I’m mixed as to what this book could be classified under. I wonder is science fiction would do the job? although not much science was really mentioned. However it’s post apocalyptic. Yet that doesn’t necessairly mean it’s science fiction. Do you get my dilemma? anyway, I rather like books like these, they make me think. Then I start getting paranoid and wonder what would really happen if something like this were to really occur. It makes you think, and it makes your hair rise on the back of your neck. Plus, it also makes you count your blessings a lot more.
One Second After gives you a very interesting scenario; what would happen if an Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) were to be detonated in your country? the question is answered through John Matherson as he struggles to survive and save his family through this huge life changing event as it plunges the US back into the Dark Ages and into, quite literally, utter chaos. John is a college history professor and has unwittingly became one of its’ chief leaders of their little town of Black Mountain, North Carolina. He has to go through very tough decisions, very hard moments, and very dangerous ones in a country that’s total anarchy and where survival is the only thing left on one’s mind.
This was definitely mind blowing. It’s just so realistic because it’s true, we are so dependent on technology and with one simple EMP everything would just shut down. Nothing would work. It’s just amazing what we take for granted and when it’s not there, we panic and suddenly we feel so primitive. It was so interesting and I found myself turning page after page wondering what was going to happen next. Since everything was just shutting down, and John and some others in important positions were having to come together to make important decisions you wanted to know what choices one had to make when placed in a situation like this. It was just so interesting to see that just in a matter of weeks martial law sets in, decisions as to who gets the most rations, or what to do with those who are stealing and looting and get caught doing so. It was just an eye opener to see a well structured society as the one we are so used to just crumble and fall once something as catastrophic as an EMP happens.
Again I have to say what an eye opener this book is, the realism is there and everything is just so tragic especially when I read about what was happening in the senior’s home. I nearly wanted to cry. Everything was well described and the emotion is so tense and raw, you could feel what John was going through, you can feel the desparation, the anger, and anguish as you see the events through his point of view. Given the theme of this book, it’s definitely not a happy one, there were moments where you go get a chuckle or two but not so often. Even the ending, wasn’t really a great one it left you with an empty feeling, because you still weren’t sure what was going on out there, it certainly felt as if you were being kept in the dark, the same as the inhabitants of Black Mountain.
I loved the writing style of the book and the action. It just made me keep going. I wanted to see who survived and who didn’t. I wanted the best out of the characters I liked but knew it wasn’t going to end this way because the situation just seemed so bleak. You saw John from being a college professor with a specialty in military history (with military experience) to a hestitant leader who saw society crumble in days. I really did like John’s character development. It was very real and emotion filled. The other characters played their part but they were in the background the majority of the time. It was really John you’d be following throughout this book.
There’s a few things of the book I didn’t like. There were scenes where I felt there was a corny sense of patriotism and it was starting to look like a real bad Hollywood movie. Some moments were eye rolling and it sort of ruined the reading experience of the book. Then there were parts where it was predictable (the scene with Elizabeth and Ben jeeeeezzzz give me a break). So in a way, it was like reading a Hollywood movie in a book which is unfortunate as the book was fine without those moments. Also, this book is not for the squeamish there are moments of graphic violence among other things mentioned.
Overall, an eye opening book, because this sort of thing could really happen to us. It makes you now wonder about what’s being done to prevent this sort of thing. I great recommend this book for those that are into post apocalyptic fiction.
I give it an 8 out of 10.