Review | Year Zero by Rob Reid

Year Zero

If you liked the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, I suspect  you’ll like Year Zero, too. Robert Reid’s satirical look at what happens when aliens realize they have violated American copyright laws will have you smiling and chuckling from the moment two oddly dressed people (a redheaded mullah and a curvaceous nun) appear in Nick Carter’s office and ask for him to straighten things out. Reminiscent of the sarcastic and over-the-top style made Douglas Adams’ Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy a cult classic, Reid has a style all his own.

Nick Carter is an junior attorney at a large New York law firm that makes its money suing every possible threat to their entertainment industry masters. On the verge of crossing over into the big time, Carter finds himself thrust into a plot to save the Earth from its own universe renowned music, all because he shares a name with a member of a once popular boyband still famous from Alpha Centauri to Andromeda. Before he’s done, Nick will face the awesome power of unionized government employees, travel with entitled and bumbling reality stars from the stars, hoodwink a vacuum cleaner made of heavy metals, and argue before a tribunal of spineless alien bureaucrats. Also, he’ll win love and impress a tough as nails partner in his firm.

Reid’s Year Zero weaves a smart and satirical tale that mocks politics, pop music and the music industry, recording artists, Branson, Missouri, big law firms (and lawyers in general), Microsoft, bureaucrats, government unions, the United Nations, Senator Orrin Hatch, and indie musicians, just to name a few. Along the way, Reid peppers the story (heavily) with footnotes, and footnotes on the footnotes, that are humorous and informative in themselves.

As it goes in Jerry Maguire, Reid had me at ‘hello,” and I blazed through Year Zero and was almost sad to see it end. With any luck, it won’t be Reid’s last. I can’t wait to read Rob Reid’s next book. Whatever it is, I’m picking it up. If he can write anything even half as fun, insightful, and witty as Year Zero, then it will be worth the time.


Overall rating

Parent’s guide:

  • Sex: none, though short reference to a scantily clad woman/alien and innuendo
  • Violence: none, except for the deaths of aliens who look like teddy bears
  • Language: several instances of profanity, including the f-bomb.


Buy Year Zero from Amazon.

Attack of the Books! is participating in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge, a month long quest to post every day. Each day should match a letter of the alphabet. Today is the letter Y (as in Year Zero).


About Daniel

Daniel Burton lives in Salt Lake County, Utah, where he practices law by day and everything else by night. He reads about history, politics, and current events, as well as more serious genres such as science fiction and fantasy. You can also follow him on his blog where he muses on politics, the law, books and ideas.