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Lightning Fall: A Novel of Disaster [Audiobook, CD] [Audio CD]

Bill Quick , Johnny Heller
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

29 April 2014
"Bill Quick has authored a terrific thriller that is also an all too plausible warning. Highly recommended!" - Glenn Reynolds at Three terrorist attacks are launched from freighters against the United States. Only one fully succeeds, but in the blink of an eye all of the country west of the Rocky Mountains is transformed into the technological equivalent of the 18th century - no electricity, no computers, no electronics of any kind, and none of the amenities of modern life that depend on them. This is the story of ordinary and extraordinary people, high and low, who struggle to survive in a mortally wounded nation, as America's enemies within and without circle for the kill. A Latino gang-banger becomes Mayor of a devastated Los Angeles; a gay survivalist fights for his life in San Francisco; an ordinary Indiana housewife and her three children struggle to keep their lives together in a crashing economy; a shrimp fisherman in Louisiana watches a mushroom cloud rise over New Orleans; the Admiral in charge of the military defense of the nation faces a storm of enemies from every corner of the compass; and the President of the United States and the Speaker of the House of Representatives battle for supremacy as the lives of sixty million Americans hang in the balance. LIGHTNING FALL tells a story of terror, tragedy, and triumph you will never forget.
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Product details

  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audiobooks; Unabridged edition (29 April 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1483020371
  • ISBN-13: 978-1483020372
  • Product Dimensions: 19 x 16.5 x 3.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Product Description

About the Author

BILL QUICK is a well-known science fiction author with dozens of published novels and short stories, as well as non-fiction and screenwriting achievements to his credit. He is the longtime publisher of the blog Daily Pundit, where he named the Blogosphere on New Year’s Day, 2002. He is also the publisher of the prepping site, whose contributors helped to flesh out many of the ideas in this novel. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Survival for the Prepared 7 May 2014
In many ways, this is an excellent example a post-apocalypse novel, detailing the events and response to a massive EMP blast knocking out everything on the west coast coupled with a nuclear bomb wiping out New Orleans. It has great scope, as it looks at individuals from the very bottom of the social ladder all the way to the top of the heap of Washington power brokers. It spans the entire nation, and circumstances unique to each location. The characters are well delineated, and many show quite a bit of internal change as external events force them to re-evaluate themselves and what they want out of life.

The situations are highly believable. There is no doubt that the US is very vulnerable to the type of attack described here (as are all highly developed countries whose functioning is very dependent on electricity and all the gadgets powered by it). Besides showing the effects in the areas directly damaged by the attack, this book goes a lot further and shows both in detail and logically just what the effects would be on the rest of the nation. Few Americans really think about such a doomsday scenario, and consequently make few or no preparations for handling such emergencies, and this is really the crux of why this attack is so devastating. If nothing else, this book might make a few more people think and make some actual preparations to help them through such disasters, as the results shown here are truly horrific, and his portrayal of one couple who really did make preparations can give solid guidance to what is needed and how useful such a setup can be.

On the basis of the above, I’d normally be inclined to give this a 4 or 5 star rating.
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5.0 out of 5 stars all too believable 16 April 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The characters here were all fairly rounded and I am looking forward to seeing what happens in the next book. However (spoiler alert)

Why the rape? It seemed of no consequence; we already knew she was a tough cookie. A simple assault would have galvanised her partner instead off sexual violence.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.1 out of 5 stars  122 reviews
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Well done 26 Mar 2014
By Matthew W. Bryson - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition
I just finished reading Lightning Fall and wanted to post my thoughts:

My one complaint is that President Carter and her husband are too obviously Hillary and Bill. Not that it hasn't been done before, as the president in Ringo's "The Last Centurion" was also clearly Hillary. That said, the President and the First Husband speak and act almost exactly like I believe they would speak and act, based on 20+ years of observing their real life counterparts. So this minor quibble can actually be thought of as a strength, in that regard at least. Now on to the strengths.

The science in this scifi novel is pretty good. As an engineer who works in electric power generation, I can attest that Bill Quick correctly describes the current grid would react to an EMP: it would crash and burn. Also, the damage to data storage, communications and transportation would likely be at least as bad as portrayed in Lightning Fall. Quite possibly worse.

The situations evolve more or less like they should. I know people like to think that everyone would band together during a disaster, but one of the magnitude shown in the book would assuredly lead to a Lord of the Flies scenario, as the book demonstrates.

Characters in a story should be a) believable and b) sympathetic or hated. Lightning Fall succeeds on both counts. The characters are given sufficient depth, including the villains. With such a large cast of characters, this is no mean feat.

Finally, the story should engrossing and entertaining. Lightning Fall is both. It reminded me (is a positive way) of "Lucifer's Hammer", especially in how it depicts the breakdown of society. I look forward to the sequel due out next year to see if the rebuilding of the country's infrastructure is as realistic as its destruction.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding 24 Mar 2014
By David Rachocki - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Extremely well researched and written. A cast of diverse characters that are believable and could be met on the streets of America today. The plot has the makings of our worst nightmares. As reading entertainment it is well worth the purchase price. As a primer for what may be ahead of us it is undervalued.
16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Realistic. Frighteningly realistic. 16 Mar 2014
By paula - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Forget the zombie outbreaks. Forget the space aliens with an inexplicable taste for human flesh. Forget the five-mile asteroids heading right for us.

No, mankind's biggest threats have always been from mankind. External threats from people wanting your land, internal threats from people wanting to control you, or just plain people giving in to their base desires regardless of what it does to other people. This book has them all.

It's also got plenty of the more admirable aspects of human nature: taking responsibility for your own well-being, helping others who need a hand, and trying to keep it all together and running properly for everyone's benefit.

One of the major points of this book is "what happens if the electric grid goes down?" It's not pretty. I think this novel does a good job of showing the many bad things that happen in urbanized America without electricity. (If anything, the story understates how fragile the grid is, I think.) On the flip side, it shows the can-do ingenuity of many Americans, getting something lashed up and making do.

_Lightning Fall_ succeeds as an action story, but it's more than that. If this book doesn't scare you into being a prepper, nothing will. You don't have to be a hardcore fanatic about it, but think about how fragile all of our systems are and how vulnerable you are if anything breaks. Take a couple steps so you won't suffer if there's a power failure or a trucker's strike.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Read! 19 Mar 2014
By James David Watson - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A realistic story about the fragility of modern urban society and what is likely when the veneer of civilization is peeled away. This book has it all: a crippling attack leading to mass destruction and death, the inability of government to deal with such a situation, the ugly reality of human behavior in such circumstances, and a behind-the-doors look at the machinations of mendacious politicians, more concerned with their well being rather than that of the people or country.

Bill Quick has studied these issues for years, and is a master story teller and wordsmith. The book is full of tips and insights for anyone concerned with disaster preparation. For anyone interested in this genre, this book is a must have on your bookshelf or in your Kindle.

I can hardly wait for the sequel!
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Flawed but still very good 26 Mar 2014
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The thinly veiled portrait of Hillary Clinton as a maniacal president lessens this otherwise excellent and wide-ranging story of America's collapse after an EMP. No zombies, no aliens, no plague, no asteroids here. Just America brought to its knees and how people from the president to ordinary people to street thugs respond. I look forward to reading the sequel in 2015, however this book presents a complete story that stands on its own.
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