Content Warnings: violence, bombings, medical procedures, classism, death of a parent
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If you’re going through hell…keep going.
Seventeen-year-old coder Jinx Marshall grew up spending weekends drilling with her paranoid dad for a doomsday she’s sure will never come. She’s an expert on self-heating meal rations, Krav Maga and extracting water from a barrel cactus. Now that her parents are divorced, she’s ready to relax. Her big plans include making it to level 99 in her favorite MMORPG and spending the weekend with her new hunky stepbrother, Toby.
But all that disaster training comes in handy when an explosion traps her in a burning building. Stuck leading her headstrong stepsister, MacKenna, and her precocious little brother, Charles, to safety, Jinx gets them out alive only to discover the explosion is part of a pattern of violence erupting all over the country. Even worse, Jinx’s dad stands accused of triggering the chaos.
In a desperate attempt to evade paramilitary forces and vigilantes, Jinx and her siblings find Toby and make a break for Mexico. With seemingly the whole world working against them, they’ve got to get along and search for the truth about the attacks—and about each other. But if they can survive, will there be anything left worth surviving for?
Day Zero started out so great! And then kind of fizzled off…
Kelly deVos puts us into the action pretty quickly but not before properly introducing us to the characters. This was something I greatly appreciated because it helped me form a connection to the story from the very beginning. Everybody had their own unique personalities that stayed until the end.
Other than Charles, though, I mostly felt very meh about the characters. None of them really stuck out to me long-term and they were forgettable. They easily could have fit into any other post-apocalyptic story and not felt out of place.
The beginning action was incredibly exciting and I had a hard time putting the book down in order to go to sleep. This definitely isn’t a story you want to start at midnight unless you’re already planning on staying awake all night. deVos’ writing kept me on the edge of my seat and I really didn’t know where she would take things.
I wish the entire thing had the same excitement as the start of the story but it didn’t. This is clearly set up to be a two part series and it feels forced. Around a third of the way into it I started to lose interested – things were dragging on too much.
The arguments between the characters and action scenes started to feel too repetitive. And during the major times that politics were discussed it became a major info dump. I definitely wish that had been weaved more seamlessly into everything. The story could have easily been just one book and I think it would have worked better.
This is also a book that clearly does not need romance thrown into it. Both instances were awkward and unnecessary – adding more clutter and complicating things. It didn’t feel natural for the characters and the way it was brought up so sporadically felt jarring.
Overall, if you enjoy post-apocalyptic books then give Day Zero a try! I don’t think I’ll be reading the second book when it comes out but if it were adapted onto the screen I’d definitely be interested.
Does this sound like a book you’ll be giving a try? How would you do in a post-apocalyptic scenario? Let me know in the comments!
A digital ARC was provided by the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.