A big doorstop of a book, the paperback has (according to Amazon) 785 pages. So it took awhile to wade through. As sometimes happens, I don't even remember how it got into my TBR pile; I must have read something good about it somewhere.
And it really got a rave reception when it was initially published in 2010.
It starts out with young Amy, whose unfortunate upbringing is … well, let's just say she took a nosedive out of the melodramatic cliché tree and hit every branch on the way down. She is one of those Steven King kids, though, a prodigious semi-supernatural talent hidden behind an unprepossessing appearance.
That's followed by the horrible story of a scientific expedition into the isolated South American jungle. Accompanied by the military, for initially mysterious reasons. No major spoilers here, but people start dying by page 23, from an attack by creatures right out of a classic horror genre you will recognize immediately.
This is all set in the roughly-near future. Jenna Bush is governor of Texas, gasoline is $13 per gallon. But things are about to get really bad, involving a secret military facility in the Colorado mountains, a team of FBI agents recruiting death-row inmates for a mysterious purpose, making sure there's no trace of their destiny. And mass murder used as a tool to make sure.
Eventually, we jump forward a couple decades to a barely-recognizable future where the government's evil experiments have borne their dystopic fruit. The remainder of the book has a very Walking Dead vibe, except not with zombies.
Occasionally we have to put up with paragraphs like this:
When all time ended, and the world had lost its memory, and the man that he was had receded from view like a ship sailing away, rounding the blade of the earth with his old life locked in its hold; and when the gyring stars gazed down upon nothing, and the moon in its arc no longer remembered his name, and all that remained was the great sea of hunger on which he floated forever— still, inside him, in the deepest place, was this: one year. The mountain and the turning seasons, and Amy. Amy and the Year of Zero.
"Look at me! I'm writing!"
But, bottom line, it's pretty good genre fiction, and it is not surprising that the front cover has a Steven King rave-blurb.