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View all 3 comments. I am not sure if this book or series is for everyone. It is a bit dark and scary, but it is well thought out. I enjoy Forstchen's writing and research. This book and the one before do not feel as much like novels as they do non-fiction analysis of everything that could happen with the destruction of our infrastructure and political system as we know it. How would we respond? Would we remain humane or dissolve into anar I am not sure if this book or series is for everyone. Would we remain humane or dissolve into anarchy?
Would ethics prevail, or would selfishness and lies override all. NOTE: The first book is more about survival in the aftermath of infrastructure dissolving, the second is more about the restructuring of our humanity and government and how that would affect all types of people.
View all 5 comments. Oct 08, Forrest rated it it was ok. After having blown through the book in about a day, I figure I'll bang out the review while the story is fresh in my mind. First of all, as I'm sure all the other reviews will note; this story is set TWO years after the first book, so it's my assumption that the author used this title for artistic license. This review will regrettably be more negative than my review of the first book because this book swerves away from painting a dark picture of the very real possibilities of an EMP attack, to s After having blown through the book in about a day, I figure I'll bang out the review while the story is fresh in my mind.
This review will regrettably be more negative than my review of the first book because this book swerves away from painting a dark picture of the very real possibilities of an EMP attack, to swerve clearly into textbook post-apocalyptic territory and in so doing, tell a story which makes no sense when compared to the first book. Additionally, in this book, the villain is a by-the-numbers representative of a similarly by-the-numbers fledgling Federal Government whose main goal seems to be destroying the town and the Protagonist from the first book, John Matherson.
For this reason, I found myself not being able to give this book's problems a pass like I had with One Second After. The writing and plot are highly derivative of the first book, wherein all other characters cede ultimate authority to John, who essentially is the town's messiah at this point. It's just too thick. John, the savior of the town of Black Mountain.
John, the guy who's wanted by the evil Government representative. John, the only one who can lead Black Mountain's forces against the evil Government representative. John, the only one with the answers, the plan, the ability to figure it out. At what point do readers sit back and say sarcastically "Wow, gee, I'm sure glad that John was there to save the day. Everyone would be dead if he hadn't been there to be their guiding light.
No wonder this far-off Federal government irritatingly referred to as "Bluemont" the whole time, in reference to the location of the new Federal base of operations wants at first to bring this guy into the fold and when that fails, to destroy this guy, right?
No, of course that's not right, it doesn't make any sense. And really, it's as though Forstchen took the "Mary Sue Knob" and cranked it to 11 in this book. Where John was fallible before in the first book among other issues , in this book, he's even more insufferable. The one-note evil government representative is written in an unashamedly two-dimensional fashion. You will recognize this character from any number of 80's action movies where the CIA agent was really the bad guy all along.
And really, the whole "Government stooge demanding obedience from John and the town of Black Mountain" angle actually makes very little sense. If a weakened, destabilized, decentralized Government were trying to reestablish authority over the country, it stands to reason that they'd leave the pockets of peace and reason alone so they could deal primarily with those places still overrun by savages. Instead, it seems that John Matherson is well-known by this fledgling Government somehow , who has decided that he is an irreplaceable asset and so they send their representative to try to get him to leave Black Mountain and come work for them, with the bottom line being that John better comply "or else".
So, this whole story falls apart after the first meeting between John and the representative in the first third of the book! The representative is written as an untrustworthy slimeball from the start, and John is instantly aware that an attempted deception is in play. So, back to the vicious attack on the town. Government guy has his entire fleet of helicopters attack this town, flying back to their base to refuel and rearm MULTIPLE times, only to come back and keep pounding away.
The entire center of town is leveled. I don't even This scene in itself was bewildering and stupid, because it was completely unnecessary and thus unbelievable from a plot standpoint. After all, all throughout the book, there are excerpts from radio broadcasts which provide exposition concerning what's going on elsewhere in America while the book's events unfold. Chicago is mentioned multiple times as a major area in which the Government hasn't been able to restore order because some crazy cult leader has resisted all efforts to be contained and has killed a lot of Government soldiers who were sent in to bring this guy to heel.
Ok, cool. Over one guy? One guy, who's apparently worth tons of attack helicopter rockets, 20mm rounds, and fuel. Immersion ruined. I could go further, but I think that the point has probably been made to death. This book has kind of gone off the rails at the end, and at this point I'm hoping that the third book of the trilogy will somehow wrap things up in a sane, reasonable way. I'm not going to hold my breath, however. View all 11 comments. Milk40 Your review is so accurate and so well written, that I took more pleasure reading it than the actual book.
I'm still going to read the third installme Your review is so accurate and so well written, that I took more pleasure reading it than the actual book. I'm still going to read the third installment because I want to know the end of the story, but it's definitely not a great read. Penelope Matheson I was already going off John by the end of the first book. I started hating him after about a chapter in.
Self righteous nitwit. Jul 04, PM. While I enjoyed the first book quite a bit more and I encourage you to read it first if you've not yet done so , I do feel it a bit unfair to rate this book as inferior to the first, even if only slightly. They are different types of books, after all. Yes, they deal with the same group of people, and this book picks up their story in a linear fashion a number of months after the first book has left off. But the first book existed to illustrate exactly how devastating an EMP attack would be for ou While I enjoyed the first book quite a bit more and I encourage you to read it first if you've not yet done so , I do feel it a bit unfair to rate this book as inferior to the first, even if only slightly.
But the first book existed to illustrate exactly how devastating an EMP attack would be for our modern society, and exactly how unprepared we are for a journey back to primitive lives that even our ancestors from a generation or two back would disbelieve. And this second book? Less cautionary tale, and less survivalist-core, and more action thriller. Yes, there's a strong message delivered, but this book is indeed successful based on the ride on which it takes the reader, and by the white knuckles it will give you as you reach the climactic scenes.
This would make an excellent movie, or perhaps even better a TV series. It is a very realistic and gripping account of one community's desperate attempts to not only survive, but to rebuild and thrive. And opposing them: a corrupt bureaucracy that is scrambling to come to power through Machiavellian tactics.
The message is clear throughout the book. Judge not by what is said, but by what actions are taken. And accept no orders that are not morally upstanding, or that are issued by immoral persons who claim to hold positions of authority. Take down the tyrants, and live free or die fighting. Even in times of war, or perhaps especially in times of war, we clearly identify ourselves as the "good guys" or "bad guys" by the decisions we make and the actions we take, and if we are not focussed on trying to help our fellow man, then there is no other justification for us to fight.
And having once begun to fight, by again focussing on trying to help our fellow man, we will make the fighting as brief as we can, and not lose our humanity. I recommend this book highly. Start with the first in the series, and continue with this one. And I'm sure you'll join me eagerly waiting for the final volume in the planned trilogy.
View 1 comment. Enjoyable read, but not as good as the first. Several parts could be edited out without hurting story. Rushed ending.
Jan 08, Jenn rated it did not like it. Bureaucrats are bad. Former military dudes are awesome! America and the Constitution! Quotes in Latin! Coincidentally, every good person in this book is a former member of the military.
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All the bad people are paper pushers and politicians. As an office-jobber, I've long ago killed myself in fantasy 'EMP land,' but yet I continued to hate-read this in real life. Was there even an editor on this? Oct 06, Richard rated it did not like it. In this book, the author attempts to move away from the apocalyptic "what if" of an EMP attack into a straight novel. I don't think the attempt was successful. There's really only one character Matherson and everyone else is simply a cardboard cutout plugged in to populate a scene and then dumped.
I'm still trying to figure out how Black Mountain got to be such a unique place. In addition, there are a number of engineers, pilots, and amazingly folks who know how to build and repair pre-transistor era telephone systems! What luck! What was insufferable for me was the insipid and wooden dialogue. Matherson says "Do It Now! It seemed that the book ended by setting the stage for Matherson to go on to bigger and better things.
If that means another installment of this series, I'll have to take a pass. Jun 09, Wayne Barrett rated it did not like it Shelves: , apocalyptic , series , suspense , dystopia. This was frustrating because I liked the first book, One Second After, so much, but I did not like this one at all. The first book had the intensity of a classic apocalyptic event where we get an idea what it would be like to have our lives changed in an instant. A nuclear blast a nuclear electromagnetic pulse to be exact takes the country back into the dark ages and we see the culminating fight for survival after the fact.
I'll tell you what I got out of this book: god bless America, National This was frustrating because I liked the first book, One Second After, so much, but I did not like this one at all. I'll tell you what I got out of this book: god bless America, National anthems, Pledge of Allegiances, and heroic ex soldiers, chaplains, etc. Oh, and there is also the corrupt government official who uses enough arsenal to start a small war on a little town because he has a beef with the Colonel, leader of the town , and for whatever reason the government doesn't seem to have a problem with that. Some might like the hokey patriotic tone to the story, and to each their own, but I took the third book off my list.
Mar 06, Mel rated it it was ok. Friends must think of me very differently than I think of myself A waste of my time, and I'm not all that busy. In my opinion the best in this genre -- a genre that hasn't ventured much outside the box other than adding in a prerequisite psycho bully -- is still Pat Frank's 1 Friends must think of me very differently than I think of myself In my opinion the best in this genre -- a genre that hasn't ventured much outside the box other than adding in a prerequisite psycho bully -- is still Pat Frank's , Alas, Babylon.
View all 8 comments. Aug 29, Greg at 2 Book Lovers Reviews rated it really liked it Shelves: , it-s-the-end-of-the-world-as-we-kno. Forstchen has allowed one full year to pass since the events of One Second After ; yes, you must read book one before embarking on the journey in One Year After. The first book in the series was about getting by, surviving and coming together. The second is more about control and deception — an us and them scenario. The townsfolk of Black Mountain have made it through the worst that the apocalypse could throw at them; many were lost, but now they are beginning to get their feet on the ground.
One Year After really touches on the big picture. How does the utopia that John has helped to build fit into the dystopia that America has become? Without the communication technology that we rely upon, who is running the show? Should they? As with the first book, One Year After bleeds red, white and blue. I enjoyed getting back together with the characters, to see what has happened in their lives, how they have grown and evolved. Forstchen created a diverse group of individuals that kept me connected to the story.
I would have preferred a more intelligent villain, someone who could better appreciate what the people of Black Mountain had accomplished, one that worked with them instead of against them. The After Series is terrifying in that it really could happen.
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Forstchen has delivered a grim prospect of how all the chips could fall. Shelves: contemporary , post-apocalyptic , audiobook. One Second After was one of the better survivalist novels I've read. In that book, an EMP attack destroys the North American electric grid and plunges the United States into lawless anarchy and mass starvation. It was a pretty gripping story about a small North Carolina town trying to survive amidst the chaos, even if the main character is a bit of an author stand-in.
The sequel picks up the story a year later, as the title indicates.
Black Mountain is beginning to pull itself together and attain One Second After was one of the better survivalist novels I've read. Black Mountain is beginning to pull itself together and attain enough self-sufficiency to fend of starvation and even restore a few vital services.
There has been little word from the outside world, however, other than BBC broadcasts ending with cryptic code phrases. England was not directly attacked, but Europe is in chaos, and Chinese troops are supposedly occupying the West Coast. Meanwhile, Black Mountain is having to contend with "Reavers," bands of backwoods survivalists who are now becoming much like their namesakes, alternately trading with and raiding their townified neighbors.
After a particularly violent Reaver raid, John Matherson leads a retaliatory expedition and gets captured.
One Year After (After, #2) by William R. Forstchen
He discovers that the so-called "Reavers" are led by a former US Army First Sergeant, who is in his own way trying to do what Matherson does - keep his community alive in hard and violent times. The two men come to a sort of understanding and negotiate a semi-truce, which is then promptly derailed by the arrival of government black helicopters. Yup, in this book, Forstchen brings in a James Wesley Rawles plot: the federal government is reforming kind of , but of course it's run by power-hungry bureaucrats who are not much better than the warlords they are trying to suppress.
When Matherson does not respond favorably either to the carrot or the stick offered to him, the militia he has trained at Black Mountain is forced to fight a battle against the feds. It's possible the government, or the tattered remnants that would rise from the ashes of a civilization-ending event, would be as autocratic and brutal as Fortschen portrays it in fairness, it's mostly a local satrap trying to defend his turf who does all the bad things, with the question of whether he really represents the new government or just a particularly malign representative of it being left an open question.
However, the politics are certainly a bit Reaganish "The nine most terrifying words in the English language are: I'm from the Government, and I'm here to help" , where you pretty much know as soon as the feds show up and say the U. The main character continues to be the ever-upstanding heroic defender of the Constitution, even when it's questionable whether a Constitutional government still exists.
The battle scenes are tense and this was a good post-collapse adventure, but the victory of the good guys requires the bad guys to be extremely stupid. Given all the loose ends, I suspect Forstchen has more sequels planned. I'll read them, but I'm hoping he expands a bit beyond Black Mountain and the virtues of good ol' small town America even in a post-apocalypse.
Nov 07, Kerri rated it it was ok. I read this book and "One Second After" because I am intrigued by the fragility of our society and I love to read about different views about this topic. However, a significant weakness in this series is the way that the EMP seems to blow this town's view of anyone other than white males back to the 's. The female characters are not much of an improvement from the first installment to this book. The author's sexism is so glaring that it becomes a spoiler. For example, once you hear that the P I read this book and "One Second After" because I am intrigued by the fragility of our society and I love to read about different views about this topic.
For example, once you hear that the President is female, you know she is going to turn out to be weak, ineffectual, corrupt, or all three. The author had John, the protagonist, expressing horror at the claims that his community might be racist, but do we see any black good guys? Or any black people of note? John is cartoonishly perfect and his dominance of the town undercuts the theme that the author seems to want to support. There are many types of heroes in our lives and strength and courage can be found in all sorts of people. Wouldn't it be great to see this story find wisdom and courage in unexpected places?
John should be shown to be first among equals - it would be far more interesting for him to cultivate the talents of different people in his town instead of just being the irreplaceable hero. That would be a great American story. Jun 03, Lawrence rated it it was amazing Shelves: suspense-thriller , e-reader , audio-books , ebooks-with-audio-own.
I don't know where to start in describing the contents of this book. It was so thought-provoking and mind blowing that this could actually happen to us in America. Would we survive I highly recommend that everyone read this book, but please start with the first book, 'One Second After'. English Review This book is the sequel of One Second After where we were able to follow the residents of Black Mountain who were trying to survive after the EMP electromagnetic pulse, i.
The people of Black Mountain managed to restore a semblance of normal life even if they do not a English Review This book is the sequel of One Second After where we were able to follow the residents of Black Mountain who were trying to survive after the EMP electromagnetic pulse, i.
The people of Black Mountain managed to restore a semblance of normal life even if they do not actually eat their fill and have to take in account infections because there are no more drugs. However, they manage to develop certain basic pharmaceutical products which improves things. They have reconstructed a telephone line and start a project for electricity thanks to paper books. They also have established a security team to defend the city against thieves. People do not want to see the youngest risking their lives and their departure would also have consequences for the city: not enough people to ensure safety or to grow food.
The new government is in Bluemont, Virginia, it is locally represented by Dale Frederick in Asheville. He offers a deal to John Matherson, the administrator of Black Mountain: if he leaves the town and integrates the army, the draft will be reduced by a half.
Sun Prairie mayor reflects one year after explosion
John must decide whether to endorse the legitimacy of the new government and the methods of the new administrator of Asheville Dale Frederick. That is what struck me the most in these two books, I felt how this could be real. The author wanted his government to react by warning us of the catastrophic effects an EMP could have, I think he has reached his goal with his readers for the government, I do not know. We need to wait for the third and final book that will conclude the story of the inhabitants of Black Mountain. Oct 19, Latoya rated it did not like it. I enjoy apocalyptic and post apocalyptic stories.
The genre often explores morality and asks the question "what would you do". This book attempts to do so without success. Sadly, Forstchen allowed his political viewpoints to write this story. Long passages were dedicated to bemoaning the passing of the good old days. He put the Civil War on a pedestal. I was sickened. The main character a talking head for the autho I enjoy apocalyptic and post apocalyptic stories. The main character a talking head for the author has 19th century moral values and is commenting on 21st century life.
In Forstchen perfect world, their aren't any Blacks, Hispanic or Asians. His community is populated by White Protestants.