Day Zero – Kelly deVos – Day Zero Duology #1 – Inkyard Press – Published 12 November 2019
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?
Okay, you had me at Krav Maga, and prepping. If I’m going to read a doomsday book, having a character who knows that they are up against is my kind of book. Day Zero has all the destruction, terror and political unrest you would expect from a book about the end of civilisation as we know it. Along with lots of action and tension, Day Zero plunges readers into a world that is scarily similar to our own, as political fractions rip society apart.
Jinx doesn’t much care for politics, history or who won the recent election. She’d rather focus on her upcoming campaign in her favourite computer game. But then she, her younger brother and her step-sister are caught up in one of five building explosions that kills thousands and sends the population into a terror-driven run on the banks. When her step-father is arrested for the explosions and her mother taken as part of the investigation, Jinx knows their only chance of survival is finding her father, a doomsday survivalist expert, a computer genius and best friend of the man who is currently trying to hunt her down.
The terror and emotions in Day Zero are very authentic. Jinx and her siblings spend the majority of the first half of this book either freaking out, trying to figure out what to do next or arguing. The stress-induced tension was very realistic. And despite all of Jinx’s training with her father, including Krav Maga, weapons handing, drills for survival and exit strategies, she doesn’t get much time to get her head around what’s happening or what to do next, so she and her siblings spend a lot of time bouncing from one near miss to another. Along the way, we readers learn a little about the political climate of the book’s setting. The political unrest is the basis for the societal meltdown – two political parties, one newly elected president who seems to be there because of a rigged election, the other side in hiding in fear for their lives, explosions attributed to the losing political side, martial law declared, and a hunt for those deemed responsible. Jinx and her family are the targets and she must do everything she can to survive.
Day Zero is the first book in a planned duology and the conclusion of this first book gives readers an exciting climax and a big twist to set the scene for book two. Day Zero is the perfect book for readers who love action-drive YA.
The publishers provided an advanced readers copy of this book for reviewing purposes. All opinions are my own.
Category: Young adult fiction
Genre: Dystopian, Action.
Themes: Family, politics, survival, political unrest, technology, coding, step-families, action.
Reading age guide: Ages 13 and up.
Advisory: Violence: shootings, death, injuries, blood. Infrequent coarse language, f*** (4), sh** (8), bit** (1), pi** (5).
Published: 12 November 2019 by Inkyard Press.
Format: Hardcover, ebook. 432 pages.