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on 21 May 2014
MIke, his family and neighbours find themselves fighting for survival in their New York apartment block. Hunger, thirst and freezing temperatures, drive them to extreme means of survival and protection against desperate and murderous invaders of their space. A brilliantly written and gripping story.
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on 11 May 2014
it examines the personal experience and viewpoint of the situation, all the shock, disbelief and the numbing confusing disastrous effects of this. There was just a bit of a problem with continuity and timelines, which caused a jolt of confusion, spoiling the experience of the read.
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on 5 March 2015
We take our daily lives for granted, that there will be clean water at the turn of a tap, that stores will provide the food we need and our homes will be warm. And best of all, if things fail, someone will be there to make it all better again. But we forget that, increasingly, there is no 'little man' whose hand controls all the necessities we depend upon. Instead, instruction and control flow through the interconnectedness of cyberspace. If this falls apart...
This story is one to provoke questions about how badly our lives could be shaken apart without the need for bombs, super epidemics or zombies. Told in a simple writing style, the direct first person narrative is compelling and carries the reader relentlessly through the increasingly hostile environment in which our main protagonist, family and friends find themselves trapped. It does not go out of its way to over sensationalise with gratuitous horror but provides a realistic scenario of what could so easily come about when hunger, fear and prejudices combine in even gentle folks trapped in intolerable, life denying circumstances. And that becomes horror enough.
My only criticism is that the final sections of the story feel less well considered than the first three quartets of the book. But it is a small doubt and in no way stops me from heartily recommending this book.
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on 9 December 2015
It is so often said that a book is unputdownable. I haven't read a book for years that I felt that I didn't want to put down, and believe me I read a huge amount of books. This one has a totally believable story line and some characters who seem to come to life. The whole plot develops very realistically and seems to have been very well written as I just had to keep on going with the flow. It is high time we had a proper self published author who can keep us entertained and at the same time wondering how we ourselves would act and react in a similar situation. It is also a pure pleasure not to have to stumble through spelling and grammatical mistakes which seem so prevalent today.
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on 5 September 2016
I got this book as my monthly Amazon Prime freebie for something a bit different to the usual crime/thriller and I'm glad I did! I'm also glad that I've read the book ahead of the movie release which I'm sure it will get at some point - it's certainly a better story than most of the similarly-themed films that have been produced of late.

But don't wait for the film. Read the book. Now!
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on 1 August 2016
I couldn't put this one down. I'm not surprised it's being made into a film - I'd like to see it. The author portrayed the good and bad in people very well and just how quickly civilisation can slip away in the face of disaster. There were no zombies! It didn't need any - humanity can be grim enough without.
I've just bought another book by this author and hope it's as good as this one.
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on 30 September 2016
Interesting read, puts a different angle on the classic apocalyptic storyline. One of those that highlights the good and the bad in humanity in an uncomfortably realistic way. And I enjoyed the ending as I was expecting a cop-out and it wasn't. Looking forward to the movie!
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on 13 March 2013
I didn't really know what to expect when I started to read `Cyberstorm'. I did suspect the writing would be superb as I'd been very impressed indeed with the writing in `The Atopia Chronicles'. What particularly impressed me with the `Chronicles' was the attention to detail with which scenarios were described which delivered a feel of a wrap-around reality in what was a wholly imagined universe. This sense of a well-imagined and detailed reality is surely what every author strives for. I have found very few authors can achieve the level of believability which was evidenced in Matthew Mather's first book. So, I was happy to find this same attention to detail combined with assured plot-pacing continues in `Cyberstorm'.

When I was a teenager I fell in love with a particular sci-fi concept, that of a civilisation gone wrong where the survivors of a world-wide disaster attempt to find the basics required to survive in a world brought to its knees. So, I was pleased to find myself immersed in such a scenario and the immediacy of the action caught me and carried me along with it. The key word in my opinion in regard to both works is `immersive'. This I put down firstly to the significant descriptive powers of the author and secondly his in-depth knowledge of the subject matter, the current technologies which our modern world can now hardly do without. The threats to the skein of our technological membrane has never been greater than now. So this book is highly current and relevant. It is firmly based on reality and takes us into places which could become all too real given just a few random factors.

`Cyberstorm' has every bit of the attention to detail that made `The Atopia Chronicles' such an immersive read for me and I would have no hesitation in recommending it as a first-class page-turner that, if you think deeply about the issues involved, may frighten you in almost equal measure to entertaining you. We live in the same world as described by Matthew Mather here. Our increasing reliance on the myriad diverse technologies which run our world and which constantly inform, guide and keep us safe mean we are all the more vulnerable in the event of their failure. The cyber storm described so well here, could, in our lifetimes, become an all too devastating reality. Get some excellent advance pointers here about just what you may face... and how you might just survive.
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on 14 July 2014
What would you do if Facebook and Twitter went down, and stayed down? You'd do one of two things, pick up the phone and call your real friends or keep checking to see if they were up and running again. But what if the Internet collapsed? Combine that with the entire Eastern Seaboard being blacked out, a series of killer blizzards, an outbreak of bird flu and you have the plot for Matthew Mather's Cyberstorm.
It makes for impressive reading and with a background in cyber security he's probably writing about possible scenarios and the scariest part of this book is I can imagine it happening for real.
When rogue foreign agents insert a cyberbomb into the system that begins to shut down power grids no one thinks it's going to last long but when a killer snowstorm blankets New York, shutting it off from the outside world. China and American are facing off against each other in the Pacific and rumours of a bird flu epidemic stretch the emergency services to their utmost. Civilisation begins to fracture as the normally stubborn New Yorkers become more desperate and then the horror begins to manifest itself as looting gives way to murder and cannibalism.
We see this through the eyes of Mark Mitchell who is only trying to keep his wife and young son alive until the cavalry arrives. In this he is helped by his next door neighbour and best friend, Chuck and his wife, the Borodins, Russian emigres and a small band of brothers and sisters. The story itself is excrutiatingly slow as they forage for food and discuss how this could have happened to us here in America, but the slow pace just draws you deeper and deeper into the story until you feel as if you are right there. When they make a break for it and head across the river for safety they jump from the frying pan into the fire. The ending will leave you with a sense of relief and perhaps you might think to stock up on basic survival food and gear, and do a little homework on how to hack cell phones.
He's done his homework and there's something of the lecturer coming through in the conversations the characters have as they wait for the cavalry that never comes but I didn't feel that slowed the story down, rather it gave you time to draw breath until the next daring exploit. This is a cautionary tale about the thin veneer of civilisation and the rapid descent from civilised man to wild animal. We think we are so clever with our smart tvs, iPhones, tablets, refrigerators that can send emails and computers that can pilot a spaceship all the way to Mars. But in the majesty of our cleverness lies the seeds of our destruction because most of the vital infrastructure depends to a large extent on computers. Technology has enriched our lives but over reliance on technology can lead to our destruction.
Cyberstorm is a story that should be read by anyone involved in cyber security or essential infrastructure because it could happen. A well deserved five stars for a good page turner.
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on 25 July 2013
As other reviewers noted, this is a great 'What if?' story, but its much more than "if this - then that".

The story centers around a group of people and a series of cyber attacks. What begins as a simple process of people preparing for a possible disaster quickly escalates into survivalism. Not everyone makes it.

Its a harrowing look into the future. What makes it slightly more edgy is that this isn't a distant future. This could happen tomorrow.

The story is also a great look at the human psyche. There are many interesting characters and many twists in the plot. We see how people act and react in various situations - some of which aren't for the faint of heart.

Its not all doom and gloom though! There is a lot of action, plenty of surprises and some twists that will make you think twice. The story never lulls and you won't be able to put it down until you find out how things turn out.

A thoroughly enjoyable read and highly recommended.
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