Disclaimer – I received a copy of this publication in exchange for a fair and balanced review.
The usual assumption is that there’s no such thing as an ‘original’ story. In Desperate Times, Matthew Sylvester has taken that assumption and blown it to pieces. It’s not ‘Sci-Fi’, Steampunk or Fantasy – it is original, unique and mind-blazingly fast paced action from the second you open up page 1. Gamers will love the urgency of the style, while those of us who are into our military horror will really appreciate the visceral imagery and graphic, in-your-face style that Sylvester has developed throughout his writing.
You’re swept along with the 49’ers in a bloodbath of action and sometimes quite genuinely disturbing scenes where nobody comes out unscathed. The equality of the sexes in such a combative situation is a refreshing change (no helpless ‘girlies’ here), while the various viewpoints that the story is constructed from only serves to heighten that sense of relentless urgency.
Highly recommended, and a very different direction for Matthew that grabs you by the scruff of the neck, shakes the heck out of you and then dumps you on the floor, gasping and breathless at the end.