Having lived up close through some of the tech explosions of the mid to late 80s, the author had my rapt attention for the Silicon Valley in the 90s. We all heard the rumors, but what was it really like to be in the heart of a start-up and a release during that time?
The author drops the reader in the middle of not only the extreme circumstances of the corporate world but also the tragedy of the main character, who is mourning the sudden death of his wife in a freak accident. Brendon is a tech guy in all senses of the word. While he is a tech writer, his brain function is very similar to the variety of engineers he tries to deal with on a daily basis. As Brendon has emerged back into work months after his wife’s death, he is immediately submerged in the all-consuming world of the start-up company, Janela, as it is mid-creation for its latest software release. Janela is set to change the way businesses handle their end of life inventory and that connection was not lost on this reader as Brendon is also trying to deal with his wife’s end of life.
The story is rounded out with a variety of characters, from the stern yet approachable Gerhard to Chuck, who is trying to survive and maintain a future life with his wife, to Charlie, whose personality is sometimes larger than life. A twist, although inevitable, did not distract but merely added another level to the complexity of endurance the characters were experiencing.
The tech language needed for descriptions is there but kept at a degree that most novices will still easily be able to get into the story. This is drama at a high level and yet some (with a wink) may think it is Historical Fiction – except for those of us who remember.
It’s the late 90s Internet boom, and Brendon Meagher has just lost his wife Sadie in a freakish car accident at the edge of Silicon Valley. The Cyclone Release follows Brendon as he emerges from tragedy and lands in a pre-IPO start-up that promises astonishing riches. Mo Gramercy, a bright and commanding colleague with her own deep secret, joins Brendon, disrupts his malaise, and takes him as her lover. The characters’ careen toward IPO millions, their secrets suddenly converging, and both are shaken without mercy from bucolic notions of work, life, and impending fortune.