Year Zero

yearzero

This is the tale of an intellectual property lawyer named Nick Carter who gets thrown into an alien conspiracy that could conclude with the destruction of humanity… due to copyright law. It turns out that aliens are terrible at making music, and hence ever since humanity was discovered, they have been listening to exclusively human music. Only later did they realize that what they were doing was copyright infringement. It also turns out that aliens have a very strong respect for the customs related to each individual races culture and always obey them, and they view the fines associated with pirating music as part of those customs. Hence, based on how their economics work and the level of pirating that occurred, humanity now owns everything in the universe that has been, is, and will ever be.

Lots of aliens, particularly an organization known as the Guild, are quite angry about this. To that end, their goal is to make sure humanity destroys itself before they rise to the point that they can actual claim everything. Hence, Nick’s job, with the help of the human looking aliens Frampton and Carly, his romantic interest neighbor Mandy, his selfish and egotistical cousin Pugwash, and his sweet talking boss Judy, is to find someway around humanities system of copyright laws, so that the alien races have no reason to destroy humanity. Its an interesting tale involving strange alien technology and races (such as a race so unworthy of note that grammatical rules are altered to prevent highlighting their name) , unexpected aliens (such as Bill Gates), as well as weird alien cultural elements (such as reality TV), but ultimately Nick figures out a way to get them out of that mess (involving mass manipulation of human DNA), and he lives happily ever after with Mandy.

***

This novel was incredibly strange all the way through. Sometimes in a good way, sometimes in a bad way. The first half seemed to focus more on law and the somewhat grounded weird aspects of humanity, with bizarre alien content sprinkles around in light doses. The self deprecating humor I especially found hilarious, though that may be because I already have an interest in copyright law. The second half was far more focused on the aliens, and the human side itself got completely ridiculous. There was actually a good amount of world building, but this novel really did not need world building as it took away from the humor. Hence, ultimately I liked the first half more than the second. The writing style itself was good all the way through due to being from the first person perspective of a highly interesting character. The romance aspects were really half-assed, but it worked out well enough so I guess I can’t complain too much.

Overall a strangely funny book with a better first half than second, but that is decent overall.

7/10

Also, what the hell was the Korean game they were talking about?

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