BOOK REVIEW: “Day of Wrath’ by William Forstchen (Author of “One Second After”)

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days of wrath“I did not want to write this [book], but, as I expressed to friends, I feared that if I did not write it, and this nightmare happened, which it really can, I would be responsible in some way for remaining silent. If you read on from here, it will not be an enjoyable experience.”

~ William Forstchen in the “Day of Wrath” introduction.

I have written several book reviews. Part way through each book, I would already know what “angle” I would take in my review. By the time I finished reading, the words of the review came easily. I either liked the book or didn’t, had some words of wisdom to share about the contents, and a recommendation to buy it or skip it.

This book is very different.

The Day of Wrath was an excellent read.

It was not an enjoyable experience.


Day of Wrath is the story of a coordinated multiple target terrorist attack in the United States by ISIS. It’s told through the eyes of several different people, including victims and terrorists. The main character, a teacher at the middle school his daughter attends, seems to clearly express the author’s point of view on the current state of the world.

The story goes into fairly specific detail of how the jihadists come into the country, wait for their signal, and then attack in several locations at the same time. The terrorists expect a certain response, and Americans do not disappoint them, falling right into their plans.

The chapters that put us in the mind of the bad guys run consistent with my own study of Islam and are a good representation of a jihadist’s motivations, based on what their spiritual leaders and the Koran tell them.

Please remember: this is a review of a book  – a work of fiction, albeit one inspired by and incorporating real events – based on my personal experiences, and nothing more. It it not a historical or political analysis. It is simply a review of a novel by a popular dystopian author.


I read the entire 144 page novella in one sitting. It was an engaging read that kept me turning the pages. It also made me sick to my stomach. So I can’t say I “liked” the book, but I am glad I read it.

When speaking to a friend about this book she asked, “Why would the author give the bad guys this terrible plan for an attack?” That’s an extremely naive question. Terrorists don’t need our help to come up with ways to attack us. They have been working on it themselves for a long time.

It is believed that ISIS has already crossed, or has plans to cross, into the United States along our southern border. ISIS is in many ways a bigger threat to us than Al Qaeda because they are more barbaric, better funded, and have greater resources.

The book was just released in the middle of August. It includes factual events perpetrated by ISIS over the last several months, as well as references to previous real terrorist events, woven into the fictional storyline.

That is what makes reading this so disconcerting: The reader doesn’t have to suspend belief in order to believe the story being told.

The ending was not where I expected the story to go. It was still shocking because its believability might have made it the scariest part of the entire book. I will leave it at that so as not to have any spoilers, but be prepared not to be “satisfied” with how it all unfolds.

One thing I enjoyed about Mr. Forstchen’s previous novel, One Second After, is that it gave the reader excellent information, throughout the storyline, about how to prepare for an EMP and its aftermath. I didn’t find the same subtle instruction in this novel. With the exception of carrying a firearm at all times and homeschooling your children, I’m not sure there was much practical learning value to this story.


I recommend reading this book, but with a clear warning that some parts are difficult to read. This is not a “feel good” story where everything works out in the end and folks ride off into the sunset. People die, children are tortured and murdered, and schools are involved.

The whole story, but especially the ending, may make you mad. It will remind you that the issue with our porous borders isn’t just about Mexicans and Central Americans looking for a better life. It will also give you a clearer understanding of what an ISIS attack on the US might look like and reinforce the reality that ISIS is a threat to this country.

I hope that it makes you more focused on the threat of terrorism that our country still faces, even though we have gone 13 years without a large scale, coordinated attack. That focus should not manifest as fear, but rather as vigilance, both to what is happening around us and in our personal preparedness for potentially terrible times.

If you’ve already read the book, or decide to read it, please share your thoughts in the comments below.

28 thoughts on “BOOK REVIEW: “Day of Wrath’ by William Forstchen (Author of “One Second After”)”

  1. Oh dear…I want to read it. I am a bit afraid to read it. Today is the first day of school here and I already wish my daughter would homeschool. Dare I read it?!

    1. The Survival Mom

      I feel the same way. I started it yesterday and just haven’t had the courage to pick it back up! (The review was written by one of my pro writers, Amy Van Riper.)

  2. I read it in one sitting, after seeing the author on Fox & Friends. This is the scariest book I’ve ever read because it is SO believable, in light of the current threats/promises by ISIS. I wept with sadness, and shook with fear. This scenario is so believable- so much more so that his book One Second After (which I LOVE, and which started me prepping). The ending- well, I am sick again just thinking about it.
    I often recommend books/blogs to my daughters- but honestly, I am afraid to suggest this book. It just left me feeling hopeless.

  3. Janice, Thanks for reading and for your thoughtful response. I had a very similar experience when I read the book, and I think you can see now why I struggled with writing the review. It’s a book that I think almost everyone SHOULD read, but acknowledge that no one should WANT to read it. It is my hope that after reading the book, instead of feeling hopeless or fearful (even though those responses are completely understandable) that the reader will feel FOCUSED. There is little that we as individuals on our own can do to prevent an event like this. We can be involved with our elected officials to keep the FOCUS on threats we face. We can be in touch with our local schools to help them FOCUS on safety. But one area we can have a relatively large impact on is our own family. We can be FOCUSED on our own preparedness. Heightened awareness of what is going on around us, ensuring that we have the needed preparedness items both with us when we are away from home and stocked as preps at home. Because this is a believable scenario, thinking about it and being prepared with some idea of a plan if it were to actually happen will put us “ahead of the game.” I pray something like this never, ever takes place, but I am intent on being prepared with a response if it does.

  4. This short book is a must read for all Americans! History does repeat and even though it reminds the reader of Greece and Roman Empire fall, my real concern was the last chapter. It makes you wonder if the whole purpose was to take Americans freedom away!

  5. Amy:
    Based on your review, I just purchased Day of Wrath. I can’t wait to read it.

    Nine storm of the century experiences? Wow, that impressive! I have lived through two myself: An 18 inch snow storm in Birmingham, Alabama in 1993, and a record-setting 24 hour tornado outbreak in Alabama in 2011. I was living in Mobile, Alabama in 1979 when hurricane Frederick destroyed that city, but it wasn’t considered a storm of the century. I was also in Mobile to witness tropical storm Alberto ruining 4th. Of July celebrations in 1994. Is was unique in that it strangely just sat over Mobile Bay and spun for 5 days like a giant commode flush. It produced 20 inches of rain and caused widespread flooding in 10 counties of Georgia, Alabama and Florida. Again, not considered a storm of the century, but I will never forget the mess that I saw.

    I know you have many tales from all those storms. There is nothing that compares to actually experiencing the incredible power that nature has to destroy things. I, for one, would love to see you write about them.

    1. Wow, I lived through Alberto in 1994 just outside of Albany, Ga. By the time he made it there it was the storm of the century and we suffered a once in a lifetime 500 year flood. Fours years later we had a 100 year flood. I was flooded both times and lived in two completely different neighborhoods, go figure. You are absolutely right about the power of the forces of nature, truly awe-inspiring.
      I will read this book but with trepidation.

  6. I downloaded the book yesterday, and I found it frightening and plausible.

    I’m a participant in an event called National Novel Writing Month, which comes around every November. The goal is to write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days. It doesn’t have to be good, it just has to be 50,000 words and written in 30 days.

    A couple of years ago, my plot was this: How does a Christian family respond when Islamic terrorists take over the USA?

    And the initial attack in my story was a coordinated hit on several public schools in the US.

    I went a little bit farther and described what I thought would happen under a radical Islamic regime.

    Someone told me that I was going to run into “major believability issues” with my plot. I didn’t agree with them then, I don’t agree now, and apparently someone else thinks along the same lines as I do!

  7. I’m still amazed that so many of us have fallen for the “Islam is the new enemy” trip. Have we forgotten Japanese internment camps, the MacCarthy era and many others like it when we fell for the propaganda? ISIS have been fueled and funded by the ‘powers that be’ and do not represent the fifth of the world’s population that are Muslim. Gov’ts have perpetrated many a false flag to get the masses on their sides, and funded radicalized groups to do the dirty work. This craziness is not backed by the Quran which states that killing an innocent person is like murdering the whole of humanity, and the person who does so will be held accountable. But it is backed by ppl who have a history of bribing and killing leaders of various countries and starting fake uprisings to get control of resources and make more money (see Confessions of an Economic Hitman). Anyway, I just hope that we can stay away from putting an entire group of super diverse ppl in a tiny ‘terrorist’ box. I loved One Second After and will download this book today. I just hope there this is not a book demoizing an entire group.

    Thanks for taking the time to read this.

    1. You need to learn about Islam and the life of Muhammad. Muhammad led his followers in wars of aggression as he sought to impose Islam on the Arabs. This included attacking a peaceful Jewish village for the sole purpose of stealing their goods. Before he died he ordered his followers to spread the faith by the sword of conquest. The true Muslims have obeyed this command ever since for over a thousand years. The terrorist are the true followers of Islam. The “”peaceful” Muslims are apostates because they violate this command.

      Just look at the problems Europe has had with the millions of Muslims they invited into their countries. Instead of becoming citizens they are attempting to impose Islam on those societies as the prophet commanded. We are seeing similar behavior among the Muslims in our country with their female genital mutilation and clamor for our society to adopt sharia law.

      I am just amazed at how progressives embrace Islam when they would be it’s first victims if they gained power. Then again progressives have a lot in common with Muslims. They both seek to establish on party rule and giving the government control over every aspect of society. When you consider it progressives are identical to Muslims in every significant respect.

  8. Roxy – please just answer me one question-
    The perpetrators of the heinous acts of terrorism in recent times all attest and subscribe to what religion?
    Come on, you know. Say it with me, ISLAM ! OK, I agree not EVERY muslim takes up an AK-47 and straps on a bomb vest in the name of Allah. However, where are the muslim voices of opposition? If the “Terroist Sect” is such a small piece of Islam as a whole, why are they not speaking out against the violent acts and flawed ideology of their brothers? I don’t know, but I can tell you one thing for sure, if a small sect of Christianity was beheading innocents in the name of Christ, the overwhelming masses of followers of Christ would be screaming from the roof tops against this type of disgustingly vile and barbaric behavior, fear of retaliation be damned…

  9. I too would like to read the book but I am afraid. I cannot believe that these heinous acts are occurring in our modern day society. It is history repeating itself as it always does. There has been violence throughout the centuries. Why can’t people just live in harmony —why is it so much to ask.

  10. I believe this book makes it very clear of the cold reality, that schools are soft targets. I have met Dr. Forstchen and was impressed by his passion for history, and this book is a scenario of what could happen here. He’s appeared frequently on the Jim Bakker Show and his books are fantastic.

  11. This one totally pissed me off. While it is a somewhat shorter book, I was engrossed from beginning to end. I put it down and had to take a walk to calm down. It’s an eye opener because it could very likely happen as our government is doing everything it can to make it harder to protect ourselves and our families.
    The question I walked away with was, what are you capable of when comes to protecting your children?

    1. The Survival Mom

      It’s a good thing our schools are gun-free zones, isn’t it? (SARCASM) Most of us parents would do anything to protect our kids, and those with the sense to have firearm training and a concealed carry license are better equipped than those without.

  12. So I just now read this book……and of all the mass chaos and end of world books, theories, Ect that I have read, this one seems the most horrific and the most likely. It is a book no one wants to read, but everyone should.

  13. I read this book and for two days I had some really disturbing dreams. I have read other books by Mr. Forstchen and this one stands alone in its brutality. This book is an easy book to read but a hard book to take in. If you have small school aged kids, are a teacher or work at a school, or have young grandkids then this book will stain your soul. I’m a big believer in not turning away from the face of evil. I want to know what evil truly looks like so that I can best recognize it if I ever come face to face with it. Don’t be afraid to read this novella BUT understand that once you read it there is no unreading it.

  14. Disturbing read. One wonders if some teachers are carrying weapons anyway. Also the Sequel is the next day a Civil War erupts in the U.S.

    1. The Survival Mom

      That attack was absolutely sickening and depraved. Personally, I hope the terrorists rot in hell for all eternity.

  15. This should be a wake up call that all Muslims are our enemies. I know the response that follows, don’t listen to this racist. The author reveals a very true and critical fact about the religion of Islam. The command to deceive all Non-Muslims until the appropriate time to act. These Muslims preaching peace and calling themselves non-violent are part of the deception to kill all infidels. They become very upset anytime this point is made because it is the best weapon they have to influence and infiltrate the West. They realize if everyone realized this they would all be rounded up and prosecuted and all Non-Muslim nations would treat them as the enemy they truly are. They don’t have to worry the Liberals and Useful Idiots of the Western worlds will continue to protect them and prosecute all those who will not conform until it is too late. You want to have a good scare, Google a Map of the USA with all the Mosques located throughout the nation. When you look at the map treat each Mosque as an enemy base. Also take into account all the ISIS terrorists who have already entered the US through the Mexican border. Most conspiracy theorists say WWIII will be between all Muslims and Non-Muslims and will wage in every nation. The more each day passes doesn’t seem so crazy. I want to ask this one question before I am condemned as a racist, Were there any peace loving Nazis?

  16. Eph 4:14 “that we hence forth be no longer children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine by the sleight of men and their cunning and craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;”

    I’ll give my own warning with the backing of the Holy Bible and it’s scripture. The writer is using every persons deepest fears to get people fired up and rallying around issues he feels are important to him. Clearly freedom to carry a gun is one of them. I’m a weapon carrying mama myself but I don’t like someone purposefully trying to scare me into submission, especially into a position of hating others( to all you Christians out there, hate is not allowed)

    Ro 8:15 “For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into Fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!”

    Just be level headed and don’t let some wolf in sheep’s clothing sway you so easily.

    Isa 9:16 “For those who guide this people are leading them astray; And those who are guided by them are brought to confusion.”

    1 John 4:7 ” Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is a child of God and knows God.”

  17. I researched the attacks on Chechnya and could not find the accounts of the rooftop horrors that he states happened.
    I quit searching rather quickly as I fear it was trying to get me into something I want no part of.
    Has anyone come across a news publication to support where he got his information on those attacks?

    1. The Survival Mom

      No, you’d have to contact the author via his publisher. However, I remember reading some of the details of that attack, and it was just monstrous.

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