One Second After by William R. Forstchen
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This book did two things for me. First, it scared the crap out of me, and secondly, it scared the give-a-crap out of me. What do I mean by such a redundantly crappy statement, you ask? Allow me to expound….
If we ever do experience a large scale EMP attack like the one described in this book… well, this little clip sums it up nicely.
[click here if can’t see the clip below]
Yeah, the book is written as a propaganda piece to an extent. I see that. I’m not stupid. I also realize that it is written to scare and to motivate (mostly to yell at your congress-critters, I suppose, but also to be prepared for survival). Well, it did scare me, but I’m afraid it demotivated me. I am fan of apocalyptic fiction, and have read a lot of it. I personally like to be prepared for natural disasters that might cause difficult times. I mean, Katrina did happen. Other things do happen locally. The events in this book though… all of the U.S. shut-down in an instant with no electric power (permanently for the most part), no working transportation (well, a bit, but not much), and for an extended period of time so that no food gets moved where it’s needed… Nope. I am not prepared. I cannot be prepared. I live in the wrong place, so if this happens, no matter how hard I try, I will only be postponing the inevitable. Thus, the demotivated give-a-crap-ectomy that I got from this book.
Now, don’t get me wrong, dear review reader, this book was a good book. It had a few foibles in the writing style that I had to forgive and grow accustomed to (yes, that’s a split infinitive, but I like it that way, so deal with it); however, the story was good. It was very emotional and sucked me in really quickly. It is already a bit dated, and the patriotic theme is layered on pretty thick. The main character is a retired colonel cum military history professor who is the only participating Yankee in a southern town’s Civil War reenactment group, so yes, he’s going to be pro Republic, and it’s going to show up. The characters are well developed, the plot and pacing are awesome, and I confess that twice the waterworks threatened. So if you like to be on the edge of your seat, have a good emotional pounding, and don’t mind your patriotic strings being played upon (if a bit out of tune), then you will find this book to be a page turner like I did.
That is why I give this one four stars and call it a Double-Edged Read.