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The Cyber War #1

All Systems Down

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24 hours.
That’s all it takes.
A new kind of war has begun.

* * *

Pak Han-Yong’s day is here. An elite hacker with Unit 101 of the North Korean military, he’s labored for years to launch Project Sonnimne: a series of deadly viruses set to cripple Imperialist infrastructure.

And with one tap of his keyboard, the rewards are immediate.

Brendan Chogan isn’t a hero. He’s an out-of-work parking enforcement officer and one-time collegiate boxer trying to support his wife and children. But now there’s a foreign enemy on the shore, a blackout that extends across America, and an unseen menace targeting him.

Brendan must do whatever it takes to keep his family safe.

In the wake of the cyber attacks, electrical grids fail, satellites crash to earth, and the destinies of nine strangers collide.

Strangers whose survival depends upon each other’s skills and courage.

For fans of REVOLUTION and Tom Clancy, ALL SYSTEMS DOWN is a riveting cyber war thriller that presents a threat so credible you'll be questioning reality.

240 pages, Paperback

First published February 8, 2018

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About the author

Sam Boush

2 books226 followers
Sam Boush has worked as a wildland firefighter, journalist, digital marketer, and founder/owner of a successful marketing agency. Beyond writing, he enjoys taking advantage of the Pacific Northwest through backpacking, surfing, skiing, and more.

His past work as a journalist won him awards from the Society of Professional Journalists and Oregon Society of Professional Journalists. Currently, he's editor-in-chief at Mystery and Suspense Magazine and contributes to Writer’s Digest as a features writer.

Though he’s lived in France and Spain, his heart belongs to Portland, Oregon, where he lives with his wife, Tehra, two wonderful children, and a messy cat that keeps them from owning anything nice.

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5 stars
83 (34%)
4 stars
71 (29%)
3 stars
54 (22%)
2 stars
28 (11%)
1 star
8 (3%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 83 reviews
Profile Image for Kate.
606 reviews516 followers
March 22, 2018
I had seen All Systems Down on Goodreads and thought it sounded like an interesting read, and I wasn’t disappointed!

Centering around a blackout across America, the reader meets the main characters just as all of the systems fail due to a virus that has bee put in there by a master hacker as part of Project Sonnimne.

All Systems Down asks the question what would you do if everything around you changed for the worst essentially. Could you survive? How would you survive if everything went dark?

All Systems Down was definitely an intriguing read. We got glimpses from those who created the virus, along with following the characters that were impacted at the time of the event.

Something about this book says post-apocalyptic fiction, because survival becomes the key, but there is also a lot more in play here. The author has created an engaging plot, and I found myself rooting for certain characters, while wishing bad things on others. You’ll have to read it for yourself to see why though.

All Systems Down is a techno thriller, with a dystopian feel to it once the blackout hits, Easy to follow with some divisive characters, it is great escapism.

Recommended for sure!
Profile Image for Indy Quillen.
Author 5 books72 followers
September 3, 2018
Yes, I'll admit I'm a fan of the book “One Second After” by William Forstchen, where the reader follows one family, and the town they live in, through the ordeal of what life would be like after an EMP event. But “All Systems Down” is a different read. It’s a cyber tech thriller that introduces you to a cast of characters attempting to navigate through the first chaotic days after our country is brought to its knees by a coordinated attack on our power grid and technology. It then sets the stage for a future series of stories featuring this unlikely group as they band together to survive. This was a quick read for me. The author kept me turning the pages. Honestly, I would’ve enjoyed it more if the novel was a bit longer. It felt a little rushed at the end. But I'm definitely interested in reading the next book when it arrives.
Profile Image for Eric J. Gates.
Author 27 books152 followers
August 9, 2018
“All Systems Down”, Sam Boush’s novel of a devastating cyber attack and its very human consequences, should make you think. We rely on the Internet and goods manufactured with imported electronics so heavily in our modern world that the thought of a rogue state manipulating these to our detriment is one we tend to push away from our conscious mind. Yet, as we have seen recently, nation states do engage in cyberwarfare, and they do it to covertly promote their own agendas over what we believe we are choosing freely.

I used to work in a field where these scenarios became part of my everyday considerations. I spoke with governments, industry and military clients about the realities of cyber attacks. Most of the time the reaction was akin to ‘oh, that sounds like science fiction’. They were wrong back then; they are wrong today. I guess I was just preaching twenty years too soon. When I started reading Boush’s thriller, all the nightmares came rushing back. The events in his story did not feel in any way exaggerated or overblown. He does an outstanding job of creating a very believable scenario, which serves as the backdrop for a tense thriller centred on the human consequences of a major cyber offensive. And it is the human element that is the standout in this tale. A very diverse group of individuals, normal people with normal jobs and normal lives, centres the attention of the reader on the very real consequences of the global incidents described. The way each of these reacts, as society breaks down at an alarming rate, creates a tension and pace that has the reader rushing toward a finale which is at once optimistic and fearful.

A great reading discovery. Don’t miss this one if you like exciting techothrillers that will keep you up at night and have you thinking for weeks afterwards.
Profile Image for Laurie Bell.
Author 7 books25 followers
March 21, 2019
Oh my freaking gosh... Okay so apart from the nightmares I started having after only reading a few chapters? What a terrific and terrifying book.

Sam Boush has scared the daylights out of me. There is nothing more scary than life as we know it ending in an instant. Power out for a few hours? We all deal with that... but what if it's out for days on end... Everywhere? What else stops if we have no power?

I hadn't realized and now I kinda wish I didn't know.

Add to that no internet and I can't think of a more apocalyptic tale with a greater power to scare.

This multi point of view story is well layered. The POV scenes and settings well written and characters deeply developed. The characters are all believable. Their behaviors terrifyingly real and the world is described as it is today. Which is scary in its own right. Because I can't imagine what I would do in such a situation.

How quickly do we as a world and we as a people become monsters given the right set of circumstances? It's a horrible question that plays out in this story.

I do not want this to happen.

But I believe it could.

Read it now...
Profile Image for Arpine.
80 reviews
December 27, 2017
All Systems Down draws you in from the first pages – once I started reading, it was hard to put down (no pun intended). It’s sci-fi, yes, but taking place in a world that we live in today. The reality described on the book’s pages is scary on a few dimensions – one, it highlights the vulnerabilities of the modern world and shows how much we have come to rely on technology; and two, it depicts what can happen with the society should it collapse.

Watching multiple storylines unfold separately, waiting for them to intertwine, was intriguing. While the essence of the ending seemed a bit predictable, how the characters would get there, and some of the specific details were refreshing. It was great to see the potential for the continued storyline, and a few open endings, and I’m excited to see more from Sam Boush in the future!

Note: I was provided an ARC by the publisher for a non-biased review.
Profile Image for Maya Kamoshita.
1 review2 followers
December 29, 2017
Note: I was provided an advance copy for review. Opinions are my own.

All Systems Down was an enthralling read. Sci-fi and thrillers are not usually my genre of choice - but I was hooked after the first few pages! Being a Portland native, I especially loved the detailed and accurate depiction of my city - but it also made it incredibly terrifying because of the plausibility of the rapid devolution of the city and society in the wake of a massive cyber attack. Boush is a gifted writer - and I look forward to reading his next book! Also, thanks to All Systems Down, I'm working on my cyber war emergency prep kit!
Profile Image for Gordon Gaines.
2 reviews1 follower
December 14, 2017
Note: I was provided an advance copy for review. Opinions are my own.

I read a good number of books, 1-2 per week. This is one of the best I've read this year. It's a page turner that starts out with a very military feel, but quickly moves into the experience of (mostly) ordinary people across the country as they deal with the collapse of infrastructure.

Highly recommended!
Profile Image for Jessica Belmont.
1,483 reviews47 followers
August 7, 2018
All Systems Down drew me in from the beginning. It takes place now, in a world identical to our own, which makes it that much more thrilling. This book feels real, like this is plausible, and possibly imminent.

Each character felt like a real person. The dialogue really shined, and the personalities and reasons for being included in the story were fantastic.

This is Sam Bousch’s debut novel, which blows me away. He has really honed his writing craft, to create a realistic, well researched world with believable characters and heart pounding suspense.

With themes of (terrifyingly realistic) reliance on technology, and what could happen when society collapses, All Systems Down was a book that hooked me from the start and had me until the last page. I highly recommend this one!

*I received this book as part of a blog tour. All opinions are my own.*
Profile Image for Rick Bava.
Author 2 books20 followers
February 8, 2018
All Systems Go-All Systems up---for this outstanding thriller titled--"All Systems Down," from Author Sam Boush. It is a book in the category of Tom Clancy. It is a thrill ride of a thriller. The content is up to date--the authentic nature of the book- given the times we live in --makes this a must read for fans of thrillers--and books in general. The book has a great Northwest feel, millennials will love it--and the Author has put together a data driven, entertaining book---A Must Read--and I am Pleased to recommend it---Rick Bava
Profile Image for Kline DuPont.
2 reviews
February 5, 2018
I'm not sure the science fiction in here is very apparent. Definitely some. But it's mostly just a wonderful thriller. Dark, but not too dark. Some military, but not too much. An all-around splendid read!
Profile Image for Aaron Stey.
3 reviews
February 5, 2018
Some books stay with you long after you've read them. This is one such masterpiece. The cyber war seems all to plausible. The characters are fantastic, relatable, unique.
9 reviews
January 20, 2018
If I’m being honest, rarely are my “go-to” reads shelved as “techno-thriller” or “post-apocalyptic” . . . I’m more an Edgar Sawtelle type of girl. But, at the end of the day, what I like and want is a well-crafted, thoughtful story. Lucky for me, that’s exactly what I got with this book. All System’s Down weaves a great story—one that hooks you from the start with great plot suspense, as well as deep empathy for each of the characters. I highly recommend this book and can’t wait for Mr. Boush’s next novel.
Profile Image for Chloe Ambrose.
2 reviews
January 2, 2018
Full disclosure; I was provided an advance copy. Thanks to Sam Boush and Lakewater Press. This is an unbiased review.

The book doesn't have a slow or boring moment in it. From the beginning, you're drawn into a world that's identical to our own. No near future. It's just now. And you get the feeling that what's happening in the book is not just plausible but maybe even imminent.

The cast of characters is so well done. I feel like I know them personally. The protagonist, Brendan, is likeable but imperfect. The good guys, the bad guys... they're fully realized.

I loved this book. If there's a sequel, I want to read it.

1 review1 follower
January 5, 2018
*I was provided an advanced copy by the publisher for a non-biased review*

I read this book in 2 days. I have 3 young kids and a job. I rarely am able to read a book in 2 days, but this book was that good. I couldn't put it down. And if I did put it down (again, 3 kids) then it obsessed over it. Even after I was done reading it, I obsessed over it. I really hope it isn't the last book by Mr. Boush, but since it says #1, I am hopeful.

Set in Portland, Oregon, many local landmarks came up which really brought the book alive! Just be ready to start prepping for the apocalypse.
Profile Image for William.
675 reviews325 followers
March 7, 2018
ARC courtesy NetGalley.com

Starts out with acceptable but limited prose. The character of the jet pilot has promise, then technical stupidity happens, then even more. Then wrong nomenclature. I can see this is going to get ever more stupid with "satellites crashing to earth".

North Korean hackers can do serious damage to the world, but nothing like this.

Did not finish. Waste of time.
1 review
January 4, 2018
I was lucky to get an advance copy of this fast paced novel. Loved the characters and the story line. Very believable and meticulously researched, which is a big plus in the techno thriller genre. Clancy fans won’t be disappointed.
4,416 reviews22 followers
January 16, 2018
All Systems Down is the first fast-paced post apocalyptic thriller in The Cyber War series written by author Sam Blush. Thanks to NetGalley and Lakewater Press for the advance copy.
Profile Image for Kristi.
250 reviews5 followers
December 7, 2018
I have been reading a lot of dystopian novels lately and this one ended up being one of my favorites. It started a bit slow, but the author did a pretty good job at giving us enough background of each of the characters/families to get to know them and what drives them but not too much to get lost in the details. I'm usually not a fan of jumping back and forth to follow different people throughout the same story, but I really liked seeing the different perspectives of what was going on and enjoyed the way the author tied the different perspectives together. I enjoyed how different each character was and how their lives came together.

As for the story line, I thought it was unique and really makes you think about how much we rely on technology for everything. I'm not sure if it is completely believable and if it could happen as described (with EVERYTHING being attacked and going down at once as described), but I'm not in the Technology industry so I choose to just roll with it instead of trying to think about the logistics of how/if it could happen. A lot of dystopian/end of the world novels have a slow degrading of society after a war, alien invasion, or the slow dying out of the Earth from humans/pollution or natural disaster, but The Cyber War was immediate and knocked everything out at once with no advanced warning.

It was also refreshing to have the story focused around the Pacific Northwest and seeing the effect of the Cyber War on the smaller cities in addition to Portland.

Overall I really enjoyed this book and recommend it to anyone who's a fan of dystopian novels or that just wants a novel that will make them think about how much we rely on technology.

Profile Image for Cheryl.
5,146 reviews187 followers
February 4, 2018
This is the first book in this series. Which, I thought was a good showing for the first book. The further I got into the story, the more it picked up speed in action and intensity. Although, as much as there was intensity, it did not hold up fully for me. The issue for me were the characters. They did not engage me. Also, if I wanted to like them, I found most of them annoying. In fact, I felt bad for Brendan that he was stuck with some of the people.

My favorite parts involved the North Korean and Pak Han-Yong. This is because they were more engaging in their reactions and interactions with each other. The thought that what Pak Han-Yong unleashed on the Untied States is very scary for the simple reason that it could become a reality. The second half of the story is better. Overall, I liked this book and might read the next one.
Profile Image for Jean.
44 reviews1 follower
February 7, 2018
I am not usually a reader of thrillers, but I must say that I really enjoyed this one. I found that I couldn't read this book before bed, because I'd stay up too late, reading to see what would happen next! The story is both frightening and realistic: During the time I was reading this, I found myself getting a bit nervous whenever my internet connection was too slow. The characters were well-developed and, as a long time resident of Portland, I found the little details about the city really wonderful.

Disclaimer: I was provided with an advance reader copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
January 29, 2018
All Systems Down makes you realize how dependent we are on technology, and when left without it, how vulnerable we can be. It is so terrifyingly realistic and will prompt you to put together your own cyber war emergency kit! I am looking forward to the next book and hoping that this becomes a movie!
Profile Image for Erinne.
698 reviews
January 26, 2018
I enjoyed this book. New author for me to read and I found it engaging and enjoyable. Would recommend to fans of this genre!!
Profile Image for Geoff.
965 reviews25 followers
May 9, 2018
My 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.

My Response: 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.

Click here to continue reading on my blog The Oddness of Moving Things.

*I received a copy of All Systems Down from a publicist in return for my honest opinion. No goods or cash were received.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 83 reviews

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