PUBLISHER: Simon & Schuster
“Doesn’t get any darker than this; you can actually feel the blood spatter…” –Hugo & Nebula winner James Patrick Kelly
Enter the world of Nightlife, where the streets crawl with unimaginable demons, and a monster can lurk behind every friendly face…
Matthew Quinn Martin first terrified horror fans with Nightlife, the captivating story of two unlikely monster hunters determined to save the city of New Harbor from the Night Angels—bloodthirsty creatures that feed on the forgotten. Jack Jackson and Beth Becker are among the few who can see these creatures for what they really are, but as they hunt the creatures, a mysterious organization known only as The Division is hunting them.
In the novella Hazardous Material, we get a glimpse of The Division’s origins and aims, when a young man stumbles onto a long-abandoned video arcade—which three decades ago was the site of the largest mass shooting in New York history—and unwittingly uncovers a relic of unimaginable power and mind-altering terror.
And in the never-before-released As the Worm Turns, Jack and Beth are back, along with their faithful dog, Blood. For months they’ve been keeping just one step ahead of The Division, whose enigmatic leader has been pursuing them with the single-minded obsession to capture them by any means necessary. But as Jack and Beth continue their quest to rid the world of the creatures once and for all they find themselves facing off against something even more terrifying than the Night Angels––something that could hold the key to humanity’s salvation…or its doom.
Three amazing horror stories in one chilling bundle…the only thing you won’t fear is the price!
Nightlife: Night Terrors includes the original “Nightlife” novel, a nightlife novella “Nightlife: Hazardous Material” and the sequel, “Nightlife: As The Worm Turns”
In Nightlife, we are introduced to Jack Jackson, a vet who has spent years chasing and trying to eradicate “The Night Angels”, creatures akin to vampires but, as Jack puts it, “Not as sexy as the movies make vampires out to be”.
In actuality, they are vampires in the sense that they steal the lifeforce of those they hunt, but these creatures are something else, them, creatures that make their targets see what they want, luring them in with their deepest desires.
Beth Becker, a nightclub waitress as the local watering hole for the university’s frat crowd, stumbles into Jack’s life when her best friend/roommate goes missing and she spies a man tearing down her ‘Missing’ poster and spray painting a strange phrase on the wall in its place – Beware the Night Angel.
No words came close to describing the darkness that enveloped her. Beth found herself wondering if this was what hell might look like. She touched her own eyes to make sure they were even open, recoiling as the pad of one finger hit her cornea. It was unreal. The dark seemed to be defined by absence. As if without the light all that was held by the dark simply did not exist. The absolute blackness felt like a force, almost gravitational in its unwavering mindlessness. Beth knew then that until this moment, she had never really faced the darkness, never really faced the night. Not like this. Not in her world of neon and club lights, of street lamps and twenty-four-hour everything. In the world she had known, it had never been night, not really, but forever a safe and comforting twilight.
After feeling one another out and soon realizing that two hunters are better than one (much to Jack’s chagrin & resistence), both Jack and Beth plunge headlong into New Harbor’s underground (literally) to hunt down the source of the town’s missing persons.
Nightlife starts out with multiple viewpoints but soon whittles it down to Beth and Jack alone, and follows them as they get their hands dirty tracking the terrifying creatures with the help of Jack’s homemade weapons cache.
NIGHTLIFE: HAZARDOUS MATERIAL
Nightlife: Hazardous Material doesn’t include either Jack or Beth but does offer a deeper insight into The Division, the super-secret organization who works behind-the-scenes to keep the reality of these Night Angels from the general public.
Graphic-designer-turned-day-laborer Jarrod Foster discovers a cache of dusty old video game terminals squirreled away in a hidden room behind a strange mural inside the local roller rink. The scene is vaguely familiar to Jarrod, and once he has one of the games, Polybius, in his possession, things start to go off-kilter in the most bizarre and frightening ways for him.
This is where The Division moves into the spotlight and we are given a glimpse at their methods and how they will come to play a larger role in the world in which both Jack and Beth fight to survive.
NIGHTLIFE: AS THE WORM TURNS
The sequel novel, Nightlife: As The Worm Turns, follows Jack and Beth after they leave New Harbor in their rearview and start out anew. But even going so far as Kentucky doesn’t mean their old troubles don’t follow. Same horrors, different town. The Night Angels lurk in the shadows yet again.
Inspired by the Faith No More song “As the Worm Turns” as well as a line by Shakespeare, “The smallest worm will turn, being trodden on,” As The Worm Turns ups the ante with a decidedly darker and more violent tone, showing the struggle for our favorite monster hunting trio (with Blood the dog included). But the Night Angels aren’t the only foe Jack, Beth and Blood must face and with The Division doing what it takes to keep the truth about the Night Angels under wraps, As The Worm Turns has Beth & Jack besieged on all sides.
WHAT I LOVED
Jack and Beth aren’t your average wise-cracking hunter-duo, nor do they make doe eyes at one another. They care for each other, as every good team should, but the focus here is decidedly on the horror and I like that. Their lives are constantly in peril. I was often left wondering (and worrying) whether either Jack or Beth were going to make it out alive.
It wasn’t magic that did it; it was a viral recoding of every one of the senses coupled with what Jack suspected were hallucinogenic pheromones. The mind would see them as whatever it desired most—a lost love, an object of sexual desire, a hero, a damsel, whatever it took to get a victim to submit. But in reality, they were far from human. At the heart of it all, they were nothing but worms, no matter how big. Highly evolved blood flukes, really, boneless nightmares with endless teeth and a hunger that would only die when they did.
Over the past ten months, she’d learned a lot about how Jack’s weapons—also her weapons now—were constructed and maintained. She’d learned how to fashion auto-snares—devices that could decapitate with a simple flick of the wrist—out of wind-up alarm clocks and titanium fishing leader. She knew how to modify an ordinary paintball gun into one that could fire the magnesium and sodium silver-nitrate pellets that delivered instant death to those creatures.
But of Jack Jackson—and of what lie beneath his battle-hardened, battle-scarred shell—she still knew very little. He was as blank as the hands he still routinely burned the fingerprints off of. The closest thing to human she ever saw in him was the fear and the pain he tried to hide from everyone, even her. Sometimes she’d catch glimpses of the man he must have been back then, the contented high school science teacher with dreams that scarcely stretched past his modest backyard.
I also loved that the action, relentless as it was, was also realistic. There was no magical fairy dust carrying these character through the torment and danger they faced. They had to fight every challenge they faced, constantly and hard. Just when they seem to overcome one obstacle, another sprouts up (often in the form of writhing, seething creatures out for just on thing – to take. Blood. Life. To take it and deplete it from everyone they encounter, everything they touch.
Another thing which really impressed me – there were some incredible passages that, despite being plunged in horror, truly made me stop and bookmark pages. Adding depth to the darkness with a bittersweet sort of melancholy, it mirrored perhaps the hope within Nightlife’s characters that somehow, some way they could still see the possibility of hope through the darkness.
I can only hope that there is another book in the Nightlife series. I would snap it up in a second. With all three books instilled with the same oppressive terror and terrifying monsters that alter to suit their target, I want to read more from this world where powers shift and in which the hunter and hunted are one and the same.
Reviews for the first book:
“Thrilling, edgy, and scary as hell, Nightlife is an outstanding debut and one of the most original takes on the vampire novel I’ve ever read.” – Jason Starr, International Bestselling Author of The Pack
“Nightlife completely creeped me out. Martin is a master of suspense. Keep me up all night again soon!” –Nancy Holder, New York Times Bestselling Author, The Wicked Saga
“Doesn’t get any darker than this; you can actually feel the blood spatter. Nightlife is the gutsiest debut I’ve read in a long time.” – James Patrick Kelly, Hugo and Nebula Award winning author of Think Like a Dinosaur.
“An incredibly riveting, edge of your seat plot that was equal parts spooky mystery and gruesomely tragic horror novel.” – All Things Urban Fantasy
“Whoa! This is like the ultimate Vampire book! No fluff here. This is not your modern, sexy, ‘I wanna get laid by a vampire’ book – this was some scary stuff.” – Wall to Wall Books
“I don’t think I’ve actually read anything like it!” – Bibliosanctum
“If you like your fantasy urban and dark, give this book a try. If you want to see vampires restored to a fearsome glory, give this book a try. If you just want a creepy good story for the Halloween month, give this book a try!” – Badass Book Reviews
“Nightlife is the perfect story to read if you like to get a good scare on!” – Jersey Girl Book Reviews
“Have you been wanting vampires that are mean, nasty, eating machines? Tired of the glitter and sparkle and angst? Well, check this book out….a perfect blend of action and pathos that most readers of horror should enjoy.” – Now is Gone
“The vampires Matthew created are nothing like I ever read before. They are scary and creepy!” – Yummy Men and Kick Ass Chicks
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Born in Allentown, Pennsylvania and raised in New Haven, Connecticut, it wasn’t until Matthew moved to Manhattan that he realized he was a writer. These days, he lives on a small island off the North Atlantic coast of the United States where it gets quiet in the winter…perhaps too quiet.
All quotes are © Matthew Quinn Martin