DARKMATTERS - The Mind of Matt

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

Read my novel: Complete Darkness

Listen to the PODCAST I co-host: Hosts in the Shell

Tuesday, November 22, 2022

Matt falls for Pearl and X... Reviews em..

Pearl (18) vs X (18)

Dir. Ti West

Reviewed by Matt Adcock (@Cleric20)

“I want you to remember what it feels like. Because that’s how I felt every time you looked at me.” Pearl

“I will not accept a life I do not deserve." X

Ti West is racking up an impressive list of scary movies, personal favs include The Inn Keepers and The House of the Devil. But even his lesser works like Trigger Men, The Sacrament, and Cabin Fever 2: Spring Fever are worth a look…   

This year he’s back with a fiendishly ghoulish, outrageously fun shocker Pearl – which is a prequel to his grisly X. 

X was a kind of homage to 70’s Texas-Chainsaw-esque horror based around an adult film ‘The Farmer's Daughters’ production. Both films share the same location – a quaint farmhouse, home to Pearl (and her family in Pearl, and her husband in X).

Miss Goth

Mia Goth stars as the titular Pearl in both films, but where in X she put a whole new level of fear into grandmas, here she’s a young Judy Garland-alike old-fashioned, picture show wannabe dancer who dreams of getting out and making it big on the stage.


Has she got the “X Factor,” though? If you’ve seen X then you’ll know that she ends up back at the farmhouse but it’s a lot of fun finding out if she ever escaped… Pearl itself is terrifically accomplished and horribly gripping, as the Guardian review said it brings a “golden-age movie pastiche and dashes of Psycho and The Wizard of Oz” which is a great description.


Where X is a classic slow-build horror – that leads up to a satisfyingly climactic bloodbath - Pearl is more peppered with gruesome happenings… The thing both films share is the fun cameo by the massive crocodile in the farm’s lake who is responsible for chowing down on more than just the scenery…


In my opinion, both are great in their own way and together make for a knockout 1,2, combo… Here’s hoping that Maxxxine will smash it as the trilogy ender!!

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

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


Monday, November 14, 2022

Matt takes the LEAP into an eco thriller from OC Heaton

LEAP (The Race Is On Book 1)

O C Heaton (@OCHeaton

Reviewed by Matt Adcock (@Cleric20)

“Above him, the dense swell of powdery lights resembled a thick cloud of billowing steam that spiraled across the entire night sky. He shivered in awe, looking towards the horizon where the sun had disappeared. Perhaps it's a good day to die after all.”

Imagine a world where we could teleport? It would change everything... I messed with the concept in Complete Darkness but here O C Heaton brings the 'world's greatest invention' into modern-day and it has seismic effects.

We get to join Uma Jakobsdottir, an eco-activist, and daughter of famed quantum scientist Jakob Arnasson - she has big dreams of reversing global warming.

It suddenly looks a lot more possible when she meets Ethan Rae - Britain’s youngest tech billionaire. Can they team up to launch her father’s greatest invention, which is, as you might have guessed called LEAP.

LEAP is a teleportation device that could replace all transportation, transform manufacturing and revolutionize food production. I don't need to spell out for you the incredible savings on fuel, time, and manpower such a device would bring.

But hold your eco horses, as ever there are forces that do not want to lose their income such as playboy CEO, Samuel Reynolds III... He wants LEAP to save his family’s airline, once the biggest in the US but now facing bankruptcy in the wake of 911.

I won't go into any more plot as reviews are here to tell ya if it's any good - not to regurgitate the promo blurb...

I'm delighted to report that LEAP is a fun, pacy read which will put a grin on those who like a bit of espionage.

Heaton writes in a highly detailed but readable format and whilst he doesn't skimp on the tech notes, they don't slow down the narrative unduly.

The action globe trots from the frozen wastelands of Iceland to the leafy suburbs of London and even the shadow of the Twin Towers, so buckle up for an ecological thrill ride.

Who is O C Heaton and how does he write?

I write what I love to read - big-issue thrillers that are super well-researched inside a complex plot full of twists and turns.

When I sit down to write a book, I have three non-negotiable rules:

1. It needs to concern a current or recent real-world issue that I can deeply research (I love research!) and weave my fictional story into. Hopefully, so tightly that you struggle to spot where one stops and the other starts.

2. It has to have a complex plot full of twists and turns that’ll leave you guessing right until the end.

3. It must contain grey characters, even the good guys. This makes sense to me. Firstly as a reader I hate stereotypical/one-dimensional characters and secondly, grey is real-life, right?

The result of the above is The Race Is On Series, an idea I had on a trip to Iceland. The first in the series is called LEAP, which tells the tale of a device which has the power to halt global warming. Told you I go for big issues! The ensuing race to control the power of this machine will continue throughout the sequel to LEAP which I’m well on my way to completing. It's called Green Ray and will be published in the Autumn of 2022.

Just like LEAP, the 2nd book weaves fact with fiction and encompasses events such as the 2009 global financial meltdown, Al Qaeda, a new US President and a cornered CIA; another delightful concoction around which I have constructed another tall, but hopefully credible, tale. Watch this space!

I live in Leeds, UK with the love of my life and our two daughters. It rains a lot in Leeds but that works out well for me - loads of time for research and of course writing


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


(4 - Eco-em-up thrill ride)

>>> 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...

Matt finds his Dominion Destiny - (review)


The Dominion - Destiny 

Chris Cloake (@ChrisCloake)

Reviewed by Matt Adcock (@Cleric20)

“The Goblet of Fecundity was gleaming, the sunlight glinting off the polished surface in powerful shafts. Tibby cooed over it, giving gentle caresses, like a mother with a new born child. This went on for many hours. She was waiting for the ethereal sensation of sovereignty she presumed would come to anyone with sufficient dynamism. In this much, she was correct. But it would need the touch of her blood on one of the transitions between the seasons, equinox or solstice.”

Saddle up people here we go for a fantasy romp across ancient worlds where many varied races clash for glory survival and just hope. If you’ve read the first two in this series you’ll be aware that things in the ancient dominion of Ordefima are at a crisis point – they face a catastrophic invasion that could destroy its people.

Who will save them – maybe Rupert – the Marquis of Ordefima? He faces daunting odds as his enemy Gaticus (not a transformer) is coming for his people and his sister too! 

You want Lord of the Rings style fantasy battles and drama? You’ve come to the right place… The Dominion - Destiny isn’t a feel-good tale though, Cloake puts his characters through hell in order to up the stakes.

If you’ve journeyed with these people through the two previous books, you’ll be invested in how it all comes to end. There is much Game of Thrones=-lite political power struggle – treacherous twists and turns in the narrative. 

In amongst the darkness and gloom this is a love story too. As the world around us gets ever bleaker – fantasy has an appeal to escape into and Cloake delivery a tale where you’re never far from a duel, betrayal or sacrifice and of course the dastardly reptilian Gharids.

The Dominion – Destiny is a fitting end to a fine fantasy trilogy. 

Who is Chris Cloake?

Chris Cloake was born in 1964 and began telling stories a couple of years later. He grew up in Kent, England. He is motivated to write by a deep interest in life, particularly the cruel, deeply flawed nature of people contrasted with their incredible creativity and inspiration. The power of the natural world is a common theme in his work as a writer and professional photographer. He lives happily with his wife, two children and a large collection of music, books and board games.

Buy The Dominion – Destiny 

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


(4 - Decent fantasy trilogy closer)

>>> 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...

Sunday, November 06, 2022

Matt is spooked by Zoe O'Farrell and her Ouija (review)



Zoe Lee O’Farrell (@zooloo2008)

Reviewed by Matt @Cleric20 Adcock

“Jon went back into his room, grabbed his phone and opened WhatsApp. He found the group chat, and quickly typed,


Guys, dunno bout you, but weird stuff has happened! Sum1 is trying 2 spk 2 me!!!!!!!!


He hoped someone would be online so they could all talk about it, but no answer came.”

Very little can prepare you for Zoe Lee O’Farrell’s grim debut novel. You might know the old adage - don’t play with Ouija boards cos bad things will happen, but you really haven’t witnessed anything quite like this… 

O’Farrell writes with an immediacy and winning style, her suspense-laden tale might seem familiar but it’s wall-to-wall nerve-jangling which will delight those looking for a sinister thrill ride! Meet a likable bunch of teens who decide to try a Ouija board in a supposedly haunted school - itself the site of a massacre… What’s the worst that could happen huh?

What follows is a nightmare for all of them, the characters are believable and O’Farrell is obviously fluent in ‘teen text banter’ - the group is riddled with exactly the sort of relationship tension, drama, and showboating that young people have been engaging in forever. 

As a demonic entity is unleashed and the body count rises, the question begins to form ‘who will survive - and what will be left of them?’ This isn’t a book for the faint of heart.

If you needed a reason not to dabble with a Ouija board - this book will do the job with its deliciously dark plot that contains some seriously disturbing scenes - the type that will stay with you long after you’ve finished it.

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


(5 - Freak-em-up demonic slasher fun doesn't get much better!)

So, is Zoe an absolute psycho? I don’t think so, as I had the joy of bumping into her at a writers' event and we seemed to hit it off ok, apart from very differing views of football… Here are her answers to the Darkmatters questions - which are some of my favs since I started doing this  (respect on the Arnie answer) -  so you can get to know her a bit more too:

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

Zoe: Gosh start with a hard question why don't you!!!! Erm.....I mean do I even want to be a hero, why not a villain? It's always the hero that wins out....ok will think about this......thinking................ thinking................... thinking.......... I think I would want to be able to create more time in the day for me to get what I want done whether it be spend time with my mini me, reading, gaming or building my business. My nemesis, easy, all the asses that take up too much for my time for negative reasons......

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

Zoe: I heard about that Human Centipede film, which I have avoided. I get a bit creeped out more with the way things are filmed, like when they do that twitchy shit on the Ring for example. But I had to turn off Old People the other day, it was just a bit too unsettling for me and it takes A LOT to unsettle me!    

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?  

Zoe: I am going to go crazy, I would have an Arnold Schwarzenegger parade, try and get the main man there! There would be Arnie quotes on the floats. His films would be showcased in order of best to....well best (but ignoring that shite Terminator film which has no right to be there). Oh, come on you know it was going to happen! 

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…  

Zoe: Sorry you don't have the security clearance for that 

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

Zoe: There are many people in, in the book world there are a couple of authors who I adore, but my main champion is an author called Carol Wyer, she inspires me daily and her stories keep me going. She is a rock star. 

In life, my dad did, life wasn't always easy for him or us, but he grafted and he always looked for the best in people. 

Matt: There’s a masked assailant with a gun to your head, who is most likely

to be under the mask?  

Zoe: How long have you got? 

'even got a spooky smile...'


Matt: What is the meaning of life?  

Zoe: To appreciate what you have and who you have. 

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

Zoe: Well I am going to be really cheesy and say my mini me, but then it is like arguing with a mini me at the same time. LOL, so depends on what day you ask me - JOKING! 

Aside from the beautiful creation, I think the best gift (and again I am going full power of cheese) I was given was by my Nan, the first book I remember - Lord of The Rings - The Fellowship, as that sparked my love of reading - I was about 6...... 

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

Zoe: Well to be honest, the mood I am in while I write this I think I would go pretty dark and pull a Hellraiser, and get them to bring the freaky deaky chains from nowhere..... bit dark?

Matt: What would you like written on your tombstone? 

Zoe: Finally! 

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

Zoe: Thank you so much to everyone who has read my book and this Q&A! 

Here's the 'official' Author Bio for Zoe:

Zoé O’Farrell grew up in Watford but left the town life to live by the sea down at the White Cliffs

of Dover. She spends her days working with numbers before escaping in the evening to the world of words

and movies. Her go-to relaxation is watching a scary movie or reading a terrifying book!

She is a book blogger and tour organiser just to keep her extra busy. When she is not reading or

writing, you can usually find her watching Watford FC or at a gig. Failing that she can be found

rolling her eyes at her husband as he acts the same age as her spitfire of a Mini-Me whilst

separating her two cats.

Ouija is her debut novel.

Follow her at:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ZoeOFarrellAuthor

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/zooloosbookdiary/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/zooloo2008

Website : https://zooloosbookdiary.co.uk/

Buy OUIJA here

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

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