Review: Year One

By: Nora Roberts

Available on: Amazon, Audible, and Barnes and Noble.

Blurb: It began, much as it did for us, with a sickness that spread quick and deadly. But rather than COVID-19, the Doom, as it is known, killed millions and awakened the magical bloodlines in some of the survivors. Now, the world is an apocalyptic hellscape with the best and worst of humanity on open display. Magic runs deep in some of the remnants of humanity. And while it is magic that unleashed the Doom, it may be magic that saves the world.

Tags and Trigger Warnings:

Bastardization of Irish Mythology, Blood, Bullying, Death, Drug Use (Prescription), Gore, Gun Violence, Horror, Kidnapping, Magic, Magical Realism, Murder, Mythology, Non-Consensual Touching, Off-Screen Sex, On-Screen Sex, Paranormal Romance, People Being Terrible, Poor Coping Mechanisms, Post-Apocalyptic Science Fiction, Pregnancy, Racism, Romance, Suicide, Supernatural Fiction, Theft, Violence, Violent Imagery

Body Count: Millions, maybe even billions.

Overall review:

  • Thoughts:
    • The story struck a note with me in respect to the events of the last several years; the magical aspect made it an enjoyable read. This was actually my second time reading this, but it will be my first time reading the rest of the series, books two and three.
    • As for characters, Lana Bignham and Max Fallon are a great couple. It’s a very hopeful story and their part in it is a good read. I also like Arlys Reid and Freddie. Freddie and her sparkling personality is probably my second favorite character.
    • I loved watching the development of the world, well, the undeveloping of modern society. I’m not a doomsday prepper, and would likely die in case of a true apocalyptic event due to various medical and mental health issues, but seeing the way Ms. Roberts displayed the best and worst of humanity without being too vulgar was impressive.
    • I would recommend this book to anyone going stir-crazy from Covid-related boredom.
  • Was it engaging?
    • Yes – I paid full price for the second and third volumes because I wanted to read the rest of the story.
  • Favorite Character:
    • Lana Bingham
  • Least Favorite Character:
    • The Reverend Jeremiah White

Rating out of five: 4.0 out of 5

To Read or Not To Read (Again):

  • To Read Again Eventually: On the Bookshelf

The Technical Specs:

  • Series
    • Series Name: The Chronicles of the One
    • Book Number: 1 of 3
  • Genre
    • Technical Genre: Post-Apocalyptic Science Fiction, Paranormal Romance, Supernatural Thriller
    • Theo Genre: Magical Realism
  • Page count: 464
  • POV: limited third
  • Publication information:
    • Publisher: St. Martin’s Publishing Group
    • Language: English
    • ASIN: B074XHRSP5
    • ISBN: 9781250122971

Representation, Morality, and Sexism in Media Tests:

  • Bechdel–Wallace Test: Pass!
    • In order to pass, two female characters must talk about something other than a male character.
  • Deggan’s Rule Test: Pass!
    • In order to pass, there must me at least two non-white human characters in the main cast in a story not primarily focused on race.
  • DuVernay Test: Pass!
    • In order to pass, there must be fully actualized characters of color.
  • Ellen Willis Test: Pass!
    • In order to pass, two related characters would still need to work to carry the story if their genders happened to be reversed.
  • Mako Mori Test: Pass!
    • In order to pass, there must be a female character that gets her own arc.
  • Mary Sue/Gary Stu Test: Pass!
    • In order to pass, the main character must not be completely flawless and persecuted by other characters needlessly.
    • Take a Mary Sue test here!
  • Sexy Lamp Test: Pass!
    • In order to pass, the plot must not fall apart if the female character was replaced by a sexy-looking lamp.
    • Post-It Note Caveat: It would absolutely fall apart.
      • Would the character be able to be replaced by a Sexy Lamp with a sticky note on it for information conveyance?
  • Tauriel Test: Pass!
    • In order to pass, there must be at least one woman in the story who is competent in her chosen occupation and not immediately shown up by a newcomer male character.
    • Also, if a female character has or develops a love interest during the story, either implied or explicitly stated, she must not suddenly abandon her job and/or chosen path to support or pursue said love interest.
  • Vito Russo Test: Fail. 😦
    • In order to pass, there must be a character on the LGBTQIAP+ spectrum spectrum who is a character beyond their orientation. Furthermore, they must actually affect the plot and be something something beyond a caricature or punchline.
      • What does LGBTQIAP+ stand for? It stands for: Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual/Bi-romantic/Bi-gender, Transgender, Queer/Genderqueer, Intersex, Asexual/Aromantic/Agender, Pansexual/Panromantic+.

You can read more about the various Media Tests I employ in my reviews at or by clicking the header on the individual test. Why include all these? Because I can, because representation matters, and because I’m neurotic. That’s all! Happy reading!

Review format updated 5 January 2021.

One thought on “Review: Year One

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s