Author: Matthew Maher
My rating: ☆☆☆☆☆
Release date: March 15, 2013
As a tech-addicted gadget hound, I came to Matthew Maher’s “CyberStorm” with a certain amount of dread reading about a society plunged into unplugged chaos and conflict. I’ve been reading a lot of the books in the technothriller category lately, and Maher’s books are among the very best in the genre because they depict frighteningly realistic near-future landscapes rather than a clash with aliens or some other literary conceit that requires a suspension of disbelief.
In other words, “Cyberstorm” is a well-researched, realistic, heart-pounding high-tech action thriller rather than an implausible work of dystopian science fiction. There’s a certain “Lord of the Flies” meets “Apocalypse Now” quality — a descent into darkness and madness — about it.
As a father, I loved the early scenes of the beautiful wife and baby and the home life that comes to be disrupted by outside events and the internal struggles faced by the protagonist as events keep hurtling toward him. The characters are fully formed, interesting and well motivated, not simply cardboard figures serving a plotline. “CyberStorm” is a page-turner not just because of the surprising twists and turns throughout but also because you care about the characters and how this will all turn out, given the dark places that our deep-seated will to survive will lead some people.
This is a work of entertainment, not a work of nonfiction, but it certainly made me stop and consider what kind of vulnerabilities we’re all facing and what kind of society we’ll be leaving to our children. More importantly, “CyberStorm” held me in thrall and scared the heck out of me. Well done!