Friday, December 4, 2015

Book Review - "One Year After"

Since I had to work a 12 hour shift today I figured it was a good time to work number 2 of my book reviews that had been piling up in.

"One Year After" by William Forstchen returns us to the little town of Black Mountain S. Carolina. I am assuming most everyone reading this review has read the prequel "One Second After". In "One Year After" Black Mountain is chugging along trying to get the hydro-dam project working and having semi-frequent clashes with a group of survivors from the other side of the mountain.

The Army forces that returned from over seas and showed up in and around the Black Mountain area too late to help them defend themselves from the cannibalistic horde of looters, have since been moved on to other locations were they are needed more. A federal government is forming under some minor cabinet member who survived the initial EMP attack and that government has issued a draft and is forming a kinda para-military army to fight all the separatist groups that remain across the US.

Due to some slime ball maneuvers by the regional governor or whatever he is Our hero John Matherson takes over as de-facto leader and military commander of the Black Mountain militia and attacks the Federal forces in Asheville.

That's a pretty basic synopsis.

Readability -  Forstchen is a good writer. His novels are always good reading although I still think this One-whatever-series is a bit too short and lacks some of the creative feeling his "Lost Regiment" series has. Still the story is easy to follow and exciting enough (usually) to keep you glued.

I will say this is the first Forstchen novel I have ever read where humans were not used as food at some point. I actually found myself going into the book wondering how he was going to work cannibalism into the story.

Remember what I said in the last review about helicopters and nuclear bombs? Well we get em both in this book. To the point I am not sure it is truly a post collapse novel anymore and more a well on the road to recovery story.

PCness - Forstchen has always been kinda a flag waver for the PC Multi-Cult crowd to the point of almost preaching it in "One Second After". "One Year After" Wasn't as bad in that regard although he did attempt to push the current Women in combat thing a little. As hard as I am about PCness in post collapse novels though I will give "One Year After" a pass on it as it was not overdone. I really expected to be handing out a reduction to be honest so I was surprised.

Overall Story - I would have preferred a bit less resource rich Federal tyrant government and a bit more in-depth look at tactics and pre-staging. As it turned out the real action of the novel was all in only a few short pages and not very detailed. The various characters were more or less fleshed out well. I think overall the entire thing was rather predictable and we will see but set's us up for a very predictable third novel as well.

Price - I doubt we will find this book in the reduced bin anytime soon. For the number of pages it is pretty pricey even in electronic form.

As a whole I give "One Year After" a score of 7 out of 10. Forstchen is a good enough writer to take what I would have given a score of 5 or 6 to up to a 7.

Keep Prepping Everyone!!!!!


  1. I got this out of the library a couple of months ago. I loved One Second After and flew through it. But the sequel.... I just didn't enjoy it as much. He is a good writer but it lost something compared to the first.

    1. Lisa - Ya I understand that. As I said it almost reads like a whole other genre really than the first book. It also seemed rushed and like his real creativity just wasn't in it as much.

  2. I actually finished this book today. It's a very readable book, and I did roll my eyes a few times with the predictability and multicultural agenda. I'd give it a 6.5 outta 10. The first book was the reason I started at looking at acquiring equipment and skills that use very little electricity/electronics. EMP is my most probable "we're really screwed" event. Most likely you ask? Economic collapse. Back to the book though. A good read, but pale in comparison to One Second After for self motivation in prepping.

    1. K - As a novel this one didn't stand up to 1 sec. but I did feel he preached the Multi-Cult thing more in 1 sec.

      A lot of people don't put much stock into the EMP scenario and while I can see their point I still thinks it's best to be like you and prepare for it as well.

  3. One obvious problem with the EMP scenario as portrayed by Mr. F is that he doesn't even follow the research that he refers to in his writings. Everyone seems to be copying from the original Warday script (the first novel I am aware of that used the EMP - granted not as the main point of destruction) rather than from reality. On top of that, there is some pretty good reasons to question the amount of damage from such a small initial point of energy.

    Now the solar flare..... That is a different matter.

    In any case, Mr. F's grasp on tactical and logistical realities struck me as non-existent in the first book. Someone else noted in a review recently about "apocalyptic" books that start in the stone age, and somehow before its over you have nukes and tanks racing around.


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