DARKMATTERS - The Mind of Matt

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

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Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Matt Feels The Fire Within My Heart (review)


The Fire Within My Heart

Ayshen Irfan (@author_ayshen

Reviewed by Matt Adcock (@cleric20

"I was only twenty years old when I died. Who would have thought that with death came immortality?"

This is how the dark tale The Fire Within My Heart begins. It's an unhappy story featuring the town of  Britchelstone where a rampant serial killer is targeting young women. 
Bad news for Scarlet Cherie - our main protagonist as she finds herself as his first victim - left to rot on the side of the road, she slips into the darkness, awaiting her mortal fate. 

Rather than then move to a police crime story - author Ayshen takes the plot into the fantastical by having Scarlet come 'back' thanks to an enigmatic entity named Nikolaos.
Whilst the killer continues to strike, Scarlet is thrown into new reality, meeting and dealing with weird and wonderful creatures. Oh she has spooky powers too - perfect for exacting revenge on her killer from the shadows...

It's not too much of a spoiler to tell you have Scarlet has become a vampire, and all bets are off as to where she'll end up.

The Fire Within My Heart is packed with some fascinating lore, a host of supernatural creatures and some very dark fantasy action. It's a great tale for those who enjoy the more arcane things of life - so not for the faint of heart or anyone adverse to the fantastical.

I had the chance to ask Ayshen the Darkmatters Q's - read on to get to know her a bit better...

Matt: If the devil sent a demon version of you – who or what would be your nemesis?

Ayshen: What an interesting question! I have a certain curiosity and intrigue in Archangel Michael,
and I like to think that he would be my nemesis for two reasons. Firstly, we could have a sort
of second War of Heaven, where Michael leads a great army to fight me, but I collapse from
grace and become a server of Satan instead. Secondly, as he is the Angel of Death
according to some, I think it would be a very interesting concept if we both worked as agents
of death—him as an angel and I a demon. He could be trying to take them up to heaven,
giving their soul an opportunity to redeem themselves, and then my pesky, spectral figure
appears and tempts their soul to sin.

Matt: What is the most disturbing fictional scene you’ve ever read or
watched in a book / film of any genre?

Ayshen: Basically the entire film Martyrs (2008). That whole film deeply disturbed me. There is
literally not one exact point I can say is most disturbing.

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?

Ayshen: A spooky, sinister parade! One where we all dance through the streets at midnight dressed
as ghostly figures and creatures of the night. We would throw rose petals through the night,
letting them rain down and settle across the city like red snow. It would be gothic, and
fantastic, and mesmerising, and debauched.

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…

Ayshen: Rent out the biggest, oldest house (preferably a castle—if it’s in England, I feel most places
probably have a castle at least somewhere in the town) I can find and get hundreds of
ominous invites made that say I’m throwing a party. As someone else I’ve hired goes out to
post them through every letterbox, I get all the party bits together and then, as the witching
hour falls, the party begins. The one rule for this party is, however, that you must be dressed
up in elaborate fineries to enter. But, I am neither cruel nor exclusionary, so I would have a
cloakroom filled with fancy dress that people are welcome to borrow if they so wish in order
to enter. Imagine The Great Gatsby meets Interview with the Vampire.
Hmm… I might have gone a bit over budget, though!

Matt: Best film line of diallogue ever?

Ayshen: “People should not be afraid of their government, government should be afraid of their
people” — V for Vendetta (2005)

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

Ayshen: Plot twist: it’s Archangel Michael! He’s swapped the scale and sword for a gun.

Matt: What is the meaning of life?

Ayshen: I shan’t even pretend to know the answer to this—and it probably varies greatly depending
on my mood of the day.

Matt: Who is the most attractive person on the planet?

Ayshen: This has genuinely been the hardest of all the questions… ahh, I simply don’t know! If they
have to be a real person, then I suppose I would say Joan Jett as she was my childhood
crush and I still have many pictures of her on my wall.

I’m honestly stumped with this one, it seems like a lacklustre answer, but I simply can’t think
of just one person (who is either not fictional or only attractive playing one specific role in a
TV show or film).

Matt: If you could have a sidekick robot – what would it be able to do for you?

Ayshen: Write down my book ideas that always pop up when in the shower and have no bloody way
of jotting them down! On a serious note, it would be really cool if they could record my dreams somehow, but maybe that’s too unrealistic.

Matt: What would you like written on your tombstone?

Ayshen: I plan to be immortal, so far it seems to be working out—I’m not dead yet, after all.

There you have it, a delve into the tortured mind behind this dark thriller, I enjoyed the trip into the nether world and it certainly sits nicely alongside two of my Burton Mayers Books stablemates who also have vampire books out - Fiona's Guardians and The London Vampire Diaries.

Here's my verdict on The Fire Within My Heart...

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


(4 - An effective, dark and different vamp-em-up...)

Buy your copy of The FireWithin My Heart here

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Monday, May 17, 2021

Don't BOAR us, this is no Razorback

BOAR (15)

Dir. Chris Sun

Reviewed by Matt '@cleric20' Adcock

"In the Outback... nobody can hear you squeal!"

They say that the tales of a giant, man-eating boar are just myths. But the thing about myths and legends, they are usually made up of partial truths, and in this case, complete and terrifying truths.

Yes, just when you thought it was safe to venture down under (after years of living in fear of the killer giant boar in the classic Razorback - which is one of my all-time favourite monster movies) here comes a new pig on the block - tearing a path of destruction through fencing, livestock, and anything else that gets in its way...

Meet the Monroe’s - the likeable pig-bait who are on a road trip to reconnect with a life they left behind several years ago. Seeing old friends and loved ones bring the family together. A spontaneous decision to picnic along the shores of a cool river three hours from town brings them face to face with death itself. A boar of staggering size with a taste for blood is cutting out a crude home in the bush, and has marked this area as his. 

All bets are off from then on it's full metal boar destruction - and if you're a fan of savage animal rampage a la Jaws but on land - strap in for a fully animalistic and brutal romp. 

Is this a classic? 

Not even close. 

Is Boar a fun horror flick? 

Yes - absolutely!!

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


(3 - This 'little' piggy went CHOMP CHOMP CHOMP)

Awesomeness öööö – a couple of great scenes 

Laughs ööö – amusing too

Horror öööö – animal attack violence!

Spiritual Enlightenment öö - bacon bites back

Imagine a world where the earth is becoming hell?

maybe click below to find out more in my dark sci-fi novel...


Wednesday, May 05, 2021

Matt dips into Catriona Ward's mind

The Last House on Needless Street might just be the best gothic chiller of 2021 - I had the privilege of reviewing it (or rather getting my cat Spike to review it) for the British Fantasy Society. 

Here's a taste: I’m cleaning myself when my ted calls me. His name isn’t really ‘ted’; it’s ‘Matt’, but I heard on good authority from the amazing Olivia in The Last House On Needless Street that ted is a suitable descriptor for humans. I’m not a ted, I’m a feline, my ted calls me ‘Spike’. 

My ted has been reading The Last House On Needless Street – gosh, it’s a mouthful to keep repeating – and so he hasn’t been very attentive to me. He keeps saying things like ‘oh my god, this is incredible’ and ‘NO WAY!’ at those points, his face screws up in shock, or his jaw falls open. That book must be quite something to provoke those reactions. Read the full review here

But I love to find out a bit more about the author too though so here Catriona answers the Darkmatters questions...

Matt: If scientists ever managed to create a giant mecha version of you – who or what would be your nemesis? 

Catriona: Time. In the form of a looming skeletal figure made of rotating cogs and intricate clockwork, with a blank clock face and alarm clock hands that are constantly ringing. At its glowing ticking heart would be all the minutes I’ve ever wasted, which would gradually be subtracted from moments of joy or accomplishment throughout my life. 

Matt: What is the most disturbing fictional scene you’ve ever read or watched in a book/film of any genre? 

Catriona: There’s a scene in Peter Greenaway’s film The Cook, the Thief, his Wife and her Lover where a character is force-fed the pages from a book, forced down by a wooden spoon. Horrific. I get a gag reflex just thinking about it. 

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? 

Catriona: I’d like a parade of every single one of my friends and close family, living and dead, that meanders between sunlit parks and tree-lined canals, on a hot July evening. I think we’d all be on horseback. Naturally, the roads would be closed on our route, and each stop would feature cold wine and tiny delicious things to eat, served from trays by flamingo waiters. 

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… 

Catriona: Difficult to spend all that money on oneself. Can I donate it? I’d donate it to a homeless charity. 

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

Catriona: My writing heroes are Shirley Jackson, whose prose I think cannot be bettered and Kelly Link. Reading their work always reminds me of that quote by Annie Dillard, ‘write as if you were dying.’ Part of the reason I love gothic and horror fiction is that it can contain such extreme feelings, such passionate intensity within its confines. These two writers exemplify its grand scope for me. 

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

Catriona: Myself, from the future, sent back to prevent me from making a terrible mistake. 

Matt: What is the meaning of life? 

Catriona: Family and friends and love. Also work. Trying to put something strange and true back into the world that will last when you’re gone. 

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

Catriona: My partner gave me a coat for my 40th birthday that makes me feel like a Scottish highland highwayman. It lends me all the power and gravitas I never knew I needed. 

Matt: If you could have a sidekick robot – what would it be able to do for you? 

Catriona: Communicate directly and immediately with a human being at HMRC and resolve all tax queries on my behalf with no involvement from me. 

Matt: What would you like written on your tombstone? 

Catriona: ‘She never stopped trying.’ That’s all we can do, right?


Read my review of The Last House on Needless Street over at the British Fantasy Society CLICK HERE

Buy your copy of The Last House on Needless Street HERE

Check Catriona's Goodreads Page HERE

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