Poorly edited, misspellings, and at times, thoroughly cheesy dialogue. And yet, I am still giving it 4 stars. In fact, if the few things I mentioned wPoorly edited, misspellings, and at times, thoroughly cheesy dialogue. And yet, I am still giving it 4 stars. In fact, if the few things I mentioned were fixed, I'd bump it to 5 stars.
This book drew me in and I really got invested in the welfare of the people in it. It started me thinking about a lot that I need to do to be prepared for a disaster. I have some basics put together but there is a lot more I could have in place, even if it what I face is just a few days after a natural disaster and not the major events that this book describes.
A recommended read for anyone who wants to consider what could happen if the lights really did go out....more
A great read that really makes you think about the very real possibility of an EMP and how it would impact society in general and your life in particuA great read that really makes you think about the very real possibility of an EMP and how it would impact society in general and your life in particular.
What I liked: I felt William Forstchen did a wonderful job of drawing you into the story emotionally. While some might feel that the depiction of the gangs and cult groups is exaggerated, I feel it was probably fairly accurate. Civil society seemed to break down almost instantly in New Orleans during the immediate aftermath of Katrina and that was with the rest of the country banding together and outside help arriving soon. A prolonged and expansive disaster such as what is described would certainly result in at least that type of behavior in every effected area and such would only worsen the longer electricity, transportation, sanitation, medical help and communication is cut off and the scarcer food and clean water is.
There was a sense of realism to the events that partially comes from the fact that rather than being limited to just one person's perspective of the events, we are brought into the town government through the main character's participation in "the council." I appreciated this because it gave a much bigger view of what was happening. I felt that the issue of martial law and the seizing of vehicles, supplies, etc. was a very thought-provoking (and realistic) aspect to the story that I am grateful was included.
What I didn't like: The only thing I would point out is that the "this can't be happening here, this is America" tone and repeated phrases got a bit old. Much of the sense of unity seemed to be centered around the country and patriotic songs. Frankly, I would think that a much tighter sense of identity would develop around the community itself, particularly with the concerns about "outsiders" being so high. On the other hand, there is already structure in place for strong national identity (songs, flag, pledge of allegiance, etc) around which to coalesce as opposed to for a town or county. These criticisms seem rather petty when the book is considered as a whole.
What I was left wanting: What I was left wanting was more specifics about how things worked. The book was pretty slim on information about how the town went about things: the operation of the emergency shelter and conditions there, smaller groups of marauders or thieving in the community, disagreements and fights within the community, maintaining of order generally, how and what people did to prepare for the winter, etc. Of course, the book wasn't written as a how-to guide and so it wasn't tailored in that direction but I would have appreciated a bit more in that area.
Comparison: As a comparison, Lights Out! I feel did a better job with some of the practicalities and talking about how the group had to improvise and be creative to meet their needs. Even so, One Second After was obviously on a different level and not just because it wasn't bogged down with misspelling, grammar, and cheesy diaglogue problems. Lights Out! was probably conservative with the threat that the group in that book faced from marauders whereas One Second After was more realistic. I also feel Lights Out! was generous on the food situation. One Second After, while more removed from the details, was more realistic.
I would highly recommend everyone read this book and take a good look at what your plans on for an emergency, even if it is slightly smaller in scale to a nationwide EMP attack....more