Wednesday, October 9, 2013

ARC Review: Day One by Nate Kenyon

The blurb as seen on Goodreads:
Release Date: October 1, 2013
Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books
304 Pages

Cloverfield  meets The Terminator in this story of one man's escape from New York City as technology becomes sentient
Scandal-plagued hacker journalist John Hawke is hot on the trail of the explosive story that might save his career. James Weller, the former CEO of giant technology company Eclipse, has founded a new start-up, and he’s agreed to let Hawke do a profile on him. Hawke knows something very big is in the works at Eclipse---and he wants to use the profile as a foot in the door to find out more.

After he arrives in Weller’s office in New York City, a seemingly normal day quickly turns into a nightmare as anything with an Internet connection begins to malfunction. Hawke receives a call from his frantic wife just before the phones go dead. Soon he and a small band of survivors are struggling for their very lives as they find themselves thrust into the middle of a war zone---with no obvious enemy in sight.

The bridges and tunnels have been destroyed. New York City is under attack from a deadly and brilliant enemy that can be anywhere and can occupy anything with a computer chip. Somehow Hawke must find a way back to his pregnant wife and young son. Their lives depend upon it . . . and so does the rest of the human race.

 Day One was a great surprise. When I received an email that raved about the book and its upcoming release earlier this month, I knew I had to request it. The thing I didn't realize before going into the book? It's not a YA novel. Laugh if you will, but I definitely requested Day One thinking it was a young adult book about aliens. …I don't even know. Needless to say, I was worried when I discovered the truth. I'm not the biggest fan of adult. I shouldn't have been worried because I actually really enjoyed this!

John Hawke is a retired hacker, and a low-end journalist, who is working on the story that just might be his comeback. He is writing a story about James Weller, the previous CEO of a top tech company. Hawke knows there is a secret behind-the-scenes and he's determined to uncover it. What he doesn't expect is for a regular day at the office to take a terrifying turn-of-events and force him with a band of Weller's employees to flee for their lives. The city is under attack, and if they can't get out, they'll be dead--killed by the very thing that humans rely on every day: technology.

This is described as Cloverfield meets The Terminator, and though I haven't seen The Terminator, I definitely agree with the comparison to Cloverfield. As I read, that's all that I could picture. For me, that enhanced the experience and helped the book steal my attention. I wasn't a huge fan of the movie, but when I saw it back in high school, it definitely left an impression--much like this book! There is a high level of suspense, intrigue and intensity in this novel that stayed with me for days. 

The voice of the main character, John Hawke, was brilliant. His desperation to get to his family and fear of the danger that surrounds him really just seeps off of the page. It's gripping! I liked him a lot, and the other characters (with the exclusion of two) as well. Each person had their own role that kept the story moving quickly. It's still amazing to me the way this was set up to take place in one day!

This novel packs a lot into a good-sized book. While it wasn't perfect, and I didn't think that the last chapter or so was up to par with the rest of the story, it is undeniable that I enjoyed this. There were a few moments here and there that I was able to predict, but only one of those events negatively affected my reading experience (and not by very much). The pacing of this story worked very well with the subject matter and the overall idea behind the story. It never dragged for me, nor did it move too quickly. It also helped that the author included the time at the beginning of each chapter--because of this, I was able to stick comfortably with the pace of the novel.

Day One is a truly fascinating read that has left me curious about the author's other works. I definitely will be checking them out due to how much I enjoyed this novel. And if you are looking for a strong adult sci-fi thriller, I'd recommend giving this a shot!
I received an e-copy of this novel from the publisher for my honest opinion and review via Netgalley.

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