Monday, November 12, 2012

Year Zero - Paul's Review

Title: Year Zero
Author: Rob Reid
Year Published: 2012

Amazon | Goodreads

Synopsis: In the hilarious tradition of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Rob Reid takes you on a headlong journey through the outer reaches of the universe—and the inner workings of our absurdly dysfunctional music industry.

Low-level entertainment lawyer Nick Carter thinks it’s a prank, not an alien encounter, when a redheaded mullah and a curvaceous nun show up at his office. But Frampton and Carly are highly advanced (if bumbling) extraterrestrials. And boy, do they have news.

The entire cosmos, they tell him, has been hopelessly hooked on humanity’s music ever since “Year Zero” (1977 to us), when American pop songs first reached alien ears. This addiction has driven a vast intergalactic society to commit the biggest copyright violation since the Big Bang. The resulting fines and penalties have bankrupted the whole universe. We humans suddenly own everything—and the aliens are not amused.

Nick Carter has just been tapped to clean up this mess before things get ugly, and he’s an unlikely galaxy-hopping hero: He’s scared of heights. He’s also about to be fired. And he happens to have the same name as a Backstreet Boy. But he does know a thing or two about copyright law. And he’s packing a couple of other pencil-pushing superpowers that could come in handy.

Soon he’s on the run from a sinister parrot and a highly combustible vacuum cleaner. With Carly and Frampton as his guides, Nick now has forty-eight hours to save humanity, while hopefully wowing the hot girl who lives down the hall from him.

Review: This book is a really fun read. If you are a fan of Douglas Adams(Hitchhiker's Guide) and pop culture, you will enjoy this book. You don't have to be a  huge sci-fi reader to enjoy this. One of my favorite aspects of the book was the footnotes. They really added humor and some zing.

Rob Reid is the founder of the company that created the Rhapsody music downloading program. His familiarity with the law behind music can be seen in the writing. He cleverly pokes fun while explaining the intricacies.

The concept that Earth has the best music in the universe is such a cool idea and it is treated very well. When the aliens hear a human perform live they feel pure ecstasy. The many alien races Reid created are unique and fun. This isn't a hard science sci-fi book so don't go into reading this expecting the science to make sense. This is a sci-fi comedy.

I give this novel a 4/5 and suggest it to anyone who is familiar with pop culture (especially music) and looking for a book that will provide plenty of chuckles.


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