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Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Book Review: Nightlife by Matthew Quinn Martin

By: Matthew Quinn Martin


For centuries an ancient evil has slept beneath the streets of New Harbor. This Halloween, it wakes up.
An action-packed debut horror novel from talented new writer Matthew Quinn Martin, Nightlife pits a feisty bartender and a mysterious loner against bloodthirsty terrors as alluring as they are deadly.

Nightclub bartender and serial heartbreaker Beth Becker might be a cynic. But when her best friend goes missing Halloween night, Beth knows it's up to her to find out what happened.

Her quest will take her on an odyssey through the crumbling city of New Harbor, Connecticut. Along the way she meets a homeless prophet warning of something he calls the "Night Angel"-a bloodthirsty creature that feeds on the forgotten. And she will form an unlikely bond with a hunted stranger who knows all too well what stalks the streets at night.

This is a dark and gritty urban fantasy full of suspense and horror. Martin has created a unique monster that hides underground till it needs to feed on blood, and guess what? It isn’t a vampire. Jack had his world destroyed by these monsters and has spent the last twelve years hunting them, driven by guilt and revenge. Martin did an excellent job developing Jack’s dark and desperate character. His struggle and motivations were believable. I found the heroine, Beth, a little hard to swallow. Her character was too accepting and…perky, considering the dark nature of the book. I know she is supposed to be the opposite of Jack and help him crawl out of the emotional abyss he has fallen into, but she just didn’t ring as true as Jack did. There is an attraction between them, but they don’t act on it, yet. Martin does a great job of creating suspense and horror. There is a powerful scene between Jack and Beth in the underground tunnels when a decision for the greater good is made and it gave me chills. Martin has the raw talent for writting dark urban fantasy.

The difference between this being a great book versus just a good one comes down to how the story was put together. I think at least 20% of the book could have been edited out. The story wasn’t as focused on the main plot as it could have been. Some of the fighting scenes were over the top and drawn out considering our protagonists are human. There is a secret organization running around, but that sub plot wasn’t integrated as well as it could have been. There were times I skimmed over passages, but I never thought about not finishing. I like Jack’s character and the story has a lot of suspenseful moments. This is a debut and has some of the problems associated with that, but I think once the author settles into his world and characters this will be a good one for dark urban fantasy fans.

3 “blood sucking” Sheep


About the Author:
American actor and writer of films and short fiction. Born in Allentown, Pennsylvania. Martin is a graduate of Albertus Magnus College. He is of mixed European heritage, but identifies strongly as Hungarian-American.

Martin's original screenplay Slingshot was made into a feature film by Bold Films and is distributed by theWeinstein Company. Slingshot premiered at the TriBeCa Film Festival and was featured on Access Hollywood.

His short fiction has appeared in Transition Magazine, Thuglit,The Oddville Press, MFA/MFYou Literary Journal,Aphelion Webzine, The Flash Fiction Offensive, A Twist of Noir, and the anthology Arcane II (co-written with Libby Cudmore),

As an actor he has appeared in the remodernist film Shooting at the Moon, and P.S. I Love You, and was a minor recurring co-star on the first season of the TV show Fringe.

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