Tuesday, 5 September 2017

Book Review: Day Of Wrath by William R Forstchen

Bob Petersen arrives with his daughter at the Middle Grade school in Maine where he teaches, expecting another regular day but worried about what recent ominous news reports might portend. Suddenly his school -- along with many others across the United States -- is under attack. Gunmen burst in, slaughtering children and adults alike.

From the ISIS leader in Syria, to the murderous rampages throughout the U.S., Day of Wrath reveals with chilling effect how national panic and paralyzing terror at the spiraling violence can bring a mighty country to a near-standstill. Petersen's fight to save lives and stop the merciless gunmen provides edge-of-the-seat drama. Day of Wrath is a provocative work that should stimulate an intense national debate. 

This novella by New York Times bestselling author William R. Forstchen imagines a horrifying scenario where, in the course of one day, the terrorist group ISIS carries out massacres in schools and on highways across the United States. With a surprisingly small but well-organized and ruthless force, the nightmarish devastation brings America to a state of near-paralysis. 

My Review: 
Bob is a paranoid man who follows the news and takes seriously what is happening in the world, especially the rise of ISIS. He carries an illegal weapon to the school where he works and where his child goes, in case anything happens there so he is not left helpless. He has seen so many school shootings in the past that he is willing to risk losing his job to keep himself and the kids protected. On this day, he takes his twelve year old daughter Wendy to school, leaving his wife Kathy at home with the baby.

ISIS are planning a Day of Wrath in America to strike fear into the population and cause maximum death. They are gathered in hotels preparing for their mission, ready to take out soft targets. They are about to attack selected schools that are close to highways, taking everyone by surprise. Having a POV from the terrorists through this story shows just how easy they found it to plan this kind of attack, and being with them through the attacks was totally chilling.

News about terrorist activity is on the TV, alarming Kathy at home, and she starts thinking that Bob may have been right and tries to contact him about it. Bob gets into a verbal spat with a fellow teacher who refuses to let him view the news when he is alerted to it. But what is on TV and the trouble the spat might cause him pales into nothing as Bob glances out of the window, and he sees ISIS terriorists with guns running towards the door of his school, and he realises that his worst fears are about to come true. Now he is in a panic to find Wendy and either find somewhere to hide or a way to escape...with only a small gun to fight with.

The book just takes off after this. Kathy becomes aware that a terrorist attack is happening at Bob's school, so she leaves the baby with a neighbour and thinks only of getting to the school to find her husband and daughter. The media are telling people to stay away from the affected schools but panicked parents aren't listening and are pouring onto the interstate to get there quickly. As the traffic backs up and people become stuck, new teams of terrorists appear on these interstates to start slaughtering the parents. It becomes utter mayhem and Kathy has to abandon her vehicle and run for her life.

Back in the school, Bob is running to where Wendy's class are and he finds her quickly in the corridor as gunshots ring out. Bob ushers the screaming kids into a classroom and tries to persuade everyone to climb out of the windows and run for the woods. The kids are panicking and their teacher is convinced that staying is the better option. Bob struggles to persuade them as the terrorists come closer and a confrontation becomes inevitable. Is Bob really going to be able to shoot the terrorists to save the kids? Is there any way to survive this?

The tension level hits the roof as Kathy has to leave her car and run while Bob faces possible death at the school. parents are gathered near the school and are frustrated at the delay in getting armed cops into the school to save their children, with some deciding to take the law into their own hands. We see the chaos unfolding as the school fends for itself and every gunshot freaks out the gathered parents. We witness what is happening to the people being slaughtered on the interstates and see it through the media reports and the eyes of the gleeful terrorists. It is a disturbing read and what bothered me the most was the thought in my head of how little there was that could be done to stop this kind of rampage, especially the killing of the parents. It is a twisted plot and the death toll would be massive. How exactly could we put in measures to prevent that from happening? I certainly don't have the answers. It was pretty unsettling to realise just how unsafe we could be and how easily this could happen.

My only complaint is the great big plot spoiler at the end of chapter one which basically tells you what is in store for Bob and Kathy by the end of the book and I really hate that! Why authors insist on bad spoilers instead of just letting us read the story and finding out for ourselves as we go through it, is just beyond me! It does take some of the tension out of the story which is a real shame and is not necessary. It didn't make me enjoy the book any less though.

This is such a well written book. It takes a look at what happens when pure evil is unleashed on the innocent and how crippled the emergency services are. It shows how helpless the parents feel when they see that their kids are under threat and how the terrorists use parental instincts to trap even more victims. It is shocking, riveting and scary because of the subject matter and the author's writing is so good that you are hooked from start to finish. It is a cliche but I really could not put this book down.

I'm a firm believer in being aware of your surroundings and keeping an eye out for any kind of trouble. I admit that I do think about what I would do in emergency situations so I really got into this book in a big way. I cannot wait to read more by this author and I can't recommend this book highly enough. 

Read July 2017.
5 stars.


  1. uhhhh I think books about real terrorism make me too nervous. Too close to reality. I rather hide in fiction! :)

    1. It's a really edge of the seat kind of read and I just loved this. It is scary to think about it happening for real.

  2. Wow. I need to read this. Thanks for sharing about the spoiler in the beginning. I'll keep that in mind if I get the chance to read this. Got to tell my sister about this one too. She eats this stuff up!

    1. It's a really great read! Yeah avoid the last couple of lines in chapter one!

  3. Fab review and I love that cover. I got the message Laura and you are right. This sounds like a great one for me :-)
    sherry @ fundinmental

    1. I never knew you and Laura were related! It is a really good book! Short but good!