Title: Mephistopheles Den
Author: Matthew Vaughn
Release date: October 13, 2021
For those unaware or not tuned into the Indie Horror Community, over the last year or so, a new player has arrived in the shape of Godless. Godless is considered an alternative to Amazon. A place where Extreme and Indie Authors can have a platform to sell their releases and skirt around the ever growing arm of Amazon. For some – this is their only option – having been previously banned by Amazon due to content. For others – this is another place for them to connect with potential readers and find the right reader for their work.
On my end – I’ve not dove into Godless much. Consider it platform burnout/time limitations. At the heart of it, I’m not a massive Extreme Horror fan. Don’t get me wrong, Extreme Horror when done well is fantastic and can be utterly moving and emotional, but I’m not always seeking gore and blood and cuts and private parts chopped off. But, saying all of that, Godless has a really well curated depth of authors and creators and having their own platform also means they can navigate easier through the pricing options as Amazon has minimum prices etc.
So, what purpose did I have for this long winded intro? Ha… uh… one sec, let me check my notes… oh yeah, yeah – Matthew Vaughn. Mr. Vaughn. Mr. Massive Beard. I connected with Vaughn some time ago and we’ve kept in touch every since. Throughout this period, I’ve also read a few of his releases, and really enjoyed his Hellsworld Hotel novella. A novella about the Harrington family and their haunted house, which is just a front so they can brutally slaughter random customers. From there I read the prequel, Lucifer’s Manor, and enjoyed it as well.
But now, we’ve arrived at Mephistopheles Den. A second prequel to Hellsworld Hotel and I couldn’t wait to read it. Vaughn has now moved over to the Godless world – you can still find his earlier work on the zon – so, ole Steve-a-ree-no made his first ever Godless purchase (this one, another Vaughn and a third book!) and dove in.
What I liked: If you’ve read either of Lucifer’s Manor or Hellsworld Hotel, you know exactly what you’re in for. The difference here is Vaughn adds an emotional layer that I wasn’t expecting.
The story follows Lucy, a young 18-year-old woman, who is in an emotionally abusive relationship ship with a much older male. Halloween has arrived and they decide to go see what the fuss is over the Haunted House attraction that has popped up for one night only.
We get a great secondary storyline featuring some high school students who go as well and happen to bump into Lucy and her crew, and of course, we get a whole lot of blood and gore, courtesy of the Harrington Family.
Vaughn does a great job of setting up the story until they arrive at the Haunted House, and once there we see how each character reacts and how the Harrington’s live for this night.
The ending was great, I would suspect this was the last prequel we’ll have, which may lead into a sequel of Hellsworld Hotel and I really enjoyed seeing the trajectory Lucy’s character took.
What I didn’t like: As I mentioned, I’m not the biggest Extreme Horror fan, so once the killings began some of them felt a bit ‘more-of-the-same.’ I would imagine for fans who read these for the splatter effect, you’ll truly love the ultra-violence that takes place within the attraction.
Why you should buy this: Vaughn is a respected and well known name in the Extreme Horror Community and his longevity in the game shows in his writing. Well crafted, well set up and following a traditional beginning-middle-end plot, we get a really fun character study embedded in a truly horrific evening.
2 thoughts on “Book Review: Mephistopheles Den by Matthew Vaughn”
Good review, sounds fun but bloody.:-) When Amazon bans a book, it makes me want to read it even more. Recently, Neil by McHardy and Hawker was banned. So I intend to purchase it elsewhere. I am a woman of faith, so it’s hard for me to buy from a site called “Godless.” Then again, I’m not a prude. Argh, but it still feels wrong for me, crap! (When I get off this seesaw, I will go buy it.)
Hahaha! Best of luck with that battle!
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