"On one level, the novel is a parable — with overtones of Graham Greene’s The Quiet American — about the United States and Iraq and the still unfurling consequences of the war ... Mr. Gallagher has a keen reportorial eye, a distinctive voice and an instinctive sympathy for the people he is writing about ... An urgent and deeply moving novel."
–Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times
"Layered and complex ... smart, fierce and important writing. In Youngblood, Matt Gallagher shows again how war works in the human heart."
– Roxana Robinson, The Washington Post
[Gallagher] writes about war like you've never read before ... in its emotional nuance, Youngblood codifies the fact that this is a voice to be reckoned with."
"Showcases the manifold strengths of the author's writing, most prominently a gift for evoking the feel of contemporary soldiering in faraway places ... Evocative and [written with] stirring sympathy for and surprising friendship with local civilians and soldiers."
– The Wall Street Journal
"The Iraq Novel We've Been Waiting For. [A] dark, suspenseful meditation on [the] impact abroad ... America's first great work of reckoning."
– The Daily Beast
"Every so often a debut novel charges past the suburban stories tapped out in coffee shops and announces itself as a literary event. Matt Gallagher's Youngblood is one of these books ... [Gallagher's] descriptions of combat's aftermath - quiet and taught with pathos - remind me of Siegfried Sassoon. Violent, intelligent, and beautiful, Youngblood is one of the best novels to come out of America's 21st-century wars, with an authority that eclipses most debuts and a literary talent that announces a commanding writer."
– The Australian
"A complex tale about the Iraq War, intrigue, love, and survival. Gallagher follows up on his successful first book, the memoir Kaboom: Embracing the Suck in a Savage Little War (2010), with a smart Iraq War novel that adds something new to the genre—new genres. Gallagher subtly weaves throughout this excellent, brutal tale intrigue, a mystery, and two compelling love stories... A fresh twist on the Iraq War novel adds depth to this burgeoning genre."
–Kirkus (starred review)
"Gallagher’s riveting combination of gritty military jargon, sharply drawn characters, and suspenseful story line adds up to one of the best modern war novels since Tim O’Brien’s Vietnam classic, The Things They Carried. Highly recommended."
–Booklist (starred review)
Visceral ... writes knowingly about the futility of keeping the peace in Iraq, where it seems almost impossible to identify friend from foe. He imbues the struggle between Porter and Chambers with a moral heft."
Council on Foreign Relations contemporary war fiction panel (w/ Elliot Ackerman, Michael Pitre and Peter Godwin), February 2015