Book Review – One Second After by William R. Forstchen

Book Review – One Second After by William R. Forstchen

“Look, John, something’s up. Got a problem here. I gotta—”

The phone went dead.

At that same instant, the ceiling fan began to slowly wind down, the stereo in Jennifer’s room shut down, and looking over to his side alcove office he saw the computer screen saver disappear, the green light of the on button on the nineteen-inch monitor disappearing. There was a chirping beep, the signal that the home security and fire alarm system was off-line; then that went silent as well.


Silence on the other end. John snapped the phone shut.

Damn, power failure.

The Premise: An E.M.P. attack on the United States leaves this family trying to adjust to life without electricity when faced with medical conditions, lack of food, raiders and survivability.

If you are looking into a book to dip your toes into about what happens when society breaks down, this is the book for you.  William R. Forstchen weaves a tale of your average suburban family leading your average family life when the power goes out, dumping this technologically savvy family back to the pre-electric lifestyle.  It is presented in such a realistic way that any person can read it and think wow, this could totally be me.

This book really gets you thinking, and is often the book that starts people on the road to starting to prep, whether it is ensuring you have extra canned goods in the cupboard to full on prepping.

It also deals with many real life situations that many of us would experience, such as family in a nursing home, medical conditions that require constant care and dealing with angsty teenagers who just want to get back on Facebook.

He didn’t say anything. There was a thought, but it was too disturbing to contemplate right now. He wanted to believe that it was just a weird combination of coincidences, a power failure that might be regional, and would ground most flights due to air traffic control. Maybe it was some sort of severe solar storm, potent enough to trigger a massive short circuit; a similar event had happened up in Canada several years ago.

A thought hit him.

The book also has an informative intro about what exactly an Electro Magnetic Pulse (EMP) is and why it would be so devastating if one was unleashed in the country you live in.

This is also one of those books you should be prepared that you will stay up all night reading.  The first time I read it (yes, I have read this one multiple times!), I stayed up until 6am finishing it!  I literally couldn’t put it down.

I have recommended this to several friends, and it has had an impact on almost everyone.  And if you are a prepper and trying to get your friends and family on board with getting themselves prepared (so you don’t have to!), then this is the book to give them as a present to really make them think about what would happen if society collapsed around them, what they would do, and if they had the chance, how they would prepare.