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Critical Mass

3.48  ·  Rating Details  ·  248 Ratings  ·  37 Reviews
What would we do if a nuclear weapon were detonated in Washington, D.C., and the U.S. government suddenly disappeared? What would we do if a terrorist organization announced that it had concealed nuclear weapons in every major Western city and then demanded that the entire planet embrace its twisted brand of Muslim fundamentalism?

In Critical Mass, Whitley Strieber explore
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Published March 30th 2009 by Tantor Media (first published 2009)
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When I was young, there was a t.v. movie called "The Day After" which showed what it would be like to have an atom bomb go off in America. Well, it was more than one bomb actually, but it was hypnotically horrifying to see homes and people vaporized in a second, the radiation sickness that followed and the chaos that resulted from it. I think in the movie the bombs going off were the result of an accidental launch.

In Critical Mass, a nuclear weapon is detonated over Las Vegas, but it is no accid
Feb 26, 2010 Roger rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Very scary book up until the end, which was completely ridiculous. But the sketches he draws of his nuclear scenario are very believable and makes you realize that other countries, not just terrorists, would profit from an attack on the U.S. that looked like terrorism. But as for the characters and the denouement, very disappointing.
Martin Hill
Mar 09, 2013 Martin Hill rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In Whitley Strieber’s Critical Mass, Las Vegas, Nevada is nuked by a new Islamic extremist group. Worse, the same group has planted nuclear devices in national capitals in the Americas, Europe, and Asia, holding them hostage in an attempt to bend the world to Sharia law. As American intelligence operative Jim Deutsh races the clock to find the bomb intended to destroy Washington, DC, he finds betrayal at each step by a national security organization corrupted with deep penetration by enemies of ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Heather Turiello
Meh...the basic premise of this book is generally solid. I think there was too much detail in some places and not enough in others. Strieber spends quite a bit of time explaining how people died instantly when the nuclear bomb was dropped on Las Vegas when a couple examples would have sufficed, but left out some of the detail about what the city and surrounding areas had to deal with as an after effect of the EMP and blast radius. I just felt like he missed a really great opportunity to paint th ...more
This is a book with a solid premise, but poor execution.

A secret agent guy complete with boring personal problems and his estranged Muslim wife try to stop terrorists from using nukes to blackmail the world into accepting Sharia law.

Despite the high stakes, there isn't much tension generated, and the whole thing goes off the rails at the end.
Nov 30, 2015 Karen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Listened to this one, good thing I was painting the interior of my house at the same time, as there was so much description that I got tired of listening. OK book.
Thelma Kastl
Thought provoking. Much different than Strieber's normal fare. Makes you wonder about the feasibility of such a plan.
Aug 31, 2015 Mike rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book presented haunting detail about the very real consequences of nuclear terrorism. But it was too hokey in parts to give it a higher review.
Feb 23, 2015 Majordad1984 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Certainly a contemporary read for our times...
Andy Nieradko
Jul 16, 2013 Andy Nieradko rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm finding it difficult to express how much I enjoyed this book, actually, enjoy isn't even the right word, because it's a very frightening scenario that's presented. What makes this novel so amazing is its believability. I don't usually read 300 page books in 4 days, but found myself skipping meals and other essential activities while reading Critical Mass. As horrifying as much of this book is, there are some real heartfelt, eye opening moments, where the humanity of the monsters are shown in ...more
Mike Gowan
Sure can write a scary story.
Jun 23, 2009 Brent rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 22, 2011 Doug rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this book. It was suspenseful and thought-provoking. A spot-light on things that are possible, if we don't wake up and realize it's not in our human power to bring utopia to this world. We must humbly trust in God's grace and mercy for heaven, not try to get there in our own way, in which case someone always decides the ends justifies the means, whether in the name of religious beliefs or political ideology.
Flow Wampfler
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jennifer Golden
Apr 23, 2012 Jennifer Golden rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012
Overall this was a pretty good book. I don't know if it was because I have another book that I really want to read or what but the last 50 pages seemed to drag on forever. At one point I didn't really care of the if the world was saved or not as long as it meant the end of the book. IF you are a fan I would read this one if not maybe read another one of his books.
Jun 01, 2013 Ricardo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really liked this book. It's one of those that I wish had been twice as long. The author's style is not that good and the plot is not original, but the genius is in the approach and the description. Instead of feeling like fiction, it feels like you're reading a report on a real event
Greg Pittman
Jun 26, 2011 Greg Pittman rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Nuclear bombs, terrorist, CIA, politicians, what more could you ask for in an exciting novel. Whitley Strieber has wrote a winner with this suspenseful novel that is on target with events that could happen in our world today. One of those books that once I started, it was hard to put down.
Jun 10, 2013 Dick rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audible
Really liked this tale of terror based on nuclear bombs detonating around the world due to Arab terrorists.
My sister recommended it and said that it was so scarey to her based on the believability of the story line. And, I have to agree.
Had to stop reading this book. Only got about 3-4 pages and quit. It is so poorly written from a grammatical standpoint. I had read several sentences multiple times just to know what was being said. Very poorly written book.
Ned Frederick
Feb 26, 2009 Ned Frederick rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A non-stop thriller about an elaborate plot by Islamic radicals and others (conspiracy fans pay heed) to nuke the West into rolling over and submitting to Sharia Law. Well done, from the breathless school of thriller writing.
Jul 10, 2009 Marcy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This is a political thriller about nuclear terrorism which, while fast paced and scary in premise, didn't really capture my attention. I didn't find it very believable and sure hope I don't live to eat those words.
Mar 04, 2013 Helen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book. The author laid out a totally plausible scenario of world events leading up to and including a nuclear event. This is the only book I've read by this author, but it was a good read :)
Page turner featuring lovingly detailed nuclear explosions, quick read, good conspiracy theory. 1) nations do not have plans for decapitation. 2) Fundamental extremists are nuts.
Mar 11, 2012 Jackie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This has to be one of the best books I've read in a long time! I couldn't put it down. He just makes it so real-world, that you are scared it could happen.
May 25, 2010 Doug rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was an amazing tale that we all hope will never happen. Very scary. This was the second book I have read from this artist. Great storyteller!
Mar 08, 2009 Lorie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Excellent page-turner thriller, filled with conspiracy, nuclear threat and exploding bombs. Not for the faint of heart.
Aug 21, 2012 Marc rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Didn't seem realistic, characters underdeveloped - great idea for a plot, but it just didn't flow together properly.
Sep 07, 2012 Melanie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thrillers
Terrifying premise. The fact that something like this might actually happen was very unsettling.
Jan 17, 2012 Wendy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sufficiently frightening to keep me up all night reading. It's Dan Brown without the supernatural.
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American writer best known for his horror novels The Wolfen and The Hunger and for Communion, a non-fiction description of his experiences with apparent alien contact. He has recently made significant advances in understanding this phenomenon, and has published his new discoveries in Solving the Communion Enigma.

Strieber also co-authored The Coming Global Superstorm with Art Bell, which inspired t
More about Whitley Strieber...

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