One Second After - America goes back to the Dark Ages.
One Second After acts as a warning to America about what our future could be. As a country our "just in time" distribution of goods and resources makes us particularly vulnerable to any type of disruption and when an EMP instantly disables all of our electronic devices it shows how completely unprepared we are for what happens next. This terrifying look at life in a small North Carolina town after the United States suffers an EMP attack has been cited in Congress and discussed in the Pentagon and it makes for an interesting read. I for one found the realism of the scenario far scarier to consider than the more typical approach to the end of the world that is usually filled with zombies or aliens.
The book follows John Matherson, a retired Army Colonel, as he tries to protect himself, his family, and his community in a nightmare scenario. Like everyone in the story, John must weigh doing what is right for the community verses doing what he needs to do to ensure the survival of his own family. One of his daughters is diabetic and when he finally realizes that the power will be out for the foreseeable future he knows that without a constant supply of insulin, and the required refrigeration, she will die.
And that is just scratching the surface of the magnitude of the problems everyone will face. Modern vehicles don't work which means no sanitation, no new medical supplies, and of course, no new food arriving for this small community. The local government finds itself unprepared for the hard choices it now needs to make about the rationing of food, controlling the spread of disease, and even forming a militia to provide protection against those who would take what little they have.
I found this to be a good read and it certainly makes one think about how prepared you actually are for your way of life to be disrupted. It is one of the more realistic apocalypse genre books and has you considering what you would do if you ever found yourself in this scenario.
For audiobook fans, Joe Barrett does a decent job on the narration and his performance brings an appropriate sense of urgency to what is happening.