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Day Zero (Day Zero Duology, 1) by Kelly…

Day Zero (Day Zero Duology, 1) (edition 2019)

by Kelly Devos (Author)

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Title:Day Zero (Day Zero Duology, 1)
Authors:Kelly Devos (Author)
Info:Inkyard Press (2019), Edition: Original, 432 pages
Collections:Your library

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Day Zero by Kelly deVos


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Day Zero by Kelly deVos is one of those review copies I never quite got around to reading last year. However, one of the benefits of not reading a book promptly is not having to wait for the sequel. Instead, you can read both the original and the sequel back to back. This was my approach to Day Zero and its sequel, Day One.

A funny thing happened when I finished one and started the other, however. It quickly became apparent that the version of Day Zero I read had some major changes made to it before final publication. My version of Day Zero revolved around Jinx and her stepsiblings, Tyrell and Makeeba Anderson, who just happened to be Black and from Atlanta. Let me tell you that when reading a political thriller, the entire context of the story changes a lot when two of the main characters are Black and from the south. As 2020 showed the world, their experiences dealing with the police are completely different than a white person’s experiences.

While not perfect and definitely in need of some sensitivity reader feedback, I liked the version of Day Zero I read. Ms. deVos uses Tyrell and Makeeba to address police brutality and systemic racism before the world acknowledged it. Even better, she acknowledges that the Anderson siblings come from wealth but that wealth does not protect them from racial prejudice. The story has a completely different feel when Tyrell and Makeeba Anderson from Atlanta become Toby and MacKenna Novak from Denver. Suddenly, the politics of the story, which is the entire plot, are much less inclusive and incomplete.

The thing is, I rather liked the politics in my version of Day Zero. It is all too easy to envision 45 doing something as extreme as declaring a national emergency and calling the military to step into police roles. Even better, the opposition addresses what could happen if we fully adopted socialism while addressing racial barriers and cultural roadblocks long established by the founders of the country. It makes for a prescient story, a year ahead of the rest of the world. Except, that is not the route Ms. deVos and her editors ultimately chose.

As I did not read the final version of Day Zero, I can’t say whether I liked it. I can extrapolate, however, based on my reaction to Day One, which is not favorable. The story itself loses a lot of timeliness and gravitas when Makeeba goes from being a strong, politically aware Black young woman to MacKenna, a rather selfish, impetuous white girl of privilege.

Plus, Jinx is not nearly as commanding and forceful in the sequel as she was in the first book. In Day One, she lets others dictate her actions rather than taking the initiative. This is not the Jinx we get to know in the first book, and there again, the story suffers as a result.

As a result, much of Day One becomes an exercise in suspension of disbelief as the story takes one outlandish turn after another. By the time someone we thought dead in the first novel makes an appearance, the whole thing has become so ridiculous as to be disappointing.

Again, I have no idea if I would feel similarly about Day Zero in its end form, but I do imagine my feelings would be less positive than they were simply because having key characters to help draw attention to systemic racism in a political thriller is a massive gamechanger to the story. I have never had a review copy change SO much from the published novel, and the changes made are, in my opinion, a poor choice. ( )
  jmchshannon | Dec 14, 2020 |
Blended families with teens of the same age and gender are an invitation to tension and snarkiness. When you add in an ominous political climate, two opposing parties that often get confusing in terms of what they represent, coupled with a series of explosions, you get a great melt to start this book. It never slows down following the huge explosion that nearly kills Jinx, McKenna and Charlie, taking them to a rescue of McKenna's older brother and a run to find Jinx' and Charlie's doomsday believing father, with government agents and cops in pursuit. Who was really on the bad guy's side is nicely clouded until near the end. That end will leave most eager for the second book and creates a high bar for the author. ( )
  sennebec | Jan 21, 2020 |
I binge read this book over the last two days. I may be late to the review party, but I'm right on time to give you the gist just in time for you, dear readers, to get your hands on it.
Everything that can go wrong seems to for poor Jinx. The girl wants to get some snacks and play her video game when the world explodes around her. Luckily (unluckily?), her Dad is a published survival expert, and she and her family have been running "drills" of different apocalypse scenarios for as long as she can remember.

They are the center of the investigation into the wave of terrorism, which adds another element of intrigue to this adventure story.
By following the rules that her Dad grilled into them, they survive multiple disasters, because she's learned to think for herself, she can stay one step ahead of the political unrest that her social experiences. I thought that the different reactions to the chaos were accurate.

Speaking of her world and society: it's so close to ours that it scared me a bit. There's this new President who seems to have been elected by cheating his way into the office. Can you imagine? The country is polarized into taking sides when the wave of terrorism begins, and everyone panics. The chaos centers around technology, banking, and in general, made me quite uneasy about our situation in the United States.

I thought that it all played out very realistically and cannot wait to read what happens next in the concluding novel. The last 20 % of my ARC had me up reading well past my bedtime- what a ride! ( )
  JennyNau10 | Dec 7, 2019 |
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