Oct 25, 2013

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Review: Nightlife by Matthew Quinn Martin (Nightlife #1)

nightlife3 star

Urban Fantasy / Horror
October 21 2013
384 pages
Pocket Star
Received from publisher via NetGalley

Yummy Man – Jack
Kick Ass Chick – Beth

From Goodreads –
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.


Nightlife is the first installment in newbie author Matthew Quinn Martin’s Nightlife series.  This is a vampire book but at the same time, it’s so much more.  So many layers and so many aspects to the story make this a well crafted and intricate read.

I have to admit though that I sometimes found it a bit too intricate.  Each chapter is told from a different person’s point of view which is good as it helps you relate all the more to the characters.  But the chapters were very short and instead of creating mystery, as I believe writing such short chapters was suppose to do, it sometimes cut the story making it feel a bit choppy and caused confusion.  I felt a little lost at first, trying to keep track of so many characters as they bounced in from of me for just a few pages.  But eventually I knew everyone so at least that confusion was taken care of.

This is a complex book and the story is far from simple, but at the very heart of it are the vampires who are suddenly hunting as they have never hunted before and many people have gone missing.  The vampires Matthew created are nothing like I ever read before.  They are scary and creepy!  I like how they throw out an illusion and how that always changes.  I like how the ‘myths’ were explained away in the book too.  It shows Matthew put a lot of thought behind his vampires.  Even how they are hunted, killed, feed or breed is different.  And creepy.  Did I mention these things are cre-epy?  Around that main vampire idea you have the hunter, the girl who lost friends who suddenly knows more than she should ever know, the little girl (I’m not too sure what the point of her plot was but it was disturbing in a good way nonetheless), the ‘prophet’, the police, the secret agency and on and on.  As I said, a complex story but every part of it fits well.

The two most main characters were Jack and Beth.  Jack is your tortured hero who now hunts the beings who ruined his life.  You think he’s pretty straight forward but no way, he’s not.  Very curious to see what Matthew does with Jack next.  At first, Beth didn’t do much for me but the more and more mixed up into everything she got, the stronger she got.  I think she has the potential to become a great character.  I wonder though if there is supposed to eventually be a love connection between Beth and Jack.  As of now, I don’t feel any romantic chemistry between the two of them, but I don’t feel that was the point of their relationship in this book.  I wonder though, if that is the ultimate goal, if I will feel that connection between them because, as of now, I don’t see it.

This book is definitely a part one of a soon to be continued story.  I don’t mean that there is a crazy cliffhanger at the end but nothing is really resolved for anyone in this book.  So basically, this is your typical urban fantasy read that sucks you in then spits you back out scratching your head and wanting to know just a little bit more than you know as of now.  You are left curious for the next book and that’s always a good thing.

Nightlife definitely borders horror more than my usual reads.  Let me tell you, you don’t want to get attached to anyone in this book because the odds are good they will meet an unfortunate demise.  *shudder*  But all in all, this was an enjoyable read.  Well, enjoyable in a ‘creepy and I will probably have nightmares now’ sort of way.  It is a strong debut and I feel that horror fans and fans of the really creepy will enjoy it immensely.

3.5 stars


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