Without Warning and over 2 million other books are available for Amazon Kindle . Learn more

Buy Used
Used - Very Good See details
Price: 2.80

Have one to sell? Sell yours here
Sorry, this item is not available in
Image not available for
Image not available

Start reading Without Warning on your Kindle in under a minute.

Don't have a Kindle? Get your Kindle here, or download a FREE Kindle Reading App.

Without Warning [Hardcover]

John Birmingham
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)

Available from these sellers.


Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition 4.16  
Hardcover --  
Paperback 6.39  
Audio, Cassette, Audiobook 65.83  
Audio Download, Unabridged 20.55 or Free with Audible.co.uk 30-day free trial

Book Description

24 Feb 2009
In Kuwait, American forces are stacked up, locked and loaded for the invasion of Iraq. In Paris, a covert agent, a woman who inhabits a twilight of lies and death, is close to cracking a terrorist cell. And just north of the equator, a forty-foot wood-hulled sailboat, manned by a drug runner, a pirate, and two gun-slinging beauties, is witness to the unspeakable. In one instant, all around the world, for politicians and peasants, from Gaza to Geneva, things will never be the same. A wave of inexplicable energy has slammed into the continental United States.

America, as we know it, is gone. . . .


Now U.S. soldiers are fighting a war without command or control. A correspondent records horrors for no one. Washington is gone and the line of succession is in tatters; the functioning remnants of government are in Pearl Harbor, Guantánamo Bay, and one desperate, isolated corner of the Northwest. For the jihadists, it’s Allah’s miracle. For Saddam, it’s a chance to attack. Iran declares war on an America that doesn’t exist–except in the hearts and souls of the men and women who want it to.

In this astounding work of alternate fiction, John Birmingham hurtles us into a scenario that is unimaginable but shatteringly real: a world of financial ruin where a cloud of noxious waste–from America’s burning cities–darkens Europe, while men and women in offices around the globe struggle to make decisions that cannot hold and opportunists unleash their secret demons.

From a slick Texas lawyer who happens to be in the right place at the right time to a hard-working city engineer in Seattle who becomes his terrified city’s only hope, from the cancer-stricken secret agent to a drug runner off the Mexican coast and a U.S. general in Cuba, Without Warning tells a fast, furious story of survival, violence, and a new, soul-shattering reality. The first in an epic trilogy that will leave readers breathless and astounded, Without Warning offers a world without its policeman, its Great Satan, or its savior–as an unknowable future struggles to be born.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 516 pages
  • Publisher: Del Rey Books (24 Feb 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345502892
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345502896
  • Product Dimensions: 4 x 16.9 x 23.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 768,071 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, and more.

Product Description


Potential to be an apocalyptic classic. --The Eloquent Page

"This one is a recommended read for fans of thrillers, alt-history and even sci-fi." --Geek Native

"Definitely one to check out. --Nerd Like You

"This one is a recommended read for fans of thrillers, alt-history and even sci-fi. --Geek Native

The balance between suspense and post-apocalypse styles is genius while the writing itself is quite exceptional. --SFBook Reviews

This book never goes dull for a moment and actually puts you to thinking What if? --Book Plank

"A gritty, compelling pedal-to-the-metal action blockbuster of Hollywood proportions." --Starburst Magazine --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

John Birmingham is the author of Final Impact, Designated Targets, Weapons of Choice, He Died with a Felafel in His Hand, The Tasmanian Babes Fiasco, How to Be a Man, The Search for Savage Henry, and Leviathan, which won the National Award for Nonfiction at Australia’s Adelaide Festival of the Arts. Birmingham is also the recipient of the George Munster Prize for Freelance Story of the Year and the Carlton United Sports Writing Prize. He has written for The Sydney Morning Herald, Rolling Stone, Penthouse, Playboy, and numerous other magazines. He lives at the beach with his wife, daughter, son, and two cats.

From the Hardcover edition. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Copyright | Excerpt
Search inside this book:

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
64 of 67 people found the following review helpful
14 March 2003. The world watches on as the United States and her allies prepare for the controversial invasion of Iraq. What happens next is totally unexpected: a field of energy materialises over the North American continent, stretching from north-east of Newfoundland to just north of Acapulco, and from just south-east of Seattle to a few miles north of Guantanamo Bay. Virtually the entirety of the continental United States, most of populated Canada and almost all of Mexico and Cuba are affected. Within the 'Wave', as it becomes known, every single living being is instantly incinerated, but the cities are left intact. However, the Wave remains, sealing off the continent to outsiders.

The United States government is annihilated, leaving its military - the overwhelming majority of which is on deployment outside the affected zone - leaderless. Hawaii, Alaska and the tiny surviving portion of Washington State attempt to keep the American flag flying, but the effective loss of the strongest nation on Earth is catastrophic. The world economy goes into meltdown and elements in the Middle-East, proclaiming the Disappearance to be a miracle, prepare for a cataclysmic showdown with Israel, now bereft of its most powerful benefactor and protector. Smoke from the burning American cities turns into a massive plume of toxic smog which encircles the northern hemisphere. As the weeks pass, ethnic tensions begin to tear France and the United Kingdom apart. Iran musters its forces to destroy the US forces in the Gulf. China's threatening moves towards Taiwan are abandoned when its internal economy, dependent on exports to the USA, collapses. Japan and South Korea finds themselves overstretched having to feed Hawaii. Australia and New Zealand are swamped by American refugees.
Read more ›
Was this review helpful to you?
32 of 34 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A dramatic start for Birmingham's new series 6 Feb 2009
John Birmingham's latest novel wastes no time launching its premise: on March 14, 2003, as the world awaits the impending start of the Iraq War, a massive energy bubble appears in North America, instantly wiping out every lifeform within it. In the weeks that follow, the world faces the consequences of the loss of the world's sole superpower. The military attempt to preserve order in the unaffected remnants of the United States, Saddam launches an attack on the now-stranded American forces, and a cloud of pollution created by the burning of hundreds of U.S. cities wreaks untold environmental damage.

The unfolding story makes for a sharp contrast with Birmingham's previous work. His "Axis of Time" trilogy: Weapons of Choice: World War 2.1 (Axis of Time Trilogy 1), Designated Targets: World War 2.2 (Axis of Time Trilogy 2), and Final Impact: World War 2.3 (Axis of Time Trilogy 3), told of the story of a near-future battlefleet suddenly transported into the midst of the Second World War with a tinge of levity. As in the earlier series, he tells of events through a collection of strongly defined characters: a spy, a civil engineer, a pair of military commanders, a smuggler, and a reporter. Unlike his earlier works, however, the humor is absent as he takes an appropriately grimmer tone in detailing the unfolding horror of a world facing disorder and collapse.

The events that follow make for a gripping read.
Read more ›
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enigmatic Apocalyptic Science Fiction 8 Jan 2013
Genre wise, Without Warning could probably best be described as a bit of a hybrid. It takes the best elements from a standard Clancy-esque thriller as well as a nice, inexplicable science-fiction macguffin and throws them together to create a page turning mash-up of the two. Events begin to unfold in an alternate 2003. Large portions of the US Military are poised to invade Iraq when in a single second, 95% of the American population vanishes. In their place, is a huge impenetrable energy wave that covers most of the US mainland.

Chronologically, things are split into a number of sections that follow the moments leading up to `the Disappearance', as it comes to be known, and its immediate aftermath. There are also chapters set a week after, a month after and finally, a year after. I was a little concerned at the prospect of this, fearing that these jumps were going to miss big chunks out of the plot. I needn't have worried however, nothing feels jarring and the split over multiple time periods actually allows more ground to be covered. This allows for some good insight into the longer-term effects of the situation.

I was reminded a little of the premise from Flash Forward by Robert J. Sawyer, certainly events have a similar tone. An unexplained event occurs that effects the entire planet, and the story that follows covers various different reactions and perspectives to that event. It also feels like there is an episodic nature to the different strands of narrative, almost like you're getting half a dozen short stories for the price of one. It's particularly good when the separate character arcs intersect with one another. The moments when characters you are already familiar with meet for the first time is always fun.
Read more ›
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
Would you like to see more reviews about this item?
Were these reviews helpful?   Let us know
Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant
Scary science fiction, homing in on how fragile the world scene is, and what it would be like without the USA to maintain a semblance of peace and influence in the world.
Published 2 months ago by cspears
2.0 out of 5 stars Great book, questionable accents; love a duck, cor blimey mister,...
The book is great, I've already read another.
However, as a native English speaker who has lived in France for several years I found Tom Weiner's narrative acceptable, except... Read more
Published 3 months ago by C. Armitage
4.0 out of 5 stars A different premis for a disaster movie.
Set in 1991 just prior to the first gulf war most of Amercia is destroyed by an unknown energy field. The story is about how different people around the globe cope. Read more
Published 5 months ago by TVR-Andy
5.0 out of 5 stars without warning
Having read a page of this book in a local bookshop i decided to buy
this book. I have not regretted it. The story line is excellent and the
characters believable. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Mr. D. R. Hicks
5.0 out of 5 stars dam good read
Excellent book well written , good characters and storyline , can not wait to read sequels , well done john Birmingham
Published 8 months ago by william culley
3.0 out of 5 stars Flick read
This is what I call a flick read - story was good, but there were large sections where I could just scan the pages and it didn't interest me. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Avid reader
4.0 out of 5 stars Great book
The only reason I haven't given it the 5 star treatment is that I wanted to give After America 5 stars and I think the 2nd book in the series is better, but then I am an action... Read more
Published 12 months ago by Jonathan M. Balmer
5.0 out of 5 stars What a wonderful premise
Loved the book and two subsequent stories John Birmingham is top of my 'must have' list. Long may he continue to enthrall us.
Published 13 months ago by Ann Field
4.0 out of 5 stars Future history or is it...
The book has a very interesting premise, what would happen if the USA wasnt there anymore?

Now I bought this hoping for something a little deeper, thought it would... Read more
Published 16 months ago by JimmyG
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting but a little bland
The concept is a sound one and the writing is strong but unfortunately the story side tracks into some conspiracy theories & then politics that make the overall premise stagnant... Read more
Published 17 months ago by Marc George
Search Customer Reviews
Only search this product's reviews

Customer Discussions

This product's forum
Discussion Replies Latest Post
No discussions yet

Ask questions, Share opinions, Gain insight
Start a new discussion
First post:
Prompts for sign-in

Search Customer Discussions
Search all Amazon discussions

Look for similar items by category