Survival…that’s what it has been all about since the EMP. Forstchen has allowed one full year to pass since the events of One Second After; yes, you must read book one before embarking on the journey in One Year After.
The first book in the series was about getting by, surviving and coming together. The second is more about control and deception – an us and them scenario. The townsfolk of Black Mountain have made it through the worst that the apocalypse could throw at them; many were lost, but now they are beginning to get their feet on the ground.
One Year After really touches on the big picture. How does the utopia that John has helped to build fit into the dystopia that America has become? Without the communication technology that we rely upon, who is running the show? Should they?
As with the first book, One Year After bleeds red, white and blue. I don’t mind that, but at certain times it does come off as a bit preachy.
I enjoyed getting back together with the characters, to see what has happened in their lives, how they have grown and evolved. Forstchen created a diverse group of individuals that kept me connected to the story. I would have preferred a more intelligent villain, someone who could better appreciate what the people of Black Mountain had accomplished, one that worked with them instead of against them. Then again, if that had been the case, he wouldn’t have been the villain and the story would have been a moot point.
The After Series is terrifying in that it really could happen. Forstchen has delivered a grim prospect of how all the chips could fall.