Chronicles of the One #1
Necessity meant leaving things they loved — but never each other.
A deadly virus sweeps across the world, killing hundreds, then thousands, and eventually billions. While many are dying, others are changing. Magic abilities and powers are sprouting up everywhere, from those who already had a small part of it to those who never thought they would have anything. From witches, to sorcerers, to shapeshifters, to elves, the world is a completely new place. Governments have fallen, cities are full of looters and everyone is just trying to survive.
When this book was first announced, Nora Roberts declared that it would be different than anything else she had written before. In some ways, it’s still very much a Nora Roberts book. The writing is wonderful and beautifully written to express the dangers, fears, and even joys of this new world. An entire year is covered and quite a lot happens as our characters look for safety and sanctuary. But in other ways, this is different from Robert’s other books. There are a few love stories to root for, but overall, I wouldn’t call this a romance. Instead, we’ve been given an origin story for The One and I assume the next book will be centered around this person, years in the future.
There are many characters in this one and each plays a role in the journey. I loved the different dynamics between characters, the groups that get formed, and the way they learn to grow and depend on each other. In particular, I really enjoyed Max and Lana, who I would say are the “main characters” in the book. Much of the story centers on their journey and I found them to be really interesting characters. Max is a bit stoic but he’s a natural leader and protector. At the beginning of the book, Lana was softer but over the course of the book she finds her true inner strength. Plenty of other characters were also enjoyable, and I hope to see more them.
My only compliant is that there were some events toward the end that I was really heartbroken over and wished had been handled differently. However, much of this comes from the fact that I had certain perceptions about this book based on Robert’s other novels. I would say, for anyone intending to read this, go in with zero expectations.
5 out of 5 stars
Apocalypse • Witches
References to abuse, rape, and torture
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.
And as the power of science and technology receded, magic rose up in its place. Some of it is good, like the witchcraft worked by Lana Bingham, practicing in the loft apartment she share 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, 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.
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.