Daybreak Zero is the second book of the Daybreak trilogy written by John Barnes. It is a science fiction book set in the near future where a year has passed since the entity known as "Daybreak" has launched a plague that has destroyed all oil and oil based products while also setting off a machine on the moon to bombard the earth with EMP bombs that destroys all electronics. Fusion bombs have killed billions and the United States government has broken into two parts that are headquartered at opposite coasts and cannot come to an agreement on how to manage. New societies have sprung up within that do not recognize either government. The anti-technological tribes and the fortified compounds fight among themselves and there are questions about who is helping and educating them. At the same time, no one knows who is in control of Daybreak and the groups that enabled it to be enacted. Those few who remain to study Daybreak run the risk of being corrupted to the cause of Daybreak instead of fighting it. Heather, the protagonist from the first book, is now confined to her Pueblo base as she prepares to give birth to her first child. She has recruited various tech wizards and others to fight Daybreak. Now the question is will her team be enough to win?
The story has an interesting premise and the book jacket was very promising. However, the story itself is bogged down by the fact that the story is all over the place and the narrative is very dense and not an easy read. Plus, I found most of the efforts of Heather, her team and the government to be inadequate in trying to form up a plan to stop Daybreak or even find out what it is. There is a large cast and I didn't get attached to any of them as some seem stereotypical (like the president or Heather). Overall, I cannot say I enjoyed the book, but those who like apocalyptic/end of the world stories may enjoy it. Especially if the reader wants to see what happens to the world if the technology humans rely is suddenly gone and wants to see how those who live in the U.S. would rebuild and survive. I give this one two stars for good premise, but weak execution.