One Minute Book Review (Audiobook Edition): Year One by Nora Roberts

Year One (Chronicles of The One, #1)

The Summary:

The end has come, and it’s more devastating than anyone could imagine. It started with an illness. An illness that soon took over the world, and took so many. As people started dying, others started discovering. . . gifts. And of course, then came the fear. The fear that collapsed the world, and left it a wrecked, savage place. A group of survivors found themselves in a world of unimaginable beauty, and unimaginable evil. And find themselves heading towards a new hope. Towards what they hope will be their salvation in what has become a dark, scary new world.

What I Liked:

I really liked the way she wrote the beginning of the illness that decimates a lot of the world’s population, and how she brought a lot of the fantastical into it. She does a great job of world-building, which was necessary because the world in the book quickly goes from a world we know to a world we don’t know. I also liked how I really cared about the characters, which tells me that she created rounded and complete people.

I also really enjoyed the narrator, Julia Whelan. I’m the kind of person who can quickly get very annoyed by a poor narrator, so this was good. But there was also nothing that really stuck out about her, either. Not a bad thing though, as the point of a book, whether an audiobook or not, is to get immersed in the world. And Ms. Whelan’s voice definitely allowed for that immersion.

What I Didn’t Like:

So about three quarters of the way into the book I realized that this was very much a chronicling of some kind of alternate history. Yes, it was full of characters I could care about, and yes, it was compelling. But about a quarter out from the last portion of the book I realized that the resolution wasn’t really going to be a resolution, but a set up for the next book. It also didn’t hurt that I had read the blurb for the next book in the series, so I could kind of see what this book was trying to accomplish. And while I appreciated the fact that Ms. Roberts is trying to lay this amazing groundwork for the next book, I’m not sure that it was required for the story she might be trying to tell. The thing about it is –and here’s my disclaimer, folks– without reading or listening to the next one I don’t really know. Only the resolution of the series will tell whether this installment was really necessary. But I don’t always enjoy those books that end with a resolution whose entire purpose is to set up for the next book.


I definitely enjoyed the story, and I will be looking forward to listening to the next one.

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