Book Review — Nomad

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Whew.

After reading Nick Cole’s The End Of The World As We Knew It and Matthew Mather’s Nomad within a day of each other, I was mentally exhausted. The two books wore me out. I described how Cole’s book was an exercise in retracing our steps in the aftermath of a zombie apocalypse yesterday, but Mather’s book was a visceral look at a very specific end of world event. Both had the hallmarks of apocalyptic fiction, but they were as different as can be when it comes to the action and plotting.

nomadIn Nomad, Matthew Mather tears things apart. Families, countries, economies, planets, galaxies…all get ripped apart between the covers of his latest novel. I read his earlier book from this year — Darknet — and found it frightening in a way that was almost difficult to describe. In Darknet, the threat is real, but invisible. In fact, the antagonist can strike and be gone again without you even knowing it, the only traces are digital breadcrumbs left in its wake.

In Nomad, Mather does it again, creating an invisible villain — the titular astronomical anomaly — but the effects this go-around are more immediate, more violent, more physical. Instead of bank accounts and identities being torn asunder, it is the literal earth that undergoes an upheaval in Nomad.

The story is fast-paced and energetic from the get-go, placing all of our characters in Rome. Some are there for pleasure, some for work, and others are trying to hide from the authorities. The latter is our young protagonist Jessica. We first meet her while she is on a tour of an Italian castle with her mother, but her story goes much deeper and gives her a rich and detailed backstory. In fact, as the story kept unfolding, we kept seeing new aspects of Jessica’s character that led to numerous “aha” moments. Mather wonderfully wove her story in the fabric of Nomad and gives us a great character we can live through in this book as well as others to come.

What was great about Mather’s previous books was the scientific reality he’d grounded things in from the technological terror of Darknet to the scenarios he plays out in CyberStorm. The same is true for Nomad, with actual astronomical possibilities. In fact, the very anomaly he showcases in the book popped up in the news as a discovery in just the last few months. The terror of space really isn’t what we can see — it is what we can’t see, and Mather proves it with this book.

Mather takes the reader on a wild ride, and all of it feels genuine and authentic. Our characters are real and we want them to be real and to make it in the face of overwhelming adversity. With all that can possibly go wrong, can humanity go on? What will an event like this bring out? The best, or the worst in us?

As for the next books in the planned trilogy, Mather certainly has a plan for the second book with the path for our characters, but planted enough seeds along the way to make sure the reader knows the path will be rocky and difficult. I massively enjoyed this book and am very much looking forward to Sanctuary

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Book Review – Darknet

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Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000039_00014]Just like in his massive hit, Cyberstorm, Matthew Mather does what he does best: he takes reality and adds just enough of a sci-fi touch to make it terrifying and relatable.

When I first started reading Darknet, it took a little while before I became really engrossed in the high-tech world of finance that the protagonist Jake O’Connell lived in. Just like some of the characters themselves, I found myself in over my head in the world of crypto currency, algorithms, assassin markets, and dark networks, but my patience was rewarded when the reader learns alongside those characters.

Mather makes sure the reader knows no one is safe in his world, introducing and killing off multiple characters throughout the book. In fact, I wasn’t totally sure if his protagonist Jake was really truly safe to get comfortable with until about a quarter of the way into the book.

As a stock broker in New York, Jake is familiar with the high-stakes game of Wall Street finances, but is unprepared when his world crumbles around him. His childhood friend dies in a mysterious accident in London, his boss is arrested on charges by the SEC, and he himself is framed for rape, causing his wife and daughter to leave him. All the while, Jake is trying to clear himself and ends up uncovering a massive secret that could threaten the economies of nearly every country on the planet. Along the way, he finds his own life in danger as well as those of his family and friends.

Once I really got into the story, I couldn’t put it down, reading in every spare minute until I was done. Mather is a phenomenal storyteller, weaving a thriller like the best out there. I was impressed with the immense and complex world he had created in Darknet, topped only by the characters and the situations they find themselves in around every corner.

The scary thing about Darknet is that Mather completely creates a plausible scenario for a near-future event. What if some of the technology we use and employ today evolves to the level of where it exists in Darknet? What would happen? Just like the potential of catastrophe in Cyberstorm, Mather presents a worst-case scenario of sorts in the midst of a thriller.

I loved this book and will look forward to reading it again in the future. Well done, Mr. Mather. Keep writing them like this and I’ll keep reading them. I received a free advance reading copy in exchange for an honest review.

Bookin’ It!

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ImageMy novel Dead Sleep has sold pretty well, all things considered, and I totally appreciate anyone who has read it — and even more for anyone who has gone the extra step of reviewing it. It’s been $2.99 since I released it in July and the paperback is currently $11.24 on Amazon. 

Next Monday (12/16) it will be 99 cents. It’ll be that price for a few days and then jump up to $1.99 for a few more days. It’s part of a new promotion tactic Amazon is using called Countdown Deals. Feel free to check out the Countdown Deal page here (where you can find the awesome Cyberstorm by Matthew Mather and some other great books for great prices right now!) That’s where you’ll find Dead Sleep on Monday and you can buy it for cheap! 

But not only that, I’d really love for you to tell your friends and anyone else you know who loves to read. You can’t sniff at 99 cents and the more downloads I get on Monday and Tuesday the better because it’ll start showing up on the charts and more people will buy it and so on. (It’s like a domino effect with Kindle books)

But you might say — “Will, I’d love to, but I really like to read trilogies!”

I understand. I love series and trilogies myself. That’s why I’m nearing the end of the rough draft of Dead Sight, my sequel to Dead Sleep. I’m pretty pumped about it and I’m hoping to have it out in the next few months. After that will come book 3 and who knows from there? 

But you say — “Will, I don’t have a Kindle!”

Totally understand. But, did you know you can read Kindle books on any smartphone or computer? You just need the Kindle app, which you can find here

But you say — “Will, I don’t like you!”

Also totally understandable. I occasionally don’t like me, either. But that’s OK. I learned all about self-esteem in junior high. I’ll be alright and you don’t have to buy my book if you don’t want to. 

Regardless, I just wanted to plant the seed. Buy the book, tell others about it. Tweet it. Text it. Facebook it. Blog it. Share it. Anything and everything you can do would be fantastic. You can even gift it — Christmas is just around the corner!