Complete Darkness by Matt Adcock

Complete Darkness is what I would imagine you would get if you mixed Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? and the video game Doom. It’s a hyper-violent thrill ride with satanic undertones.

For centuries many have pondered the prospect of an afterlife and feared what came to be known as ‘hell’.

In the near future, we map the elusive ‘dark matter’ around us, only to find out that it is hell itself, and it is very real…

As the satanic President Razour attempts to bring forward Armageddon to prevent humanity repenting, the fate of us all rests in the hands of Cleric20, a hedonistic loner with a chequered past, and his robot sidekick, GiX.

An action-packed literary shock to the senses that mixes flights of comic fantasy with bouts of brutal violence. Mankind’s only hope seems to be having a very bad day.

Can Cleric20 halt Razour’s devilish plans after an experimental bioweapon deployed to kill him accidentally gives him superpowers?

Has the Devil inadvertently created a hero who could actually stop him?

What I like about Complete Darkness is that it feels almost like a comic book when you read it, like you’ve been transported to Sin City. Each character is unique and they all have fighting spirits. I mention it being like a comic book, because it is hyper-violent, hyper-sexual, and fast paced, it honestly could be an issue of Saga.

The main character isn’t an all-together likable guy, but he has redeemable qualities. His past is tragic and he does his best to do what is right. To me, he is just the guy who stumbled into the wrong place at the wrong time. He becomes an accidental hero, but he doesn’t even hesitate to use his powers for good. He becomes a type of anti-hero, because he drinks heavily, sleeps with random women off the street, and gets into brawls, but he doesn’t hesitate to be the good guy when the time comes. I liked that about him.

I also like the cyber-noir world that Adcock creates. If you’ve ever seen a dark sci-fi movie then you can just imagine the city this takes place in. There is danger around every corner, tech you can only imagine, and a vast mixture of robots/androids walking around. I keep using examples of other works, but I can also see a little of The Fifth Element in this book, at least when it comes to how I envisioned the city. It honestly gives me serious sci-fi crime vibes.

This novel is also cool because it dives deep into every aspect of the sci-fi genre. Adcock utilizes footnotes to explain the deeper aspects of sci-fi machinery and government functions, I thought that was a genius way to make the novel easier to understand, and I’ve never seen it done before. Sometimes, when you read a heavy sci-fi novel you get lost in the content, but in Complete Darkness everything is broken down for you into digestible pieces.

I will say that this novel does start of a bit slow and confusing. Because it is different from anything I’ve read before it took a minute to adjust to flipping between the footnotes and the story. It is also confusing because it flips from perspective to perspective often, and it takes a minute to figure out who you’re following. Once you hit about page 50 it becomes a lot easier and the footnotes become lighter because you won’t need as much explained to you.

Also, this novel is really short. It’s short with a lot of information packed and a small amount of plot. This novel is definitely the set-up for the next in the series, which I don’t necessarily dislike, I just expected more to happen.

I’d like to add as my final comment that while this novel has its flaws, I’m excited to see what comes next. This is definitely the set- up for something much bigger and better.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

I give Complete Darkness three out of five stars with a lot of anticipation for the next in the series.

A huge thank you to Matt Adcock for reaching out to me about his book. I had a good time reading it and I look forward to the continuation.

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