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The Shock

(After #1)

3.55  ·  Rating details ·  2,338 ratings  ·  243 reviews
A massive solar storm erases the world's technological infrastructure and kills billions. While the remaining humans are struggling to adapt and survive, they notice that some among them have...changed.

Rachel Wheeler finds herself alone in the city, where violent survivors known as "Zapheads" roam the streets, killing and destroying. Her only hope is to reach the mountains
Kindle Edition, 258 pages
Published December 15th 2012 by Haunted Computer Books (first published January 1st 2012)
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Showing 1-30
3.55  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,338 ratings  ·  243 reviews

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11811 (Eleven)
Honest reviews are a bitch. It means that every now and then I have to give a one star rating. I hate that. It seems mean. But it’s honest. Seriously, I hate it.

I received this from Audiobookblast in exchange for a review, I think they preferred honest, and here we are. Considering who gave me the book, we should start with the audio.

I strongly disliked the narration. It was read well with proper enunciation and displayed a substantial talent when it comes to portraying different characters thro
Emma Sea
Aug 18, 2016 rated it did not like it
Not for me. The characterization was flat, the plot development didn't interest me, and I ended up not giving a damn about anyone. No sense of danger, fear, or excitement.
Read all my reviews on

I was severely underwhelmed by this take on the zombie apocalypse. And it was not even due to the zombies, or Zapheads as they are called, either. (But seriously, what is wrong with calling a zombie a zombie?)

Solar flares have destroyed all technology and also most of mankind. The surviving few notice that some of them are human no more, instead they are killing everything in their path. For fun, apparently as they don't seem to eat the
Kristin (Blood,Sweat and Books)
I received this book to review from the Author. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated in any way for providing them.


After: The Shock introduces us to a world gone mad after a solar flare strikes Earth. The majority of the population has been wiped out in the blink of an eye. Those unfortunate to survive have to deal with what is left behind. These aren't technically Zombies (since they aren't cannibals) but still scary nonetheless and I feel they are close enough to count. Zap
Apr 09, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle-free
Was Nicholson serious with that Afterword? I'm glad he called himself a survivalist nutjob and saved the rest of us the trouble.

About the actual book though - I thought it had an interesting premise and I liked that the characters were all very real. No overly perfect heroines, no muscle bound savior heros with impossibly chiseled abs and perfect teeth. However, the ending was terrible. It just stops, no closure and it didn't even give me much idea about whether there would be a sequel or if th
Aug 01, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
*DISCLOSURE: I received a copy of this book from the author to review*

I enjoy a good post-apocalyptic book and when the author offered me a copy of the book for free to review (and I'd heard good things about the author).

The action was good and I enjoyed the plot. The characters were decent, but a bit too one dimensional for my taste, but that could have all be overlooked except for one thing.

The book ended way too abruptly. I don't mind cliff hangers and I don't mind series books. The problem i
Scott Thompson
Feb 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great imaginative new view on the subject ! Any fan of The Walking Dead will love this. Never a dull moment in this book. Many things going on at once with several groups of people but never gets you lost or confused like a lot of books do. Ranks as one of Nicholson's best works. Get this book! You won't regret it. Can't wait until the next one in what hopefully is a long series!
Jan 08, 2015 rated it it was ok
Way too many religious references for my taste, especially in what I thought was going to be a zombie story. I'm sorry I invested my time in it, since I have little to no desire to read any of the following books in the series.
Lilyn G. | Sci-Fi & Scary
The synopsis for After the Shock looked interesting, and the cover, while somewhat typical (especially in color tones) definitely caught my attention. As usual, I’m a sucker for a post-apocalyptic setting with potential zombies, so I eagerly dived into this book. However, it quickly became a bit disappointing. With the initial introduction of the characters, it seemed like the author set out to make things as cliche and hard for himself as he possibly could. Oh, white “lady” and black “thug”? Th ...more
Jan 26, 2016 rated it really liked it

I didn't intend to read another zombie story. I was looking for a novella to read in between other books and touched the cover by accident. It opened, I read a few pages, and I thought, that will do. I don't need to finish it anyway. Well I did.

Like most zombie stories, the book has no ending and promises to have a sequel (or two). None of the plot lines were actually finished or at least not in a way that would leave you satisfied. It’s well written though and even if the genre isn't new, the
Dec 10, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Although this first book is not a zombie story, it should appeal to post-apocalyptic sci-fi fans and zombie fans alike.

Nicholson has set up several compelling plot lines dealing with the cause of the After and its effect on the living. Each character is written with a unique perspective and voice, which makes them likeable (or unlikeable) and very believable. Some characters have found purpose in the After, some have started down dark paths, and others are simply lost. Towards the end, I found m
Allison Ann
Jan 06, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: ebook, loaner, tt-iii
I have to like an author who mocks Twilight and Robert Pattinson.

Not one single review has mentioned the religious element to this book. Am I the only one who noticed Rachel's come and go religion? It was weird and jarring and the ending was too abrupt. I'm starting to think the third star was just for the Pattinson joke.
Jon Recluse
Dec 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror, thriller
Scott Nicholson has proven himself to be one of the best storytellers in the business in the arens of horror and thrillers. Now, he brings those talents to bear in a post apocalyptic novel that will rock you and leave you screaming for more. Highly recommended.
Enjoyed it but got fed up with its religious undertone--even though it's mainly Nicholson's turf. 3 stars really, for it was intriguing nonetheless. ...more
Carl Alves
Dec 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I seem to be on a run of post-apocalyptic novels in my queue of late. Most of them have been of the zombie variety. In this novel, the culprit that leads to the demise of the human race is a series of solar flares, which wipes out most of humanity. Of the survivors, there are those who remain normal –although of seriously questionable character—and the zapheads, who have little humanity left and are basically mindless, violent people, whose sole purpose seems to be to injure and kill. The story ...more
May 25, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror, sci-fi, serie
Nella quarta di copertina c'è tutta la trama del libro.
Non capita molto di più e buona parte delle situazioni si possono trovare in buona parte dei libri dedicati ad una qualsiasi realtà post apocalittica.
La descrizioni di come ci troviamo in questa situazione viene spiegata più nel dettaglio nel prequel (After: First light), ma non è fondamentale leggerlo per capire cosa è capitato e a cosa stiamo andando incontro.
La dinamica della storia, i personaggi, le situazioni... tutto è prevedibile e si
Oct 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I like the story line as it provides a somewhat new twist on the EMP induced shattering of society. It is well written. The Characters have depth and dimension, the evolving story lines of each group of characters suggests that at some point all these separate groups, having experienced similar challenges, will cross paths. But while their common goal is survival when the various groups with their diverse characters do meet up we aren't sure what will happen. The individuals from each group may ...more
D. Krauss
Oh. Brother.

That was my reaction when I finished this. That was my reaction when I started it, too, but decided to give it ye olde college try, even though I had not liked Nicholson's Red Church and expected The Shock would be like that, checklisted characters in checklisted situations reaching a checklisted ending.

It was.

The premise was like a throwaway: yeah, let's destroy the world somehow so we can have a post-apocalyptic high old time. Okay, now, let's put all these people-who-don't-react-
Daniel Keohane
May 10, 2016 rated it really liked it
This was a refreshing change to the usual post-apocalyptic novels hitting the shelves these days. No zombies, though the population of the Earth has been nearly wiped out by massive solar flares - those who survived have either been unchanged, or transformed into mindless (or so it seems at first) murderers. These latter are referred to as Zapheads by the survivors. Nicholson keeps the actions moving at a decent clip, and because of the uniqueness of the situation you never quite know what's com ...more
Gaston Sanders
Jun 01, 2014 rated it really liked it
This book is a new way of looking at the apocalypse...

I had a great time reading this book; so much so that I couldn't put it down except for a little sleep. Scott Nicholson has written a great book with real characters who have each their own personalities. The "zapheads" were scarier than the run-of-the-mill zombies that are in most apocalyptic novels these days because they didn't waste time eating people, they just wanted to kill everyone in sight. All of the characters were real, with the f
Jan 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Mr. Nicholson has Outdone Himself YET AGAIN!

WOW. What a great twist on an apocalyptic scenario. These"zapheads" don't have a taste for flesh, but they do love blood! Chills and thrills galore!

Scott Nicholson has been my favorite author for many, many years. (Beginning with the purchase of his
"The Harvest" back in '03.) That novel hooked me, and I have enjoyed each one of his works. I have his entire collection.....hardbacks, paper backs and Kindle editions. LOVE HIM!

This guy just keeps getting B
May 01, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
I thoroughly enjoyed this post-apocalyptic book, I was gripped from the beginning. Although there were a few holes in the story, I loved the pace of the book and only finding out small pieces of what's going on in the chaos.

It reminded me of the Tv series The Walking Dead, but without the Zombies. Nicholson has a great balance of characters; none too macho or making illogical decisions, no screaming females flapping, and no snotty-nosed kids.

A few reviews have moaned about the abrupt ending, i
Mar 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing

Loved this book... solar flares could actually happen. Love how we met the characters own point of view and you just know they are connected. Love how the story keeps you questioning is this how the humans would be if there were only a few survivors. Never read anything from this author before but you simply fall in to this world he creates and wonder would you pluck a chicken. What would you to if you survived.
Sherry Fundin
I was so caught up in The Shock…An apocalypse brings out the best and worst in some people and Scott can make his characters shine as they step up and grow up after being thrown into turbulent and dangerous times…and I was pissed when it came to an end, leaving me needing the next book, and the next, to find out how it will end.
God kills most humans leaves a few who believe. Typical crap.
3.5 stars
Jan 03, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: apocalypse
Review coming soon.
Sep 17, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooks
3.5 stars

I'm in the middle on this book. It's a good start to a series and I'm looking forward to seeing where the author takes the story. On the other side, while the story was entertaining, enjoyable and interesting overall it took quite a while for me to really be pulled in. It wasn't that the story was moving slowly, ( it was constantly moving forward at a nice pace) it was the change in character/setting. I would be all wrapped up in what was going on with one group of survivors then the ch
Thom Swennes
Jan 07, 2018 rated it liked it
The experts knew that the solar storm was coming, but there was no way of stopping it and no one could imagine what the solar flares would cause. When the first flares hit, the world’s computers fried; throwing the modern world into gridlock; so much for putting all your eggs in one basket. Some people died during the storm, some survived relatively unaffected, but a large part of the population was altered into mindless monsters; Zapheads. The breakdown of national, state and municipal services ...more
Sep 23, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Although this is a short book it packs a lot into it 17o pages. There are the cast of usual characters - a survivalist, and orphaned child, a couple of college kids and both para-military and military groups - but Scott Nicholson adds a twist to most of the characters and they do not take the usual path as they wonder thorough the post-apocalyptic world he is creating. Being the first novel of a series it's main purpose is to set the scene for future installments. Not my favorite form of writing ...more
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Adventures in Sci...: AISFP Podcast 264 - Scott Nicholson 1 5 Jun 27, 2014 06:10AM  
  • Dover Beach (The Last P.I., #1)
  • The Onset (Contamination #1)
  • Knifepoint (Breakers, #3)
  • The Harbinger: Books 1 - 4
  • Voyage of the Dead (Sovereign Spirit Saga, #1)
  • Origins (Dead Highways #1)
  • Infected (Slow Burn, #2)
  • The Colonists (Movement Trilogy, #2)
  • Sleepers (sleepers, #1)
  • Shattered World (Broken World, #2)
  • The Forever Gate 2 (The Forever Gate #2)
  • The End of Modern Civilization (Invasion USA, #1)
  • Z-Minus I
  • Yesterday's Gone: Season Two
  • Return of the Phoenix
  • Blood Soaked and Contagious (Blood Soaked #1)
  • The Sky Used to be Blue (Karma #1)
  • The Oasis of Filth - Part 1
With more than 800,000 books sold worldwide, Scott Nicholson is an international bestselling thriller writer. He won the Writers of the Future Award in 1999 and was a Stoker Award finalist in 2003. His Fear series was published by Amazon's Thomas & Mercer imprint and 47North released the supernatural thriller McFALL.

He's also published a number of supernatural, paranormal, and fantasy books an

Other books in the series

After (6 books)
  • The Echo (After #2)
  • Milepost 291 (After, #3)
  • Whiteout (After #4)
  • Red Scare (After #5)
  • Dying Light (After #6)
“Ray-Ray had been on track for a golden-rule life of selfless service.” 0 likes
“One of his sayings is, ‘When the walls fall down, all we have left is the enemy within.” 0 likes
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