Daybreak Zero

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Daybreak Zero

A Novel of Daybreak

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.

Book Blurb for Daybreak Zero

What began as a technothriller continues as high adventure in the newly savage ruins of civilization. ÿ
In late 2024, Daybreak, a movement of post-apocalyptic eco-saboteurs,ÿ smashed modern civilization to its knees. In the losing, hopeless struggle against Daybreak, Heather O'Grainne played a major role. That story was told in Directive 51.
Now Heather's story continues in Daybreak Zero.ÿ In the summer of 2025, she leads a tiny organization of scientists, spies, scouts, entrepreneurs, engineers, dreamers, and daredevils based in Pueblo, Colorado. Both of the almost-warring governments of the United States have charged them with an all but impossible mission: find a way to put the world back together.

But Daybreak's triumph has flung the world back centuries in technology, politics, and culture.ÿ Pro-Daybreak Tribals openly celebrate ending the world as we know it.ÿ Army regiments have to fight their way in and out of Pennsylvania. The Earth's environment is saturated with plastic-devouring biotes and electronics-corroding nanoswarm.ÿ A leftover Daybreak device drops atom bombs from the moon on any outpost of the old civilization it can spot.
Confined to her base in Pueblo to give birth to her first child, Heather recruits and monitors a coterie of tech wizards, tough guys, and modern-day frontier scouts: a handful of heroes to patrol a continent.ÿ All the news is bad: Tribals have overrun Indiana and Illinois; the last working aircraft carrier sits helplessly out in the Indian Ocean, not daring to come closer to land;ÿ the crash of one of the last working airplanes kills a vital industrialist; Tribals try to force appeasement on the Provi government while the Temper government faces a rebellion of religious fanatics; seventeen states are lost to the Tribals as California drifts into secession andhereditary monarchy, and everywhere,ÿ Provis and Tempers lurch toward civil war. Her agents have exceptional courage, initiative, skill, intelligence, and daring, but can they be enough?ÿ For the sake of everything from her newborn son to her dying nation,ÿ can she forge them into a the weapon that can at last win the world back from the overwhelming, malevolent force of Daybreak?ÿ Her success or failure may change everything for the next thousand years, beginning from
Daybreak Zero.

Night Owl Reviews Apr, 2011 2.00