Exploring mental illness via ’80s cyberpunk-action vignettes is no easy task, but Ferrett Steinmetz’s Automatic Reload accomplishes it with panache ... . I appreciated that Automatic Reload does not try to 'cure' Mat or Sylvia. Instead, the narrative leans into their coping methods and allows the characters to work through their pain and trauma. Since most of the plot happens over the course of one day, Steinmetz’s lack of chapter breaks creates a chaotic, stressful pace for readers. You’ll want to read this book in 100-page segments, pausing only when you reach one of Steinmetz’s act breaks. I enjoyed the structure of the book and Steinmetz’s frenetic writing style, but this is certainly not a book for light reading ... perfect for anyone looking for a lighter take on cyberpunk stories ... a fun and engaging read.
The unhinged steampunk epic Automatic Reload showcases a violent world of mayhem, love and redemption ... Ferrett Steinmetz's pacing and visceral action sequences scream for the attention of graphic novel fans. But the most striking element is what's at the heart of the story: two emotionally damaged people find enough commonality and strength in their weaknesses to fall in love.
Steinmetz’s latest...deviates from the usual shoot-’em-up action novel by centering the story around Mat’s morals ... [Mat] has PTSD, while Silvia has a panic disorder, both of which Steinmetz depicts with compassion, realism, and humor, highlighting the obstacles and advantages of each condition ... Mat and Silvia make a welcome, unconventional pair of protagonists in this outlaw action adventure.
Steinmetz...delivers a 'rom-com with explosions' ... The action is nonstop, with issues of mental illness, identity, and humanity woven subtly throughout ... Recommended for libraries looking for a deliciously over-the-top adventure.
... a...consistently surprising, hyperkinetic action adventure from Steinmetz ... Steinmetz expertly fuses cyberpunk staples and romantic comedy elements to deliver an over-the-top, action-packed tale while also addressing mental illness and body issues. In tackling Silvia’s panic disorder and Mat’s PTSD, as well as their respective feelings of dysphoria, Steinmetz imbues this rip-roaring tale with a surprising amount of sensitivity and heart. This thoroughly satisfying story works as both thriller and romance.