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Year One Written by Nora Roberts

Updated: Apr 21

 I will be the first to admit that I am ashamed. I am shamed of how long it took me to finally pick up this book and actually read it to completion. This book was given to me in a pen pal book swap that I participated in 2018. I shrugged this book off for a later time assuming it was about something lame, as the Author was one that I was used to for romance not fantasy. I assumed that her work as a fantasy author would royally suck. ( For lack of better words.) I want to apologize to the public right now before I begin this review. I want to also make a promise to never assume a book will not be good just because I have previously read another genre from the Author. Now moving on from my embarrassment! Thanks to my sister who reads as well, I gave this book a chance. ( Thank you Karalea!)  Now let us jump to the review shall we?  

                                           YEAR ONE GETS ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐’s

This book was intense! I was relaxing in my lavender/Epson salt bath, listening to Audible and I hear Julia Whelan’s voice. I recognized her voice from the Invisible Life of Addie Larue. My ears rejoiced as she is one of my favorite narrators. I closed my eyes and soaked for a while listening to the story, until I started to get a bit anxious. The story’s first chapter started to unfold and I found myself feeling really uncomfortable. I had no idea this book was about a pandemic that took out half of the world’s population! The story starts off setting up the reader with the story of how the illness takes place, on New Years. There is an illness that spreads so fast that it starts to kill and spread. You are immediately thinking this book is about a pandemic and the hunt to find the cure. All of a sudden you are then informed that there are magical creatures as well that are being discovered during the time of the pandemic. You start to meet characters like Lana and Max who are clearly in love and are witches. I remember being very confused at first as to why there were witches in a book about an illness. And then came Arles and Fred. Fred as I read on was actually not human either but a fairy. A flying, magical, friendly, overly positive fairy. ( It sounds absurd. But it happened.) I kept reading because I wanted to know why these magical elements were added to the novel and why all of a sudden these people who had been humans most of their lives were gaining some sort of magical gifts. Now bare in mind not everyone received these gifts. Only the, ” Uncanny” had the gifts and there were many regular humans who turned on them because they were different. Hate, violence, and many more disturbing situations occurred during the course of the book. The fall of the human race and life as we know it changes after most of the world’s population seemed to be dying for the rest of the new world to begin. If you can handle a pandemic and magical beings then this book is the one for you.     (Warning: Spoilers below!)

 The loss of Max was hard for me to grasp as I felt like the time frame between his loss and Lana’s love for Simon was too quick. Out of all of the events that occurred I felt like this one part, bothered me the most. The love Max and Lana shared was deep and all of the things they went through during this horrific time just for her to fall in love again with another. This did not seem right to me. Call me old fashioned but sometimes it takes the heart a bit longer to heal from a huge loss like this and I don’t know maybe due to the scary world she just felt like she did not have enough time to go through the grieving process. I get being pregnant and wanting security and such. Maybe she fell for Simon because many of his qualities reminded her of Max. Either way I would have loved some more time between the two. The Chapter in which Eric and Allegra ( The villains, some of them.) attack Max and Lana for the first time should have been a bit longer as well. The entire Chapter when New Hope is attacked and their worlds come crashing down again left me very confused. I have no idea what happened to Jonah, Rachel, the babies, Arles, and Fred. The thought of them and what happened to them will not go unanswered I hope. I must know because I have formed an attachment to these characters specifically.  Moving on towards Lana again as her pregnancy gets further along, I totally understand the need to find a safe place for the baby and her. To find a place with food and comfort. But to find herself in another man’s arms so soon, I just cannot get over that one. Max’s death seemed to breeze by without being mourned. I loved Max as a character and was very upset when his death just grazed on but not fully given the time and respect that it deserved. A chapter or some of a chapter would have been better to describe Lana’s grieving and time a part from him. I feel like I needed that time for myself as the reader as well. Maybe she wanted to wrap up the book to prepare for the next and felt that would have taken up too much time? Maybe the book should have stopped right after New Hope was attacked. I would have gladly closed the book with questions of all the characters and picked up the second one if that meant more time to grieve the loss of an amazing character like Max. 

Nevertheless, this book took me on a journey of fear, triumph, magic, love and hope. I totally recommend this book for anyone who loves fantasy and thrillers. It combines the two so well that I was completely taken by surprise to find magic involved at all. It is taking all that I have to not open the second book ” Blood and Bone” to finish the story where I left off. But I have other books on my list for this month and this will just have to wait a little while. If you have read this book, what are your thoughts? I am curious to know!

This book is A. Book Witch Approved! 


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