- Audible Audiobook
- Listening Length: 9 hours and 51 minutes
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Unabridged
- Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.
- Audible.com Release Date: September 15, 2015
- Whispersync for Voice: Ready
- Language: English
- ASIN: B014LBYA6S
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
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One Year After Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
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This book is definitely another five star job by Forstchen. The sequel, One Second After deals with the first year after an EMP attack and focuses on how the total destruction of our electrical infrastructure would forever change our lives, and the reality of how so many experts predict that at least 4 out 5 Americans would die in the months after our nation is destroyed by the detonation of just several small nuclear weapons about the atmosphere that then wipes out our electrical infrastructure. One Year After picks the story up, literally, a year after the end of his first novel. The author explores “what happens next,” a question nearly all fans of his first book have asked. It is one thing to survive that first terrible year, but Forstchen now takes us to the next level. . .we survived but now what in hell do we do? Do we continue to let our nation slide into a final decline and oblivion? Do we hand off to our children and grandchildren a society left in wreckage, the way the descendants of what had been the Roman empire gazed at the ruins about them as they lived in squalor? Or do we band together and start to try and rebuild?
The fascinating question Forstchen presents is exactly how do we rebuild? Do we sit back and wait for FEMA to one day show up and rescue us (it is obvious that Forstchen must have been thinking about Katrina and Sandy when dealing with this question) or do we roll up our sleeves and get to work? One plot detail I will give away, which is not a spoiler, is that the main character, John Matherson, is suffering from an infected tooth when the story opens. Anyone who harbors some crazed nostalgia that life must have been simpler and thus happier back in the “good ole days” should read this book while suffering from a tooth ache and contemplate how such things were dealt with! That alone leads Forstchen, who has a Ph.D. in history with a specialization in the history of technology, into an interesting subplot asking if enough local knowledge is out there to make anesthesia, pain killers, and the antibiotics we take for granted.
It is but one of many questions Forstchen presents to us to ponder on, and shows yet again how we take the wonders of modern technology for granted. The book also moves more into political questions of how to rebuild rather than the harsher issues of brutal day to day survival he wrote about in book one, but that I see as a strength as he opens up the next chapter of the story about the town of Black Mountain and can it survive.
A final political observation, a reality check here. Read the novels, then read the news. Is our country really going to turn a blind eye to the nuclear ambitions of Iran? An EMP hit is a first strike weapon. The results of its use, literally thousands of times worse than what we endured on 9/11. Our leaders, (who would be safe in their bunkers if we were ever attacked) actually tell us not to worry about the deal with Iran? Does anyone recall twenty years ago when the leadership then said not to worry about North Korea’s nuclear ambitions? I am writing this review on Sept. 16th, and just this morning I read where North Korea announced it is building yet more bombs and will soon demonstrate its ICBM capacity. ICBM plus a nuclear warhead equals EMP, which equals the nightmare Forstchen is trying to warn us about. Read and take heed.
Overall, this book was an enjoyable experience. I will mention that, inevitably, "One Year After" does not have the same level of impact on current society as "One Second After". The naration of the actual effects of an EMP attack on modern day North Carolina was very powerful. But the continuation of the story allows us to follow characters that we already know and love. Or hate.
Forstchen has a gift for bringing characters to life and creating realistic interpersonal adversities. His battle scenes always keep me on the edge of my seat. I always feel like I'm part of his stories.
If you haven't read "One Second After" yet, by all means do. If you have then you will want to follow up with "One Year After".
This novel is also full of well-developed, real persons who struggle with their own weaknesses as they strive to rebuild their corner of the world. But it also goes much deeper than many other post-apocalyptic action novels. John's analysis of the progress on the electrical generation and the telephone switchboard at the end are very perceptive. Similarly, the actions of John and the town to try to save the wounded survivors that they were just fighting demonstrated a real depth of character, which contrasted sharply with the shallow, selfish character of the district administrator.
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