WILLIAM R. FORSTCHEN has a Ph.D. from Purdue University with specializations in Military History and the History of Technology. He is a Faculty Fellow and Professor of History at Montreat College. He is the author of over forty books, including the New York Times bestselling series Gettysburg and Pearl Harbor (coauthored with Newt Gingrich), as well as the award-winning young adult novel We Look Like Men of War. He has also authored numerous short stories and articles about military history and military technology. His interests include archaeological research on sites in Mongolia, and as a pilot he owns and flies an original World War II “recon bird.” Dr. Forstchen resides near Asheville, North Carolina with his teenage daughter Meghan and their small pack of golden retrievers and yellow labs.
He knows what he is talking about. He wrote this novel in 2009 for a purpose: to get people to understand the threat of an EMP attack. He bases his whole story on a report released during 9/11 which was (understandably) ignored. He wants us to know about the threat.
I’d never heard of his book, or him, until I downloaded his novel onto my Kindle. It was an astounding experience. I simply couldn’t get enough of it. I read it at odd times of day or night. I would snatch a piece here and there, while waiting for Mary to get ready for church, while waiting at the auto repair shop for my car to be fixed, even while waiting in line to get my shingles shot. When I finally finished reading it last night, I was sorry the story ended.
It’s dystopian and tells the story of a small mountain community near Asheville, North Carolina, where Forstchen lives, which experiences the aftereffects of an EMP attack. I won’t spoil it for you, but only suggest that you be sure to get your own copy as soon as possible. The town’s population is decimated through war and starvation as the electronic grid on which our modern society is completely dependent is destroyed. When the amazing spider-web of interdependency (supply chain organization) disappears, so does about 80 percent of the population. It’s chilling, it’s frightening, and, for me at least, it’s a wakeup call to take some action to ameliorate my own and my family’s situation to the degree possible.
As much as I enjoyed (if that’s the right word) the story, and the warning, I do wish to comment on something this highly educated and concerned author left out: faith in Jesus Christ, our Author, Savior and Finisher. Astonishingly little was said in his novel about our dependence upon Him. It was all about us, what we can do to prepare, how we should act and react…us us us, we we we. It’s not all about us. We are not alone. He hasn’t left us to our own devices. He has His plan for us, and it’s too bad that in this story of warning, he leaves out what I consider to be the most important part of the equation. In fact, it might safely be said that part of our problem is that our society has been leaving Him out of the equation for far too long.
Aside from that significant criticism, I recommend this novel to you highly. It will likely cause you to change your thinking about some things, and perhaps take some action that you hadn’t considered before. I’m not preaching here, just suggesting…