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.
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.
Newly retired, I am a reading fiend! I like many types of books, both fiction and non-fiction, with the exception of romance and fantasy
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.
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.
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.
Cyberstorm is an end of world type tale taking place today due to a combination of international saber rattling, complete loss of the internet, and horrible weather. The story is told through the eyes of a young hi-tech executive dealing with personal issues and trying to survive with his family intact. The unique angle for the story is that the listener is as much in the dark as to the true nature of the situation as the main protagonist; it's unclear whether everything is following some dark, sinister master plan.
Most of the story takes place in Manhattan with an ever increasing severity of events: loss of power and water, lack of communications, massive blizzard conditions. Rumors abound and from the limited perspective the character have, it's easy to understand conspiracy theories unfolding. Creative solutions abound with a solid ensemble supporting cast. Overall, the story presents a realistic portrayal of the consequences of societal collapse.
The narration is excellent with a solid range of voices and god pacing and tone.
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.
Avid Zombie fan who's starting to listen to more and more Fantasy and Sci-Fi stories. So, my description is apt to change. Dog lover who's known to have cats. LOL C# coder, part-time prepper, B movie fan, AMC watcher, recovering but successful day trader, perpetual student, overjoyed uncle, former adrenaline junkie with a flare for cooking, and lots more. LOL
omg! i was shocked by the depths some people will go to when they're starving. i won't spoil anything, but i was utterly disgusted by what one husband and wife did! of all the zombie / end of the world books i've read, their "act" is one of the grossest and nastiest things i've come across. that said...would i do that? phew! i hope to never find out!
i see that other reviewers have done a good job describing the plot of the story so i'll keep my review to what struck me most about the story.
mather does a good job exposing the weaknesses of our technological society. the story really makes you think about how dependent we are on our modern technologies working together seemlessly, and how we take these technologies for granted, assuming they will always work. it's frightening how a few, seemingly minor interruptions can snowball and cause a cataclysmic situation that can take months to recover from.
i liked how mather snuck in technological concepts through some of his characters. it was smart and didn't feel like it was too contrived. there's the right amount of detail so that non-technical listeners can understand just how interconnected our just in time economy is.
as the story unfolds, mather frighteningly exposes how our lives and livelihoods are dependent upon the threat of punishment. mather does a good job depicting how emboldened people and especially crowds of people can become w/o the threat of punishment, and how civilized society can quickly and easiy devolve into chaos.
another central aspect of the story is information, particularly the role the lack/loss of information plays. throughout the story, the lack /loss of information causes havoc and has detrimental consequences on the uniformed and misinformed.
mather does a good job portraying how and why people group together and the different dynamics that come into play as groups expand and contract due to the circumstances. i liked the mix of characters b/c they were an interesting cross section of the different attitudes and mindsets of our modern society.
the pacing of the story is a little slow, but i think it accurately and credibly catalogs the descent into chaos as things spiral out of control.
overall, i thought cyberstorm was a pretty riveting story b/c of its plausibility.
as a side note, we truly need to consider some of the actions our gov't take. for instance, using the stuxnet computer worm to disable iran's nuclear reactors. yes, it may have had a temporary effect of slowing them down, but now the genie is out of the bottle! nefarious entities could use that against us, and sadly, we are woefully prepared. just my 2 cents! LOL
During my commute Audible keeps me from going insane. I like books that keep my mind awake. No slow moving books here.
No I wouldn't listen to again. Not because it is a boring book. In fact the book kept me in my car longer during my commute. The storyline was very plausible: A man-made disaster leaving thousands of people exposed. No power or water, limited resources, no communication, and a city on the verge of chaos and disorder.
Throughout each moment of the book it kept I kept asking myself the question, "if this happened to you, what would you do?" If you live in a large city, by the time you reach the end of this story, your bug-out bag will be packed (or at the least you will have purchased a printed city map.)
Just think about that guy you know who loves to indulge you with a ton of conspiracy theories but isn't so far gone he is in a shed with a tin hat on. In this story that's Chuck. Businessman, conspiracy theorist, and prepper extraordinaire, Chuck's resourcefulness keeps everyone going up until the end.
The older couple. Throughout this book the older couple in Mike's building will make you appreciate their wisdom.
They are making this film into a book, so no need to come up with a tagline.
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.
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