Top critical review
A video game in writing.
on 29 April 2016
Having read the other reviews on this book, I have to say I do wonder if it was the same one I read. It is. An EMP attack renders America ruined. So far, so good. That is pretty standard for this type of book - we then wait to see what happens to the country as a result and how the people will deal with it. I am a big fan of this genre and generally enjoy well written books in it. However, this book does not fit that description. I found it to be over written in places and the dialogue did not flow - it felt stiff and unreal, almost forced. But what I really did not like is the casual assumption that because there has been a disaster, everyone will descend into barbarity and killing. This book falls into the trap of being a stereotype - the "hero" is as ex marine, his brother is a marine, his friends are mainly ex marines, marines mutiny and take over ships and nearly everyone in it is obsessed by guns, the more powerful the better. One would think, hope rather, that if there has been so much disaster that life would be precious and preserved. Not in this book or others like it - gangs, cannibals, killing of all type goes on and appears to be almost celebrated. It reads like a video
game. There just does not seem to be any end to it. The President of the USA orders a full scale nuclear attack on countries who are the "enemies" of America - that is the rest of the world scuppered then - without knowing who was responsible for the EMP attack (sound familiar? 9/11? The war with Iraq, perhaps?), ending his announcement for this to those who are left with the words "God Bless America". Jingoistic, ridiculous and a sad assessment of the American people if Mr Hopf really thinks that they would really behave as he has depicted them in this book, I gave it two stars because of the work that went into writing it, not because of the plot, and in my view that is generous. If you really want to read a good and well written book about the aftermath of an EMP attack, try "One Second After" by William Forstchen, a military historian who really knows his stuff and more importantly, can actually write. Otherwise, you may just as well play a violent video game as read this book.