Day One: A Novelby Nate Kenyon
THE FUTURE IS HERE AND IT DOESN'T NEED YOU
In Nate Kenyon's Day One, 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/i>
THE FUTURE IS HERE AND IT DOESN'T NEED YOU
In Nate Kenyon's Day One, 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.
“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
Malevolent computer intelligence aims to take down humanity in this apocalyptic thriller set in New York City, from the author of Diablo III: The Order (2012, etc.). Former hacker John Hawke's career as a reporter is going nowhere, and he's pinning his hopes on getting a big story from Jim Weller of Manhattan Internet security firm Conn.ect, Inc. Suddenly, however, computer systems everywhere go down; bank accounts empty, the stock market crashes; millions die as bridges and tunnels collapse, cars try to kill their occupants, trains derail, power plants explode, buildings lock themselves. What's going on? Weller admits that his former company, Eclipse, ripped him off by stealing his project for developing an artificial intelligence, and it seems as though the AI has completed its own programming and broken out--with hostile intent. And pretty soon, it's clear that the cops have been instructed to shoot Weller and anyone associated with him on sight. Kenyon maintains the tension and excitement competently enough as Hawke battles to return to Hoboken, where his developmentally challenged child and pregnant wife are threatened by a psycho neighbor, but don't expect the plot to do much else. Before reaching this point, however, Kenyon lays the foreboding on with a trowel and reiterates ad nauseam in flashback/anxiety attacks just how much Hawke loves his wife and son, and he won't endear himself to New Yorkers by describing a Hoboken-to-Manhattan PATH ride in which he gets details wrong. Occasionally thrilling but not very credible and full of blunders.
- St. Martin's Press
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- Product dimensions:
- 6.40(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.10(d)
Read an Excerpt
WHEN HE OPENED HIS EYES, John Hawke was immediately aware of two things: His alarm hadn’t gone off. And there was something in the room with him.
Remnants of the dream still clung like shedding skin; something multi-tentacled and metallic wrapped around his son, slipping across his chest and slithering around his throat. It left Hawke shaky and tight, a knot in his neck and an ache near the base of his skull.
The sound came again, a click and hiss like the warning of an animal crouched in the dark.
The sense of danger faded with the dream, and he sat up, rubbing at his neck. An alien creature had not invaded after all. The radiators in the building were part of a forced hot-water, gravity-fed system, ancient and very noisy. They had come on for the first time last night with the cooler fall temperatures, moving trapped air pockets from one place to another. The maintenance company would have to bleed them, but he knew from experience that a system that old would let the air back in again, one bubble at a time.
The feeling that something was wrong remained with him.
Hawke stood and went to the window, cracking the heavy drapes. Early morning sunlight sliced directly through swirling dust motes, burying itself like shards of glass in his skull. A muttered curse came from the bed as his wife turned over within the tangled sheets, away from him, and he closed the drapes again, making his way through the dark to where she lay. The air felt thick enough to push through as he relived every word they had said to each other the night before, every expression on her face. He’d said things he shouldn’t have. It was part of this unsettled feeling, most likely. Part of a much larger, much more terrifying feeling of emptiness, uncertainty and shame.
A fresh pang of regret washed over him. He’d always been too focused, too fanatical in his passion for uncovering secrets. It had gotten him into trouble ever since he was a boy. He could see a vision of the truth so clearly, it tended to cloud over everything else. But the vision of his own success, the other thing he’d cultivated, had veered off track. And he didn’t know exactly how to fix it.
He smelled the musk and sweat of sleep, reached out to touch his wife and hesitated, hand above her hip. Touching her would lead to a rekindling of emotions, both good and bad. He would have to make a choice between apology and furthering the argument. But he was going to be late. He’d never been one to keep traditional hours, but his most recent project was different, and included rising at 6:00 A.M. like any of the other countless thousands who commuted into New York City every day. He’d been going in faithfully for a week now. It was his chance to make things right again and put his life back on track, and he couldn’t screw it up.
He thought of the slight swell of Robin’s belly under the sheet. Almost three months gone. She had another ultrasound scheduled in a few days to update them on the bleeding. They would find out the sex before long, assuming everything went well. She thought it was a girl. As hard as he tried, he couldn’t picture a face.
It was cold in the room, and he pulled the blanket up over Robin’s shoulders, then stood again and walked through the gloom to the bathroom, passing Thomas’s room where the boy still lay sleeping.
* * *
The shower was ice-cold. Hawke gasped through it like a man doing penance, fingers splayed across grout between tiles that had yellowed with age, the stinging spray needling his skin as he cursed the old building and its useless super who was probably still sleeping one off. They had moved into the apartment shortly after Thomas was born. The place reminded Hawke of the ancient, peeling Victorian he’d lived in with his parents until he was fourteen and they’d been forced to move to a smaller place, when his father’s latest book had failed and the man had started drinking more heavily. The Victorian contained some of Hawke’s better memories of childhood, tainted as they were by what followed.
Robin had loved this place at first; she talked about the charm and ambiance and history. But that was before they met Lowry. Their neighbor across the hall was a huge problem. It was like saying, Other than the toxic mold, the place is great. You couldn’t separate the two.
The thought made Hawke’s mood grow even darker. He emerged from the shower pink and shivering. At the sink, his electric razor nicked his chin enough to bleed. By the time he emerged from the bathroom in boxer shorts and T-shirt, wide-awake and buzzing like an angry hornet, he could hear the muted sounds of a nature program from the living room. He took a few deep breaths, caught a glimpse of his son’s head over the top of the couch, reached over and tousled it gently. No good to let the day get to him like this. Thomas glanced up, mouth full of waffle, and returned to the TV program where an African leopard stalked a young antelope through thick stalks of dead grass. In some ways, Thomas seemed younger than his years; in other ways, far older. He didn’t like regular kid shows, insisted on Discovery or National Geographic. He had a stuffed toy lion with a wild mane of fur that he carried everywhere, and it was propped next to Lego big blocks lined up on the coffee table in neat rows, exactly four of the same color to each tower, identically spaced. But he’d rather be playing with his father’s iPad, Hawke thought. Thomas was already a tech guru. He was curious in a detached, slightly clinical way; he seemed to interact better with machines than people.
Robin was in the kitchen in her robe, her dark curls cascading around a pretty face puffy with sleep, a cup of decaf in her hand. She hadn’t made anything for him, a definite sign that she was still angry.
“The coffeemaker’s not working right,” she said. “It’s too bitter.”
The kitchen was nothing more than a narrow aisle, open to the living room and separated by a bar-height counter with stools. “I’ll take a look when I get home,” Hawke said. His bottle and glass from the night before were still sitting out. He slipped past her, took the glass and rinsed it in the sink, then put the empty bottle in the recycling bin and grabbed an energy bar from the cabinet.
“We can’t afford a new one—”
“I know we can’t afford it,” he said. “I said I’ll figure it out.”
Silence hung between them. The overhead lights flickered as if in response. His wife glanced up at them and put her cup on the counter, tightened the belt on her robe and hugged her belly.
“Lowry yelled at Thomas again yesterday in the hallway, when we went to the store,” she said. “He was complaining about something, I don’t know, the TV up too loud, whatever. He’s like one of those little nippy dogs.”
“I’ll talk to him.”
“You know how sensitive Thomas is, John. It hurts him, even if he won’t talk about it.”
Hawke nodded. Thomas rarely spoke at all anymore. Robin had started worrying about an autism spectrum disorder. Give him more time, he’ll be fine, Hawke had kept insisting. But Thomas was almost three, and that argument wasn’t working as well now. Hawke hadn’t said anything to Robin, but lately he had started wondering whether his own father had had a touch of whatever genetic mutation would lead to something like this. It made some sense. The code of who you would become was imprinted in your DNA, the building blocks of life. You couldn’t escape it, no matter how hard you tried.
Hawke’s head was pounding. Parts of the dream came back to him, and he remembered metallic tentacles snaking down from the sky.
He gave Robin a kiss on the cheek, but she remained cool, her muscles tense. He let his lips linger just a moment, breathing her in, a scent of coffee and skin lotion and hair conditioner.
“I’m late. Gotta run. We’ll talk later, okay?”
She nodded, and the look on her face softened for a moment. She was giving him an opening, letting him back in, and the entire world seemed to cave in on him. He was no good at this, never had been. I’m sorry, he thought, but didn’t say it.
It was one of the many things he would regret.
Copyright © 2013 by Macmillan Films
Meet the Author
NATE KENYON is the author of Bloodstone, a Bram Stoker Award finalist and winner of the P&E Horror Novel of the Year, The Reach, also a Bram Stoker Award finalist, The Bone Factory, Sparrow Rock, StarCraft: Ghost Spectres, and DiabloIII: The Order. He is a member of the Horror Writers Association and International Thriller Writers. He lives in the Boston area.
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It’s the end of the world, or so it seems, and it isn’t a plague that does the world in, its technology, man-made technology, so brilliantly done that the program is thinking and evolving on its own, with one agenda, protect itself. How can the world survive the onslaught of a computer attack? Is there any freedom to be found from the prying eyes of "Doe?" An underground group of hackers are on the case, and have discovered that the only way to foil Doe is to be totally and completely removed from technology. Families are separated,just like any other work day and Doe knows just how to mentally torture her enemies: give them computer-generated scenes involving the death of their loved ones, make them look real, and coerce her most formidable foes into revealing their locations, and BAM, they are killed. Is this just another version of David and Goliath? Can the small band of deep hackers stop Doe before she becomes too big even for them? Where is there sanctuary for the survivors? Has technology gone too far? Day One by Nate Kenyon may not be the first Techno-Armegeddon on the shelf, but it is certainly fresh and full of punch! The author's ability to create tension and action is amazing! After creating his world, Nate Kenyon proceeds to alter it, re-define it and crush it to bits with the aid of "Doe." His imagination, reaching deep into the realm of the unknown, based on current knowledge and making it totally plausible is fabulous! The chaotic feel will have your stomach churning. Let's hope he isn't seeing our future! An advanced review copy was provided by NetGalley and St. Martin's Press in exchange for my honest review.
The synopsis for Day One begins with the statement, "Cloverfield meets The Terminator in this story of one man's escape from New York City as technology becomes sentient," which is a very good description of the novel. It is definitely a thriller, but also has a mystery feel to it. That combined with the post-apocalyptic end of the world theme makes for a very action-packed read. You have the man versus machine element, some terrifying horror-filled scenes, and though I haven't really read any James Patterson books, I have heard that if you are a fan of his work, then this is comparable to that. Technology fans, you will feel like you've delved into a technological smorgasbord. If you are a fan of end-of-the world novels, heavy in technology, then Day One is an action-packed, gorey thriller that you may enjoy.