Thursday, October 4, 2018

Book Review - Year Zero by Rob Reid

I love satirical science fiction stories, but there have been so many written, it's hard to find one that feels fresh and new and clever. Hard, but not impossible.

Year Zero by Rob Reid is a satirical, comedic, science fiction legal thrillerIt is available as an eBook, Audiobook, and those paper things your grandparents used to read.

The Good

Writing. The writing is good clean prose that moves at a great pace that never rushes the story nor feels sluggish.

Concept and Execution. The idea of using copyright and music file sharing as the basis of a space opera-type story was one I hadn't heard before. It was a good, original idea that the author executed brilliantly.

Characters. The characters, the alien species, the galactic organization were all well thought out, interesting, and well developed. I cared what happened to everyone, how the problem would be solved, and how that would affect all parties involved.

Alien Technology. One of the fun things about science fiction and space operas is the opportunity to invent new alien technology. Coming up with something believable, likely, and interesting is a challenge these days, but the technology introduced int his book fit all three criteria.

Social Commentary. Of course there is a healthy dose of social commentary. This is a hard balancing act to present something clever, witty, but not mean spirited or two political. Other than claiming the moon landing was faked (seriously, if you're dumb enough to believe it was faked you're not smart enough to get the jokes), the author did a good job making insightful comments on everything from copyright law, penalties for music sharing, to Windows.

The Bad

Narration. The narration was good, but it wasn't great. It was a little too dry for this story.

What I Would Like to Have Seen

I wish they would have better explained why North Korea was left out.


Year Zero by Rob Reid is a clever, witty, legal thriller about copyright laws and music piracy disguised as a science fiction book. It is well written, well paced, and contains interesting characters and an interesting galaxy with its own peculiar set of laws and customs. I give this book 4.5 out of 5 eReaders.


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