One Second After is the first book in a thought-provoking series of what will happen when civilization is nearly wiped out by EMP (electromagnetic pulse) strikes. This books takes us through the first three hundred and sixty-five days after the strike and shows the swift degradation of society when people realize that help isn’t coming because there is no help to be had. Well researched and detailed, you’ll want to keep this one on your bookshelf as a guide to what will happen should fiction become reality.
In this story we follow Dr. John Matherson, currently a college professor of history in a small North Carolina mountain town. Fortunately for the town residents, John is a former military man and a teacher of military history. He is the voice of knowledge when advising the town council. Along with Doc Kellor, who voices the despair of having to watch people die because of lack of services and no replenishment of medicine, the two are basically the narrators of the story. There are several episode within the story where the everyday man or woman must face their own morality and make choices they never thought they would have to make. At the end of this book, Book 1 of the trilogy, help finally arrives but it is too late for more than three quarters of the people in Black Mountain. The help is fleeting at best and sets up the story for Book 2.
I enjoyed the story immensely but found it a bit slow moving in spots. The dilemmas faced by the characters are real and show the internal conflict each faces. Don’t be surprised when several characters you become vested in die; I guess that is to be expected. The takeaway message is that we as a country should be doing so much more to prepare for this kind of ultimate disaster. Looking forward to book two. Gave this book four stars instead of five due to several instances of poor editing where superflouous words were left in place.
Rating: M M M M