By Matthew Mather

Christmas in Manhattan can be crazy at the best of times, but throw in a recession, the storm of the century, an outbreak of bird flu, and a massive cyberattack that shuts down the Internet, cellphone service, power grid, and much of the rest of our urban infrastructure, and you’ve got the recipe for holiday hell. Luckily Mike Mitchell has a neighbour who is a survivalist, and with a bit of help they and their families might pull through.

End-of-the-world novels seem to be coming with increasing frequency, perhaps reflecting a general sense that our fragile civilization is speeding toward a train wreck. Cyberstorm is very much representative of the genre, right down to the hero’s obsession with protecting his family when things fall apart. But despite the familiar elements it’s still highly readable, and picks up speed nicely as everything snowballs downhill.

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