sturgeonslawyer (sturgeonslawyer) wrote,

Year One, by Nora Roberts (2019-27)

OK, so. I have been addicted for some years to her science-fiction-police-procedural-vaguely-romance-ish novels as "J.D. Robb" for some years. I read one of her novels as Nora Roberts (_Montana Sky_) some years ago and decided that it was competent entertainment, but not for me. And now here is SFF under the Roberts name, so I had to give it a try.

The premise is drearily familiar, especially if you've read Kings THE STAND and McCammon's SWAN SONG: in the wake of a devastating worldwide plague, people with uncanny powers and abilities begin to crop up, and everything is headed toward a big conflict between Good and Evil.Only, where King and McCammon took one big novel each to tell this story, Roberts is taking three.

And now I admit that the above paragraph is decidedly unfair. Fantastic postapocalyptic novels go well back before King and McCammon, and the outline is less than what you do with it.

And what, you may justly ask, does Roberts do with it?

Well, frankly, for much of the book she hews to the King formula: Society collapses, and in the aftermath, people of goodwill begin recreating society and decency. But even in this section there are a few left turns: some of the "uncanny" discover that they are Elves and Faeries, and we learn, about half-way through, that the baby one woman is carrying is "the One" (the trilogy is called "Chronicles of the One"), and its destruction is the focus of the evil powers abroad in the world. And near the end of the book, a further left turn is taken which would be decidedly spoily indeed.

I can't honestly recommend this either as sff or as literature; but as a good entertaining thriller, it passes.
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