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After America Hardcover – August 17, 2010

Book 2 of 3 in the Without Warning Series

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Del Rey; First Edition edition (August 17, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345502914
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345502919
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.4 x 1.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (82 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #591,857 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In this sequel to Without Warning, Birmingham delivers a stirring account of the events after "the Disappearance," tracking a group of survivors in New York, Seattle, Texas, Kansas City, Berlin, Salisbury, and London. Shortly before the Iraq War, a wave of unknown energy passes over most of North America, scouring humanity and triggering chaos. Now the wave is gone, and the survivors face the challenges of rebuilding their empty continents. In the Texas Administrative Division, an ex-general wages a war of ethnic cleansing against the new immigrants coming in search of opportunity; in New York, hoards of scavengers pick through the ruins of the city. Meanwhile, over a billion Muslims are left homeless after Israeli nukes make the Middle East uninhabitable, and they need somewhere to live. As American forces attempt to retake the East Coast, an inexperienced president finds his leadership tested. Though his dialogue often feels functional or formulaic, Birmingham's inspired speculation is ingenious and engrossing. Along with colorful if not entirely sympathetic characters and a wicked sense of the absurd, this should make excellent pool-side reading.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


“Birmingham’s inspired speculation is ingenious and engrossing.”—Publishers Weekly

“Interesting geopolitics, incredible action, and pirate battles make this a perfect end-of-summer read.”—io9

“John Birmingham’s ability to seamlessly merge the gritty realism of Tom Clancy with the raw speculation of Michael Crichton is like nothing else I’ve ever read.”—James Rollins, author of The Doomsday Key, on Without Warning

From the Paperback edition.

Customer Reviews

Needless to say, I'm not anxiously awaiting the next book.
The main events of the book occurred within the first couple of chapters, and nothing was resolved.
Brian Schaeflein
Even the actual writing is clumsy, much less the plot and character development.
Robert C. Wall

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

78 of 94 people found the following review helpful By Brian Schaeflein on August 23, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Unfortunately, Birmingham fell into the same trap that so many authors before him have. After an excellent start to the series, in Without Warning, Birmingham has created a second part to the series that effectively does nothing other than move the main characters around, in preparation for what I presume will be the finale.

The main events of the book occurred within the first couple of chapters, and nothing was resolved. The rest of the book was devoted entirely to a journey to nowhere. None of the characters accomplished anything of note, once the setting was in place. The book read like filler, something to bridge a gap to the next installment.

Caitlin's story was entirely pointless after the attack at the beginning. Jules and Rhino accomplished absolutely nothing, other than meeting other main characters. Kipper's story was one of angst and indecision the entire book, affecting the story in no discernible way for this book. Milosz at least had some action, though once again, meaningless action that did not advance the story, other than to push him towards further action. Miguel's story also peaked at the beginning, and like Caitlin's was just a matter of movement through space and time. The only happening of consequence at the end of the book revolved around a new character introduced this book, and even then, he was a disposable character.

Also, I would gladly give up the line after line of intricate detail about the color of the carpets in a hotel, the specs of a weapon, or the specific military designations of disposable characters and units in exchange for actual story, which was oddly missing, or truncated in this book. It was as though he depended too much on whoever was doing his research, rather than on his own story-telling ability.
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23 of 26 people found the following review helpful By James Tepper VINE VOICE on September 8, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I waited with great anticipation for this book, the first sequel to the outstanding "Without Warning" , that I rated at 4 stars. Unfortunately for me, this middle of a planned trilogy just didn't do it. Whereas the first book introduced a large number of really intriguing situations, this follow-up didn't follow up on most of them. There was lots of action in the sense of military mayhem in Manhattan and vigilante violence in Texas, but not very much at all in the sense of advancing the story line itself. And be forewarned - one really has to have read "Without Warning" to make any sense of this one. Overall, 2.5 stars.

Lady Julianne and Rhino are in Manhattan on a treasure hunt that never really made much sense. With the world population decreased by 33% (I know America is important, but I'm not sure that I buy 2 billion deaths resulting from its immediate absence from the world stage), I wouldn't think that oil leases would be that valuable. I was very interested in what exactly was the upshot of Israel's nuking most of the Arab world, seemingly without reprisal, but I still don't know because it's barely mentioned in this sequel.

The president, Kipper, seems lost most of the time, barely a shadow of the take charge, don't mess with me city engineer we met in "Without Warning", and super Echelon agent Caitlin's character seems wasted running around from England to Germany and finally to Manhattan on a semi-personal vendetta.

Of all the principal characters, the only one who seemed to have grown significantly in stature and depth since the first book was Miguel. He faces a horrible personal tragedy in the beginning of the book and turns out to be a powerful, well written character with a lot of depth.
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26 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Joseph Plumb Martin on September 4, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The first book, Without Warning, in this series of, it seems, two books was an excellent read. It ended abruptly, leaving all the characters in limbo. The catch was a second book, After America, which would be released mid 2010. A "little hidden "Got'cha!" as we used to say at homebrew computer club"
OK, finally After America was released so I re-read the first book so as to transition into the second with the first book fresh in my mind. Ahh, but a resolution was not to be had. I won't bore you with the details, I will just say that this second book leaves the reader unfulfilled and hanging, much like a looter hanging from a lamp-post, swinging gently in the wind.
anticlimactic is the word. Look it up if you are unfamiliar with this word because after a fairly good read, BAM! the book ends leaving the characters in limbo, an unfinished tale of about a dozen very interesting characters.
The author needs his knuckles "rapped" with a ruler and to be sent back to finish the story.
4 stars since its a great book, very entertaining, but unfinished!
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17 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on September 17, 2010
Format: Hardcover
The premise of this series was what would happen if america simply vanished and what whould happen to the world. The first book was ok. This one is a disaster. The authur simply skipped 4 years in this book post america's disappearance. He skipped the entire story and situation that justified this series entire reason for existance in the first place. The entire fallout, civil wars, survival of isolated left over american cities-now city states, politics of various parts of the world in reaction-all skipped over !!!
Instead all we get is a book about some left over USA military fighting looters in Manhatten 4 years after the event? Who cares. Why would seattle 3000 miles away even care given that manhatten no longer has any real value apart from salvage- no one lives there- and no one needs the ports.
We are told that all the major countries have collapsed into internal strife but he skipped over even general details.
What is canada doing? taking over center of america? what about mexico and the millions of people they have that may want to move up--- nothing is covered.
totally worthless read. Not even interesting in what he chose to write about. I had though Birmingham was a good authur and enjoyed his alt. history series--but this is just garbage.
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More About the Author

Hey there. It's me. JB. Right now I'm probably kicking back on my hovercraft somewhere in the Antilles, or the Maldives, enjoying a dissolute, essentially meaningless life funded by your generous book purchases. Please, don't make me go back to selling my bodily fluids to science. Buy my books now and I promise to keep indulging myself in grotesque pleasures and luxury that I haven't really earned.

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