- Hardcover: 304 pages
- Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books (October 1, 2013)
- ISBN-10: 1250013216
- Source: Publisher
John Hawke, at one time, was a prominent technology reporter but an ethical transgression forced him into unemployment. Haunted by the mistakes of his past, Hawke barely gets by on freelance assignments. With a wife, a young son, and another child on the way, John is desperate to get a lead. His most recent opportunity: do a profile of James Weller, head of a tech company, Eclipse. According to rumors, Eclipse stole Weller’s idea for a revolutionary concept in computing. Just as Eclipse is about to reveal the secret, New York City goes haywire. Any device containing a computer chip malfunctions, acting as if it has a mind of its own. From coffee makers to helicopters, these objects rebel against the humans that use them. Weller’s invention has something to do with this destructive chaos. Soon, the streets of New York are riddled with wreckage. Passengers in subway trains are held captive by the very train that transports them. New York City is quickly blocked off from the rest of the country.
Hawker must get out of the city and save his family in New Jersey. When the police identify him as the responsible party in the “terrorist attack,” his very life is in jeopardy. He soon realizes that what pursues him is not human at all, but “Jane Doe,” a self-aware, self-upgrading form of artificial intelligence. Originally Weller’s invention, Jane Doe was “acquired” by the NSA and the DOD and weaponized. Yet these agencies didn’t fully understand Jane Doe’s power. Unbeknownst to anyone but her creator, Jane Doe has replicated, infiltrating every form of technology. There’s no where to hide: security cameras with facial recognition, cell phones with GPS tracking. She can track you down in a matter of moments. The only apparent way to escape her overreaching grasp is to rid yourself of all forms of technology, from cars to cell phones and computers. The concept is terrifying, essentially reverting to a time before the Industrial Revolution. In this terrifying, wholly plausible thriller, Kenyon forces the reader to think before picking up that iPad or smartphone.
As an avid fan of horror, I’ve been a fan of Kenyon’s work for some time. In Day One, however, Kenyon evokes a scenario so realistic that I found it more terrifying than his horror fiction! The action and intensity picks up in the first few pages and doesn’t dwindle at all, taking the reader on a terrifying race to save human kind. While the concept of a techno-apocalypse is not unique, Kenyon’s creativity puts an incredibly plausible spin on a relatively familiar storyline, adding a spin that makes this novel stand out from others like it. Kenyon leaves the ending open, leaving me hoping there is a sequel (or better yet, a series!) in the works!
I read this egalley on my iPad (yes, I recognize the irony). Quickly, I realized just how pervasive technology is in our lives and how elaborate the steps we would have take to remove it.
If you are looking for an intense techno-thriller, this is the read for you! Highly recommended!