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Year One
Cover of Year One
Year One
Chronicles of The One, Book 1

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER (December 2017)

A stunning new novel from the #1 New York Times bestselling author Nora Roberts—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.

The end has come. The beginning comes next.

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER (December 2017)

A stunning new novel from the #1 New York Times bestselling author Nora Roberts—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.

The end has come. The beginning comes next.

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About the Author-
  • NORA ROBERTS is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of more than 200 novels, including Hideaway, The Chronicles of the One trilogy, Under Currents, Shelter in Place, Come Sundown, and many more. She is also the author of the bestselling In Death series written under the pen name J.D. Robb. There are more than 500 million copies of her books in print.
Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    October 2, 2017
    The entertaining latest from Roberts (Come Sundown), the first of a trilogy, concerns a magical blight that wipes out most of mankind and leaves some survivors with otherworldly powers. After what becomes known as the Doom is unwittingly unleashed by a hunter’s bullet, Uncannys—people with magical inclinations, such as the witch Max Fallon and his lover, Lana Bingham—experience a surge in their abilities. Others discover newfound capabilities, like Little Fred, who realizes that she’s a fairy. Then there are Uncannys like Max’s bitter younger brother, Eric, who’s long lived in Max’s shadow and whose resentment darkens his inclinations. The world quickly divides into factions of good and evil as those immune to the Doom try to find one another and start over in communities. After dodging marauding gangs and evil Uncannys who want to kill her, Lana learns that she holds the key to saving this new world. Roberts knows how to write a page-turner, though her prose often relies on repetitive exposition and her attempts at depicting diversity can be cringeworthy (“I’m a good driver. No Asian driver cracks, black boy”). Characters are pretty much stock good or evil, but readers who are after a well-told apocalyptic story with magical touches will be satisfied. 1,000,000-copy announced first printing.

  • Kirkus

    October 15, 2017
    When the world as they know it ends, the survivors of a mysterious plague are faced with a new world in which both dark and light magic are rising. "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." So begins the latest novel from publishing juggernaut Roberts, and the rest of the book is just as gripping. When a virus takes out nearly 80 percent of the Earth's human population, the survivors must figure out how to live in their new world, which includes the appearance of a varied set of magical abilities in a large part of the surviving population. Both the magick and un-magick people have violent factions which are trying to vanquish internal and external enemies, and good people from both groups have to band together in order to stay safe and establish a new order that honors life and decency. In one such community, witches Lana and Max are having a child, and from the moment of conception, it's obvious that the child will be magical. As her pregnancy advances, Lana begins to suspect that even in the context of the new magical paradigm, her child has a special destiny, an impression that becomes clearer when she realizes she and her unborn child are being hunted. Finding sanctuary on a remote farm, Lana ushers the child into the world, and soon both foes and allies begin to arrive at her doorstep, deepening Lana's belief that her daughter is meant for something great and dangerous. Roberts' new direction is electric and ground-breaking. In some ways, it's a synthesis of her past work: she's often written about magical elements, family--both biological and emotional--and community. In this series launch, she's created a believable apocalypse that is obviously leading to a grand showdown between good and evil, but the story and the characters--there are many, and she's made some choices that are going to stun her die-hard romance fans--navigate timely issues of tolerance and bigotry; fear of the Other; violence on behalf of perceived "purity" and misdirected religious zeal; and how good people combat evil. A fast-paced, mesmerizing, and thought-provoking novel that will no doubt add to Roberts' legions of fans.

    COPYRIGHT(2017) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Booklist

    October 1, 2017
    It began on a small farm in Scotland immediately after the New Year when members of the MacLeod family became mysteriously ill. As the family returned to their own homes, they spread the sickness. Within a month, 1 million people had been stricken, and within a year, more than 2 billion people would be dead. The virus became known as Doom, because once you were infected, you were, indeed, doomed. However, there were some exceptions. The people who seemed to be immune became known as the Uncanny, and they were rumored to have strange powers. With Year One, the first in a new trilogy, romance superstar Roberts heads off in a daring new direction as she begins a pandemic sf series with a far more dystopian atmosphere than her previous fantasy novels. Longtime Roberts fans, however, shouldn't fret too much since the core elements here, including a cast of engaging and empathic characters and a plot that focuses on the importance of family, friends, hope, and humanity, are quintessential Roberts ingredients. What Roberts has done, with her radical departure, is ensure that she will find new fans among readers attracted to apocalyptic sf and speculative fiction.HIGH-DEMANDBACKSTORY: With a million-copy lay down and a major marketing campaign announcing the launch of Roberts' intense new series, demand is bound to go viral.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2017, American Library Association.)

  • Library Journal

    Starred review from October 15, 2017

    No one fully understands how the illness started, or how it spread so fast. But now more than half of the world's population is gone. In the wake of science and technology's failure to stop the plague, survivors begin to use magic. For those like Lana Bingham and her lover Max, it brings a peace few have known in this postapocalyptic world; for others, it unlocks their darker nature. As governmental factions hunt down those responsible for applying these paranormal powers, Lana and Max leave New York and search for Max's brother and friends out west. Along the way, they meet other travelers, some seeking to thrive, others to destroy. But their ultimate purpose awaits as once the End arrives, the Beginning will follow. VERDICT Roberts's full step into a modern fantasy series is long overdue. Fascinating characters and a well-built dystopia combine with a riveting plot that will attract a whole new group of readers. [See Prepub Alert, 6/26/17.]--KC

    Copyright 2017 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Library Journal

    July 1, 2017

    In this launch of a sweeping hardcover trilogy, No. 1 New York Times best-selling author Roberts goes dystopic, conjuring a world where both government and the electrical grid have failed and half the population is destroyed by a virus. Fortunately, a community of spirited survivors, including former New Yorkers Lana and Max, are willing to begin again.

    Copyright 2017 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Library Journal

    October 15, 2017

    No one fully understands how the illness started, or how it spread so fast. But now more than half of the world's population is gone. In the wake of science and technology's failure to stop the plague, survivors begin to use magic. For those like Lana Bingham and her lover Max, it brings a peace few have known in this postapocalyptic world; for others, it unlocks their darker nature. As governmental factions hunt down those responsible for applying these paranormal powers, Lana and Max leave New York and search for Max's brother and friends out west. Along the way, they meet other travelers, some seeking to thrive, others to destroy. But their ultimate purpose awaits as once the End arrives, the Beginning will follow. VERDICT Roberts's full step into a modern fantasy series is long overdue. Fascinating characters and a well-built dystopia combine with a riveting plot that will attract a whole new group of readers. [See Prepub Alert, 6/26/17.]--KC

    Copyright 2017 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Kirkus, Starred Review

    "Electric and ground-breaking...A fast-paced, mesmerizing, and thought-provoking novel that will no doubt add to Roberts' legions of fans."

  • Library Journal, Starred Review "Fascinating characters and a well-built dystopia combine with a riveting plot that will attract a whole new group of readers."
  • People Magazine "You'll be hooked."
  • The Washington Post "Roberts knows exactly how to spellbind an audience."
  • Bustle "Nora Roberts has turned her pen to apocalyptic fiction. And, oh boy, she really delivered...fast-paced and energetic."
  • AARP.org, Best Books of Winter 2018

    Recommended as one of four books students should read over winter break by The Carolinian, UNC Greensboro

    "The queen of the best-seller list is kicking off a new trilogy, a foray into dystopian fantasy that may earn the novelist a few gazillion more fans."
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