For those of you who are unfamiliar with the prepper genre, a prepper novel portrays how the heros and heroines deal with a large scale disaster or survival situation. Prepper novels have and educational element as the characters showcase both prudent survival skills and gear to help them overcome the obstacles in the plot. What makes Going Home such a great prepper novel is that in addition to showcasing survival skills and gear, Going Home has engaging characters and a gripping plot that will have you turning page after page to see what happens next.
Morgan Carter is returning home from a business trip and finds himself stranded 250 miles from home after his car breaks down. To make matters worse, he soon discovers that all vehicles and devices with fine electronics in them have been knocked out by an electro-magnetic pulse (EMP). He now must travel on foot the great distance home without a vehicle, without power, and through a landscape that is without rule of law. Morgan must survive by relying on his wits, the emergency gear he had prepared, and a few allies he meets along the way.
What I Liked the Most
The author, A. American, follows the fine prepper novel tradition of explaining the virtues and disvirtues of various gear choices and uses. The author is also very imaginative in demonstrating how various skills like fire starting, wild plant identification, and navigation are of paramount importance in a scenario such as the one Morgan finds himself in. Prepper fans will well enjoy this aspect of the novel.
Additionally, A. American does an outstanding job creating charcters with a real feel. In some other prepper novels, the characters seem stiff or vanilla and lacking in personality. A. American however makes great use of dialogue and description to create characters with genuine emotions and personalities. A prepper fan may begin the novel being interested in its prepper knowledge content, but the same fan will finish the novel because of captivating characters that the author creates.
Critiques and the Science of an EMP
It is difficult to be critical of a book that was so enjoyable to read. For the sake of being objective though, there a few things that could be said. The actual effects a large EMP would have on a society are largely theoretical. A would be critical reader may therefore think that the author is a bit over the top with how bad an EMP event would actually be.
Studies have been done to see how various electronic equipment and vehicles will respond to various levels of electro magnetic radiation with varying results. That being said, it is safe to say that as nuclear weapons (a possible source for EMPs) become stronger and farther reaching, and as electronic devices become more sophisticated with more delicate components, no one knows for sure how modern day vehicles and electronic equipment will respond to a strong EMP.
What is true is that the last time our world experienced a large scale EMP was in 1859 when a large coronal mass ejection from the sun (another possible source of an EMP) knocked out much of the telegraph systems in Europe and the United States. At that time, it took years to rebuild and repair the system.
What is most remarkable about this how much damage was sustained by the telegraph system despite being so robust by modern standards. Compare the coarse wiring that was used 150 years ago to the now microscopic wiring that makes up modern day microprocessors of computers and cellphones. It goes without saying that modern day electronic devices are far more electromagnetically fragile that the telegraph system was back in 1859. And yet that telegraph system was massively damaged!
Imagine how extensive modern day systems would be damaged. Most readers of this article have probably been at work or at a retail store when either the power or the internet went down and saw how things were grinded to a halt. So many industries and businesses are dependent both on internet connectivity as well as having electrical power. It is not hard then to imagine the problems that would compound if an entire city, or and entire state, or even an entire country lost the ability to complete electronic transactions or use electronic communication. How could could first responders be contacted in the event of an emergency? How could a public that is used to buying everything on credit or debit cards purchase necessities like food?
Read this Book
While the most critical may find Going Home to be an exaggerated hypothetical scenario, most will find this entertaining novel to be a parable in prudent preparations for just in case. Most will find the novel to be gripping and thought provoking. Today's world is very dependent on the functionality of delicate computers and electronic devices. And when that same world has members like North Korea who threaten to use and EMP attack, making preparations for such an event might not seem so crazy after all.