Book Review: Castigo Cay by Matt Bracken

 

A woman lay on a bed in a small house in the woods. An old woman, her sight is gone, she can no longer walk, she can not hear well, her world has shrunk to this small house and a few of her children and friends. She is 97 years old. She hurts, her bones ache, she’s tired and yet, her mind is clear. For a time she lived in the Caribbean, rode in fast boats, knew heroes, defeat, and victory. This woman is my mother, and she knew some of the joy of life again as I read Matt Bracken’s dystopic action thriller, Castigo Cay . . .

For a week this spring, I read to her when she was awake and I was able. My sister and I took care of her as she can no longer care for herself. She was captivated by Castigo Cay, enthralled by the story, transported to the tropics and the ocean wilderness. Once, she asked me “Is it real?” “It seems so real!”

I won a case of Castigo Cay from Matt on a bet on Freerepublic. I would gladly have paid for the case if I had lost.

I will always owe a debt of gratitude to Matt for the hours that he transported my mother to another time and place, where she was part of a great adventure on the tropical seas.

Matt is one of those extremely rare birds, a self published fiction author that makes a living at it.   He does so in part because his technology and tactics are real and first rate.  He is a former Navy Seal, and the real deal.

He has released his popular The Bracken Anthology for very free on kindle this week.   Matt does this as he offered the Enemies Trilogy the last three weeks.   He says that the warnings they convey will not do any good if people look back on them and say that he was right.

Matt has released the kindle version of Castigo Cay for free this week. He says that the warnings they convey will not do any good if people look back on them and say that he was right.

If you have not read Matt’s books, please do so. You will not be disappointed.

©2013 by Dean Weingarten of The Gun Watch Blog. Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.

comments

  1. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

    So, um… Where’s the book review?
    I’m still trying to find where I can read this for free.
    Currently, free means you have to join amazon prime at $79 bucks a year. Or try the 30 day free trial, but you still have to give them your credit card info.
    Should be, you can read this if you don’t mind giving personal credit card info over the net and jump through some hoops. It’s a good book, but I’m not going to really tell you a thing about it.
    Sorry to sound critical, but I was kinda hoping for a book review.

    1. avatar Stinkeye says:

      This was reposted from another site – it was originally posted there a week and a half ago, so the free offer has probably expired.

      But I agree, as a book review, this is quite lacking. I’ve never heard of this book before, and after reading this, I feel like I somehow know even less about it.

  2. avatar Jeff Dege says:

    The kindle reader is a free download, and with it you can download any kindle book.

    I downloaded Castigo Cay on both my PC and on my Nook, without a problem, and without paying Amazon a dime.

    1. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

      I have the kindle reader. Tried to download several different ways. Which site did you download from Jeff?

  3. avatar Tom says:

    IMHO, Amazon Prime is the best ‘subscription’ for the money you can EVER have!

    Kindle reader is free, but this book is $2.99

  4. avatar Excedrine says:

    I’ve read some of Bracken’s work before!

    His essays titled “What I Saw At The Coup” and “When The Music Stops — How America’s Cities May Explode In Violence” are as sobering as they are enlightening.

  5. avatar Rad Man says:

    I’ve read all MB’s stuff and it’s top shelf. Castigo Cay is a departure in that he introduces new characters unrelated to his Enemies trilogy. His writing is a hybrid prepper fiction/action adventure style featuring corrupt government, economic/societal meltdown, and the souls tough enough to endure the aftermath. If you’re a fan of Joe Nobody or Angery American you’ll like Bracken. The only problem with an author you like is that he or she can’t write as fast as you can read so you’re constantly Jonesing for the next book. Try Matthew Bracken, especially for free, and you’ll be hooked.

    1. avatar Matt in TX says:

      I agree of your assessment of his style. Still trying to finish the Enemies trilogy, third book. The first book was written 10 years ago, and is very pertinent today. I “know” every politician in, “Enemies, Foreign and Domestic”. I can only read these for a bit til I have trouble sleeping. Have to stop and decompress. I recommend the series.

  6. avatar Ninja what? says:

    I bought this book 3 years ago. I let a friend borrow it, and now this post just reminded me he still has it. Thanks TTAG!

  7. avatar janklow says:

    ah, Matt Bracken. a great writer… if you like your writers to be racist and bad at writing.

    1. avatar Matt in TX says:

      Last gasp of a libtard without a shred of argument. “YER A RACIST!”

      1. avatar janklow says:

        right, that’s why i read gun blogs. because i am a “libtard.”

    2. avatar Matt Bracken says:

      Janklow, I don’t care what you think about my writing, different strokes etc. But you called me a racist. Will you now post the offending page reference so we can discuss my racism? Or are you going to run off and hide? If you can’t post a page of my racism, then I can just as easily assert that you are a child molester who cruises kiddie porn sites.

      1. avatar Frederick P Blume Jr says:

        What, this guy’s a child molester who cruises kiddie porn sites? I’m TURNING HIM IN! Janklow, you know what’s going to happen to you when you go to prison? Good luck with that, CHILD MOLESTER!

        1. avatar janklow says:

          because it’s not like what i have said is based on the work. sure.

      2. avatar janklow says:

        well, i DO love the jump to “run off and hide” because i didn’t immediately reply on your schedule.

        but while i don’t have a copy of one of your books sitting around in front of me to give you an EXACT page reference… i suppose we can start with the CW2 Cube concept?

        1. avatar Matt Bracken says:

          Okay, Child Molester Janklow, let’s start with the CW2 cube. Please cite the racism, chapter and verse, and we’ll go from there.

        2. avatar Matt Bracken says:

          Come on, Child Molester Janklow, when are you going to cite those pages and paragraphs of racism? See how easy it is, make the charge first, without evidence? Not very nice, is it? But that’s all you can do. Par for the course, for a child molester.

        3. avatar janklow says:

          actually, at THIS point i would say your passionate words about child molesting are a little bit of projection…

        4. avatar Matt in FL says:

          Wait a minute. You call him a racist without a shred of proof (even now, still), and when he gives you the title of child molester to show how easy it is to cast baseless aspersions, your response is that he’s projecting his own urges?

          I know you’ve been posting here for quite a while, but from where I’m sitting you’re treading awfully close to not posting here any more.

          So do you have something to back up your comments, or not? Think hard.

        5. avatar Matt Bracken says:

          As was just said by another, the “Child Molester Janklow” title was “earned” in exactly the same way that you laid “racist” upon my head. IOW, with zero evidence. IOW, just a filthy smear. I’m still waiting for you to copy down some of my “racist” paragraphs, from the CW2 Cube or anywhere. So it’s your turn now, “Child Molester Janklow.” Put up, or crawl back into your hole, slime.

        6. avatar janklow says:

          Matt, i’ve said what i bespeaks racism in both the CW2 Cube and another example from the EF&D series. Bracken’s weird standard is to demand some very specific cite, which isn’t happening primarily because i don’t have a copy of the latter to quote from anymore. i did quote the Cube essay and, wouldn’t you know it, it’s not like he has a defense of what i have said about it. and of course, while i can say “this is what i get from his Cube essay,” it’s clearly more than his retorts, so…

          if TTAG doesn’t like my comments, they are obviously free to toss them as they see fit. it’s their site. no worries.

    3. avatar Lazamataz says:

      Oh yay. Another unfounded, non-demonstrable racism claim.

      YAWN

      Matt, I have a definition for you to read:

      rac·ist
      /ˈrāsist/
      noun
      1. A person who disagrees in any way with any liberal, or exposes a liberal to any new idea or thought.

      adjective
      noun: racist; plural noun: racists; adjective: racist

      Ex. “I don’t like Matt Bracken’s book. He’s a racist.”

      1. avatar janklow says:

        well, it’s not unfounded, because he writes what he writes. and it’s documented if you want to pick those books up. go wild. but the REALLY funny part is that you’re giving me the liberal label there because i… disagree with you. you know, the exact same thing you’re complaining about me doing?

        1. avatar Green Eyed Jinn says:

          Well, this might be the first cogent response you’ve left. I won’t label you as a liberal/libtard. But I do think you should answer the question: what part of Castigo Cay is racist?
          I read this book shortly after it came out (shout out to Salvation and Survival Blog)…and I really enjoyed it as an action-adventure story in a post-Constitution American fictional history.
          As for Bracken’s Cube supposed racism, see Rlc2’s discussion. I won’t label you without some clear logical/evidential support. Don’t label Bracken before you can cite yours. Answer the question please.

        2. avatar janklow says:

          to be fair to both Bracken and myself, my claim is not that Castigo Cay specifically is racist. as for the CW2 cube (applies to Rlc2 as well, i suppose), you can disagree with me that it’s racist if you’d like, but we’re just going to disagree on that point.

        3. avatar Green Eyed Jinn says:

          you said: “if you like your writers to be racist and bad at writing.”

          I’ll give you the courtesy of having an opinion on the “bad at writing” part…and I do disagree. And since this is a specific review of Castigo Cay, you really should stay on topic. You haven’t read it, have you?

          But to originally use the label of ‘racist’ without any other supporting evidence is wrong. And to then admit that you don’t have a specific item to support your commentary other than not liking a general analysis used in Bracken’s Cube analogy is incomplete.

          You made a very grave assertion, were challenged by the author to justify it, and now retreat with only an excuse of disagreement on a topic not otherwise related to the book. While I don’t think you’re really a child molester or any other specious idea, I do think it’s best to stay on topic for a given commentary and avoid being called out for silliness. Thanks for admitting that you are unable to provide Bracken with specifics to his challenge.

        4. avatar Pat Hines says:

          I have all of Matt’s books, there nothing that can be construed as anti-any race at all.

          Therefore, Janklow, one can only assume that you’re anti-white and are in full support of the movement to force genocide of whites.

          Why are you supporting the murder of my people?

        5. avatar janklow says:

          well, let’s be frank, this is not really a review of Castigo Cay except in the most general sense of the word. true, i did not read it, but i DID read his EF&D series and some of the other random stuff. if you want an example, there’s very bizarre crypto-anglo stuff in, IIRC, the second one that bespeaks a fascination with racial purity being mysteriously important to who’s good and who’s bad in the series.

          Pat Hines, clearly i support the genocide of white people because they’re the ones always trying to restrict my gun rights. if we could just get them out of the way…

        6. avatar Matt Bracken says:

          “well, it’s not unfounded, because he writes what he writes. and it’s documented if you want to pick those books up. go wild. but the REALLY funny part is that you’re giving me the liberal label there because i… disagree with you. you know, the exact same thing you’re complaining about me doing?”

          Come on, “Child Molester Janklow”, are you just going to keep spreading filthy smears, or are you going to copy down some of my “racist” paragraphs?

  8. avatar C says:

    Synopsis if you don’t care to look it up: “Dan Kilmer is a former Marine sniper in his early thirties. He returned home from military service in the Middle East and gave college a try, but his combat experiences prevented him from fitting into campus life. In a South Florida boatyard, his uncle was attempting to refurbish an old cargo schooner, and Dan left college to help him finish the flagging project. After two years of work but before the sixty-foot boat was relaunched, his uncle fell from a scaffold and died. While still in his twenties, Dan inherited the schooner Rebel Yell. Soon after, he left the United States to embark on a series of voyages, mostly in pursuit of beautiful women and good times. While he was away from America, new federal taxes were imposed on luxury property, including privately owned yachts. Dan cannot pay these or other new taxes, so he can’t return to the States without risking confiscation of his schooner. Instead he must always fly under official radar and earn a living by his wits while staying one step ahead of the IRS and other government agencies. He must navigate the reefs of government control while always searching for a way to make money without the permission of the local authorities. This usually requires some type of shady dealing, subterfuge, and stealing from thieves as Dan moves from port to port. A shifting cast of crew members inhabits Rebel Yell, but the novel is about Dan Kilmer and his quest to live as a free man in an increasingly unfree world.”

  9. avatar Samuel Suggs says:

    this is not a review

  10. avatar Aharon says:

    I read Bracken’s book: Enemies Foreign and Domestic. It was a good read.

  11. avatar Rlc2 says:

    Looks like a good read- thanks Dean.
    Bought it on the strength of the reviews on Amazon. Lots more detail there,

    Love the Kindle and Amazon Prime is best deal going- yup $79/yr has saved me FAR more than that on shipping of all kinds of gun and hunting and other stuff, and dont forget free videos on PRIME, not to mention “free books” via lending if you dont want to keep the copy for good.

    I keep a lot of good reference material on mine.

    Janklow – just because I hate trolls, of all flavors, liberal/progs/gun-nuts/racists
    and I especially hate anonymous cheap shots online stinking up my favorite hangout, TTAG.

    I still am noticing you cant provide a specific cite.

    Took me about 5 minutes to skim CW2 in the Anthology and understand Brankows explanation of considering race factors as one component of the 3d model for strategic thinking.

    This is simple real world analysis and wargaming taking into account the group characteristics of any area in conflict and where are the risks to avoid – think Syria, or Egypt, with shia vs sunni, shia vs Copts, or Africa with tribe on tribe, or other places where skin color on skin color exists – in China, South America, or other ethnic sub-groups in particular when large imbalance between weath between them.

    This applied in Watts riots, Katrina, and in other disasters around the globe and will again – we human beings are flawed, and thats the simple fact of life, and ignoring it will get you killed if you are in the wrong part of town.

    Accusing Bracken of specific white/black? racism is lazy thinking at best,
    or what looks more like a jealous cheap shot at worst. I hope I am wrong and willing to apologize if you convince me with facts.

    1. avatar janklow says:

      Rlc2, the “anonymous cheap shots” thing is a little weird to me because many of us are using screen names or online monikers or what have you. i’m not providing a specific page cite because i think the CW2 Cube as a whole speaks for itself. again (as i said above), if you read it and think “this isn’t racist,” alright, we don’t agree on it.

      the thing is, you’re citing examples where the racial distinction isn’t the issue, but something else is (say, Shia versus Sunni, which is probably a little more complicated than that alone, but alright), but the cube insists on making it about race AND positing it as if the coming racial civil war is a given. again, this strikes me as racist. if you think it’s not, okay; that’s not a statement about you.

      i don’t think either of us is about to be convinced by the other and, frankly, i wouldn’t ask for an apology if you were: your statements aren’t harsher than mine.

      1. If I were to say that all blacks are jive, gangsta rappers and cop killers, that would be racist. If I pointed out that most gangsta rappers are black, and a lot sing about cop killing, hoe slapping and such, well, that is just an observation of reality. You see, the observation is describing cultural characteristics. When you assign racism to someone who makes these observations of reality it kinda paints you as the racist I think. Or, maybe it just means the truth hurts. I would say the same thing to a Southern, white, gun toting, bible thumping sho nuff racist or the Northern Version. I would say the same to Jeremiah Wright or the Old/New Black Panthers. Those who hide behind racism on either side just can’t handle the truth as I see it.–Gunny Barton, Ret. (An old Southern white boy cracker from Savannah, GA.)

        1. avatar Green Eyed Jinn says:

          Ah, reason #1458 why I LOVE Gunnery Sergeants! Well said. Semper Fi, Gunny.

      2. avatar RLC2 says:

        Janklow, thanks for the reply. Perhaps the most sensible thing you wrote is “we aren’t going to agree”.

        I hope you get that other people are pointing out the same flaws in your own thinking on the racism claim. Easy to make a lazy comment that’s borderline slander, much harder to take it back.

        BTW, being I never was much good at English, as those of you who were can tell from my tortured grammar, I’ll be the first to admit I am not qualified to judge “literary quality”, but I can say this-

        I bought Castigo Bay yesterday and now half way thru- can’t put it down- its damn good entertainment!
        Much better than most of the genre I have read a fair amount of- and reminds me of “One Second After” for very credible fiction based on what we already know is broken…

        1. avatar janklow says:

          RLC2, to be honest, it’s more that people are enraged by the fact that i called the man racist and we’ve generally devolved into a name-calling contest (see also: Bracken’s own response(s)). really, only you and Green Eyed Jinn are attempting an actual defense of the books. we can agree to disagree simply because it’s possible i’ll read a book and see racism and you might not.

          One Second After, while not a masterpiece of literature, is a much better book on both fronts i refer to, i would say.

          also, i don’t think the CW2 Cube essay really asserts the civil war is NOT a given, for the reader’s position is essentially dismissed in proportion to how likely they deem the war to be. it may be more tone than direct statement, but i think “if political, cultural and demographic trends are sweeping us toward that unhappy destiny, it would be wise to at least cast a weather eye over the possible terrain” speaks along the lines of “i would prepare for this inevitable event.”

        2. avatar Green Eyed Jinn says:

          Janklow – some nice hyperbole…but you’ve still failed to answer the specific question posed by Bracken. Please cite a racist passage from any of his books. So far, you’ve only confirmed your own marginal predispositions and willingness to abuse an author without evidence.
          I’m not really defending Bracken’s books. I LIKE his books. I am challenging you: answer the question or retract the assertion. You’re half-way there: you haven’t read much of his work, and you’ve dropped back to “It’s possible I’ll read a book and see racism.” Well, that’s the problem with most who race-bait: you use the slur as a weapon but have no real evidence other than your own opinion. Feel free not to like something. Don’t feel free to abuse an author without being called out.
          Last, I’m fine with Bracken using the “child molester” charge right back at you – he’s just using a harsh example to show your own double standard. Likely, he’s got more experience with this whole thing and less patience than me to spend time writing about it. Oh, and you unfairly insulted him – that’s still an unresolved part of this whole on-line discussion. If you called me a racist, I guess I’d probably ask when you stopped beating your boyfriend (girlfriend?)…and use any denial or outrage on your part to show how you exhibited some sure signs of being abusive. It’s a dirty game, but you started it.

        3. avatar janklow says:

          Green Eyed Jinn, i’ve read his three main books, from which i gave you an example -“if you want an example, there’s very bizarre crypto-anglo stuff in, IIRC, the second one that bespeaks a fascination with racial purity being mysteriously important to who’s good and who’s bad in the series”- (again, those books have moved on from my library, so you’re getting the gist of the argument, not the exact pages) and some of the smaller stuff. i’m not sure how much MORE i need to read.

          again, you don’t believe what i believe, so i can’t really meet your standard, but i HAVE answered your question. Bracken’s not really showing me a double standard: he’s pissed off and this is how he reacts. you may think he’s justified, but then again, when i call the CW2 Cube evidence of racism, only you (and RLC2) actually defend it. so i think you give the tactic a little too much credit (especially when you’re citing me for “hyperbole” for something).

      3. avatar Matt Bracken says:

        Hey Child Molester Janklow, I’ve been through lots of your posts, and it sure seems to me like you are into young boys. See how easy that is? Now, are you going to copy some actual paragraphs of mine for discussion, or are you just going to keep spreading filthy smears?

  12. avatar Green Eyed Jinn says:

    Specific examples:
    Nation of Islam
    OJ Simpson verdict
    Barrack Obama election demographics for African-Americans
    Murder statistics in Baltimore, Chicago, LA, or Washington DC
    These are specific differences in wargaming/analysis of alternatives/centers of gravity/societal groupings that cannot be denied in current and future American culture.
    Bracken specifically states in his analysis that a civil war is NOT a given. Yet you assert he has.
    And your comment on Sunni v. Shi’a might actually be much more accurate than you imagine: look at Syria.
    I’ve spent years of my life living in Japan, Saudi Arabia and various countries in Europe. If you think America is somehow above/beyond/outside of sudden and potentially violent rifts between different groups, based on their culture, history, racial backgrounds, or socio-economic status, then you are being terribly naive.
    Bracken discusses the break-up of Yugoslavia in his original Cube essay. I’ve been there. Done that. Didn’t like the t-shirts. I’ve also been to Dearborn, Michigan. Didn’t like what I saw there, either.
    If you want to disagree with Bracken, fine. But please put some actual analysis together and quit lobbing insults. Your original comment is worthy of Al Sharpton. And that’s not good company.

    1. avatar RLC2 says:

      GE Jinn- I’m assuming you were responding to Janklow, as I agree with you- and thanks for your service, and conclusions from your travels.

      One thing civilians don’t often appreciate – the more experienced warriors in the military become students of history, starting with the martial arts, and tactics, to an understanding of how global events shape strategy, and with the advantage of perspective from their travels, offer wisdom and context, if we will listen. I don’t see that happening in this Administration, but that’s a reflection of progressive thought, and the naivety that we suffer, being essentially an island, blessed with great natural resources.

      I am very worried about the short-term trends but also greatly inspired by this coming Greatest Generation of the men and women who served in the last 15 years or so, and the potential for their application of honor, ethical values and leadership. We are going to need it.

      I’d be interested in any more you have to say on that- maybe offline- or links to good reading elsewhere.

      1. avatar Green Eyed Jinn says:

        Much appreciated. I fully agree on the assessment of secondary effects of all the returning veterans to American culture. As these young vets grow older and develop into major figures of their own towns, states and regions, we will see a real change in public political discourse. Guys like Allen West will be too many to be shoved aside by the mainstream (read: 5th Column) media. I’ve got one blue star in the window, will get the second next August, and shooting for a third by 2016. They all get that freedom isn’t free.
        Honestly, I think Bracken’s “Enemies” series is the most interesting and well developed post-Constitution fiction. His short story “Professor Raoul X” scares the crap out of me: think Bill Ayers free to influence our current leader. Others I recommend are the “Home” series by A. American, Joe Nobody’s Holding Their Own series, the Dark Grid series by David Waldron, Garrett Archer’s Western Front series, and John Grit’s Apocalypse Law series. And if you like anything sorta in the zombie genre, I recommend John O’Brien’s A New World series and James Cook’s Shattered Land series. Oh, and for a quirky, quick read, check out “The Man Who Saved Two Notch,” by R.W. Ridley. Yeah, I read a lot.
        PS Matt – if you read this, spin the Raoul X idea in a different direction: imagine a pissed-off Tier I operator(s) diagnosed with a non-curable disease and only a year left to live. I bet DHS and FBI have a specific data-base tracking anybody fitting that description…just sayin’.

  13. avatar Michael Reichert says:

    For being a racist Matt writes great books! Papa mike

    1. avatar Matt in FL says:

      So, do you have anything to back that up, or are you just going to imitate the bobbing and weaving of those above who didn’t have anything either?

  14. avatar John says:

    As a reader of Matt’s books, the only thing that remotely made me think of racism was the use of a fictitious website, which when I looked up on the internet, turned out to be an Aryan front site. I’ve enjoyed the content of the books I’ve read, and will continue to purchase Matt’s writings.

    I would also advise that you follow Matt on FaceBook, as his links to relevant news articles is better than perusing most “news” websites.

Write a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

button to share on facebook
button to tweet
button to share via email