Nora Roberts Year One: An Apocalyptic Tale

Nora Roberts Year One is about a pandemic, which feels all a bit too real in a COVID world. Some of the descriptions about the attempt at preventing the spread of The Doom especially ring true. So, because of how relevant a book like this is nowadays, we just had to give it a read. And here is what we thought of Year One!

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All About Nora Roberts

Nora Roberts is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of more than 225 novels with a career spanning over 40 years. She was also the very first author to be inducted into the prestigious Romance Writers of America Hall of Fame. Her novels have spent over 1000 weeks on The New York Times Best Seller list, with many of these taking the number one spot. There are over 500 million copies of her books in print and copies of her book have been published in 35 countries.

Nora’s first novel Irish Thoroughbred was published in 1984 by Silhoutte. And she has published books consistently ever since, with her latest release, Nightwork, being published on May 24 2022. Over the years Nora Roberts has published over 80 standalone titles and you can find more information on ALL of those in the following list.

Nora Roberts is also the author of 31 popular series. And not forgetting that she also has 56 romantic suspense books in the In Death series written under the pen name JD Robb.

Year One (Chronicles of The One Book 1)

A deadly pandemic – called The Doom – causes the death of billions, but some survivors find themselves with magical powers. Lana can move things and people with her will. Fred can summon light. Jonah can see the future when he touches someone. Kate suspects that she’s brought new magic into the world with her twins. But they still need to survive.

Full Official Synopsis

A stunning new novel from the #1 New York Times bestselling author Nora Roberts—Year One is an epic of hope and horror, chaos and magick, and a journey that will unite a desperate group of people to fight the battle of their lives…

It began on New Year’s Eve.

The sickness came on suddenly, and spread quickly. The fear spread even faster. Within weeks, everything people counted on began to fail them. The electrical grid sputtered; law and government collapsed—and more than half of the world’s population was decimated.

Where there had been order, there was now chaos. And as the power of science and technology receded, magick rose up in its place. Some of it is good, like the witchcraft worked by Lana Bingham, practicing in the loft apartment she shares with her lover, Max. Some of it is unimaginably evil, and it can lurk anywhere, around a corner, in fetid tunnels beneath the river—or in the ones you know and love the most.

As word spreads that neither the immune nor the gifted are safe from the authorities who patrol the ravaged streets, and with nothing left to count on but each other, Lana and Max make their way out of a wrecked New York City. At the same time, other travelers are heading west too, into a new frontier. Chuck, a tech genius trying to hack his way through a world gone offline. Arlys, a journalist who has lost her audience but uses pen and paper to record the truth. Fred, her young colleague, possessed of burgeoning abilities and an optimism that seems out of place in this bleak landscape. And Rachel and Jonah, a resourceful doctor and a paramedic who fend off despair with their determination to keep a young mother and three infants in their care alive.

In a world of survivors where every stranger encountered could be either a savage or a savior, none of them knows exactly where they are heading, or why. But a purpose awaits them that will shape their lives and the lives of all those who remain.

The end has come. The beginning comes next.

Detailed Description

nora roberts year one

When Ross MacLeod pulled the trigger and brought down the pheasant, he had no way of knowing he’d killed himself. And billions of others.

In Dumfries, Scotland, Ross MacLeod is on an annual trip to the MacLeod Family farm. It was a place from his childhood that he would spend time with his brother Rob, and friend Hugh and his late brother Duncan.

Often, on dark nights, they’d crept out of the house to hike to the field – the same where they went hunting for that pheasant – to hold secret meetings and try to raise spirits within the little stone circle known as sgiath de solas, the shield of light. They’d never succeeded, but one night Ross swore that he felt a dark presence there. And felt a breath blow into him. He ran out of the circle and scraped his hand on a stone. A single drop of blood struck the ground.

Their annual visit began on Boxing Day and ended on the second of January. The men would bring their wives and children to the farm where they grew up. Only Ross’ daughter – Katie – who was pregnant with twins didn’t go.

Ross shot the pheasant. The hand that he had cut on the stone all those years ago throbbed as he pulled the trigger. Crows circled the stones, not leaving when the pheasant dropped to the ground. They took the pheasant back to the farm and enjoyed a New Years feast.

Then Ross fell ill. They thought it was just a normal illness, but it wasn’t. It would be soon known as The Doom. As Ross and his wife Angie travelled home, they infected more people. The rental car clerk and businessman who would rent the car next. The porter who took their bags. And by the time they reached security, they had already infected two dozen people.

It went on. More people got infected. And Ross was Patient Zero, the first victim claimed by The Doom. The death count reached a million in a week. Nothing could stop it spreading. The mortality rate is 100% in the infected. The world descends into chaos.

And those who don’t die? They get magical powers.

Year One follows the couple Max and Lana, Jonah and Katie with her twins, Fred and Arlys as they try to survive in an apocalyptic world after losing so much.


One standout point from Year One is Nora Roberts’ excellent style of writing. She keeps you hooked from the beginning, waiting anxiously each page to find out what happens next. And she has built-up a world that is so real you can easily imagine how it looks. You find yourself caring a lot for the characters, willing them to survive through all the hardships that this world throws at them.

Everything about Year One is why we love Nora Roberts. The amazing characters, the exciting story, and the fact that we could not put down this book no matter how hard we tried. It really showcases the talents that she has as an author.

Although, Year One is slightly lacking in the romance aspect. There are couples in there – like Lana and Max (and we adored them so much, we were cheering them on the whole time) – but classing this as a straight up romance book may not be totally accurate. However, even though we love romance (DUH!), we still think that this book is worth the read regardless.

From the very first chapter when Nora describes how The Doom began and we watch as it spreads from people innocently going around their day to day business this book is compelling. The world Nora builds from here is believable with her expertise as the survivors fight to find their way in this new world. Some by grouping together and others by turning on each other and to violence, showcasing every aspect of human nature and how people can react to disaster.

One thing that slightly irked me when reading this book is how easy it seems to be for them to find food, shelter, etc. And the fact that they still have electricity and running water. But we don’t really worry too much about the little things. So, since we loved the rest of the book, we think that this is forgivable and as long as you don’t question it too much then it isn’t too distracting.

To sum up, despite the slight lack of romance (and it’s only slight – there’s enough romance to give us our daily fix), Year One is still an amazingly written book with a great world and characters that we just love and a large sprinkling of magic. So, what are you waiting for? Read it yourself now!

This is the first book in the Chronicles Of The One series and you better believe this is one series that we will be continuing!


Frequently Asked Questions

Is Nora Roberts Year One a trilogy?

Yes Nora Roberts Year One a trilogy. The three books in the trilogy are as follows:

  1. Year One
  2. Of Blood And Bone
  3. The Rise Of The Magicks

Will there be a Chronicles of the One book 4?

No there, will not be a Chronicles Of The One book 4, there are three books in the completed trilogy, the books are as follows:

  1. Year One
  2. Of Blood And Bone
  3. The Rise Of The Magicks

What is considered Nora Roberts best book?

There are so many to choose from but the following books are considered to be some of Nora Roberts best books:

  1. Vision In White
  2. Blue Dahlia
  3. Dance Upon The Air
  4. Black Hills
  5. Jewels of The Sun
  6. Hideaway
  7. Born In Fire
  8. Dark Witch
  9. Legacy
  10. Night Shift

What books will Nora Roberts release in 2022?

The books that Nora Roberts will be releasing in 2022 is Nightwork that was released on May 24 2022 and The Choice, which will be released on November 22 2022.

What is Nora Roberts latest trilogy?

Nora Roberts latest trilogy is called the Dragon Heart Legacy Series, book 1 The Awakening and book 2 The Becoming are already released. Book 3 The Choice will be released on November 22 2022.

What author is most like Nora Roberts?

If you like to read Nora Roberts then the following are authors that you should also like:

  1. J.D. Robb
  2. Sandra Brown
  3. Debbie Macomber
  4. Catherine Coulter
  5. Linda Howard
  6. Susan Mallery
  7. Mary Higgins Clark
  8. Heather Graham
  9. Janet Evanovich
  10. Barbara Delinsky

Is there a sequel to Year One by Nora Roberts?

Yes, there is a sequel to Year One By Nora Roberts, the second book in the Chronicles Of The One series is Of Blood And Bone, this is then followed by the third and final book in the series, The Rise Of Magicks.

Did you enjoy Year One? Let us know your thoughts!

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