by Nate Kenyon
Genres: Science Fiction
Purchase*: Amazon *affiliate
Cloverfield meets The Terminator in this story of one man's escape from New York City as technology becomes sentient.
Scandal-plagued hacker journalist John Hawke is hot on the trail of the explosive story that might save his career. James Weller, the former CEO of giant technology company Eclipse, has founded a new start-up, and he’s agreed to let Hawke do a profile on him. Hawke knows something very big is in the works at Eclipse---and he wants to use the profile as a foot in the door to find out more. After he arrives in Weller’s office in New York City, a seemingly normal day quickly turns into a nightmare as anything with an Internet connection begins to malfunction. Hawke receives a call from his frantic wife just before the phones go dead. Soon he and a small band of survivors are struggling for their very lives as they find themselves thrust into the middle of a war zone---with no obvious enemy in sight. The bridges and tunnels have been destroyed. New York City is under attack from a deadly and brilliant enemy that can be anywhere and can occupy anything with a computer chip. Somehow Hawke must find a way back to his pregnant wife and young son. Their lives depend upon it . . . and so does the rest of the human race.
Day One by Nate Kenyon is an eerily plausible science-fiction thriller that keeps you on the edge of your seat as we experience the first day of a cyber takeover in the heart of New York City. The synopsis says Cloverfield meets the Terminator, and that is exactly what Kenyon delivered. Three word review: thrilling, terrifying and past-paced.
We meet journalist John Hawke as he rises, says hello to his son Thomas and kisses his wife good-bye as he heads out to meet other making their way on the commuters tracks to downtown NYC business district. John is headed to Weller’s office where he is working on a story to restore his scandalized career. Convinced something is going on at Eclipse; John is hoping to get the inside story. But, John’s world and the world around him is about to get turned upside down, as anything and everything with an internet connection begins to malfunction. The stock market crashes, planes crash, coffee makers go on the attack and John’s wife calls him screaming, and that quickly his phone is dead. Hawke is determined to find his way to his wife and son but the enemy is watching and views him as a threat. The tale that unfolds is riveting and surreal, and I could not put this down.
The characters in Day One were all interesting from Weller who created the program Eclipse stole, to Anne the woman frantic to find her husband. I wasn’t sure about John at first, as he seemed stiff at our first meeting but as Kenyon peeled back his layers I connected with him. John is brilliant, and while he has danced in the shades of grey concerning the law and hacking, he has always put his wife and son first. With all that was happening to him and around him, John was surprisingly level-headed. He would make any hard-core action hero fan proud, as he navigated around systems, and raced against time. Other characters added to the realism of the story as we traveled war-torn New York.
In Day One, we figure out what is occurring as John our protagonist does keeping the tale fast-paced. Flashbacks to times with his family and past events shed light on John and help break-up the non-stop action. Kenyon brought New York to life, and gave us a panoramic view of the chaos from landmarks, to chilling street scenes. It was riveting, and the term big brother is watching took on a whole new meaning as the enemy had eyes and ears everywhere. The story raises some interesting questions about technology and advances that are made on a daily basis. While I still have questions, the tales ended was both open-ended and hopeful while leaving the door open for a continuation of this story.
Fans of action-packed, suspenseful science-fiction thrillers need to grab a copy of Day One. This was my first Kenyon novel, but I assure you it will not be my last.