Plot: The third volume of Sasha DeVore’s Wake Trilogy offers readers a suitably epic yet intimate finale to the author’s character-driven dystopian science-fiction story. This time, protagonist Hanu, hurting from the losses the Dissenters suffered in the second book, faces a danger as great as the Ancient Ones who are preparing to wipe out humanity: political infighting among the resistance. As Hanu and company take matters into their own hands, leading a daring evacuation and insisting that these last survivors of humanity can find a way to triumph without further devastating an already-ravaged planet, DeVore excels at intrigue, both among the human cast and the Ancient Ones, and the twisty, surprising plotting will keep readers guessing. Much of the novel’s first half finds Hanu uncertain about what exactly the situation is, and he only discovers the truth when a character in the know elects to tell him. This makes the narrative feel somewhat uneventful – the hero and his companions aren’t making the crucial discoveries themselves. The novel’s second half, though, offers hard choices, engaging action, memorable time-travel twists, and affecting sacrifice.
Prose/Style: DeVore composes strong dialogue and is adept at explicating complex science fiction concepts. The author is especially good at chatter among friends and the declarations of alien beings.
Originality: Many of the elements of the Wake series are familiar from other dystopian adventures, but the unique characters set this series apart, especially Hanu’s zeal to find solutions to the conflict that are less destructive than what his elders plan. The science-fiction twists, too, are fresh and surprising.
Character Development: Hanu and his friends are engaging, original creations, and the pleasure of Year One lies in watching them work through seemingly impossible problems and arrive at solutions unique to their backgrounds and moral codes. The novel’s first half moves somewhat slowly, but its scenes of these young people taking stock of what they’ve been through and what they’re facing contain real emotional weight and power.
Date Submitted: May 26, 2020
Year One is a work of fiction in the science fiction and thriller sub-genres and was penned by author Sasha DeVore. Written for young adult audiences, this novel forms the third and final installment in The Wake Trilogy, continuing the story of Hanu and the battle between the Ancient Ones and the Dissenters. As tensions rise in the different governments of this sleek futuristic world, a disturbing prediction about Year One rattles the world and questions the very fate of humanity. In the midst of it all, Hanu struggles to find his place and survive the oncoming storm. What results is an action-packed conclusion to a dark and thrilling sci-fi series.
Having read part of this excellent series before, I was delighted to delve back into the stylish writing of author Sasha DeVore, and once more become engulfed by complex internal politics, big-scale threats, and our one young hero still deep at the center of it all. Hanu has grown a lot and been shaped by experience, and the character development work really shows in his emotive responses and the close narrative style. On the wider platform, the dark realism of previous books prevails and is further enhanced as danger rises from every angle. The plot of this final story takes readers through jumps, twists, and turns towards a stunning conclusion, with action scenes that are pacey and well-penned to give a fully cinematic experience. Overall, Year One comes highly recommended for fans of the existing series, which is a high-quality young adult read for dark sci-fi and dystopian fans alike.