Year Zero

Year Zero is a hilarious alien adventure for fans of Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. | A book review by

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.

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. (Summary via

This book is one of many that I read on our recent trip to Budapest. I heard about it from another book blogger years ago, so long ago that I’ve forgotten who recommended it. But no matter who it was, I’m glad I finally picked it up.

Year Zero is really funny. It’s reminiscent of Hitchhiker’s Guide, so if you’re a fan of that kind of humor (and aliens), you’ll enjoy this book. Nick is the perfect average guy who is suddenly thrust into the role of saving Earth from aliens no one knew existed. He is dragged all over the universe, seeing strange alien species and experiencing technology well beyond our own, all the while attempting not to lose his job and trying to impress the girl next door.

I devoured this book in no time at all. It kind of demands to be read all at once; it’s a treat to read. Year Zero is funny, lighthearted, and has a fast-paced plot. Definitely a good read for when you just want to relax and have fun.

(I also loved the playlists included at the end of the book for each character. Such a fun idea in a book that focuses so much on music.)

Rating: Pretty Darn Good

About Monica

I am obsessed with all things books. I'm a music teacher by day and a freelance editor by night.

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