Born: 1969, Sheffield, United Kingdom
B.Eng. –Electrical Engineering, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
aka Andrew Mazibrada
LL.B. –Law, University of Greenwich, London, United Kingdom
LL.M.–Law, King’s College London, University of London, London, United Kingdom
Thriller Sub-genre: Techno-thriller
Future of the Series: Mather coauthoring with Lucas Bale just recently released the third installment to the series, Resistance, with the fourth book, Destiny, expected to be released on 5/25/17.
The Simon Review
Matthew Mather, author of the best-selling techno-thriller Cyberstorm, has recently released the Nomad series with the first book of the series, Nomad, released last summer and the newest addition, Sanctuary, released back in February. Mather’s Nomad is a binary black hole that takes a jaunt through the middle of our solar system and as you can imagine this doesn’t sit well for planet Earth. Though Earth doesn’t get sucked into the black holes, its altered place in the solar system spells disaster for its occupants.
The first book, Nomad, focuses around the Rollins family and the events that take place with them before and during the appearance of Nomad. Dr. Benjamin Rollins is the patriarch of the family and a Harvard Professor of Astrophysics, who first recognized the Nomad anomaly years earlier when he was a budding graduate student. Being the lowly graduate student that he was, his research was quickly dismissed by his superiors, and shelved away to collect the cobwebs. Now there is a new found interest in his work, and Dr. Benjamin Rollins is reluctantly brought into the limelight. While the good professor is dealing with his colleagues and the horror that is about to take place, his daughter, Jessica Rollins, an ex-marine and paraplegic, along with his estranged wife, Celestina Tosetti, have their own little drama taking place in the heart of Tuscany, Italy. On what was supposed to be a simple vacation in Italy in search for a long lost relative of Celestina’s, mother and daughter finds themselves caught in the middle of a battle between two feuding families that results in some very unpleasant circumstances.
Jessica Rollins and her new found love, Giovanni Ruspoli, are the heart of the novel Sanctuary which tells the story of what happens after Nomad has made its trip through our solar system. As you can imagine life is not pretty in the post-Nomad era and Rollins and Ruspoli struggle to survive. Their goal is to deliver important data that Rollins’ father had left them to billionaire Ufuk Erdogmus for which the data refers to Nomad’s trajectory through the solar system. It seems that Erdogmus may be their only link to survival and sanctuary.
I have mixed feelings about this series. In some ways it is a great techno-thriller with Mather’s informative and scientifically probable interpretation of a phenomenon such as Nomad and its effect on our planet, which makes fun reading for the more technically inclined. On the other hand, the story has this dramatic conspiratorial theme between two Italian families, which seems out of place as the world is crumbling around them. Additionally, Jessica Rollins is a character that I had a difficult time warming up to, as she was a bit standoffish and somewhat self-absorbed in the beginning of the series. Though in the second half of the series, she proves to be quite a resilient individual especially considering her disabilities, which leaves me with no choice but to admire her. Overall, the series is full of action, and fulfills, if not exceeds, the definition of being a good thriller.
I do not know if Mather’s plans to continue the series, but with the ending of Sanctuary, it seems natural that an additional book should follow.
As an aside, I noticed that the cover of Nomad has a lot of similarity to the cover of A.G. Riddle’s Departure. Perhaps this is a beginning of a new trend for covers of apocalyptic thrillers with the female protagonists calmly standing around with their back to us as the world is crumbling around them. WAY TO GO GIRLS!!!
I found another one, Wesley Chu has also jumped on board with the kick-butt girl cover for Time Siege.
Most Favorite Novel in the Series-Sanctuary–because I liked Jessica Rollins better in this one
Least Favorite Novel in the Series-Nomad–because I didn’t like Jessica Rollins in this one
What about the science?
Before becoming a world class author, Matthew Mather was well known for his work at the McGill Center for Intelligent Machines in cybersecurity. He went on to start up his own company as well as worked with other startups with specializations that ranged from computational nanotechnology to genomics. To put it plainly, Matthew Mather is a gadget guy which means he understands technology and science. So when Mather wanted to introduce a binary black hole to his series as a means of cataclysmic destruction for planet Earth without completely destroying it, he wanted to make sure it was scientifically plausible. Mather spent months chatting with astronomers and astrophysicists to construct a credible scenario that would keep the earth intact and still maintain life. With the help of some post-graduate researchers, Mather constructed a 3D gravity simulation of Nomad’s walk through our solar system which you can view on this YouTube video:
The Technical Word in Review: Oort cloud– is believed to be the outer edge of our solar system and encompasses the solar system much like a shell. It was first theorized in 1932 by astronomer Ernst Öpik and later revived by astronomer Jan Oort to help explain the unusual patterns in the orbit of comets. Oort theorized that the comets had to originate from a distant source most likely at the edge of our solar system. It is speculated that the Oort cloud is remnants of the protoplanetary disc, the original material that initially made the planets in our solar system. There is no proof, at this point, that the Oort cloud actually exists, and it won’t be until the space probe, Voyager 1, hopefully reaches the Oort cloud’s presumed location 300 years from now.
“Nomad had to pass through the Oort cloud on its way in,” Roger said, furrowing his brow. “Wouldn’t any debris it encountered be spun into super-heated accretion disk? That should light up right across the spectra from x-ray to visible, right?” – Nomad
Books in the Series by Order:
Most Favorite in the series: Resistance with a score of 4.34
Least Favorite in the series: Nomad with a score of 3.92
Based on overall ratings from Goodreads, Barnes and Nobles, Library Thing and Amazon (US & UK)
“Big enough to what?”
Jessica Rollins: Award winning rock climber and paraplegic. Daughter of Dr. Benjamin Rollins.
Benjamin Rollins: Harvard astrophysicist
Dr. Müller: Benjamin Rollins’ thesis advisor and head astrophysicists on the Nomad project
Giovanni Ruspoli: Love interest of Jessica Rollins
Celestina Tosetti: Jessica Rollins’ mother
Massarra: A Good Samaritan that has a hidden agenda
Roger Hargate: Benjamin Rollins’ graduate student
Ufuk Erdogmus: Billionaire that has a keen interest in the Nomad project
Hector: Nephew to Giovanni Ruspoli
Something massive is coming…
And it’s heading for Earth.
That’s what Dr. Ben Rollins, head of Harvard’s exoplanet research team, is told by NASA after being dragged out of bed in the middle of the night. His first instinct is to call his daughter, Jessica, who’s vacationing in Italy with his wife. “Something’s coming,” he tells them. “A hundred times the mass of the sun. We can’t see it, don’t know what it is yet, but they’re calling it Nomad–and in just months, the Earth may be destroyed.”
But what is it? And how did they miss detecting it until now? In a frantic race against time, Dr. Rollins must unravel Nomad’s secrets. A mysterious clue surfaces in his old research papers from the end of the Cold War, more than thirty years earlier…
The world erupts into chaos as the end approaches–and Ben discovers that his wife and daughter are trapped in Europe. The key to humanity’s survival rests in the final answers Dr. Rollins pieces together, in the midst of his desperate scramble across continents to find his family before Nomad swallows the planet.
The old man gripped the podium. “Our best guess…” He locked eyes with Ben. “…is that Nomad–“
“That’s what we’re calling it–whatever it is. It’s heading toward us at extremely high speed.” He enunciated each word clearly to make sure nothing was misunderstood. “We estimate it is now twenty billion kilometers away. At most, we have a year, perhaps only months until the anomaly reaches us.”
Looking for a review of Nomad? Check out:
Amazon Rating-US: 4.17 out of 5 stars based on 1,085 ratings
Amazon Rating-UK: 4.09 out of 5 stars based on 35 ratings
GoodReads Rating: 3.79 out of 5 stars based on 2,071 ratings
Barnes & Nobel Rating: not reviewed
Library Thing Rating: 3.38 out of 5 stars based on 13 ratings
Total Score 3.92
A bullet ricocheted off the open truck door.
Jessica Rollins, Dr. Müller, Giovanni Ruspoli, Roger Hargate, Marssarra, Ufuk Erdogmus, and Hector
A new world arises from the ashes of the old…but the fight for survival has only begun.
In the Day of the Nomad, oceans flooded the continents, the earth split open and poured darkness into the skies. A mass extinction event as the Earth hadn’t witnessed in more than two hundred and fifty million years, the planet flung into a radical new orbit around the Sun.
Jessica Rollins survived, hidden away in a mountaintop in Italy, and has made radio contact with other survivor groups scattered around the wrecked globe–but the destruction is only just beginning.
The key to humanity’s survival may lie in a backpack she recovered from her father, in the data he collected more than thirty years before as Harvard’s preeminent astrophysicist. Information he died trying to protect.
His final words to her circle around and around in her head…survive, no matter what.
But at what cost? And what is Sanctuary?
This was his refuge, his private sanctuary within Sanctuary. Of course, any resident of Sanctuary could come to wander through the Forest, just as they could swim in this Ocean. But when he was here, people know.
Do not disturb
Amazon Rating-US: 4.33 out of 5 stars based on 611 ratings
Amazon Rating-UK: 4.20 out of 5 stars based on 10 ratings
GoodReads Rating: 3.98 out of 5 stars based on 1,597 ratings
Barnes & Nobel Rating: not reviewed
Library Thing Rating: 4.33 out of 5 stars based on 3 ratings
Total Score 4.08 (updated 4/20/17)
Listed #457 out of 549 on Goodreads Best Technothrillers Ever Book List
Listed #124 out of 168 on Goodreads Best Science Thrillers Book List
A keening siren bled into the hibernation chamber.
Jessica Rollins, Dr. Müller, Giovanni Ruspoli, Marssarra, Ufuk Erdogmus, and Hector
Italy, Libya, and Tunisia
The fight for the future of humanity begins…
Jessica Rollins has made it to safety inside the Sanctuary system with the help of Ufuk Erdogmus, but is her mysterious savior really who he says he is? What secrets does he hide? And how is he connected to Dr. Muller?
Jess doesn’t have much time to ponder these questions, as soon she is fighting again for her life…
For the next two hours, they raked her over the same ground but in more detail. In her head she was back at Pickel Meadows in the Sierra Nevada, undergoing survival and resistance training she’d had in the Marines. Back then she had envisaged the Taliban sitting across the table from her. She never imagined it might one day end up being something like this, that she might be the one accused of terrorism.
Amazon Rating-US: 4.53 out of 5 stars based on 64 ratings
Amazon Rating-UK: 4.00 out of 5 stars based on 1 rating
GoodReads Rating: 4.04 out of 5 stars based on 189 ratings
Barnes & Nobel Rating: not reviewed
Library Thing Rating: not reviewed
As the Earth plunges toward Saturn, Jessica struggles to decide whether to save the ones she loves, or save the human race.