February 22, 2017

The Final Day by William R. Forstchen

Title:  The Final Day
Author:  William R. Forstchen
Pages:  348
Genre:  Dystopian Thriller
Publisher:  Tom Doherty, 2017
Series:  John Matherson, Book 3

"I'm quit now, quit forever.  This is the final day."

Synopsis:  Since the detonation of nuclear weapons above the United States more than two years ago, the small town of Black Mountain, North Carolina has suffered famine, civil war, and countless deaths. Now, after defeating a new, tyrannical federal government, John Matherson and his community intend to restore their world to what it was before the EMP apocalypse. For the most part, they are succeeding.

This period of relative stability doesn’t last long. A new, aggressive government announces that it’s taking over and ceding large portions of the country to China and Mexico. The Constitution is no longer in effect, and what’s left of the U.S. Army has been deployed to suppress rebellion in the remaining states. John fears he and his town will be targets.

General Bob Scales, John’s old commanding officer and closest friend from prewar days, is sent to bring John into line. Will John and his people accept the new, autocratic regime? Or will revolution rip the fledgling nation apart at the seams?

"Try to remember the kind of September when life was slow and oh so mellow."

Review:  This author has an uncanny ability to write a fictional story that leaves you believing that what he portrays is *exactly* what would happen.  The first novel in this series, One Second After, left me chilled and horrified.  The second book, while very good, didn't touch me in quite the same way.  This final novel left me angry.  Really furious.  And I believed every bit of what he described was absolutely what would happen if our government ever had a crisis like this one take place.

It starts out about 2 1/2 years after The Day, the day the EMP hit the United States, and ends exactly 3 years after the first novel begins.  For such a short period of time, there is so much happening and it's exciting, terrible, incredibly sad and a little hopeful, too.  While this story didn't quite have the impact of the first novel, it was very good.

This series is far and away the single most important set of books I've read.  They opened my eyes to the fact that I'm not safe.  Nobody is.  And it made me realize that I am responsible to make myself safe and to prepare for what could happen.

Rating:  9 / 10

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