The Failed Cities by Matt Wallace can only be described in one way: A work of art. Matt Wallace writes prose that is poetic in nature. The carefully chosen descriptions immerse you in this futuristic, dystopian America. The sights and sounds can be heard, seen and felt with every written word.
The story follows eight individual people; a street preacher, a pair of assassins, a street fighter and wannabe author, a constable turned detective, a man thought to be a serial killer, a mediator, and a dangerous but beautiful woman, all living separate lives that soon become intertwined. Some are bad, some are good, but mostly they're just human, with every gritty detail and fault that humans come with. Because of this, every character has a side you can sympathize with, even the worst of them. When I listened to the audiobook I couldn't help but feel like these people could be real, could be living in the dark underbelly of a city like New York.
Now, I'll be honest. I hate audiobooks. I can't handle listening to them. But The Failed Cities is a pleasure to listen to. Instead of being distracted from the book, I'm distracted by the book.
However, this story is not appropriate for all ages, and if you're offended by strong language, sexual content and violence, you should definitely pass on this one.
I picked up my copy of the ebook and although I haven't read it yet, the audiobook has me excited to get started on the definitive edition, just released today.
I don't think I can come up with a single complaint about this book. It's rough, gritty, and doesn't apologize for a dark world. If you're looking for a light read, this isn't it. But if you're looking for a journey then pick up The Failed Cities by Matt Wallace. You won't regret it.