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Day One: A Novel Hardcover – October 1, 2013

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

*Starred Review* John Hawke, who was a hotshot technology reporter until an ethical transgression got him booted from his regular job, now scrambles for freelance assignments. And he thinks he’s got a doozy: a profile of James Weller, who used to run a tech company, Eclipse, which—or so the rumors go—stole Weller’s idea for a revolutionary invention in computing and is now poised to reveal exactly what that invention is. But then several things happen in New York that make an interview with Weller seem less urgent. Things like any device with a networked computer chip suddenly behaving oddly, even murderously. Things like panic in the streets, explosions, mass destruction. Soon New York City is cut off from the rest of the world, and Hawke must somehow make his way to New Jersey and rescue his terrified family, not to mention figure out what, if any, connection Weller’s invention might have to everything that’s going on. This is a highly imaginative thriller with solidly built characters and a story that, if it weren’t told so well, might have seemed silly (coffee makers and photocopiers going berserk?). Exciting and inventive stuff. --David Pitt


Kenyon is known for his novels of horror (The Bone Factory), but this possible Armageddon scenario is his scariest to date…Kenyon takes our reliance on technology and shows in a horrific and realistic way how much our world would crumble if we had to fend for ourselves. The pace is tense and the violence a bit gruesome at times, but this thriller is a must for horror fans or readers looking to convince others to put down their smartphones. (Library Journal)

Day One will have you on the edge of your seat from beginning to end. A terrifying one-stop read, written by one hell of a storyteller! (Tess Gerritsen, New York Times bestselling author of Last to Die)

Nate Kenyon comes out swinging with Day One, a powerhouse of a thriller. Scary, eerily plausible and lightning fast. Highly recommended! (Jonathan Maberry, New York Times bestselling author of Extinction Machine)

After reading this book you're never going to look, touch, or treat your computer (or anything with a smart chip in it) the same way again. You'll always wonder: is this Day One? (Steve Berry, #1 international bestselling author of The Jefferson Key and The Columbus Affair)

Kenyon's breakout novel and one of the year's best thrillers. A riveting, high-speed techno-apocalypse built around characters you actually give a damn about. A wild ride. (Christopher Golden, New York Times bestselling and award-winning author of The Myth Hunters, The Shadow Saga, and Baltimore)

This is a highly imaginative thriller with solidly built characters...Exciting and inventive stuff. (Booklist (starred review))

In this taut thriller, Kenyon, the Bram Stoker Award-nominated author of Bloodstone and The Reach, amps up the tension and pushes the throttle as far as it will go. Full of twists and turns, Day One leaves the reader and the characters unsure of who or what they can trust. … Day One is a novel that will appeal to fans of horror, science fiction, and thrillers. Each twist leaves the reader reeling. It is one of those un-put-downable books, and I couldn't recommend it more (FEARnet)

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books (October 1, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1250013216
  • ISBN-13: 978-1250013217
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #325,775 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Nate Kenyon's latest thriller, Day One, was called "exciting and inventive" by Booklist in a starred review. Kenyon's first novel, Bloodstone, was published by Five Star to critical acclaim, named a Bram Stoker Award finalist in hardcover, winning the P&E Horror Novel of the Year, and becoming one of the publisher's all time bestselling speculative fiction titles. His second novel, The Reach, received a starred review from Publishers Weekly and raves from Booklist, Pop Syndicate and many more, was also a Stoker Award Finalist and was optioned for film. His third novel, The Bone Factory, was called "masterful" by Booklist. His fourth novel Sparrow Rock, was released in May 2010 to critical acclaim, and also optioned for film.

Kenyon has written several novels based in the worlds of Blizzard Entertainment's bestselling videogame franchises, including StarCraft Ghost: Spectres (Pocket Books), and Diablo III: The Order (Gallery/Pocket). His latest Diablo novel, Storm of Light, will be released in February 2014. His short science fiction novel, Prime, was published by Apex Books. He has had dozens of stories published in Shroud Magazine, Permuted Press's Monstrous anthology, Horror World, Dead Lines, The Harrow, and Legends of the Mountain State 2, The Monster's Corner, and the upcoming Dark Duets edited by Christopher Golden. Four of his stories were featured in the Dart Arts anthology When the Night Comes Down.

Kenyon is a member of the Horror Writers Association and International Thriller Writers.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By TChris TOP 500 REVIEWER on October 3, 2013
Format: Hardcover
The "evil computers become sentient and try to take over the world" plot has been done so many times that it's difficult to breathe fresh life into it. Day One doesn't even try.

The protagonist's name, John Hawke, is the first indicator of Day One's unoriginal nature. Hawke is a hacker turned journalist. In his less disciplined days, he was part of a group called Anonymous that stole secrets from the CIA (because that's what fictional hackers do, at least in mediocre novels). Hawke is disgruntled because he was recently fired by the Times (as he should have been) for hacking into a prominent person's computer, where he discovered child porn.

Hawke, now writing for a tech magazine, is investigating a company called Eclipse. Strange events start to occur all across Manhattan. Copiers and coffee pots become instruments of death. Tablets and cellphones download unauthorized programs. Predictable and uninspired scenes of urban chaos soon follow. These incidents appear to be related to something called Operation Global Blackout. Hawke's friend from Anonymous traced a recent attack on the Justice Department's servers to -- oh happy coincidence! -- Eclipse, putting Hawke in the center of the maelstrom.

The rest of the novel is an extended chase scene as a Computer Gone Bad tries to kill Hawke. Attempts at character development are shallow and unconvincing. Hawke, for instance, still carries scars from catching a glimpse of someone masturbating in a men's room when Hawke was nine years old. Seriously? Hawke has a three-year-old autistic child about whom he is Deeply Concerned, a cheap attempt to generate sympathy for the otherwise unsympathetic Hawke.

Nate Kenyon's awkward prose is often marred by clichés.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Wag The Fox on October 4, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
I'm pretty good with computers, and by that I mean I can turn one on and off without frying the hard drive. When it comes to hackers and all that techno wizardry, it's just so far over my head, you may as well be talking about alchemy ... or small engine repair ... or knitting. So there was a little bit of trepidation as I started to read this apocalyptic techno-thriller, because the protagonist is a computer programmer and a hacker contending with a technological disaster of epic proportions. Techno-babble is not something I particularly enjoy, no matter what the genre, so I tried to steel myself for a lot of jargon that I wouldn't understand. Thankfully, Nate Kenyon must have realized that readers aren't all computer geeks, because he kept the terminology to a minimum and very accessible, which is remarkable given how insane the plot gets at points in this book.

John Hawke is a journalist with a rep for using his hacker skill to shine a light on the dirty little secrets of those he's writing about. He's already earned the attention of law enforcement for shady practices and vicarious links to Anonymous, but he has still managed to get a gig doing a profile on ousted millionaire tech guru, James Weller. Good news too, because life at home with his wife and autistic son is strained to say the least, with financial issues and a mentally unbalanced neighbor who has an obsession with John's wife. It's while away with his family, crossing the Hudson River into the heart of New York City to cover Weller's latest start-up project, that all hell breaks loose with seemingly random disturbances across the city that grow in frequency and intensity.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Jon (Scott Reads It!) on October 18, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Readers' perception of Day One will ultimately come down to whether or not they enjoy mindless fun in their thrillers. I have never seen Cloverfield or watched the entire Terminator movie, so I can't comment on how precise the comparisons are. I have watched the Transformers movies which really reminded me of Day One by Nate Kenyon. Day One kind of reads like a Michael Bay screenplay in my opinion. Day One is filled with all of the classic Bay elements: tons (and tons) of explosions, thrilling chase scenes, non-stop action, collapsing civilization, and mindless fun.

Day One wasn't anything sophisticated at all, but it was a really entertaining book. I kind of expected a little bit more than the whole technology will destroy us theme. I have seen this theme portrayed in media so many times, that I feel like this theme has no effect on me. Day One is nothing new at all and there are so many books and movies that have the same exact plot with a few alterations.

Despite the fact that the plot's nothing new, I really was hooked on Day One. It took a bit of time in the beginning for me to really get into the novel, probably because I was a bit skeptic about reading another reiteration of the whole "tech goes bad". Once I got into the story, the pages really flew by and I had arrived at the conclusion. Besides the poorly paced introduction, Day One is an extremely quick and easy read that reads like a summer blockbuster on steroids.

The characters in Day One are just cardboard reproductions of characters from thriller movies and yet that didn't bother me at all. The MC is the typical husband/father who needs to reunite himself with his family in the middle of a crisis.
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