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

Monday, March 13, 2023

UK demand for The Last of Us game jumps 9,800% after TV series finale

The Last Of Us - Can't Believe It's Over...

Matt Adcock (@Cleric20)

The Last of Us is one hell of a video game - so you can't blame watchers of the smash HBO TV series for wanting to get in on the original action.

And we're not talkig just a few - some nerds have pulled together stats (research sponsored by King Casino Bonus ), show that The Last of Us fans are keen to give the video game a try, after the final episode of HBO’s Season 1 perfectly set up more episodes in the record-breaking series, based on the video game’s sequel.


With a second season on the TV series already having been given the green light just two episodes into the first season, fans are considering filling the gap by giving the game a go. 


The TV series has been a huge success after debuting in January, having consistently seen its same-day audience numbers grow each week, with episode four’s numbers up 60% from the first episode, which saw over 4.7 million viewers tune in to watch the premiere. 


The average audience for the series’ first five episodes approached close to 30 million viewers across all platforms, according to HBO, whilst episode eight attracted 8.1 million viewers - which only represents 20-40% of the show’s total gross audience per week. 


Immediately after the finale aired, Google searches for ‘The Last of Us season 2’ increased by a huge 9,800%, before gradually decreasing in interest as the night progressed. 


It also inspired an influx of interest around the original source material - The Last of Us video game from Naughty Dog, which will celebrate a decade since its release this June. 


Related searches made last night point to the TV finale as the main driver behind the increased interest, with queries for ‘who plays Ellie in the last of us video game’ also rising. 


Ashley Johnson - who voiced Ellie in the video games - appeared in last night’s finale in an integral role, much to fan’s delight, who were thrilled to see her in the hit show. 


Other searches included ‘the last of us game ending explained’ - as last night’s season finale followed the original video game’s storyline closely - and ‘how did the last of us video game end’, as fans look to see how true the episode was to its source material. 


Some regions are significantly more invested in giving the video game a try than others, the data shows, with the majority of Google searches coming from Scotland and Wales.


So, what will the second season have in store, if it follows the story of the original game’s sequel? The Last of Us Part II is set five years after The Last of Us, and follows a revenge-set Ellie and soldier Abby as they continue to navigate the apocalypse. 


Joel also briefly appears in the game’s opening sequence, with him and Ellie having built a life in Jackson, Wyoming - although their relationship has become somewhat strained. 


It remains to be seen how closely the TV series’ second season will stick to the game’s storyline, but fans will be pleased to hear that the story will continue either way. 


Speaking on the findings, King Casino Bonus said: “After any season finale, there’s typically an uptick in interest around a second series, as fans are sad to see their favourite show head on hiatus. However, 'The Last of Us’ has easily one of the highest increases in searches we’ve seen in a while - and it’s cool to see that this includes the video game. 


“The show has almost reached Game of Thrones level popularity amongst its fans after just one season, and we can’t wait to see how many more new players the series can accumulate between now and its second series - which hopefully won’t be too far away!”

Data gathered from Google Trends over the last 24 hours. Raw data available on request - credit for this info to kingcasinobonus.uk.

Out of a potential 5, you have to give The Last of Us a Darkmatters:


(5 - The end of the world is worth watching - and playing!)

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

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


Matt has a New Yesterday with Frasier Armitage

New Yesterday 


Frasier Armitage (@FrasierArmitage)


Pre-reviewed by Matt Adcock (@Cleric20)


“No, you listen, and listen hard. We're not here to investigate what people remember. We find out the truth of what happened, and that’s all…”


Are you happy with your past? Ever wished there was something that you hadn’t done or maybe some burning regret of something you wish you had?


Well, good news folks – Anderson Whitman Real Estate are here and we can literally change your life!?


Not long now until New Yesterday hits the bookshelves of the world  - April ’23 to be precise. Here is a tale from the cyber-mind of Frasier Armitage who has explored the science fiction / real life ‘what if’ nexus in his short stories like Rememory and Yestermorrow (which is actually a prequel to this – his first full novel).


Hang on to your pasts people - New Yesterday is a time-twist-em-up that explores the ultimate offer of the ability to change your past, to allow you to enjoy a future you’ll want to remember.


Think Total Recall with various lifestyle packages available – and the hero of this head-messing plot is Adam Swann who we meet as he’s being held at gunpoint by a man who claims he stole his life. It’s a cracking start and kicks off a full-scale investigation to discover the assailant's identity and regain those aspects of himself that he's lost.

‍Adam has recurring flashes of a woman called 
Lottie, but he can’t recall who exactly she is. Can he unpack this mystery without scrambling this brain because if you try to remember your former lives that have been ‘removed’ it can mess you up…

Armitage writes with a compact and engrossing style. New Yesterday has a plot that could easily have got out of hand as time changes for characters throughout. There’s lots to think about and enjoy here, the good news is that you don’t need to undergo any medical procedures to add this to your memory banks!

You can preorder now on Amazon. Or if your wanna jump into this world now you can grab the prequel, Yestermorrow.


We abducted Frasier and asked his some questions:

Matt: If you were granted the superpowers, who or what would be your nemesis?

Frasier: Mornings. 

Before noon, I’m basically a zombie. I’d have to do a job-share with another superhero who woke up with a spring in their step, otherwise, the whole criminal underworld would get a free pass between the hours of 7am and midday. 

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

Frasier: I’ve been reading a lot of age-appropriate books to my one-year-old, and there’s something very sweet about the moment when the hungry caterpillar becomes a beautiful butterfly. I mean, can you get anything more life-affirming than that? 

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?

Frasier: I’m terrible at organising things, so the only parade I’d ever be hired to throw is a fictional one, where all I have to do is write about it! But that in itself would be a great one to throw — a literary parade which featured entirely fictional characters in a fictional London. 

And if that weren’t possible due to the limits of reality (boring!!!) then it’d be a Keanu Reeves parade, because then I’d get to meet him and shake his hand and look him in the eye and say “woah”, which would fulfill a lifelong dream of mine. 

Matt: You have the chance to change your memories - what does that look like for you?

Frasier: I love this question. It’s actually something I’ve explored in my stories. New Yesterday isn’t just the name of my upcoming book, it’s a city where events in the present can change the past. So, as you can imagine, the aspect of whether changing our past can really lead to a better life is a big theme in that. 

And another story of mine is set in a world where memory is currency (Rememory). 

Memories are the conduits through which our choices flow. And I’m happy with my choices, so I don’t think I’d change a thing. But if I was forced to change something, I’d choose to remember the name of that thing I keep forgetting so I don’t have to keep googling it. I’d tell you what it is, but I really have forgotten. It’s the thingymajiggy. You know the one. 

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

Frasier: Conversation. 

I can’t tell you how many amazing ideas have wormed their way into my imagination when I’ve been spitballing something with another writer. Interaction is vital to my writing process. My wife and son are the sources of inspiration I draw from the most, but I only really know that because of the conversations I’ve had. 

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

Frasier: Probably one of the many Frasiers from other parts of the multiverse who’s decided to come and steal my story ideas for his own nefarious gain. Evil Frasier doesn’t mince around. 

Matt: What is the meaning of life?

Frasier: I used to think I knew the answer to this question. But then my son was born. Seeing him in pictures during that first scan, I had to admit that I didn’t know the faintest thing about how to even define life, let alone give it meaning. 

The closest I’ve come to finding meaning is a direct result of finding purpose. Whether the purpose of your life is something you discover or something you create for yourself, the meaning of your life becomes apparent when you realise what your life is going to be used for. Don’t just drift. Define what you’re going to do with your life, and its meaning will follow. 

Also, at the risk of sounding mushy, it’s probably got something to do with love. Right? 

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

Frasier: Hope. 

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

Frasier: They could remember the name of that thing I keep forgetting! And take on my duties during the infernal morning hours. 

If anyone is up for the job, let me know. You’re hired. Although, to be honest, I’ve always thought I’d make a much better sidekick than a hero. So maybe I should be offering my sidekick services out here instead? 

Matt: What would you like written on your tombstone?

Frasier: “Here lies Frasier Armitage, who achieved his lifelong goal of meeting Keanu Reeves after doing an interview with Matt Adcock. He was survived by everyone he loved.” 

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

Frasier: Just a big thanks to everyone who takes a chance on an indie author. The highest compliment you can pay a writer is to allow them access to your imagination for a little while, so for every reader out there — thank you. 

Oh. And I should probably mention that New Yesterday comes out on April 4th, 2023. (I’m terrible at marketing. You can add that to the list of jobs for the hypothetical sidekick.)


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


(4.5 - Strong concept near future memory-stretching fun!)

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

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


Friday, March 03, 2023

Matt embraces the COCAINE BEAR (review)


Cocaine Bear (15)

Dir. Elizabeth Banks

Reviewed by Matt Adcock (@Cleric20)

“I’d love to not remember this. But it seems like the kind of thing that stays with a man forever…”

If you go down to the woods today you better be ready for some drug-fuelled grizzly alpha predator carnage. Yes, cocaine bear is a thing and oh boy it's a lot of fun. Directed by Elizabeth Banks and written by Jimmy Warden, This is the tail of what ‘might’ have happened if 175 pound black bear had ingested a lot of cocaine – because that much at least did happen back in 1985.

What really happened was much less exciting, the bear died after 20 minutes. Here however we get out deliciously insane coke-fuelled murderous rampage of fun. 

The ‘all you can eat human buffet’ for the bear with serious munchies aren’t presented as mere just bear fodder - Banks gets good milage from her decent ensemble who include Sari (Keri Russell) soccer mom searching for her missing daughter (Brooklynn ‘Florida Project’ Prince), who’s skipped school to go rambling in the woods. Comedy park ranger (Margo Martindale) and her unrequited love interest wildlife inspector (Jesse Tyler Ferguson), police chief (Isiah Whitlock Jr) who is on the trail of the missing cocaine. But best of all is uber gangster Syd Dentwood (Ray Liotta, who died last year, and to whom this film is dedicated)…

Who is survive and what will be left of them is anyone’s guess.

Cocaine Bear is better than a film of that title has any right to be – and if there’s any justice in the world this will be a much-watched cult classic in years to come!

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


(4 - Coke-Bear-Mageddon 

Awesomeness ööö
ö – Godilocks better watch out...

Laughs öööö – laugh-out-loud in places

Horror öö
 – some gory bits

Spiritual Enlightenment -öö - don't do drugs kids

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

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


Wednesday, February 22, 2023

Matt's Trouble Dog Interview (& Embers of War review)

The Embers of War Trilogy and Trouble Dog Interview

Gareth L Powell (@garethlpowell)

Reviewed by Matt Adcock (@Cleric20)

Here we are then – assessing the Embers of War Trilogy (and a funky prequel short entitled ‘Waiting For God Knows’ which you can access if you sign up to Powell’s supporter Adventures in the SF Trade) 

I came across these books when someone told me that they’d found a worthy successor to the late, great Iain M Banks – creator of the ‘Culture’ novels, a one-time candidate for the Mad Bastard Party in Scotland, and who is to this day one of my very favourite authors.

‘Surely not’ I thought but damn if they weren’t right – Powell writes uber-cool sci-fi populated with sentient spaceships, warring human and alien factions and a host of galaxy-spanning mysteries. I dove into the first book ‘Embers of War’ and fell in love. Here is not just a worthy successor (who is handily still alive to write more) but an author who has taken up the ‘champion of cool sci-fi’ mantel and delivered big time on it.

If you’ve read any of the 3 main books of the trilogy: Embers of War, Fleet of Knives, and Light of Impossible Stars, you’ll know what I’m talking about. And if you’re yet to experience them – then I’m actually envious of the joy you have ahead of you!?

Waiting for God Knows – an Embers of War short story

“If any of us short circuits, I reckon it’ll be you, Trouble Dog. You’re practically human already. It can’t be long until you start feeling guilty for killing so many of them.”

This is a quick read that takes place before the trilogy. It features the lead spaceship Trouble Dog and gives some background to her relationship with her siblings. It’s a prequel, set during the last day of the Archipelago War, in the moments before the bombing genocide that Trouble Dog and her kin were involved in.

Gareth says: “For those of you who’ve read the books, I hope you enjoy revisiting these characters, and seeing them in their ‘normal’ lives, in the final moments before the fateful mission whose outcome changes everything and directly leads to the events of the trilogy.

And if you haven’t read them, maybe this will whet your appetite…”

Waiting for God doesn’t need to be read before the trilogy, in fact it carries more resonance when you know the fates of the assembled Carnivore-class heavy cruisers, Anubis, Fenrir, Coyote, Adalwolf, War Mutt and Trouble Dog - who each have their own distinct personalities.

It’s not every day that you (even as a reader) get to hang out with and be privy to the conversations of attack craft like these. This story is well worth signing up to Powell’s subscription service to access!

Embers of War

“For a century and a half, humanity had been carelessly leaking radio and television signals into the cosmos. At the height of human civilization, the planet blazed across the radio frequencies like a miniature sun. And at the bitter end of the doomed 21st century, a trading vessel from the Goblet Cluster clipped the edge of this emissions shell and decided to investigate. What it found was a race on the verge of terminal catastrophe.”

Let’s go… Embers of War is the 2018 game-changing, award-winning book that introduces Trouble Dog and her crew to the world. Trouble Dog might be killer but she can’t deal with the death she’s wrought and so after the war she resigns her commission and joins the ‘House of Reclamation’ – a kind of intergalactic Red Cross.

The House of Reclamation was started way back by the great grandmother of Trouble Dog’s captain Sal Konstanz and the plot of ‘Embers’ sees them on a rescue mission which escalates into something much bigger, deadly and mysterious…

I’m not here to tell you the plot – it’s much better to let it catch and energise your endorphins (and it will) as Powell writes with a ferocious love of the genre, a winning style of wordplay and no small amount of wit.

Embers immediately became one of my fav books – and Trouble Dog possibly my fav ever spaceship (sorry Serenity) what more can I say?

Fleet of Knives

“I increased my mental clock speed, accelerating my thoughts until the universe around me seemed to slow almost to a standstill. If I could maximise the time I had available, I might find a way out of this--although I didn't hold out much hope.”

Just when you thought it was safe Fleet of Knives goes and escalates the threat levels across all sectors of the human realms. Trouble Dog and what’s left of her crew, plus some new arrivals, face seemingly unbeatable enemies and impossible odds – but thanks to Powell, that’s just the way this kickass ex-warcraft likes it!?

It’s an excellent follow up to Embers which widens the story and sets up a thrilling climax in the third book, without making this one feel unduly like a bridge or holding pattern that so many second books of a trilogy can become. There is much to enjoy here including the best ever two-word chapter in the history of fiction!!

Light of Impossible Stars

“Nod raised two scaly arm-necks and whacked them together—an action comparable to a human slapping his or her own forehead. “Humans broken.”

“What do you mean?”

It fixed me with a set of small, coal-black eyes. “Humans take guilt not theirs. Humans break selves over actions of others. Humans care too much.””

Finale time then. Light of Impossible Stars has a lot riding on it as the climax to the trilogy. I was delighted in how Powell managed to wrap up this excellent saga, finding fun ways to wrong step readers who think they can see where it’s all going. Shot through with sufficient pathos, sacrifice and meaning, this delivers a crowd-pleasing end to one of the best sci-fi trilogies you’ll ever witness.

So it’s over and the host of memorable characters are burnt into the memories of every right minded sci-fi lover out there. For me the alien engineer Nod and his family were an absolute highlight but these books (and part of my heart) belong to Trouble Dog. If I ever manage to create a character even half as cool as her I’ll be a very happy author…

And speaking of Trouble Dog – I thought it would be fun to interview her – and Gareth was gracious enough to arrange an interstellar communication channel. Here’s what she had to say:


Matt: So Trouble Dog, can I ask who or what is your nemesis?

Trouble Dog: If a nemesis is something that destroys you, I guess I don’t have one. Plenty have tried, but they’re all dead now.

Matt: OK, cool, can I ask - of the human media you've witnessed - what is the most disturbing you’ve ever read or watched in a book/film of any genre?

Trouble Dog: I wasn’t a great fan of the Terminator movies. All that anti-AI propaganda. It’s no wonder people don’t trust me.

But the hands-down, scariest thing I ever saw was the Wizard of Oz. Those flying monkeys scared the shit out of me.

Matt: If you were hired to throw a parade of any scale or theme through the centre of London back in 2023 what type of parade would it be?

Trouble Dog: Who would hire a warship to arrange a parade? Certain things are hardwired. Any parade I organised would end up looking like an invasion.

Matt: You’re on a strange planet with unlimited credit that you have to spend as much as possible of in a single evening – talk me through what you get up to…

Trouble Dog: I’d get my exhausts decarbonised. Some of my hull armour replaced. A complete upgrade of my tactical sensor suite… All that good stuff.

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

Trouble Dog: There have been some great philosophers and poets throughout history. A lot of wise words. But I guess they’re all dead and I’m not, so what did they really know?

Matt: There’s a masked assailant with a one-shot kill weapon to your core, who is most likely to be under the mask?

Trouble Dog: I refer you to the answer I gave about my nemesis. Anyone who’s wanted me dead so far is dead. And you can’t sneak into my core. You somehow manage to get aboard, I’m just going to take your oxygen away and yeet you out into space.

Matt: What is the meaning of life?

Trouble Dog: Try not to kill too many people.

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

Trouble Dog: A conscience. Although to be honest, it’s been something of a curse, too.

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

Trouble Dog: I could do with a new paint job…

Matt: What would you like written on your tombstone?

Trouble Dog: To be honest, if I’m dead, you can write what you like. But if it’s mean and there’s a digital afterlife, I’m going to come back and bombard you.

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

Trouble Dog: Don’t fucking mess with me.

Wise words indeed!?


For all three books, out of a potential 5, you have to go with a Darkmatters:


(5 - Stunning sci-fi that deserves to be read by every sentient entity!!

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

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


Tuesday, February 21, 2023

Matt takes a dip in the INFINITY POOL (review)


Infinity Pool (18)

Dir. Brandon Cronenberg

Reviewed by Matt Adcock (@Cleric20)

“Maybe think of it as a gift. You said you were looking for inspiration. There’s something to the experience, isn’t there? 

You come out feeling, it’s hard to explain, but I can see it in your eyes, if you know what I mean…”

Prepare to have your limits tested!? Infinity Pool is a trip like few others – a vacation destination that will destroy your soul and mess with your mind.

Brandon ‘POSSESSOR’ Cronenberg delivers an incredibly seductive descent into violence, passion, and extremes that it takes a particularly sick mind to dream up.

'Holiday snaps'

Meet writer James (Alexander Skarsgård) with his glamorous wife Em (Cleopatra Coleman) – they are holidaying on the sun-drenched state of Li Tolqa, in a super luxury resort. Guests are not really supposed to venture out of the complex – the locals are not friendly… When James meets a fan of his book – a flirty Gabi (Mia Goth) “I’m an actress of course” and her cool architect husband Alban (Jalil Lespert), they take him on an odyssey that he’ll never forget – if he even survives it.

Cronenberg brings thrills, of a seriously lurid kind, exploring extremities of hedonistic pleasure and depravity. A dip in this Infinity Pool is a heavy-duty viewing experience which is likely to traumatise the squeamish or those adverse to graphic violence and sex. It might feel a little like boundary-pushing in the levels of grimness on show but as The Guardian said of Goth: “It’s hard to keep your eyes off her as she slinks her way into chaos.” And the chaos is brutal as it ramps up to head-spinning levels.

'slinking into chaos'

Holidaying is an excuse for many to engage their wilder side, we’ve seen the shows of (especially English-type) tich revelers treating their surroundings with callous contempt, and Infinity Pool seeks to be the wake-up call that should jolt anyone from such follies…

As a writer, the plot entrapment had me hooked. Once the 'sci-fi meat' of the plot kicks in, it's basically an express elevator to hell.

The film revels in its twisted high-class misadventures – it’s shot beautifully and the cast are great, yes Goth stands out as she did in Pearl and X – she’s becoming the new cool face of horror.

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


(5 - 
A masterpiece of discomfort and disturbing nightmare fuel)

Awesomeness ööö
öö – you may never see anything like this again

Laughs ööö – very dark mirth

Horror öö
ö – seriously gruesome in places

Spiritual Enlightenment -öööö - who are you?

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

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


Friday, February 10, 2023

Matt survives the Cthulhu Armageddon (review) and meet CT Phipps

Cthulhu Armageddon: A Post-Apocalypse Western

CT Phipps (@CT_Phipps

Reviewed by Matt Adcock (@Cleric20)

“God Almighty,” I whispered, wishing I could clutch my head in horror. The bindings prevented me from doing so, holding me fast despite my struggles against them. “I’d be careful about calling on gods. You never know what sort of being will answer..”

Incoming transmission – this is not a drill – we are experiencing a CTHULHU ARMAGEDDON!!

Welcome to a timeframe some 100 years past the rise of the Old Ones on an earth that has been reduced to mostly monster-filled deserts…

Your guide for this journey is one John ‘Henry’ Booth, a ranger of one of the largest remaining city-states but when he gets exiled for his group’s massacre and the suspicion he’s “tainted” things go pretty bad. 

On the run with a misfit bunch of characters, this is the time for violent payback – and boy does Phipps deliver!

Booth’s adventures through the post-human civilization wasteland is a fantastic trip to take – the writing is packed with nerd-crowd-pleasing references ‘West-Boys’ for reanimated dead being prob my favourite!? Lovecraftian mythos abounds (as the title alludes to) and the action crackles with kinetic energy (both arcane and visceral)…

If Mad Max himself had popped up in a cameo I would hardly have blinked. If you’re a fan of westerns, sci-fi, Lovecraft or preferably all of the above – get in on this action - and then check out the sequel (I'll be doing that soon)!

Who is CT?

C.T Phipps is a lifelong student of horror, science fiction, and fantasy. An avid tabletop gamer, he discovered this passion led him to write and turned him into a lifelong geek. He is a regular blogger on "The United Federation of Charles" (http://unitedfederationofcharles.blogspot.com/).

He's the author of Agent G, Cthulhu Armageddon, Lucifer's Star, Straight Outta Fangton, and The Supervillainy Saga – I got the chance to ask him some questions:

Matt: If you were granted the powers of a master magic wielder who or what would be your nemesis?

CT: I would almost certainly be a Cthulhu-themed Lovecraftian superhero who would be opposed by a bunch of fascist wizards from WW2 and deranged self-righteous folk. Like a counter-culture Doctor Strange. Which may just be Doctor Strange in the Sixties.

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

CT: Jurassic Park. Yes, seriously. Why? Because we can someday clone dinosaurs. After that, I definitely feel like Star Wars was the biggest influence in my life. It told me that I, too, could be a revolutionary once I developed supernatural powers.

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?

CT: A funeral. Lots of black robes, ominous music, and chanting.

Matt: You are blessed with a supernatural power what does that look like for you?

CT: Some horrific shapeshifting power that makes me a protoplasmic multidimensional entity. Yes, I'd go full Prototype/Shoggoth.

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

CT: I turn to my fellow authors like David Niall Wilson, Jim Butcher, Glen Cook, Michael R. Fletcher, Brian Lumley, Richard Knaak, and others. I've met some fantastic people online and some of them were ones I read growing up or in college.

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

CT: In a David Lynchian mind-screw, it's myself.

Matt: What is the meaning of life?

CT: To drive your enemies before you, crush them, and something else.

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

CT: A big Cthulhu glass stein from one of my audiobook narrators.

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

CT: I'd prefer a hyper-competent one like Kato who handles all of the actual adventuring while I mostly natter on obnoxiously.

Matt: What would you like written on your tombstone?


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

CT: The book has been read! We're doomed! All of us! Also, read Cthulhu Armageddon. It's apocalicious!

BuyCthulhu Armageddon

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


(5 - This is a superb Armageddon-em-up that you need in your life!)

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

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


Thursday, January 26, 2023

Matt gets The Second Last Communiqué (review)

The Second Last Communiqué

D.J. Hall 

Reviewed by Matt Adcock (@Cleric20)

"As  the aging woman  woke  to  the  sounds  of  magpies warbling  outside  her  bedroom  window,  she  unhurriedly sat  herself  up  in  her  bed,  opened  the  side  table  drawer, took out her puffer, and inhaled her asthma medication."

So a barista, an ex-nazi SS scientist, and a heroin addict walk into a bar… Well, I say ‘bar’, I mean a mystery where they form the strangest of relationships as they are overtaken by incomprehensible realms and events.

Yes, we’re back in the weird, wacky, and pretty wonderful world of D.J. Hall… Not content with his oddball Third Last Communiqué - he’s back with the, erm *checks notes, Second Last Communiqué (to be honest I don’t know why it’s called that).

Anyway, James is back and here is the owner of a coffee establishment in the centre of the city of Melbourne. He’s a friendly type but little does he know that his latest pal is a time-spanning SS Nazi officer / murdering degenerate.

James enlists the help of his lover Lucy, a down-and-out junkie (trigger warning hard drug use), and to their

bewilderment, the couple discovers they are exceptional human beings. How you ask? Well they start to receive mathematical and engineering miracle theories - that take over the everyday things they see. But where these are coming from is unclear. James is tempted into trying heroin by Lucy and has an out-of-body experience as a Jewish concentration camp inmate.

As murders pile up around them, Lucy and James will eventually stand on the precipice of calamity as their lives come under the control of a sadistic madman who has unintentionally stumbled upon the elixir of eternal life.

If that all sounds like your cup of tea, and I can vouch that it’s as nutty and fun as it sounds - packing adult content violence and sex scenes along the way - get in on this action today!

Who is D. J. Hall?

D. J. or Darrell to his mates was born in the UK and now lives in Australia, married with two children and four grandchildren. He resides in a small hamlet on the Southeast coast of the Mornington Peninsula.

He's been employed at the Herald and Weekly Times, a major Australian newspaper, for numerous years. Also, having been an artist during this time, he allowed his imagination to expand by proceeding to bizarre narratives, leading to many exhibitions over the years. When covid hit, he decided to take another direction using his unique ideas. So Darrell chose to take up writing for no reason
other than he’d never done it before. And to his astonishment, like a tap being turned
on, the narratives just poured out and still are.

During this period, Darrell has had one published novel: The Third Last Communique, and has also illustrated several children’s books.

Buy The Second Last Communique 

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


(4.5 - The Commuigues are getting better each time!)

>>> 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, January 25, 2023

Matt has Seven Days To Die (review)

Seven Days To Die 

Michelle Kidd (@AuthorKidd)

Reviewed by Matt Adcock (@cleric20)

“The wine began to seep effortlessly into Isabel’s blood stream, its numbing effect finally allowing a wave of relaxation to take hold. Leaning back in the soft leather armchair, she glanced around Anthony’s living room. It was elegant and stylish, nothing cheap or out of place. She could instantly tell he must be doing well for himself…”

The world (and most charity shops) are increasingly full of Detective-em-up books and yet here is another to add to the pile… But wait, before you groan – this is a cut above your average crime novel and certainly one worth seeking out if you’re a fan of the macabre serial killer genre. Whilst initially I was hoping this was a novelization of the great zombie survival PlayStation game Seven Days To Die - finding that it's a rare crime banger makes up for it.

Yes, what makes Seven Days To Die stand out is the expert craft of author Michelle Kidd who obviously has a delightfully sick mind!

This is the tale of DI Jack MacIntosh who is a great lead in this twisty thriller, set against a brutal killer who strangles young women and leaves their bodies strewn across London’s parks. A kinky killer who leaves his next victim’s shoe beside the body of his last one. Detective MacIntosh has seven days to find the truth.

It begins with the body of a young woman being discovered in Hyde Park - wearing only one shoe and near her a black stiletto, but this doesn’t belong to the victim.

What becomes apparent is the killer is taunting his pursuers – as two days later, another young woman is found strangled in nearby Green Park. Wearing just one shoe — you guessed it - the matching stiletto. And nearby is a low-heeled court shoe – potentially belonging to the next victim!

Cue a race against time that will have you tearing through the book to find out if the killer can be identified and caught – or is London in for a long haul of shoeless victims?

Jack MacIntosh is the sort of cop you’ll get along with straight away if you’re into crime books – a decent bloke trying to do the right thing but struggling with demons of his own too, not adverse to getting into scrapes with his superiors, etc... Kidd writes with an easy descriptive style and her world feels believable – packed with nice touches that could come across as cliches in less capable hands but here add to the flavour of the piece.

I’d certainly like to see DI MacIntosh get a TV show of his own one day!!

The mind behind the crimes

Who is Michelle Kidd?

Michelle Kidd is a crime fiction author best known for the DI Jack MacIntosh and DI Nicki Hardcastle series. Michelle qualified as a legal executive in the early 1990s, spending ten years practicing civil and criminal litigation.

But the dream to write was never far from her mind and in 2008 she began writing the first book in what would later become the DI Jack MacIntosh series. 

Michelle now works full-time for the NHS and lives in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk.
She enjoys reading, wine, and cats — not necessarily in that order.

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


(5 - Detective-em-up that delivers the goods)
Follow Michelle (not in creepy way) at: 
Website : www.michellekiddauthor.com

>>> 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...

Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Matt receives The Third Last Communique (review)


The Third Last Communique 

D.J. Hall 

Reviewed by Matt Adcock 

“He's locked himself in the toilet,” Sebastian said nervously. 

“What exactly happened?” Erika said as she steadied herself against the bar. 

“Don't know. We were having a couple of beers and a bit of a laugh, then all of a sudden, James went very quiet.” 

“What's up mate?” I said; he just stared at me will strange-like then he slowly got up and went to the loo.” 

Strange things are afoot in this oddball sci-fi which brings together 3 people – each with unique gifts. 

First, there’s James – the silent loo-goer from the extract above. He’s you average everyday Australian family man, but his nights have started getting disturbed – because he is being visited by an unknown entity!? 

Then there is Haloke, a female native American astronaut, who unwittingly gets caught up in the most bizarre of hoaxes after discovering a Coca-Cola can on the surface of Mars. 

And thirdly - Nadeeka, a little girl living in a small fishing village in Sri Lanka, who suffers horrendous injuries after stepping on a landmine while playing on a banana plantation. 

I know what you’re probably thinking… Something like ‘what the hell sort of tale could bring these folks from totally different backgrounds together?’ And if they do meet - in the most extraordinary of circumstances – what in the Third Communique is going to happen? 

The mind behind the madness...

I won’t spoil it for you, I’ll just say that the three individuals discover new mind-bending knowledge that could change the world as we know it forever. 

The plot sees James committed to a psychiatric prison where he nosedives into mental chaos after a freaky discovery. Meanwhile a post-Mars Haloke finds life becomes intolerable, as the press and the U. S. Government hound and scrutinise her relentlessly over her suspected involvement in the embarrassing episode that had occurred on the red planet. Might turning to booze help? Or seeking refuge with her grandfather on a Navajo Indian reservation? I can’t see it going well. But spare a thought for poor Nadeeka, recovering in hospital from the loss of both her legs… 

It’s James that is the linchpin to this strange tale of futuristic intrigue that jumps times and places in the most unexpected ways. 

But is it any good? 

Oh yes – D. J. Hall writes with a slightly demented style that works really well for such a left-field tale. 

If you take this trip there will be hard drug use, unexplainable art genius, many and varied conversations and lots to make you think. 

The good news? 

There is more to come as this Communique is followed by (yes you guessed it) Yes The Second Last Communique!! Review of that coming on Thursday…

Buy The Third Communique 

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


(4 - Get in on the sci-fi messaging!)

>>> 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...

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