Audiobook Fiction Review: One Second After by William R. Forstchen

Posted July 18, 2012 by Felicia S in 2012 Read, 4.00 Wine Glasses, Audiobook, Reviews / 17 Comments



New York Times best selling author William R. Forstchen now brings us a story which can be all too terrifyingly real…a story in which one man struggles to save his family and his small North Carolina town after America loses a war, in one second, a war that will send America back to the Dark Ages…A war based upon a weapon, an Electro Magnetic Pulse (EMP). A weapon that may already be in the hands of our enemies.

Months before publication, One Second After has already been cited on the floor of Congress as a book all Americans should read, a book already being discussed in the corridors of the Pentagon as a truly realistic look at a weapon and its awesome power to destroy the entire United States, literally within one second. It is a weapon that the Wall Street Journal warns could shatter America. In the tradition of On the Beach, Fail Safe and Testament, this book, set in a typical American town, is a dire warning of what might be our future…and our end.

Read from June 18 to July 09, 2012

Read for Fun!
(Rating this one different)
Overall Rating: 4.00
Character/Story Rating: 3.00
Make You Think Rating: 5.00

Audio Rating: 3.00 (not part of the overall rating)

First thought when finished: I had a lot of problems with the story itself but it did make me think! That makes it worth the time I spent listening to it.

What I thought of the Story: Honestly this is one of those stories that annoyed me at times, compelled me at times, and made me roll my eyes at other times. I felt like if the POV had been from several different directions, I would have liked it more. One Second after was told from the perspective of a retired Colonels who also happens to be a historian. The character was written with knowledge that made him better equipped than most to handle the EMP scenario. At times I felt he got a LOT of special treatment (got to keep his car, special medical help, etc) and made me wonder if he would have survived without those perks. That being said, his journey was not an easy one and he did experience loss.

What I thought of the Characters: I wasn’t a huge fan of the Colonel whom we spend the whole story with until about half way through the story. He does grow on you but in the beginning he was just hard to identify with. When it is a one person POV that is crucial to me feeling connected with the book. I will say the 2nd half of the book that it was much easier to like him even though I still felt as if he got special treatment. Plus, he was a little to much of a know-it-all. Seriously, he had an answer for everything: let’s build steam engines, let’s get old school phone lines, and just several other things. It wasn’t until he can’t get something that the author humanizes him for me.

What I thought of the Plot Device: The EMP thing was fascinating. I have never spent so much time on google after reading a book. I found some great arguments on both sides of the fence (can it happen/it can’t happen) and the subject itself is interesting. The bigger question of if you could survive without any kind of technology is scary. I don’t think I could.

Audio Specific Review: One Second After was narrated by Joe Barrett. I thought he did an excellent job and my problems with the audiobook are not from his narration. I thought the flow from CD to CD technically was a little “choppy”. The music, repeat what the book is, and that it was continued was a bit redundant and distracting. Since most chapters ended on a note that made you want to push forward in the story, the little breaks caused pacing issues. It was a minor irritation but one I think should be noted. Again Joe Barrett was EXCELLENT!

Final Thought: I think if you are fascinated by postapocalyptic scenarios you should read this book and then we should talk!

Felicia S
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17 responses to “Audiobook Fiction Review: One Second After by William R. Forstchen

  1. Wow- great insightful review…Im all about a book that makes you think…or one that makes you research after due to sparking interest. Sounds like it might be one I would like for a good challenge.

    • It is a good book to read if for no other reason that it gets you thinking. There were some issues in character but I don’t really think that is the focus of the book. I think it is just the “what will happen” story.

  2. I know I would survive as long as there is indoor plumbing. However, it would be hard to be suddenly cut off. I’m curious especially since this is a plausible scenario. Hm… however, the shifting POV and characters might bug me if it bugged you. I donno… might be interesting, but I’m wondering if a even more thought provoking book is out there with this plot device.

    • That is just it, the plumbing shuts down because the pipes that supply the town are ran on electricity. It was weird to think of all the things that actually were affected by the blast. Crazy scary!

  3. Did you ever see the show ‘Dark Angel’? Kind of reminds me of that–the show was great and the book sounds intriguing though the narrator sounds like he might annoy me.

    • I have it on DVD but haven’t watched it yet. Is it set on the same kind of premise? If so I think I need to bump it up on my watching TBR.

  4. Oh, I would have been rolling my eyes too and yelling into the book. I hate it when things are just a little too convenient for the characters. But yeah, that premise sounds fascinating, living without any technology….horrifying to even suggest it. LOL

    • The main character annoyed me! That being said if I ignored him and just concentrated on the stuff happening the book was utterly fascinating 🙂

  5. Jennifer

    I am completely fascinated with the idea of this story. I have the ebook on my iPad, I just need to get around to reading it. It came highly recommended to me by my dad, who is a big time believer that EMPs are a real risk to us.
    Regardless, it sounds like a great read!

    • I will say this—the read is fascinating. It will make you think and then start googling like a crazy person. I am aware that I will probably not make it if all technology went away–I just don’t have many non-technological devices in my home. Other than I would be set on candles LOL

  6. You’ve been tearing up the audiobooks lately. The EMP thing is pretty fascinating. It is being used more often as TV/Movie plot device. It ducks that the Colonel wasn’t more connect-worthy. Hopefully author will improve that piece in the future.

    • Works a LOT=lots of audiobook listening time! It also equals zero actual reading time *sigh*

      I don’t know if the author will follow up this book. If he does, I hope he uses more POVs. That is really my only complaint (though it is a big one) the colonel would have been fine IF he wasn’t the only POV. I imagine there are people out there with all the answers (or most of them) BUT they aren’t Representative of the people at large.