This is absolutely NOT your typical Nora Roberts read. Sure, she has incorporated themes of magic in previous novels, but not like this. Year One is a dark, dystopian novel that begins with two-thirds of the world’s human population dying painful and horrible deaths from a virus dubbed The Doom. Those who are left are immune for some reason; some are human, others have either developed or discovered magickal inclinations and are called The Uncanny. As with human nature, magickal nature is divided between light and dark. Those who have embraced the dark side of magic revel in torture and bloodshed even in the diminished state of the world.
Pockets of people have found one another and are attempting to survive the chaos. Infrastructures have crumbled and Dark Uncanny continue to terrorize the surviving population. In a settlement named New Hope, about 300 survivors attempt to rebuild a civilized society until the day Dark Uncanny rain down hell. One survivor flees–the one woman (witch) who is carrying the future savior of the world: The One.
I was a little unsure about this book as I began reading. I wasn’t immediately grabbed and, to be honest, I was more than a little freaked out–especially when reading before bed! But I really found myself hooked about a third of the way in. By the time I’d made my way through three-fourths of the novel, I already reserved the second book at the library so I could continue the journey. Fascinating, frightening, and very, very good.