One Second After by William R. Forstchen

When the power goes out in picturesque Black Mountain, North Carolina, John Matherson knows exactly what happened. A history professor and former military officer, John has read the reports of what an EMP attack would look like, he knows immediately that the United States will never be the same. EMP is an electromagnetic pulse that wipes out of all America’s power grid. Electricity, phones, and all cars built before the 1980’s are rendered completely useless, thereby crippling the country. Left to protect his two daughters and lead the small town to reform itself into a hunter/gatherer society, John must gather all his strength and knowledge to make the hard decisions that will keep his town alive. Food and medicine rationing, martial law, and battle strategies become daily decisions alongside the everyday duties of being a father. One Second After is a cautionary tale of the all too true consequences of not being prepared for this type of attack.

This book is thought provoking and moving. Forstchen tackles the questions you pray you never have to answer, and the ones you would never even imagine. One Second After looks closely at how comfortable America has become and what would happen to us if someone decided to prey directly on our complacency. I found that throughout the book I agreed with the decisions John makes, though at times I wondered if I would have the strength to do the same.One Second After is described as an apocalyptic novel but at the heart of it, this is really a book about what it truly means to be an American, to love your neighbor and your country, to find strength in your faith and family, and ultimately the resilience of the human race.

The sequel to this book, One Year After was recently released.  I haven’t read it yet, but it is definitely next on my list!

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