberts

1,578 books50.4k followers
Nora Roberts is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of more than 200 novels, including Hideaway, Under Currents, Come Sundown, The Awakening, Legacy, and coming in November 2021 -- The Becoming -- the second book in The Dragon Heart Legacy. She is also the author of the futuristic suspense In Death series written under the pen name J.D. Robb. There are more than 500 million copies of her books in print.

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5 stars
35,730 (41%)
4 stars
27,991 (32%)
3 stars
14,121 (16%)
2 stars
4,504 (5%)
1 star
2,775 (3%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 8,281 reviews
Profile Image for Emily May.
1,993 reviews298k followers
December 6, 2017
"The human race is finished, and in its place come the weird and the strange, demons from hell."

I was excited when I heard about Year One. Roberts's romances may not be my thing, but I did enjoy the first few books of her Naked in Death series, and I've really been in the mood for a dark, post-apocalyptic dystopia. But, sadly, I think what started as a really great dystopian set-up quickly became a very stock urban fantasy novel.

It's honestly quite jarring how quickly it changes. The first few chapters set the scene so well - the creepy arrival of the Doom, the disease that becomes an epidemic almost overnight, the devastating loss of human life across the world... It competes with some of the best pandemic fiction, like The Stand and Blindness. And yet, it failed for me when the fantastical elements came swooping in.

Suddenly, people are developing superpowers and running rabid through the streets. I felt like I’d just been dropped into the latest YA superhero novel and all of the subtle, dark suspense that had been created was obliterated by people shooting fire beams from their hands, and such. Lana and Max are even witches! The perfect opening fell into a chaotic story that seemed so at odds with the beginning.

I don’t know if it will make a difference to know what you’re getting into beforehand. I just know I found it unpleasantly disorientating to discover that the meat of the novel was very different to the feel of the set-up.

Roberts also uses a really strange fragmented sentencing style that I don't recall her using in her other books. I first thought there were a bunch of errors in my arc, until I realised that the author actually intended it this way. I’m not a crazy grammar person, but even I found the writing style very distracting. The dialogue is often stilted, it’s not always evident who is speaking, and comma splices make up every other sentence.

Jonah, Arlys, Lana and Max are the main focus of the novel, and the latter two are expecting a child who it seems will become central to the war between good and evil, but there are many, many characters in this book and all of them seem pretty black or white; good or bad. The antagonists are so despicable that it is almost comical, and the protagonists are well-meaning and good, without complexity. It's all a little bland.

This is actually the most disappointed I've been in a while - I think mostly because the start of the book was so strong that I had been subconsciously writing a five-star review in my head. It was so sad that this became a standard gory, end-of-the-world story with characters not worth remembering. A real shame.

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Profile Image for Celeste.
933 reviews2,382 followers
November 25, 2019
You can find this review and more at Novel Notions.

November 2019 update : I just finished reading this book for the third time. I have loved it more every time I've read through it, which I think speaks volumes about any book. But this story in particular is something special. Yes, it's about the end of the world. Or rather, an end. It's also about what is reborn from the ashes. It's about love and loss and joy and grief and community and hard work and light battling against the darkness. It's about family, both born and found. It's about fighting for what is right no matter what, and no matter how terrible the odds are stacked against you. I honestly feel that this series is the most powerful story Nora has ever told. If she really nails the final book, this will be in among my top ten favorite series I've read in my entire life. Have I raved about it enough yet? I'm going to leave my original review untouched, but I had to add something about how incredibly well this series lends itself to rereads and deep thought and provoking genuine emotions without ever playing games with your heart. And now, without further ado, here's what I thought of the book in December of 2017, when it was first published.

Original review :

You had me scared there for a while, Nora, but you came through. Just in a way that was different from what I was expecting.

Have you ever picked up a book by an author you love and when you start reading it you keep having to remind yourself that said author wrote it? That was what I struggled with at the beginning of this book. Yes, the writing style I had come to love was still undoubtedly present. There’s just something about Nora’s prose that always resonates with me. As I’ve stated in previous reviews of her work, Nora’s novel’s are like a bubble bath for my brain; they’re what I turn to when I’m stressed or sick or just in the mood for comfort.

So, when I started reading Year One, I was thrown for a bit of a loop. Yes, I read the synopsis and knew it was going to be different for her, but I failed to comprehend just how different it would be. I was getting the prose I love, but with a plot that honestly hearkened back to Stephen King’s The Stand more than any other book I’ve ever read. Now, The Stand is one of my favorite books of all time. But reading something so similar to it in the voice of my comfort author made for some severe cognitive dissonance right out of the gate.

However, once I got adjusted to the bleakness of the plot and accepted the fact that Nora would actually be killing off an insane amount of characters for her, I really appreciated the story. Again, this book bore a remarkable resemblance to The Stand, but in no way felt derivative of the aforementioned novel. Where King’s plague was developed by science and the aftermath proved to be a spiritual battleground, Nora’s plague was rooted in magic, as was the aftermath.

Seeing people learn for the first time that they are witches or elves or fairies, while they are struggling to deal with the fallout of a plague that wipe out massive amounts of the population, was a truly unique twist on the apocalyptic plague storyline that has been so popular for the past decade or so. And seeing those people choose sides, joining either the Light or the Dark, was a study in human nature. As was the reaction of normal humans who survived the Doom (as it’s called) to these magical beings, termed the Uncanny.

One of my favorite things about The Stand was witnessing survivors finding each other and trying to rebuild society in the small community they created. That same societal rebuilding was present here, and it was a joy to read after the horror and darkness of the Doom. That’s not to say that there was no more darkness; darkness can find its way in through the smallest of cracks. But watching our various main characters meet up and begin rebuilding was a beautiful testament to the resilience of mankind. And while darkness may on occasion win a battle, light will always win the war.

This was the first volume of a new trilogy, and I’m interested to see how the rest plays out. Nora has been taking her work in a vastly different direction, turning slightly aside from the feel-good stories she’s become known for and instead digging into current issues and hard topics, raising questions and shining light into darkness. At least, this is what I gather from the books she released the past few years, as well as those slated for publication soon. I might not agree with the spirituality presented in the majority of her novels, but I do agree with the worldview: even in the darkest of times, there is always hope. I’m looking forward to seeing how far she takes this new approach, even though I’m still trying to adjust to it.

While I’m not comfortable with the change yet, and I mourn the change just a little, I really respect the willingness to try a new direction in spite of having such a large fan base so used to (and expectant of) a certain type of book. Also, for the first time in her career, Nora has published a book without a central romance, which I think it incredibly gutsy. Upon my second reading, I'm still blown away by the risks Nora took with this book, and how well those risks paid off. Because of her dedication to her craft after writing over 200 books, I’ll always be a die-hard fan. Thank you for stretching your wings, Nora, and for sharing the story. I can’t wait for the next installment!

Review originally written December 2017.

You can purchase a copy of the book here, with free shipping worldwide!
Profile Image for Jilly.
1,838 reviews6,243 followers
December 29, 2017
Nora Roberts writing Urban Fantasy?
It's a good day.

I absolutely LOVE her Eve Dallas series. And, she wrote one of my favorite book boyfriends into existence. How could I resist this?

I need it as much as I need this:

Our story is not that unique, I admit it. It has a little bit of the feel of Stephen King's "The Stand", but in a less gross and creepy way - also about a million times shorter. The world ends by way of virus and the survivors come in a few assorted varieties.

There are the ones who find themselves with powers that are good. The light, and all that stuff. They are elves, good witches, faeries, shapeshifters, etc... Some of them are just kind of clairvoyant. And some of them have powers that they aren't quite sure they want, like seeing other people's deaths.

It's not all glitter and rainbows...

Next are the ones with the dark powers. They seem kind of demonish. They are totally into torture, rape, and killing as many survivors as possible. They really enjoy it. It's their thing.

That's right, they are sea turtle level evil. That's the ultimate in evilness.

And, finally, we have the humans that were immune for whatever reason. Some are good, some are bad, but many of them have the mentality that we humans tend to have when something new and powerful comes along that we don't understand:

Ahh, humanity. We are a predictable lot.

In this book we are following a few different main characters and their struggles to find other humans and safety. I liked all of the characters and felt like they were developing nicely. There are also some romances that are happening, along with some mystery and danger. It really had a lot going on, and I appreciated that. I also liked the pacing of the book and never got bored or felt like skimming.

One of my favorite characters, aside from Fred, is a guy who shows up really late in the book. He is helping a woman in labor and has to deliver her baby and is completely clueless about the whole thing. Here are some of his thoughts (that cracked me up):

(he) wiped at her sweaty face, and wondered why the female of any species agreed to the process of perpetuating it.
Three insane hours later, he know damn well there had to be a better system....

"Okay, listen up. You're doing great. I know it hurts. I don't know why the hell it has to hurt so much. It's a crap system, but we're getting closer to the payoff. You can do this."

Aaaah! Where's the "let's kill it" meme?

Not only did I love this character, but felt like all of them were interesting and well-developed. Only the bad guys seemed one-note, but we never really followed them or got into their heads. I wouldn't mind seeing one or more of them struggle for their humanity or something like that in future books. Which brings me to my biggest negative - waiting for the next book. Noooo! Plus, I don't want her to slow down on the Eve Dallas series to write this one. But, I don't want her to be slow on this one to write Eve Dallas. Can we clone Nora Roberts or something?

Okay. I like where this is going. Let's try it.
Profile Image for Ahmad Sharabiani.
9,564 reviews33 followers
May 21, 2022
Year One (Chronicles of The One, #1), Nora Roberts

Nora Roberts (Eleanor Marie Robertson) is an American author of more than 225 romance novels.

Tale of a killer virus, Year One is an epic of hope and horror, chaos and magick, and a journey that will unite a desperate group of people to fight the battle of their lives… It began on New Year’s Eve. The sickness came on suddenly, and spread quickly. The fear spread even faster. Within weeks, everything people counted on began to fail them. The electrical grid sputtered; law and government collapsed―and more than half of the world’s population was decimated.

Where there had been order, there was now chaos. And as the power of science and technology receded, magick rose up in its place. Some of it is good, like the witchcraft worked by Lana Bingham, practicing in the loft apartment she shares with her lover, Max. Some of it is unimaginably evil, and it can lurk anywhere, around a corner, in fetid tunnels beneath the river―or in the ones you know and love the most.

As word spreads that neither the immune nor the gifted are safe from the authorities who patrol the ravaged streets, and with nothing left to count on but each other, Lana and Max make their way out of a wrecked New York City. At the same time, other travelers are heading west too, into a new frontier. Chuck, a tech genius trying to hack his way through a world gone offline. Arlys, a journalist who has lost her audience but uses pen and paper to record the truth. Fred, her young colleague, possessed of burgeoning abilities and an optimism that seems out of place in this bleak landscape. And Rachel and Jonah, a resourceful doctor and a paramedic who fend off despair with their determination to keep a young mother and three infants in their care alive.

In a world of survivors where every stranger encountered could be either a savage or a savior, none of them knows exactly where they are heading, or why. But a purpose awaits them that will shape their lives and the lives of all those who remain.

تاریخ نخستین خوانش روز بیستم ماه می سال2021میلادی

عنوان: سال اول؛ نویسنده: نورا رابرتز؛ مترجم: گیتا شیخ‌الاسلامی؛ ویراستار: نسرین سیفی؛ تهران، انتشارات کتاب آترینا، سال1399؛ در584ص؛ شابک9786227215083؛ موضوع داستانهای نویسندگان ایالات متحده آمریکا - سده

اثری حماسی درباره ی امید و ترس، بلوا و جادو، سفری که گروهی ناامید را با هم یگانه میکند، تا برای زندگی خویش بجنگند؛ شب سال نو رخ داد، بیماری به ناگهان همه گیر شد، ترس و وحشت بر همه جا سایه افکند، در چند هفته همه چیز دیگر شد، شبکه ی برق از کار افتاد، حکومت و قانون متلاشی شدند، جمعیت جهان به نصف کاهش یافت؛ ولی آنهایی که تاب آوردند، میخواهند زندگیشان را دوباره بسازند؛ هر جا که پایانی باشد، آغاز دیگری نیز وجود دارد

تاریخ بهنگام رسانی 30/02/1401هجری خورشیدی؛ ا. شربیانی
Profile Image for Kat.
Author 9 books404 followers
January 30, 2023
Man, Nora Roberts knows how to start things off with a bang. I’ve never read any of her paranormal books before, only contemporary romance and romantic thrillers, and this was absolutely fabulous. A deadly outbreak spreading across the globe. The world thrust in a sort of post-apocalyptic nightmare that brings out the rawest aspects of human nature, for better and worse. And for some special abilities.

One thing I love about the way NR writes is her ability to ask all the right “what if” questions and answer them in deliciously thrilling ways. This was impossible to put down. The characters, like in every one of her books I’ve enjoyed, are the heart of the story, an interesting collection of personalities that drive the story forward as you’re left afraid to wonder what comes next.

Profile Image for Jonetta.
2,243 reviews969 followers
July 7, 2018
A normal set of events on New Years Eve sets off a catastrophe that slowly turns the world on end. Half of the population is gone, governments lose control, law and order are a thing of the past and magick is unleashed...some good and definitely some dark and evil. The story chronicles the paths of Lana Bingham and her partner, Max Fallon; journalist Arlys Reid and her intern Little Fred; and paramedic Jonah Vorhies and doctor Rachel Hopman, along with others as they make their way to some semblance of sanity.

I was skeptical when I learned Nora was tackling this genre but I should have known better. She masterfully creates a world of chaos while interjecting normalcy through her characters. I was mesmerized while at the same time horrified at what might be around the next corner. The characters got under my skin and atypical of the author, not all were sacred. Julia Whelan delivers the most wonderful performance in her narration, seemingly being several different narrators. Her storytelling was just perfect and her male interpretations were more than believable.

I’m just sorry it took me so long to listen to this story. The underlying premise is mystifying but also kind of logical. The contrasts of good and evil with human nature is chilling as it has some parallels to current events. The next installment can’t come too soon and I’m definitely listening to the rest of the series.
Profile Image for Tiffany PSquared.
494 reviews80 followers
January 14, 2018
★★★.5 stars
And some like us couldn't handle what turned on inside them. They've gone mad, like she has. Immune to the virus, doomed anyway. That's the reality...

For me to have been so excited to read this fantasy book by Nora Roberts - one of my most-read authors - it pains me to only give it 3.5 stars. It wasn't bad, but then again, it wasn't that good either.

Want to know what this book was? Quick summary: Contagion meets the X-Men meets Little House on the Prairie.

What I Liked
- The Doom. Even the name gives it the weight it deserves. A plague on the land that decimates the human population and forces those that remain into survivor mode. Yes, I'm here for all of that.
- Add in the fantasy element: Faeries, witches, warlocks, shapeshifters, and, yes, magick!
- The action sequences! Gore and battle, survival and heroism, loss and victory. The book comes alive when the action is underway.

What I Didn't Like
- Not ENOUGH action! Sure, in every story the tide of action ebbs and flows. It just seems like there was a little too much ebbing (hence the Little House on the Prairie reference). The survivors set up communities and we learn all about their attempts at husbandry and lawmaking, breadmaking and baby-burping. ☹
- The stilted dialogue that appears at some points. Unfinished sentences peppered the book and some where it was unclear who the speaker was. It seemed out of character for Roberts.

What I Wanted More Of
- Action. The "busy" parts of the book were well written. I felt the danger, the fear, the distress, and the determination. But the parts in between the action were disappointing in how bland and mundane they were. I know this is a trilogy and that takes some plot-building, but do I really have to know about it every time Lana cooks a meal or someone plants some rosemary?
- The bad guys. There are so many of them (maybe too many?), but I wanted to know more about the Raiders. Who are they? How did they form so quickly? It's never mentioned if they are Uncanny or human. Are they motivated just to raid and nothing else? And the dark Uncanny -- who are the ones that aren't in human form? Where did they come from?
- I wanted more of a pull into the next book. At this point, I almost feel like I could walk away from the series and be alright. That's not what a fantasy series is supposed to make you feel. Truth is, there are so many characters and so many stories, it was difficult to feel attached to any one character or set of circumstances. Not to mention that at certain times, Roberts takes a few pages from George R. R. Martin's books and... let's just say, don't get too attached to anyone.

Generally, I enjoy apocalyptic, dystopian novels. They help me appreciate the relatively calm and generally peaceful world I live in every day. Plus, they help remind me to keep my go-bag full of new batteries and protein bars. Nora Roberts has put her pen (keyboard?) to the fantasy genre and though it wasn't all that I expected, it wasn't a disappointment. And what better way to start off a new year than to read about a pandemic plague that almost ended life as we know it?

3.5 stars: This book was alright. It had parts that were really well-written, but there are things about it that might keep me from recommending it to all.

Profile Image for Ben Alderson.
Author 21 books13.5k followers
June 22, 2018
I have been mulling over what to rate this. I am not the biggest fan of reviewing books on goodreads but I really want to explain this rating... because I did enjoy this book and will be carrying on the series..

The reason this book lost two stars for me..

~ Tooooo many characters.
~ Clunky dialogue
~ Strange pacing

Despite those reasons I really love the idea of this novel. A dystopian setting... very ' oh no the walking dead is about to become a reality minus the zombies ' but with magic as a result of the Doom. I really didn't see enough 'Uncanny' characters. I wanted more explanation to the differences between witches, fairies, elves bla bla bla. I just found the reading experience so hard to visualise what was going on.

That being said, I did enjoy this book. I am glad I brought it and will 100% be buying the next.. which I believe is set 16 or 18 years in the future..

Anyway, sorry for this grammar filled, gross spelled review. I am having a coffee now but it seems to not be working..
Profile Image for Kirsty ❤️.
924 reviews45 followers
August 27, 2017
I haven't read many Nora Robert books preferring instead the works of her alter-ego JD Robb but as this is more fantasy I decided to give it a go. And I really enjoyed it. It doesn't re-write the apocalypse genre but it is a good read and I did like the magical twist. 

As with many of this type of book there's a host of characters but Nora juggles them well with lots of individual personalities and is some cases abilities. We have fairies, elves, telekinetics and more. I quite liked the inclusion of all the babies. That's an interesting twist and they've been set up (for the most part) to have big roles in the next few weeks. 

I didn't quite enjoy the ending. I accept that we needed to follow the story of Lana and the birth of her daughter but her leaving the sanctuary of New Hope meant we didn't get to really say goodbye to the rest of the people in the book. As this is the first of a series I know they'll be back but it did feel a bit abrupt for me. 

Oh and I kept waiting for the Big Bad to turn up and didn't quite get that. There are one or two characters that are bad and again you can see they will have more of a role in the second book but I was expecting a super-evil but I'm happy to wait and see what happens next.

Overall I really enjoyed this. I'm intrigued enough to follow the series to its conclusion and looking forward to what happens next

Free arc from netgalley
Profile Image for Phrynne.
3,324 reviews2,145 followers
February 2, 2018
Nora Roberts is one of those authors who can write anything she turns her hand to and in this case it is a dystopian fantasy. The world is decimated by a plague which is followed by magical powers appearing in many of the survivors. Of course where there is good magic there has to be bad also and just surviving the Doom does not mean you are going to live for long.

Roberts has a knack for developing characters we care for and some of them do make it to the end of the book. However it is quite clear that no one is safe yet and there are going to be many years before people will be safe again. I am looking forward to the next book and hopefully finding out what happened to Fred, Katie and the babies.

I enjoyed Year One very much indeed and I can recommend the audiobook version as well!
Profile Image for Mitticus.
1,011 reviews213 followers
June 17, 2020
Oh, boy. Where to start?

A pandemic devastate the world, because obscure -emphasis in the obscure part- mythical reasons. Following the fate of the McLeod family who seems to ignite the 'Doom' virus, we arrive to N.Y. and other more important characters, like witches . Yeah. We never are offered an explanation of that pre-existence or why there are people with 'sparking' powers before the rapefest start. Wait. Did I not tell you? There are plenty of raped women and girls in this book. Not detailed but explicit, mind you.

Then we follow the separate ardous journeys of Arlys, a journalist, and Lana, a chef, trying to reach safety. Between spurs of fairies (I-kid-you-not), warlocks, your average violent sociopath, pro-human fanatics, savagery and gore, the main concern of Arlys and Lana is internet and yeast. Again I-kid-you-not.


Plus Choppy writting and plain characters.

It's like TrueBlood (last seasons) without vampires.


Oh, there is a mumble-jumble messianic Tuatha de Danann (?)/ Wicca mess with a ... Chosen One. (waiting for the next book).

I'm done.

Edit 2020: in all fairness - It happen that going after yeast during the Apocalypse IT'S a thing. Who would have knew?


Oh chico. ¿Dónde empezar?

Una pandemia devasta el mundo, porque oscuro -énfasis en lo de oscuras - razones míticas. Siguiendo el destino de la familia McLeod que parece encender el virus 'Doom' , llegamos a Nueva York y a otros personajes más importantes, como brujas . Si. Nunca se nos ofrece una explicación de esa preexistencia o de por qué hay personas con poderes 'chispeantes' antes del comienzo del montón de violaciones. Espere. ¿No se lo dije? Hay muchas mujeres y niñas violadas en este libro. No detallado pero explícito, eso sí.

Luego seguimos los viajes por separado de Arlys , una periodista, y Lana , una chef, tratando de llegar a un lugar seguro. Entre apariciones de hadas (no es broma), brujos, tu sociópata violento promedio, fanáticos prohumanos, salvajismo y sangre por montón, la principal preocupación de Arlys y Lana es el internet y la levadura. Una vez más, no te engaño.

Además de una escritura entrecortada y personajes simples.

Es como TrueBlood (últimas temporadas) sin vampiros.

Oh, hay un murmullo-revoltijo mesiánico Tuatha de Danann (?) / Wicca lío con un ... Elegido. (esperando el próximo libro).

Renuncio al resto.

Editado el 2020: Para ser justos: sucede que ir tras la levadura durante el Apocalipsis ES una cosa real. ¿Quién lo hubiera sabido?
Profile Image for Kimber Silver.
Author 1 book266 followers
August 11, 2019
"When Ross MacLeod pulled the trigger and brought down the pheasant, he had no way of knowing he’d killed himself. And billions of others."

Anticipation crackles on crisp winter air as the world stands on the cusp of a new year. The MacLeod family plan to bring it in with panache, as they do every year at their ancestral farm in Dumfries, Scotland. However, the nightmarish promise that this new year holds blows in on dark whispers from a stone circle on the property.

“Often on dark nights, they’d crept out of the house to hike to the very field they walked now, to hold secret meetings and try to raise the spirits within the little stone circle the locals called sgiath de solas, shield of light.”

It is the beginning of the end for this tight-knit family and billions of others across the globe. Ross MacLeod, on his return to the United States, brings more than goodwill back from Scotland. He gifts everyone he encounters with a killer virus that is aptly named ‘Doom’. The opening of a magick portal sends a shockwave of death and awakening shuddering across the planet. Humans with latent magical powers suddenly find themselves dripping with ability, though not everyone immune to the Doom virus possess these newfound skills. A Mad Max foot-on-the-throttle world quickly emerges, pitting light against dark.

The concept was interesting, but I’m sorry to say that the plot was sadly predictable and I couldn’t connect with any of the leading players. A few moments had me crossing my fingers and toes that the story might finally take off. Unfortunately, the Year One series and I will part ways here.

Since I’m not a serious fan of ‘end of the world’ scenarios, unless the concept is extraordinary, please don’t let my rating scare you off. Go ahead and give this book a whirl if dystopian fiction with a side of magic appeals. Nora Roberts is a prolific author with a great many novels under her belt.
Profile Image for Ron Charles.
1,050 reviews48.7k followers
December 5, 2017
Don’t bother reaching for a Kleenex. It’s not just a cold. It’s not even the flu.

It’s the Doom.

If you needed any further proof that the world was ending, here comes Nora Roberts with “Year One,” a work of speculative fiction about a deadly pandemic. Anyone monitoring the mutating strains of pop fiction should have seen this new hybrid emerging from the Queen of Romance. Yes, the ground is already littered with the corpses of earlier apocalyptic novels, but Roberts will have no trouble clearing a spot to land. “Year One” begins with the deaths of 5 billion people, which is almost as many books as Roberts has sold.

What better way to celebrate the centennial of the Spanish flu? Alarming features in recent issues of Smithsonian and Foreign Affairs remind us that the 1918 pandemic wiped out far more people than World War I, but we’ve grown dangerously cavalier. The World Health Organization is closely monitoring a new strain of H7N9 in China, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is supporting an international effort in 50 countries to respond to what it calls “novel” threats.

But the threats in Roberts’s novel are impossible to inoculate yourself against. The trouble starts, as it so often does, at a. . . .

To read the rest of this review, go to The Washington Post:

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Profile Image for Brenda.
4,227 reviews2,731 followers
January 21, 2018
As the family who had come together for Christmas/New Year celebrations in the cold Scottish countryside, left and headed back to their respective homes, little did they know they were the bearers of a horrible, shocking sickness that would be christened The Doom, and would kill in days. In New York, as people sickened and died, terror and madness spread throughout the community. With the world-wide decimation though, there were some who were immune – they didn’t know why, or how, but they were. And they had to escape the madness while they could…

Max Fallon and Lana Bingham were two such people – as was journalist Arlys and rookie Fred who manned the local TV station. Getting out of New York City any way they could, they encountered horror and evil in streets that had been obliterated of anything familiar. Separately each small group headed out, as did other survivors; Rachel, a doctor; Jonah, a paramedic along with Katie and her babies. None of them knew where they would end up – or even if they would survive – but they would do all they could to start a new life.

The magic that some felt inside was filled with light – but others knew only darkness. The travellers needed to be careful who they trusted. What would be the outcome? Could they feel hope for the future when it seemed there were very few people left? They only knew their old world would never be the same again – Year One had begun…

Year One is #1 in the Chronicles of The One series by prolific author Nora Roberts. This woman is amazing! She can write anything. I absolutely devoured Year One and am really looking forward to book 2 in the (hopefully) not too distant future. A dystopian fantasy novel which is fast-paced, intriguing, magical and just plain exhilarating, Year One is one I highly recommend.

With thanks to Hachette AU for my ARC to read and review.
Profile Image for Geo Marcovici.
1,285 reviews299 followers
March 10, 2020
O distopie fantasy gotic, o relevare a Apocalipsei într-un mod aparte, care ne înfățișează bunătatea și răutatea oamenilor. O carte care ne înfățișează un tablou sinistru din mai multe perspective. Cu toate acestea avem parte de o speranță. Speranță care îndeamnă la luptă, dă curajul de a merge mai departe după ce ai fost trântit la pământ.
Lana și Max sunt doi tineri cu puteri speciale care se iubesc. Când vine sfârșitul lumii, puterile lor cresc, devin vrăjitori aflați în slujba binelui. Dar, cum viața se sfărâmă bucăți în jurul lor, destinul este hotărât să îi facă să sufere înainte de a putea găsi liniștea... Astfel, Max moare salvând-o pe Lana și pe fiica lor încă nenăscută...
Eclipsa este cartea care ne prezintă începutul funebru și plin de răutate, dar și speranța într-un viitor liniștit.
Lana găsește alinare în Simon, eroul care îi aduce pe lume minunea.
O carte alertă, care te face să simți fiecare schimbare de acțiune. Superbă! Bravo, Nora! ❤️❤️❤️
Profile Image for Corina.
768 reviews2,185 followers
May 26, 2020
If you ever read a book by Nora Roberts - forget everything you think you know about her writing. Year One is the beginning of something new and EXCITING!!!

Year One is the first book in a trilogy that is more complex and layered then anything I ever read by Nora Roberts. Instead of a typical trilogy with each book dedicated to a different couple - Year One is the beginning of an EPIC story that seems to span generations.

Think HIGH fantasy.

The author introduces an amazing cast during a chilling and world changing event. An epic dystopian storyline that fascinates, captivates and truly pulled me in to a point I didn't want it to stop. Honestly, I hated the closer I got to the end. I did not want it to be done. I needed MORE!!!

As with other high fantasies, it took me a looooong time to connect with the plot as well as figuring out which of the characters were main or supporting cast. It actually took me until 60% to really fall in love with this book, and now I'm incredibly frustrated that I have to wait an entire year for book 2. I would have read hours more. 

Year One is as fascinating and as thoroughly captivating as Stephen King's The Last Stand. An epic fight between good vs evil. In Nora Robert's version I love the added layer of magical creatures - fairies, elves, sirens, shapeshifter, sorcerers and witches. There are so many characters that I fell in love with. Distinctive voices and unique personalities. 

And then came the big SHOCKER!!!!

Wow, I did not see that coming. From there on everything I thought I knew was turned upside down. Nora Roberts took a chance on a new concept and ROCKED it!!! Not everyone is going to like it. But that's ok. I think it's more important for an author to be able to try something different, then always follow the same formula. We all sometimes have to color outside the box. It makes for some unique results and Year One is the best example.

I can't wait to read book 2.

For me Year One was just a sampler of what was to come. I got my feet wet and now I need more. Nora Robert's epic tale has barely started and there are so many more stories to tell.  The anticipation is literally going to drive me nuts. So, if you love the dystopian genre, big and interesting casts, and a story that spans generations - you need to pick this book up and give it a try. 

Find more reviews and book recommendations on my blog.

Find me on Bookstagram.
Profile Image for Suzzie.
916 reviews162 followers
February 3, 2018

Wow! This book was so amazing! It all starts with a virus that wipes out a lot of the world’s people with over two billion people are killed in the Doom. This is a story of survivors trying to not only survive but restart civilization. I really cannot think of other things to say that would not spoil things. Heck, I cannot even put something about one of the main plots because it would completely destroy some of the story. So I will leave it that this book is epic. It is a must read for sure.

My quick and simple overall: SO impressed with this story and LOVED it!
Profile Image for Bex (Beckie Bookworm).
2,015 reviews1,314 followers
November 18, 2018
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So it's safe to say Year One (Chronicles of The One #1) by Nora Roberts was one I was really looking forward to I was really excited when I got the ARC of this, like jumping up and down excited.
That is until I started and realised what a slog this was going to be for me.
Not because this was awful, it so wasn't, It was just I couldn't gel and was actually finding reading this a chore.
Anyone who knows's me knows I devour books in one sitting and this took me eleven days to get finished which is a lot for me.
So Year one is a post-apocalyptic supernatural exstravaganza.
And this may have been my issue I would have prefered one or the other, for me, the two together didn't quite work.
"Year one" shows the breakdown in society when a virus labelled DOOM! decimates the worldwide population.
As the world, as we know it, starts to disintegrate new factions spring up clawing there way out of the resulting chaos.
Of the five million dead, Mankind and the newly emerged magic kind, regroup into factions of light versus dark.
The wickedness of mankind, that has previously hidden behind a persona, soon becomes apparent in the decimated population left behind.
And It's also a new world filled with all sorts of magical creatures both light and dark.
"Year One" itself follows different cloisters of individuals, analysing their daily struggles as they ultimately all eventually convene in the collective effort of the town they have aptly named "New Hope".
I'm not entirely sure why I struggled so much with this as Year One was very well written and I have also enjoyed various Nora Roberts works before.
analysing it I think it may have been the hopping between characters that was an issue for me. although I do understand why it was done this way, Pieces of a puzzle all eventually connecting.
All roads ultimately leading to New Hope.
But I found this style of writing had me ultimately failing to connect with the characters.
As soon as I had sat down and got comfy things were changing directions for me it was making me giddy all the swift changes involved here.
I also found the many different individuals introduced somewhat confusing to behold, I would have to stop and think or check back pages to work out who they were.
I found this aspect very distracting indeed.
But despite my gripes, I did finish this I'm just not yet sure if I'm invested enough to continue on to the next book in this series.
On the one hand, I would really like to see what happens next in regards to Lana, but I'm just not sure that I'm invested enough to keep me going. I will have to decide nearer to the time.
Year One, I imagine will be a solid hit with many, for me, it just failed to live up to my expectations.
Thank You to NetGalley for proving me with an ARC of Year One by Nora Roberts of which I have reviewed voluntary.
All opinions expressed are entirely my own.
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Reviewed By Beckie Bookworm
Profile Image for Tim.
2,183 reviews212 followers
June 26, 2019
I enjoyed this more than many of her other stories since her earlier works. 7 of 10 stars
Profile Image for Iulia.
203 reviews93 followers
April 1, 2019
What a mess.. This book got me through my reading slump (kind of) but only because I wanted to see what ridiculous thing can the author possibly come up with next. And no, I don't mean the book was unpredictable, because it was just the opposite of that. Everything was just.. a hot mess.
Profile Image for Meags.
2,178 reviews415 followers
September 18, 2018
4.5 Stars

This story managed to be familiar and original all at once. Even though I feel like I’ve read/seen similar versions of this story before, Nora somehow managed to deliver a new spin on many previously explored ideas in the apocalyptic genre, creating a gripping and nerve-wracking reading experience unlike anything she’s ever written before.

Honestly, I was impressed.

I’ve always been a fan of post-apocalyptic stories, as stressed out and scared as they often make me. Nora’s take on this was fascinating to me, mostly because she mixed paranormal elements into what felt like a very tangible end-of-world scenario.

There were some truly disturbing moments in this story, making it much darker and grittier than what I’m used to reading in a Nora story. But that’s exactly why this worked so well for me. I kept forgetting I was actually reading a Nora Roberts book, which blew my mind a little bit having spent more of my life reading this woman’s work than any other author.

The large ensemble cast of characters also worked really well for me. Having so many people to follow in their struggle for survival ensured that the story kept moving at a riveting pace. If there were some characters I liked less than others it didn’t matter, because soon enough the next chapter would hit and I’d be back with the characters I liked best. I also loved the way all these characters were weaved together throughout the story, with nearly everyone of importance coming together and forming bonds of friendship and new comraderies in the face of their bleak new world.

The ending left me a bit perplexed, considering the fate of a few key players was left unknown to the reader. Pair that with the fact that the next story is apparently set thirteen years in the future and you’ve definitely got me a bit nervous to see what has become of some of my favourite characters. Yet I’m still excited for what’s to come. I have no doubt the series will build into something really epic and I personally can’t wait to watch it all unfold.
Profile Image for * A Reader Obsessed *.
2,218 reviews454 followers
May 25, 2019
3 Stars

With any apocalypse story you’re gonna get devastating lost and horrific goings on, all of which is sure to make or break a person in their desperate attempt to live another day. Roberts here has spread her writing wings by encompassing the classic struggle of good vs evil as she incorporates fantasy and supernatural elements to survival of the fittest, plus a prophecy to boot.

My interest is caught, but this being the first book in a planned trilogy, there’s definitely a lot going on here with multiple threads and characters, and many unknowns were left dangling. Luckily with 2 books to go, I look forward to what will hopefully be a satisfying payoff!
Profile Image for RG.
3,092 reviews
December 8, 2017
I've never read a Roberts book before as shes never had a book in a genre thats appealed to me. Gave this a read after a promising blurb. A pandemic sweeps across the world, kinda remisncent of other post apocalyptic stories but I felt this became a little too urban fantasy YAish, which by themselves is great, but together it felt disjointed. Too many characters which I felt had no influence on the plot. The concept was great, just didnt pull through with the execution.
Profile Image for Brittany McCann.
1,827 reviews429 followers
December 1, 2022
I Definitely enjoyed the journey of the Coronavirus... I mean the Doom, which led to the magical realism elements of releasing latent abilities and strengthening others to release the dark and light magick of those to be known as the Uncanny.

I highly recommend this apocalyptic jaunt towards the unveiling of a prophecy of a Celtic legend of the end of times.

5 stars
Profile Image for Alba Turunen.
679 reviews209 followers
February 6, 2020
5 Estrellas para este pedazo de libro que hasta el momento se ha convertido en el mejor que he leído éste año. Una auténtica joyita como hacía muchísimo tiempo que no leía. Son varios los que he leído de Nora Roberts, pero jamás podría imaginar que podía disfrutar tanto un libro suyo tan distinto a lo que estoy acostumbrada a leer de ella.

“Año Uno” no es una novela romántica, o no tiene las dosis de romance a las que nos tiene acostumbradas. En realidad es una novela catalogada como paranormal o sobrenatural, se trata de una distopía postapocalíptica. No soy fan de series de TV como “The walking dead”, ni siquiera la he visto, pero estoy segura de que la autora se debió basar en dicha serie y cambió los zombis por personajes del folklore celta.

¿Qué nos cuenta “Año Uno”? La novela empieza un 31 de diciembre, cuando una familia pasa las vacaciones de Navidad en la granja familiar de Escocia. Los hermanos gemelos y el primo han salido a cazar para ofrecer una buena cena a la familia; pero con el derramamiento de sangre, se abre el velo que separa el mundo de los Tuatha de Dannan con el de los hombres. Sin saberlo, han sido infectados con el virus de una enfermedad nunca conocida. A las pocas horas, y volviendo cada familia a su respectivo hogar, han sido los propagadores de una plaga virulenta capaz de diezmar a la población humana.

Nadie sabe qué es exactamente esa plaga, la han llamado “Juicio Final”. Sólo unos pocos afortunados son inmunes a ella, y entre ellos hay algunas personas que han empezado a desarrollar poderes sobrenaturales.

Nuestros protagonistas serán Lana y Max, Fred y Arlys, y Jonah y Rachel, y bastantes más, que ahora mismo no puedo mencionar, porque son demasiados, a pesar de que todos se han hecho un hueco en mi corazón. Quizás Lana y Max serán los grandes protagonistas del libro, una pareja de brujos destinados a ser quienes engendren a la Elegida, la que pueda salvar a la humanidad de la maldad que ha campado en el mundo.

Como digo, no sólo la plaga será el gran mal que diezme la humanidad. En una situación desesperada, en el que ves a familias enteras muertas o destruidas, saldrá lo mejor y lo peor de la humanidad, los que deciden poner fin a su vida al no encontrar un remedio ante semejante situación, los que deciden hacer el mal por el simple hecho de poder hacerlo, como los saqueadores, que roban, asesinan o se aprovechan de los más débiles que van quedando. Y finalmente el de aquellos humanos, convertidos en sobrenaturales, unos serás seres de Luz y otros de Oscuridad.

En éste libro el espectador pasará por todas esas situaciones: la desesperación ocasionada por la plaga, la huída de los pocos que van quedando, y la posterior supervivencia a la que se enfrentan los pocos que quedan. Nuestros personajes, como es lógico, tanto humanos como sobrenaturales serán los seres de Luz, pero deberán enfrentarse tanto a humanos malvados, como a sobrenaturales de la Oscuridad.

De nuevo tenemos un libro que habla de la eterna lucha del Bien y del Mal, y que parece ser el preámbulo de lo que será la trilogía de la Elegida ¿para qué? Aún no lo sé, aunque Nora Roberts nos ha dejado algunas pistas, no estoy muy segura de por dónde irán los tiros.

En general éste libro me ha parecido una maravilla, y aún no salgo de mi asombro al ver el enganche al que me ha sometido, creo que llevaba años sin engancharme tanto a un libro, sin poder dejar de leer, sólo pasando hojas capítulo tras capítulo. A medida que van pasando los capítulos la trama va mejorando y mucho, pero seré sincera, aunque en su conjunto el libro me ha encantado, admito que las últimas cincuenta páginas me han desilusionado, no porque la cosa acabe mal, que no lo acaba, si no porque no es de la manera que esperaba y me he llevado un chasco muy grande. Sí, lo sé, ésta vez no estamos ante una novela romántica, pero me ha fastidiado mucho.

En fin, realmente creo que he contado en ésta reseña mas de lo que debiera, pero espero que haya sido lo suficiente como para convencer a los indecisos de leer éste libro. No tengo ni idea, pero leyéndolo me ha parecido el guión de una serie de TV ¿Acabará convirtiéndose en serie? No me extrañaría, pero espero que no sea un plagio de “The walking dead” pero sin zombis.
Profile Image for Pauline.
777 reviews
December 5, 2017
Year One by Nora Roberts is a dystopian novel that has a lot of diversity to keep you entertained. After a virus kills off billions on people the survivors are left with a fight of good against evil. Many of the survivors learn that they now have developed strange powers. In this new post apocalyptic world its survival of the fittest. I'm am looking forward to the second book in this trilogy to find out what happens to the many interesting characters. I would like to thank NetGally and Little, Brown Book Group UK for my E-copy in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Kaycee Bowick (Off_The_Press).
84 reviews38 followers
February 17, 2018

**This is a review of the audio version of  this title, via Audible. 

This novel already has some 1,300+ reviews on Goodreads (only being released in December of 2017), so I am going to keep my summarizing to a minimum and quickly get to the things I loved about this novel and the one thing that threw me. 

This novel starts out following multiple story lines and perspectives through a world where a plague dubbed "The Doom" is swiftly wiping out the population. Very reminiscent of The Stand by Stephen King, the beginning portion of the novel introduces the origins of the Doom and the initial contamination that lead to its rapid spread. As the story moves along, the character's paths begin to cross. 

This novel has many very likable characters and the audio version did a great job with the various voices. The narrator really added a lot of fun and personality to the reading. While you get to know many of the characters in depth, Max and Lana are the two main characters who really push themselves into the forefront of the storyline. Prior to the Doom, Max was (and still is) an individual who practices witchcraft/magic. Once the Doom sets in, Lana, along with many others in the world, have suddenly discovered that they have various magical capabilities--some of which embrace the darker side of magic.

Things I loved:
♦ A lot of character depth
♦ Plot is driven by a very prophecy-like chain of events
♦ Captured the same plague-action as The Stand, without taking me 40 Audible hours to get through
♦ Has a great ending, not a true cliff-hanger, but leaves you looking forward to that second installment to see what is to come next

The one thing that threw me for a loop:
This novel was a very unique, yet odd mixture of post-apocalyptic, survivalist-type fiction and some pretty heavy fantasy. It may have just been me personally, but I would often get so into the on-the-road, survival action that I would forget that this was also a fantasy novel until someone whipped out their fairy wings or started flying into the air among black smoke... which almost always resulted in a quick eyebrow furrow as I had to remind myself of these powers that people are somehow acquiring after the onset of this epidemic. Since I was listening to an audiobook, which I do in short bursts while I am commuting, cooking, cleaning, etc... maybe this wouldn't be the case if someone sat down and powered through this book in its physical form. But.. just my two cents on the genre "mash-up" here. 

Overall... a really fun and interesting read. I was very partial to several characters and I feel like this trilogy has a lot of interesting events and action in store for readers.

Off The Press Reads: BlogInstagramBloglovin'
Profile Image for Stacey.
1,446 reviews1,154 followers
September 23, 2019
It’s the end of the world as we know it…

OK, first up, this is not my normal type of read. I am a romance reader, and Year One was not romantic at all. A virus that makes you hurl your guts up till you die is not my idea of fun and games. Watching people die because evil invaded the world, was hardly a party. Sure, I knew I’d be seeing the end of the world, but come on, it’s Nora Roberts. I kind of hoped that there’d be a little hearts aflutter and sweet nothings, but unfortunately, that would be a BIG NOOOOOO!!

Look, it wasn’t all doom and gloom…OK…it was mostly doom and gloom. But, there were some parts that let in the light. We meet some interesting characters along the way and we see strength in people who didn’t even know they had it in them.

For me, Year One was all about reflecting on ME and how I would handle the world coming to an end. How would I feel knowing that with a cough, it could be the start of my end? Would I be able to go on if all of my loved ones were gone? Could I survive without modern luxuries? Is there a chance I’d be pointing the finger at someone hoping they’d take the blame for my sorrow? Should I just turn the page and start anew? I just don't know. In the end, I decided that I didn’t want to think about it and I hoped that I’d be dead and buried before something like this hit our world.

Now, I can’t really judge this against other stories of the like because I haven’t really read many books like this one. I found the beginning thoroughly engaging. I wanted to see how the world went bad and what caused it. While the middle still held my interest, I was confused with the swapping and changing of our lead characters. It all comes together eventually, but the jumping made it harder to follow. The ending, well, I can honestly say that I was a little underwhelmed. Yeah, I know this is the first book in the series, but I felt like there was no clear path to where we were heading. What am I sticking around for? Who’s left? Who’s path am I supposed to be desperate to follow?

Look, it’s Nora Roberts, so it’s still bloody good, but it’s definitely not what I was hoping for. I wanted to see at least one of the couples together, living, loving and growing after The Doom. What we get are sparks that flicker, fizzle, flutter and flash and maybe even ignite. Unfortunately, we don't see the ignite and not even sure they stayed alight. Some of the lights go out and we’re left with darkness, heartbreak and loss.

This is not a light and fluffy read. It’s pretty dark and depressing. Do not go in thinking you’ll meet a couple and follow their journey towards a new beginning because you’ll be disappointed. If you start Year One with an open mind, knowing that it’s not romance, you may find the journey interesting.

Not a winner but definitely not a loser either. I read the whole thing and even though it took me longer than normal, it was still interesting.

Stacey is Sassy, received an advanced copy of this story. The copy provided is not the final copy and may be subject to edits and changes.
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