An eye opening, "page turner" listen about what could happen if Americans had to survive long term without electricity or technology, the impacts to our society and the horrible choices that might have to be made. It also illustrates the current vulnerability of our electrical grid and technology to electro magnetic pulse weapons.
It can be a real downer so I wouldn't recommend it if you are in a vulnerable place in your life.
At the end I wanted to run out and buy a pre-1980s car, build a home underground, buy a generator, and store away enough supplies for 5 years. Logic prevailed and I called my Senator/Congressman and asked them if they understood how vulnerable we are. If enough Americans start asking the question - we may collectively address the risk before it is too late. Although I wouldn't argue against buying extra canned food, fuel, bottled water and storing it away. If someone offered me a great deal on a pre-1980s Volvo 240................
A better author able to tell a story without resorting to out of place flag waving. There is no emotional depth to any characters, and no connection to them.
I listened to One Bullet Away, a much more poignant reflection of patriotism without the schlockiness.
The narrator was ok.
I was disappointed. The book had a lot of hype, and the story about the threat was interesting. But the author just isn't a very good storyteller. This book clearly was published due to the author's connections to powerful people, not due to the quality of the story.
Science Fiction fan
This book has a thinly veiled conservative agenda, is overly melodramatic and the characters are wooden. I'm not sure why this got good reviews. The EMP angle is new, but otherwise, if you want to read about the degradation of society, read Steven King's "The Stand" or Nevil Shute's "On the Beach". I am sorry I wasted 11 hours of my life listening to this overly patriotic Fox News broadcast in narrative form.
I was happy to read about a scientific phenomenon, the EMP, so rarely discussed. The scenario depicted in the book, the collapse of our technological infrastructures, is a real danger that we expose ourselves to increasingly everyday, and one I have often found myself thinking about.
My only complaint is that the melodrama did seem buttered on pretty thick at times. While those in need of special medication would indeed be imperilled, I simple can't quite buy that the tragedy would be a societal devastation on a greater order than a Black Plague. A little heavy handed, a little sappy, caught myself saying "Oh brother..." once or twice, but it was kind of part of the fun. Would have to agree with a fellow reviewer on the TV movie of the week feel.
As a hopeless, helpless, unrepentant addict of every technology, device, and media, I know I'd go out of my mind in seventy-two hours. So on that, and many other levels, it was indeed an effectively frightening tale.
The dialogue and interactions between characters were analogous to a bad comic book. The main character was an EMP expert who took way too long to figure out that an event occurred! You think he would have known long before he discovered the only working appliance he had was his gas grill. The breakdown of society appeared to be depicted from the author's own imaginings rather than from any research into actual catastrophes caused by nature, man, or war. It was just not believable.
Yes, he is not to blame for this poorly written book.
I love well written, well thought out, post apocalyptic fiction that has no agenda. This was none of those things. Newt actually states in the introduction that this was written specifically to "inform" people of the dangers of EMP, one of the recent political tools. I won't get into the reasons why EMP is a fairly unlikely scenario, I can accept zombies so I could accept EMP as a catalyst, but what unfolds after the "event" is just goofy and comes right out of the paranoid dreams of some urban basement arm chair survivalist. EMP destroys nothing but delicate electronics, if that, and yet suddenly everyone is helpless...even in small towns in rural NC? Nobody seems to have a garden, an ATV (generally very basic electronics on these), a ham radio (many ham sets are tough old tube sets not likely to be affected by EMP), a old farm tractor or any of the many other modern technologies not viulnerable to EMP. 3 cars in a NC college town ... the kind of town that has classic car rallies a couple times a year...and that's it? And no farms? In rural NC? And there are hardly any bikes or horses...seriously?
I also find that one key characteristic of Americans, self centered, marshmallow soft dopes that we can be, is mostly ignored in this biased account: we do pull together in a crisis, we do help each other even when otherwise we might not give each other the time of day. Sure, that might eventually degrade if things got really bad, but it never even blooms here. Not only is that a cynical perspective but a poor plot plan since it is the conversion under adverse conditions of the characters that usually makes such fiction believable. This is not believable.
Anyway, with all this, the two dimensional, non-sympathetic characters, and obvious political agenda make this a sadly disappointing entry in the post apocalyptic genre. If you want a really good, haunting tale in this genre try "Earth Abides"
After 9/11 Americans have been made aware of the many different ways the United States could be attacked and how these attacks could disrupt our way of life. One Second After describes in chilling detail how one such method could be carried out and how in a blink of an eye our way life, culture and nation would change forever. What makes this book so frightening is how easy it would be for such an attack to occur and what the result would mean for my family's future. It is simply too scary to think about!
I found this audiobook absolutely riveting and terrifying. I couldn't stop listening to it, and lost lots of sleep as a result. The narrator absolutely brought this book to life, and did a great job conveying the emotions of the characters. Now that I have finished the audibook, I can't stop thinking of how horrific this potential scenario would be.
This book scared me. I did my own research to see how plausible this kind of attack was. I found that it could be very easily accomplished. The story was compelling and I could not stop listening. It smacks the rose colored glasses off your face. I would highly recommend this book.
This book has left me haunted by the possibility that this could really happen to us and will leave you wondering how you would fare. I disagree with many of the previous reviews and think this is a must read. The narrator does a brilliant job with the different characters. In fact, there wasn't anything I didn't like about this book. Get it.