This cover sold me, appealing to my love of post-apocalyptic stories. Day One, by Nate Kenyon, begins with a man’s nightmare of losing his son to some unstoppable force, which summarizes the book’s theme well. I need to care about my main character and relate to their desires, and Kenyon’s John Hawke does both very well. He’s a reporter struggling to support his family and has another baby on the way. He is behind on a big story about cyber terrorists, but even if he cashes in, will still be struggling a few months later. He’s a man torn between doing what he loves and supporting his family, something I strongly relate to and really enjoyed about his character. Add to that the flashbacks of his childhood memories of watching his father’s career as a writer fail and the subsequent alcoholism that led to his early death, and you have a character very near to my heart.
The second aspect to Day One that I really enjoyed was the ease into the story. This is a one point of view character story with a relatively easy path into the plot and action. It would be classified as Science Fiction because of the near-future technology, but is feels more like a present day Thriller. It plays on the explosion of smartphones and a couple new technologies that would allow an advance Artificial Intelligence to create mass havoc.
John Hawke’s journey is to escape the heart of the city and an AI that has scary ways of killing people via controlling machines. If this sounds like your type of story, then I recommend you give it a try. I engaged with the character, as I said, and enjoyed a quick, easy read that had lots of action that combined the destruction of the world and the potential loss of his family.
Post Read discussion/why I rated it the way I did (spoilers) on Goodreads.
For more information on Day One, including links to buy, check out his website.
And if you like thrillers, head over to our recent podcast with Ramez Naam and comment to win a paperback of Crux!
Timothy C. Ward
Timothy C. Ward has been podcasting since 2010, first as AudioTim, and now with AISFP. His first publication, Cornhusker: Demon Gene (A Short Story), is available on Kindle for $.99. His novel in progress, Kaimerus, is described as “Firefly crashes on Avatar and wakes up 28 Days Later.”