Energy Insiders Prove That the Power Grid Can be a Thriller in Book

Feb. 7, 2014
Romance, excitement and energy don’t often go hand-in-hand–unless you’re two energy insiders who’ve written a thriller about a potential threat to the power grid. “Fury of the Fifth Angel,” by Pat and Chris Hoffman, may be worth checking out.

A father-son pair of energy insiders has penned a thriller, “Fury of the Fifth Angel,” that will help average readers grasp the reality of the grid’s vulnerability.

Pat and Chris Hoffman’s book is a “very realistic scenario” of a natural disaster story that draws on their experiences with power grid operations, says Chris Hoffman. The book is about a meteorite storm that threatens to take down the power grid.

For geeky energy writers like me, it’s exciting to see a thriller that explains in an accessible story the things I write about every day. The book drew a rave review from Power Magazine.

“The book is a page-turner. It’s not dry techno-babble about induced currents and interconnected grids (although that’s all there), but a lot of gripping human stories of folks who try to escape the devastation, including tsunami effects that make Fukushima look like a water park, some who don’t, and a largely feckless and sometimes venial White House trying to manage the impending devastation as best it can as well as its ruinous political effects.” said the Power Magazine review.

Heck, there’s even a love story between a grid controller and an astronomy technician. The book’s main characters include Ben, an astronomer who identifies a meteorite storm, and John, a power grid controller who must convince the world about a pending natural disaster.

“As the government moves in to cover up the severity of what the celestial sightings mean, John will need all of his instincts to prove what’s going on and what to do about this news that could signal the end of the world,” says a press release about the book.

The average reader gets a lesson in the vulnerability of the grid in “Fury of the Fifth Angel,” says Chris Hoffman, the son in the father-son team, who is still working in the energy business, while his father is retired.

“There are three separate grids in the US. If one goes down, there are still two other grids.” However, the story isn’t that simple. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission plays a big role in grid operations because it can dictate whether nuclear power can be pulled from the system. “That’s what happens in this book, which starts the dominoes falling,” he says.

“The authors will open many eyes to both how a power system operates and the vulnerabilities of these systems,” writes O-T-S owner Mike Terbrueggen in the book’s forward.” “This is the first book I have ever read that combines a complex technical field (power systems), deep personal relationships, political intrigue, and old-time religion into one fast-paced story.”

Whether you’re an energy geek or a romance reader, it sounds like it’s worth checking out at

About the Author

Lisa Cohn | Contributing Editor

I focus on the West Coast and Midwest. Email me at [email protected]

I’ve been writing about energy for more than 20 years, and my stories have appeared in EnergyBiz, SNL Financial, Mother Earth News, Natural Home Magazine, Horizon Air Magazine, Oregon Business, Open Spaces, the Portland Tribune, The Oregonian, Renewable Energy World, Windpower Monthly and other publications. I’m also a former stringer for the Platts/McGraw-Hill energy publications. I began my career covering energy and environment for The Cape Cod Times, where Elisa Wood also was a reporter. I’ve received numerous writing awards from national, regional and local organizations, including Pacific Northwest Writers Association, Willamette Writers, Associated Oregon Industries, and the Voice of Youth Advocates. I first became interested in energy as a student at Wesleyan University, Middletown, Connecticut, where I helped design and build a solar house.

Twitter: @LisaECohn

Linkedin: LisaEllenCohn

Facebook: Energy Efficiency Markets