Review of Silent City by G R Matthews

Silent City“In the Corporation owned cities life is tough.

All Hayes wants is money and a bar to spend it in. He is about to learn that some jobs in the abyss can be killers.

For a man who has lost everything, is life even worth fighting for?”

I love the premise of this book, a far distant dystopian future set not on Earth’s surface, but down in the depths of its oceans. A vast part of our world too little explored, I’d say. People now live in cities under domes, deep beneath the seas’ surface, far from the poisoned, almost mythical, skies. But the remnants of humanity do not seem to have learned much from history; they still make war on each other.

Written in the first person, so we’re right in Corin’s head, and I found him to be a pretty reliable narrator, honest with the reader and himself. A flawed character with a sad history and a bleak future, but still having tremendous grit and attitude. He’s quick thinking in dangerous situations, but not always quick on the uptake where people are concerned. He’s just a bloke who’s had some bad things happen to him and those he loves but has, somehow, kept his sense of dry, sarcastic, and self-deprecatory humour about him.

I also love the science. There’s plenty to keep my scifi-loving part happy. I like having to look up the odd word, the learning keeps me sharp. G R Matthews explains how this underwater world works without once going into info-dump mode.

The action is well described, very immediate, and there’s plenty of it. The narrative cracks on at a good, page turning pace. But there are also those quiet, reflective passages, where we get to know Corin’s mind. His take on his world, his personal history and his reasons for needing that next drink, and the one after that.

G R Matthew is a great writer, some of his phrases are simply sublime: “I sat there in my guilt-upholstered chair…”

It’s the first time I’ve read any of G R Matthew’s books. I shall certainly be reading more.

All the best

R B Watkinson

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