DARKMATTERS - The Mind of Matt

You met me at a very strange time in my life...

Read my novel: Complete Darkness

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Saturday, September 09, 2023

Joey Valence & Brae PUNK TACTICS (Review)



Joey Valence & Brae (@JoeyValence & @heybrae

Reviewed by Matt Adcock (@cleric20

“Ooh, goddamn, I drop bombs I was born with the brains and the brawn I am the king and you're just a pawn Who's got the high ground now, Obi-Wan?” 
Punk Tactics 

Here is the future – Hip Hop Joey Valence & Brae (JvB) bring their underground sound (which is basically a most excellent Beastie Boys reimagining) and boy is it fun! So it appears that Mike D, Ad-Rock and MCA (RIP) have inspired two swaggering and nerdy spiritual go-getters and far from being talentless cash-in merchants, these guys are great!! 

I found JvB because the artist Jimmy Hobbs who I worked with on my comic 'What Waits For Us In The Dark [Matter]' has been doing the single cover artwork for the band!? Then I had the joy of seeing JvB live last month at their – to date – largest headline gig and they brought their ‘A-game’ – appetites were suitably whetted for their debut album. 

What Waits comic has exclusive JvB artwork by Jimmy on the back>>>

And here is how PUNK TACTICS plays… 

Opening with the title track PUNK TACTICS the stage is set for a rampant good time. Spitting bars with videogame references and some clever wordplay, this is what the world needs right now. Next up is DROP ‘I came, I saw. We came to drop bombs’ a saucy little dance number, followed up DELINQUENT (TEEN TITAN) which is a love letter to comic books ‘…gliding through the city, mask on, Green Goblin. I'm a villain, you a sidekick, Robin’ – it will make your inner nerd grin. 

Coming in hot then we have the one-two punch of WATCH YO STEP and STARTAFIGHT which are all frenetic energy, sneaker namechecks and dance beats. STARTAFIGHT’s ‘Yeah, we get delinquent. Run it, run it, run it, run it like a reprint’ really should be on the soundtrack to the next Streetfighter game… Finishing the violent section is the rocking KILL BILL. 

The duo slip in an Eminem INTERMISSION and then it’s time for poptastic GUMDROP before the laid-back DANCE NOW which is classy and then the smooth vibes of RN ‘feeling good right now’. Nice. The incredible TANAKA 2 comes next with guest vocals from Logic and this is a stone-cold killer track. ‘Non-Stop, Denzel. Heavyweight, Rocky, barbell. Oh, you slick? I'm John Wick. Rambo how I swing the sticks’… 

Personal fav HOOLIGANG kicks the doors in as a follow-up and it’s epic! Man, it was great live too – and has been my ‘drive too fast to’ track since it came out. Before you escape you must also face the beating that will leave you looking like a STREET PIZZA. The fun descriptions of pizza toppings showcase JvB at their most playful. 

Finally, the majestically over-the-top CLUB SANDWICH has been likened to No Sleep Till Brooklyn and that’s not an unfair comparison – it finishes off the album in fine style. 

Wherever the Joey Valence & Brae story goes next, PUNK TACTICS is a great debut album that lays down a marker for a wickedly talented couple of guys who hopefully will take the world by storm…

Out of a potential 5, you have to go with a Darkmatters:



>>> Imagine a world where the earth is becoming hell?

Click below to find out in my dark sci-fi novel...


Thursday, August 24, 2023

Matt reads the Diablo IV BOOK OF LORATH and reviews

Diablo IV Book of Lorath

Matthew J. Kirby (check his blog here

Reviewed by Matt Adcock (@Cleric20)

Diablo IV is a fantastic game, I have invested over 100 hours in it and continue to enjoy the challenges that the world of Sanctuary... It is a dream on PS5 and very worthy of your time. So, I was delighted to be asked by Titan Books to check out their gorgeously bound Book of Lorath which is a comprehensive, stunningly illustrated artifact supposedly handed down by the Horadric Order (an ancient band of heroes and scholars) itself...

It is everything you'd want in terms of a key to the lore of Blizzard Entertainment’s Diablo franchise's latest offering. You will be immersed into the restless evils that haunt Sanctuary, and find out ways in which the Horadrim wielded the knowledge in this book to light the way for humanity. 

'feast on the knowledge'

In the Book of Lorath, you get to hear ro Lorath Nahr, one of the last of the dwindling Horadrim, on his journey through Sanctuary’s most powerful relics and discover the stories behind them. It is said that Lorath’s hope is that this volume will preserve his knowledge for all time . . . and pass it down to those who will inherit the fight against the Prime Evils. 

Created by the Diablo development team and award-winning author Matthew J. Kirby, this immersive, must-have compendium with all-new illustrations showcases the artifacts that have often been—and might yet be—the key to tipping the fate of the world.

Adventurers should secure a copy as soon as they can!!

Out of a potential 5, you have to go with a Darkmatters:


(5 - Diablo IV's essential accompaniment.

Thanks to titan books for the copy!

>>> Imagine a world where the earth is becoming hell?

Click below to find out in my dark sci-fi novel...


Saturday, August 19, 2023

Matt sees the Chrome Sky 2 (review)


CHROME SKY 2: The Bounty Hunters

Steven Mccumaskey (@EVCComicsBooks)

Reviewed by Matt Adcock (@Cleric20)

"Emerging in the gloom of the charcoal dust winds and ice rain came a blurred cluster of shapes nondescript that gradually mutated into the outline of a settlement..."

Journey back to a desolate planet where vast, metallic deserts hide all manner of sins. Following on but also telling the backstory of one of the '3 Devils' from the first issue. 
The plot sees an outlaw bounty hunter getting a sudden attack of conscience after she and her gang wound and cripple a young boy during their latest robbery. 

So far, so gritty, but then a series of double crossings and accomplices turning traitors, sees her left for dead with her comrades running off with her share of the loot.

But they should have made sure - because this bounty hunter isn't dead so easy and launches a quest to seek vengeance against those who betrayed her, justice for the injured child and redemption for herself. Back again is the deathly colour scheme and mix of limited visuals and text, counterposed with some stunning full pages of artwork.

The bounty hunter is wounded and broken in the badlands known as the iron plains, she tackles her first challenges of survival, facing off against the hostile elements and vicious creatures of the desert that threaten to destroy her before the mission can even begin. A fusion of mythic Western and dystopian cyberpunk, Envision Comics are making something very cool here.

Mccumaskey has a skill of spinning a tale that you want to find out where it goes, the good news is that there are another 11 episodes to come!

Out of a potential 5 - you have to go with a Darkmatters:


(4.5 - There is blood on the wind!! )

Read our review of Chrome Sky 1 HERE

Get your copy of CHROME SKY: The Bounty Hunters

Imagine a world where the earth is becoming hell?

Click below to find out about my dark sci-fi novel...


Thursday, August 17, 2023

Matt's Adventures About to Begin (review)

Adventures About to Begin 

Allen Therisa (@AllenTherisa

Reviewed by Matt Adcock (@Cleric20)

"‘That David Bowie, he's just an old poof,’ Kelly snorted at this point giving two fingers to Nan's back. ‘And he’s a Nazi. It said so in the papers.’ … ‘You and that David bloody Bowie,’ Kelly sneered, following me one sulky step behind out into the hallway. ‘Why don’t you go and marry him if you think he’s brilliant? Which he’s not.’"

My favourite author was Iain Banks RIP and he started his family drama novel 'The Crow Road' with the line ''It was the day my grandmother exploded." So when the blurb for Adventures About to Begin started 'After the death of his grandfather, Noah’s life is thrown into chaos' I thought I should give it a go just in case it was as good...

OK, whilst Allen Therisa might not be the new Iain Banks (literally nobody is) - he does spin an interesting tale of a family where young Noah faces a repressed past which threatens everything he believes to be true. 

Noah's life is not straightforward, he has to navigate a difficult relationship with his sister, Kelly, as they reflect on their turbulent childhood – being taken from London to live in the Kent countryside following the breakdown of their parent’s marriage. 

The story is set from the 1970s onwards (in Kent where I grew up) and forms an excellent nostalgia trip for those who remember things like Sugar Puffs and Abba (yep, that's me again)!? Adventures About To Begin chronicles a collapsing marriage as experienced by its children and reflects on how memory shapes our decisions at crucial junctures during our lives. 

At times it is funny and touching, as well as a sensitive insight into British family life during a period of great social and cultural change.

Growing up in the '70s wasn't easy and the challenges that Noah faces including the death of his grandfather and remembering the traumatic fallout from his parent's marriage will resonate with many readers. Therisa writes in a pretty basic style but it works here to convey the emotions and thoughts of the cast of characters. I particularly liked the glossary in the back too as it is like a fun trip through British culture of the time period.

Who is this Allen Therisa?

Aside from writing fiction, Allen Therisa also writes for blogs on everything from popular culture to politics, outside of his working life in the world of social media and website design. Adventures About To Begin is his debut novel.

Follow Allen at: Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/allentherisafb

Buy Yourself a copy - https://geni.us/bGe6z

Out of a potential 5, you have to go with a Darkmatters:


(3.5 - I am a Tiger... Sorry, the Abba vibes got be there, enjoy a family trip of joy and pain

>>> Imagine a world where the earth is becoming hell?

Click below to find out in my dark sci-fi novel...


This review is part of the world-famous ZOOLOOBOOKTOURS!!

Saturday, July 22, 2023

Matt visits The Shadow Galaxy and meets the author Jendia Gammon



J. Dianne Dotson ( @jdiannedotson / @jendiagammon )


Reviewed by Matt Adcock (twitter @cleric20 threads @cleric20 )


“She leaned toward the figure, and saw the outline of a humanoid shape, partially obscured by shadow and a thick layer of ochre-colored dust. The eyes were switched off, and dark. She stepped closer, and found herself staring up at this tall figure, with its smooth face, with no sharp angles. She reached out and touched that face… The eyes flashed open, and two hands seized hers.” RODER


In space, no one can hear you scream ’Ooooo that’s a cool collection of short fiction and poetry from the cross-genre author, science writer, and artist J. Dianne Dotson!’


Doesn’t matter because once you’re caught in this heavy-duty attention-grabbing black hole of short stories and poetry, you will hardly have time to realise that you’ve been whisked off to magical realms, haunted by some fascinating ‘what if’ horror and fantasy and made to search your heart by some Appalachian tales. 


Writing as J. Diane Dotson, Jendia Gammon journeys beyond the conventions of average sci-fi, she trips the light of fantastical oddities and takes you kicking and screaming into some very unnerving places. It all feels deeply personal capturing emotions, longing, regrets, and escapism and it’s written in an engaging and readable style that you won’t easily tire of.


RODER is my favourite of the tales – it is the snapshot of a young woman named Roan who risks her life to help find a robot who captured her heart. It’s a gripping and heart-melting burst of joy – and worth the price of admission on its own!!


I had the chance to put the Darkmatters Interview Q’s to Jendia and here is what she said:


Matt: If you were a superhero – what powers would you have and who or what would be your nemesis?


Jendia: Teleportation, and I’m guessing fresh taffy would make a fine adversary. 


Matt: What is the best sci-fi scene you’ve ever read? 


Jendia: The final goodbye between Lyra and Will in HIS DARK MATERIALS.


Matt: If you were hired to throw a parade of any scale or theme through the centre of London what type of parade would it be?


Jendia: The Most Fantastic Parade full of characters, creatures, and ships from sci-fi, fantasy, horror, and fairy tales.


Matt: You’re in a strange town with £100,000 that you have to spend in a single evening – talk me through what you get up to…


Jendia: I’d pay everyone’s food and utility bills that needed it, for as long as the money stretches.


Matt: Who inspires you most (can be living or dead)?


Jendia: Ray Bradbury, Ursula K. Le Guin, Octavia Butler, President Jimmy Carter, my husband Gareth L. Powell (Darkmatters review of his Embers of War Trilogy), teachers, librarians, astronauts, medical workers, and scientists. 


Matt: What is the meaning of life?

Jendia: Help others, enjoy the little moments, and eat good chocolate.


Matt: What was the best bit of copy you’ve written / or that you’re most proud of?

Jendia: I’m proud of all my books so I can’t pick one favorite line. But I do like this one in LUMINIFEROUS:


“If it’s chaos to be with you, I’ll take that over order. I’ll hold your hands in hell, and I’ll love you in the heavens.”


Matt: If you could have a robot servant – what would you get it to do for you?

Jendia: Bake me pies.


Matt: What would you like written on your tombstone?

Jendia: I won’t have a tombstone.


Matt: Any final words you like to add...

Jendia: Reach out to your loved ones often.


Out of a potential 5, you have to go with a Darkmatters:


(4 - Recommend you take a trip through this Shadow Galaxy

>>> Imagine a world where the earth is becoming hell?

Click below to find out in my dark sci-fi novel...


Tuesday, July 18, 2023

Code Red, repeat this is Code Red (by Ian Loome) Review



Ian Loome(@inkubatorbooks)

reviewed by Matt Adcock (@Cleric20)

CODE RED - defined as follows:

- A condition of heightened alert against imminent danger
- also unauthorized extra-judicial punishment meted out within the military
- and a kick-ass thriller that will give you heart palpitations with its excitement overdose!

"The day had gone from bad to worse. On arriving home, he'd been informed that his computer network and home security had been breached, They had no idea what might have been seen or taken from the system.
And then there was the matter of the dead cop..."

What do you do when your hero of the day has sworn he’ll never kill again? Well in Ian Loome's excellent new thriller-em-up Code Red, you just wait because some promises are hard to keep. 

Meet Bob Singleton an ex-CIA assassin (who still has the skills), he's been badly messed up thanks to a  terrible past, and now finds himself living in a LG refrigerator box behind a dumpster in downtown Chicago - yep, you read that right...

Like most unstable heroes Bob just wants to be left alone. But before you can say 'look out Bob - your past is coming back to haunt you!' - that's exactly what happens because he falls in with some folks who need his special skill set to stay alive...

The twisty plot cracks along as if it's being pursued by a group of trained killers - which is ironic because young Marcus and nurse Dawn have stumbled onto a conspiracy, that has put their lives in danger and a group of trained killers are after them!?

It's down to Bob to protect them, and fortunately, that's the sort of thing he's good at. What follows is a high-energy, gripping tale which sees Bob out to discover the truth about what happened in his murky past because it's all linked to the plight of the innocents who are now in his care.

I really liked the characters in Code Red. Bob himself is a great hero - props to his using a rubbish bin lid like a frisbee to take down an assassin... Even the more dubious characters are interesting like the ex-marine who also draws comic characters - nice little details like this add flavour and fun to the story and make you care a bit more than in lesser writers' works.

So, if you like your action crunching and your heroes emotionally detached, I have a Code Red for you, and the good news is that this is just the first in a new action thriller series.

So if you enjoy Lee Childs, Jack Carr, etc and haven't come across Ian Loome - today is your lucky day!!

Who is Ian Loome?

Writer of thrillers and mysteries. His books have been downloaded more than a half-million times on Amazon.com and have regularly featured on the Kindle best-seller lists for more than a decade. For 24 years, Ian was a multi-award-winning newspaper reporter, editor and columnist in Canada. When he’s not figuring out innovative ways to snuff his characters, he plays blues guitar and occasionally fronts bands. He lives in Sherwood Park, Alberta, with his partner Lori, a pugnacious bulldog named Ferdinand, a confused mostly Great Dane puppy named Ollie, and some cats for good measure. This is his first action thriller with Inkubator Books.

Out of a potential 5, you have to go with a Darkmatters:



>>> Imagine a world where the earth is becoming hell?

Click below to find out in my dark sci-fi novel...


This post is part of the magnificent ZOOLOO Book Blog Tours...

Wednesday, June 28, 2023

Matt gets Defragged and meets Glitch...

Defrag (The Glitch Logs Book 1)

Rachel Beck (@rachelthebeck)


Reviewed by Matt Adcock (@Cleric20)



Hey chooms – tune your chrome augmentations to ‘full cyberpunk pleasure’ and jump into the gritty cyberpunk world of Neosaka. Here the neon-washed streets serve as a backdrop for a tale of hacking, heists, and hidden agendas. The protagonist, Glitch, is a hacker / runner with a knack for getting her hands on valuable data in a city dominated by powerful corporations. Sounds like your sort of cyber fun? Oh boy it really is…


So without splurging too much plot - when Glitch finds herself in the midst of a high-stakes heist gone wrong. A rival crew emerges, setting off a dangerous chain of events that forces her to navigate a treacherous landscape of shifting alliances and imminent danger. With a relentless security force closing in, Glitch must find a way to unite with her rivals if they are to have any chance of survival.


Beck's world-building in Defrag is shiny. Neosaka comes alive with an atmosphere that drips with tension and cybernetic allure. 


Glitch is a relatable and sympathetic protagonist, wracked with internal conflicts as she hits hidden agendas and the deep societal implications of Neosaka's corporate dominance. 


Defrag is a gripping cyberpunk adventure that combines high-stakes action, intricate world-building, and well-developed characters. Beck's writing is worth checking – the good news is that there is a whole series – so be sure to check Overclocked and User Error which follow…

Until 21 July you can get Defrag as part of the Fanatical CYBERPUNK BUNDLE 

(along with that there Complete Darkness you might have come across) >>> CIICK to get a copy 

It's not every day you get to ask the main character of a cool book some Q's - but today is that day...


MATT: If you were granted cyber-augmented powers who or what would be your nemesis?

GLITCH: I don’t have to wonder: I know. His name is Axiom and that asshole has had it in for me for years now. He sold out our team for a plushy corporate job and it’s been war between us ever since. Well, that and I’m wearing an extremely expensive piece of cyberware that was supposed to be his big payout for selling us out. So yeah, I don’t see this ending until one of us is dead. 

MATT: What is the most life-affirming thing you’ve ever read or watched in a book/film of any genre?

GLITCH: I don’t watch a whole lot of media, but I used to compete professionally in the video game Champions of Nuur. I dunno about life affirming, but hearing a crowd of hundreds chanting your name from a stage does make you feel pretty alive.

MATT: If you were hired to throw a parade of any scale or theme through the center of London what type of parade would it be?

GLITCH: I dunno where you draw the line between “parade” and “riot” but it would be a riot. 

MATT: If you could choose a super power what would it be?

The power to phase through walls (and bullets) would make my life a whole lot easier. 

MATT: Who or what inspires you most (can be living or dead)?

GLITCH: There was a guy I used to know that went by the name of PatchNotes. He had this idea that the last act of rebellion in a city as sold out as our is to give a damn about other people. I wouldn’t say I do what I do because of him, but he definitely shaped the way I see the world.

MATT: There’s a masked assailant with a gun to your head, who is most likely to be under the mask?

GLITCH: Ooof, tough question. At this point in life, I can think of a whole list of people who would pay for the privilege. Nebula maybe, since I got her fiance killed on a job? Axiom, for the whole stealing his cyberware thing? Nine, because that’s just the kind of guy he is? I think the real takeaway here is that I need to work on my people skills.

MATT: What is the meaning of life?

GLITCH: Whatever goodness you can claw out of it that the corporations can’t immediately turn into a profit extraction opportunity.

MATT: What was the best gift you’ve ever been given?

GLITCH: When I was a kid, my mom got me a dog. Like, a real one, not a robopet. I think it was supposed to help me develop social skills or something. It didn’t, but I really loved that dog. It was just happy to see me, you know? Didn’t matter what kind of day I’d had, it was always just thrilled that I was around. I miss that dog. 

MATT: If you could have a sidekick of any sort – what would it be able to do for you?

GLITCH: Talk to people for me maybe? Teach me to talk to people? I don’t mean I want dating advice or anything: I just want people to stop looking at me and thinking to themselves, “You know, violence is probably a good solution here”. Like is it an attitude problem, or do I just have one of those faces? 

MATT: What would you like written on your tombstone?

GLITCH: I probably won’t die rich enough to be able to afford a tombstone, but if someone wants to donate one, tell ‘em it should read “It was always personal.” And scratch an image of a moth into it while they’re at it. 

MATT: Any final words you like to add…

GLITCH: I’m not really one for speeches. Keep moving. Take care of each other. When danger comes knocking, kick it in the teeth. Figure out what’s more important to you than money and then chase that until they catch you. And every day, every f***ing day, wake up and fight the lie that your only worth is what shows up on a corporation’s bottom line. Good luck.

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