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Friday, 4 September 2015

✍ Hazardous Materials: Nightlife [2] - Matthew Quinn Martin

Genre: Horror
Published by Pocket Star
Number of pages: 77
My rating: ★ ★ ★ ☆  I liked it a lot  
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BOOK Hazardous Materials
Review: Hazardous Materials | Synopsis | Teaser | The Series | Author Q&A | About the Author | Tour Stops

"The story of monster hunter Jack and his partner Beth continues in Nightlife: As the Worm Turns…but first, take a short stroll down one of Nightlife's darkest streets in this horror e-novella praised as “thrilling, edgy, and scary as hell” (Jason Starr, internationally bestselling author of The Pack), where we get a glimpse of The Division’s origins and aims. 

Twenty-seven-year-old Jarrod Foster has hit a dead end. He spends his days disposing of hazardous waste and his nights wondering where it all went wrong. While gutting an abandoned roller rink, Jarrod discovers a bricked up video arcade still stocked with vintage games…which, three decades ago, was the site of the largest mass shooting in New York history.

Jarrod’s boss lets him keep one of the arcade games—an oddity called Polybius that no one seems to have ever heard of. Jarrod hopes to sell it and start a new life, but one grim night, he drops a quarter into the game…and the game drops Jarrod right into a nightmare.

As his life spirals into darkness, and his actions begin to mirror those of the long-dead spree killer, only one question remains…is Jarrod playing a game, or is the game playing him?"

"Hazardous Materials" is a novella and the second instalment in the Nightlife series by Matthew Quinn Martin.  It is available as an individual book or as part of the Nightlife: Night Terrors collection, which also contains the third tale in the series, As The Worm Turns..., which cannot currently be purchased separately.  This is by no means a bad thing, as for the price of one ebook you can actually get all three!

Hazardous Materials can be read as a stand-alone story, which is exactly what I did.

The Simpsons: "Please Homer, Don't Hammer 'Em", S18 E03
The third person narrative, which follows the main protagonist Jarrod, is to the point and engaging. Interspersed within it, there are some flash-forwards presented as odd pages from reports and articles, which add to the realism and sense of foreboding already strongly provided by the vast core of real-life events (various mass murderers) and urban legends (the Polybius arcade game) mixed into the story.

In my view, Matthew Quinn Martin has achieved with this short tale what the Blair Witch Project was aiming for but failed to deliver, thus making the ending truly chilling.

I look forward to reading the other books in the Nightlife series.

[ARC received via Netgalley]

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...

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