Space's Reviews > One Second After

One Second After by William R. Forstchen
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's review
Aug 08, 2012

it was ok
Read from August 08 to September 07, 2012

This is touted as a terrifying thriller about the effects of an EMP blast above the United States. It's supposed to accurately depict the deterioration of our quality of life starting one second after the blast. I guess he addresses a lot of the scenarios fairly well. However, I did think it was very convenient that the protagonist had a teenage daughter with a boyfriend, a younger daughter with type 1 diabetes, and a mother-in-law who drives an Edsel. These all acted as plot devices so he could make sure we understand what happens to people who need insulin. Or how much sex teenagers have in crisis, and the likelihood of pregnancy. And how cars manufactured without computers will be the only ones still running.

Yes, Forstchen has an agenda. This was a mediocre book at best. The story, aside from the convenient plot devices, is okay I guess. It does paint a terrible picture of how people will react and respond to catastrophe. It also covers some important topics that many wouldn't think of. Like the shortage of medicines because of the breakdown of transportation. But it was a little stilted. It was very obvious this guy wanted to tell the world the scary effects of being attacked by EMP rather than tell a story.

I don't think Forstchen is much of a writer. Virtually every single quote ended with attribution. 'John said sarcastically.' Or 'coldly' or 'quietly' or yes, even once, 'chastisingly'. Seriously? We don't really need the adverb in every dialog attribution. But again, it wasn't bad. Just a little predictable and a little overboard on the preaching at us.

It also didn't help that Joe Barrett narrated. Not a big fan. He's not bad, but... Well, you'd just have to listen to a sample of the audiobook to see what I mean. Overall I'm a little disappointed. I wanted to get scared out of my wits reading this. But it's pretty much what I expected.

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Reading Progress

50.0% "Chastisingly? Really?"
82.0% "This writer is really annoying. I'll cover it all in my review, but he is WAY into dialog attribution."

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