Tangential, eclectic, avid listener... favorite book is the one currently in ear.
I have a weakness for disaster, plague, famine, EMP, earthquake... coping and surviving the challenges books. "One Second After," "Alas Babylon," "Jakarta Pandemic," "The Road," and "77 Days" are all books I have really enjoyed. I have purchased a bunch of other books looking for similar and often end up with over-the-top preppers, zombies, profanity and violence. Although definitely not perfectly written... a slow start, some unbelievable events and a tell instead of show ending... "Cyberstorm" will still be part of my much enjoyed list.
It is set, mostly, in a New York apartment building as a cyber attack takes down communication, feeds misinformation, crashes computers... heat, water, power, shipping, radio, TV are all gone... of course, in the midst of a series of winter storms. You get to know the neighbors from the old couple with tea and biscuits, to the criminal, the prepper, the friends, the kids and the doorman as they deal with the ensuing and long lasting chaos. Of course, technology and "hackers" are both the villains and stars.
Language is clean, minor sexual innuendos, some intense violence and un-witnessed cannibalism. Probably PG-13 read but R if made into movie. Have fun. I love that it is complete... no next book to buy to learn the ending.
This is a view at what happens in a neighborhood when some have and some don't. You see this type of setup in books like "Jakarta Pandemic" and "Cyber Storm" (books I enjoyed) and "The End" (didn't). This is not a stand alone book... although you can stop reading after book one, you must read book one to understand this and you will be left falling off a cliff needing to read book three afterwards... and then waiting impatiently for June 2014 to read four. I almost wished I had stopped at one and waited for four to be ready before making the plunge.
The writing style is still very basic, the narrator instead of getting better gets worse (goes from one set of characters to the next without a breath or pause, leaving a person confused at where the heck he is... plus blatant mispronunciations which he finally gets corrected (but they didn't go back and edit). The plot continues to be brilliant and original, with less named brand supplies and more military involvement.
There is strong language peppered though it, lots of gun violence, minor sexual innuendos and lots of hungry, beaten down folks and others who take advantage of them. The characters become even more real in this book and you follow not only Morgan and his family, but the friends he made in "Going Home."
So if you are looking for your first "end of US as we know it" read... and want a PG-13 rather than an R rated read. I think "One Second After," "Alas Babylon" or "Jakarta Pandemic" trumps "77 Days." If you are looking for incredible writing "The Road" has them all beat. If you enjoyed the above books, this is similar with a non-prepper family being separated during an EMP. It follows both the family at home and the husband as he treks home. They both make dumb mistakes and you aren't going to learn much from their experiences... unless, of course, you don't have a clue what an EMP is... But this book does have some different twists and perspectives. I enjoyed it and it was well worth the credit. However, If you are a prepper looking for something like "Patriots" or enjoyed "Lucifer's Hammer" you probably won't like this at all. And if you want zombies or a supernatural twist like Stephen Kings "The Stand" you will really be disappointed.