Book 546: All Systems Down (The Cyber War #1) – Sam Boush

When the publicist reached out to me with this way back in December I wasn’t 100% sure I wanted to read it.* At the same time, I knew I wanted to try to read a little broader this year so I said yes anyway. What I didn’t expect was to start this at 9pm one night and finish it by noon the next day on my lunch break at work!

This book starts with a bang and then continues with a series of gripping chapters that keep you engaged. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t perfect, you could tell this was a debut novel, but there’s definitely more to come from Boush.

If I’m honest, this reminded me of Margaret Atwood’s MaddAddam trilogy, Oryx and CrakeThe Year of the Flood, and MaddAddam or at least what could’ve happened prior to it. I mean Boush is nowhere near as polished as Atwood, but she’s a goddess and has had decades to hone her craft. What I mean is that Boush has the potential if he focuses his vision and perfects his process to be as long-lasting and as impacting, unlike many other apocalyptic/post-apocalyptic works that will fade into the ether.

I was a little worried this whole book would be from the perspective of the North Korean soldier from the back blurb, but it wasn’t. We actually heard from A LOT of characters. It might have been too many, but because of the fast pace it wasn’t quiet too many. There were a few times where a character was clearly introduced to come back later, again something I think he’ll do better over time. I read it so fast though that I won’t remember specific characters names, just the feeling of the book which was creepy as f*ck. I know some characters were annoying as hell, some were a little too awkward, and some felt fully formed from the start.

If you can write a book that could legit happen in the next 24 hours and have a profound impact on the world, you’ve either got some sort of foresight or you’re just mental. The basic premise is this book taking place during a cyber attack that takes down the western countries, as in no power, no electronics at all, the damns burst open and satellites crash to earth, and in the immediate aftermath over a period of seven days. Seriously, even before I was finished with this I’d recommended it to a few people I was moving through it so fast.

The biggest problem I have with the book is that it’s a series. I did not realize this when I got it. I’ve been staying away from series as there’s usually such a long wait in-between releases. By time the next release comes around I’m not sure I’m going to be as excited to read it as I would be right now or in the next couple of days. There’s something to be said about being able to go right into the next book and reading them back-to-back especially if they’re fast reads like this was.

Recommendation: READ IT. I don’t read many books like this and have never read Clancy (who apparently people are comparing Boush to), but I thoroughly enjoyed this and could see a lot of potential in Boush. Hopefully, I’ll notice when the next book comes out and I’ll pick it up.

*I received a copy of All Systems Down from a publicist in return for my honest opinion. No goods or cash were received.

Opening Line: “Sirens blared across all twenty-five decks of the USS Gerald R. Ford.”

Closing Line: “And so when the tea cup slipped from his fingers he didn’t notice, or even care, that it tumbled to the carpet and spilled all over the floor of the darkened room.” (Whited out to avoid spoilers, highlight to read.)


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