Sometimes the worst storms aren't from Mother Nature, and sometimes the worst nightmares aren't the ones in our heads.
Mike Mitchell, an average New Yorker already struggling to keep his family together, suddenly finds himself fighting just to keep them alive when an increasingly bizarre string of disasters starts appearing on the world's news networks. As both the real world and the cyber world come crashing down, bending perception and reality, a monster snowstorm cuts New York off from the world, turning it into a wintry tomb where nothing is what it seems.
Anyone who enjoys insightful, cutting-edge fiction mixed with action and adventure won't want to miss CyberStorm.
©2013 Matthew Mather (P)2013 Blackstone Audiobooks
Tangential, eclectic, avid listener... favorite book is the one currently in ear.
I have a weakness for disaster, plague, famine, EMP, earthquake... coping and surviving the challenges books. "One Second After," "Alas Babylon," "Jakarta Pandemic," "The Road," and "77 Days" are all books I have really enjoyed. I have purchased a bunch of other books looking for similar and often end up with over-the-top preppers, zombies, profanity and violence. Although definitely not perfectly written... a slow start, some unbelievable events and a tell instead of show ending... "Cyberstorm" will still be part of my much enjoyed list.
It is set, mostly, in a New York apartment building as a cyber attack takes down communication, feeds misinformation, crashes computers... heat, water, power, shipping, radio, TV are all gone... of course, in the midst of a series of winter storms. You get to know the neighbors from the old couple with tea and biscuits, to the criminal, the prepper, the friends, the kids and the doorman as they deal with the ensuing and long lasting chaos. Of course, technology and "hackers" are both the villains and stars.
Language is clean, minor sexual innuendos, some intense violence and un-witnessed cannibalism. Probably PG-13 read but R if made into movie. Have fun. I love that it is complete... no next book to buy to learn the ending.
I’m shocked there are so many 4- and 5-star reviews of this book. Rather than it being a story “bending perception and reality… where nothing is what it seems,” it’s more like a soap opera or a Lifetime Original Movie with all the high drama between the narrator and his wife. He’s a beta-male who’s married to a bitch. He says things like: “I met her gaze but then dropped my eyes, giving her that space,” or “She glared at me, and I shrank back.” Their rather icky relationship issues extend through the first 26 audio chapters (there are only 65 total), until they quickly and blandly resolve everything. And since they’re not very likable anyway, it really didn’t matter.
When the internet goes down and the blizzard begins, followed by outages of the city’s power and water services, nothing that happens afterwards is unexpected. However there isn’t a lot of action in the way this story is told. We get a tremendous amount of internal rumination from the narrator, including detailed descriptions of several dreams he has (dreams are the worst!). Events mainly unfold secondhand, through his observations of stuff happening to other people (including many, many CNN reports) and through conversations with others about current issues, terrorism, health and safety tips, history, China and the Middle East, prepper ideas, social media, and events that are happening, have happened, and/or could potentially happen in the future.
It was an extremely tedious story that was far too long and didn't really go anywhere. I don't know why or how I actually finished it, but I wish I hadn't.
Besides incessant listening to audiobooks, I also read on my Kindle at night, birdwatch, garden (roses, daylilies), and do genealogy.
Not really what I think of as 'science fiction', not really dystopian either, perhaps CyberStorm could be called speculative fiction. Anyway, I really enjoyed this audiobook. It took me places I didn't want to go and then brought me back again. Some reviewers felt the ending was bad--not me. The ending really surprised me, and I came away feeling better than I thought I would. It has a twist I definitely did not see coming and which I actually welcomed.
In summary, the story involves a group of New Yorkers living on an apartment floor and their interactions as they attempt to survive an unprecedented cyber attack on the U. S., combined with a series of terribly disabling blizzards. Think cold, think hunger, fear, desperation, disease and vermin, mistrust, ultimate starvation. Also think camaraderie, love, caring, banding together, and uniquely creative survival skills.
There are a variety of diverse, distinct, and often fascinating characters we come to know and either like or dislike. We get a feel for the basic day to day survival tasks as things get progressively more dire. We see how various people react to crisis of the highest order.
Tom Taylorson did an excellent job of narrating with consistently different voices for each of the characters. Give him an additional pat on the back for being able to do female voices so well! I always appreciate that!
This is a very interesting and compelling story. Don't let the thought that you don't like science fiction scare you off. It is more speculative fiction, an event that I can easily imagine happening as we become more and more dependent on technology.
There are a lot of moments in this book that had me right there with it, I was involved and thought the writer was on the right track, and the book takes off in that direction from the start and you are pretty sure you have a winner. The narration is solid, the writer has skill at describing a scene and bringing it to the listener (reader) in a plausible manner. Here comes the "but"- the author pens the scene of societal collapse of the urbane fairly well, the characters are diverse and have each some skill which comes into play after the collapse, the mode of the collapse, a cyber attack is well explained and actually plausible, BUT this is written from an urban centric point of view and the description of people in the countryside is horribly derogatory, they are painted as rapists, cannibals, and in one scene are shown to be chasing a cow down with machetes and hacking it to pieces. Nobody in the rural section of the story is presented as anything other than an ignorant villain. Oh, but in the enlightened city, violent acts are stopped by a group of people holding up their phones and taking pictures, that is all it takes. The people who leave NY city for the country side are forever haunted by that stupid move, of course the city would be much safer than farm country once food becomes scarce in the city. There are some well done sections in this book and if the author had stayed within his comfort zone it would have been a good book. The storyline describing the method of cyber attack is done well and the author has knowledge of the subject matter and is able to bring it to the reader in an entertaining manner, as in the degrading situation in the city. The problem with the book comes in the section after they leave the city, things just begin to fall apart from there.
As far as a recommendation the subject matter is interesting and brought to the reader in a well done manner, the story has some holes in it but works at the base level and the narration is well done as well. If prepper grid down subject matter is your genre then you might like this book, if tech suspense it your thing this might be okay but a bit of a departure and not deep enough into your subject matter to be a total thumbs up.
I would recommend it with just a few grimaces.
Although this novel got my attention at first and I'll admit I enjoyed some of it... the ending was so devastatingly unsatisfying I felt tricked and really, really annoyed at the author. I don't want to ruin the ending in case you decide to read it, but as a reader I felt betrayed for having invested my time in listening to a so-so story only to find a pretty bad ending, in my opinion.
Avid audible listener for over 10 years.
I started to listen to this and could barely stop listening. It is a great story about life in NYC when services are disrupted. What happens in a city of 8 million when it loses power and services during a massive winter storm. Hurricane Sandy was just a glimpse of this problem. I t is a very entertaining listen. It you like this genre you will like this. No zombies, nuclear weapons, or plagues, just bad weather and loss of the Internet. You can actually imagine this happening.
I really like dystopian fiction and have read quite a bit of it, but this one just couldn't sustain my interest. I got about 8 hours into it and kept waiting for something to happen that wasn't a repeat of what had happened previously, but it just didn't. The story revolved around what you would expect to happen if everything came to a crashing halt (in a snowstorm, no less), but we didn't get past lack of food, bad guys stealing food, more lack of food.
The characters and writing were fine, if not totally riveting, but the story needed something else. Maybe I've read enough of this genre that the typical story doesn't hold my interest anymore. If you're new to SHTF fiction, then you might be fine with this, but if you've read a lot of it, you might keep looking.
Possible, Plausible, Probable
When Irena and Alexander save the day.
We should have listened to Chuck
I liked this book as it was, but, I would have liked it much more if Chuck were the main character. He was prepared for something to happen, he had a safe place to go, and everyone else made bad decisions based on fear and hope. Wait, is that the moral of the story? Don't follow the the hopeful, they'll get you killed. As it is, this was well written and Tom Taylorson is a very good narrator..I will watch for books he narrates.
I love espionage, legal, and detective thrillers but listen to most genres. Very frequent reviews. No plot spoilers! Please excuse my typos!
This apocalyptic event is caused by cyber/Internet attacks and is made much worse by harsh winter weather in the northeastern US. Most of the novel is set in Manhattan and the rest in the mountains of western Virginia. The creativity and inventiveness of certain people saved the lives of many. The story is told in the first person of Mike Mitchell who despite creativity himself makes some major mistakes that further endanger his family and friends.
I'm uncertain why so many people find apocalyptic novels fascinating, but I admit I am one of those people. As such novels go Cyber Storm, while excellent, is not nearly as outstanding as William Forstchen's After series (two book series with the titles of One Second After and One Year After). The very best of the genre in my opinion is Brett Battles' six book Project Eden series.
By their very nature such novels must depend upon the Macgyverish creativity of a few persons to help keep people from dying and to provide ways to improve life after the apocalypse. In Cyber Storm that person is a young man named Damon.
In summary Cyber Storm is an excellent book that is very well narrated, but it is not nearly as good as some other apocalyptic novels including the William Forstchen's After series or especially Brett Battles' Project Eden series. I have reviewed books in both series here at Audible.
Having not experienced both, I can't comment. That said, audio books are always ideal iterations for books of this style.
Gosh, where do I start? This is a fascinating dystopian tale, that takes the listener on a ( mostly ) believable, and shockingly real journey from the streets of Manhattan on a fall day to places that have to be heard to be believed.
Taylorson brought certain characters very much to life ( Chuck, in particular ) and deserves full credit for consistentcy and clarity in performing a somewhat complex story in such a compelling and open manner.
It did, actually. Some of the losses of characters, and some of the behaviours people exhibit were shocking. Likewise, Chuck ( again notably ) was witty at times, and certainly provided dark comic relief.
This is a very impressive offering. A fine example of current day, dystopian futurism, framed with honesty and precision. Highly recommended.
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