The End of the Beginning
The third and final book in the One Second After series picks up nearly three years after “The Day.” John Matherson and the citizens of Black Mountain are beginning to bring power back online. Each survivor of The Day has grown to be self-sufficient, hunting for food, foraging, and splitting wood. Moreover, each citizen of Black Mountain was responsible to provide a service to the community.
“…as it was in the beginning, so it is again…” (43)
After the violent encounters with Fredericks and the self-proclaimed government in Bluemont, the townspeople can focus on getting things back to normal. The winter has already proven to be a tough one, so food and warmth are the top priorities. Matherson, not one to grow complacent, finds the lack of response from Bluemont to Fredericks’ death strange… and worrisome.
An Unexpected Visitor
Matherson’s close friend Forrest comes to him having received an important message from a mortally wounded soldier. Quentin Reynolds, a man who claims to have known Matherson before The Day, warns of another planned EMP strike. The warning would be among Reynolds’ last words, as he passes away before Matherson could speak with him. Reynolds worked for Matherson’s old boss, General Bob Scales. Could Scales have survived The Day? Was Reynolds’ message just the delirium of a dying man? Could the threat of an EMP be Bluemont’s trick? Matherson takes the threat seriously and plans to see if Scales is, in fact, still alive.
Reunited, or Divided?
Matherson ultimately reunites with his former boss, mentor, and godfather of his children, General Bob Scales. That said, everyone has been changed after The Day. People have become hardened by the war that followed the EMP strike. Yes, both Matherson and Scales survived, but could their friendship? Scales takes his orders from the government at Bluemont, a government that Matherson had gone to war with. Could Matherson truly trust a man who works for the enemy?
The Constitution Supersedes the Government
I won’t spoil The Final Day for anyone interested in reading it. I will, however, discuss some of the more philosophical points Forstchen has his readers contemplate. What happens when a government operates in direct contrast to the values enshrined in our Constitution? The people in Forstchen’s trilogy experienced a SHTF event that unleashed hell upon the nation. Our government owes a responsibility to the people it governs. If we don’t believe this is currently the case, then what can we expect if SHTF?
A government full of power-hungry opportunists does a huge disservice to the nation. We may not always agree with the direction our government is heading, so it’s important we grow increasingly self-sufficient. Forstchen paints a beautiful picture of how self-sufficiency can be essential to our survival. The more reliant we become on a government, the more danger we put ourselves in. I highly recommend Forstchen’s The Final Day, as it forces the reader to consider the values our nation represents and the importance of maintaining them.
The Final Day Book Review and Other Similar Books
Did you like The Final Day Book Review? Do you want to read other Forstchen books? Take a look at the Bunker Basics Store to buy each of the books in his One Second After series.