Daybreak Zero (A Novel of Daybreak), by John Barnes, is the follow up to Directive 51, in which a radical terrorist group (or is it?) known as Daybreak unleashes nanoswarms and biotes across the planet that destroy practically anything made of plastic and follow up with targeted nuclear attacks and EMPs launched from the moon to further take down infrastructure and take man back to the stone age.
Anything not made of organic materials - fuel, plastics, clothes - turns to sludge. Millions die and the world as we know it has changed forever. People struggle to keep remaining technology clean and free from the nanoswarms and biotes. The United States crumbles under the disaster, but two groups of patriots in separate parts of the country form new temporary governments in an order to bring back the constutional government of the United States.
Daybreak Zero follows these two groups as they try to politically maneuver each other out of existence, while at the same time agreeing to work together to bring about the next Presidential election to firmly re-establish the US government. At the same time, they both have to battle groups of Daybreak followers known as tribes, and former rich citizens that have set themselves up as Castles in their own little fiefdoms around the country.
Daybreak Zero is a story of rebuilding the nation, a story of survival of the fittest, and a mystery about what Daybreak really is and where it came from. It's set on a large canvas, but is told in the individual lives of the characters. The cast is huge, but some characters get more focus than others - don't get too attached though, because some of them don't make it.
Daybreak Zero clearly sets the stage for another book in the series, and if I didn't read another one I'd be content with this book. It starts and ends where it needs to and sums up previous events from Directive 51 throughout the narrative. Though having read this book, I want to know what happens next!
Daybreak Zero was provided to me by the publisher for review and is due in stores on March 1st.