NIGHT WAVES / AUTHOR: DAVID IRONS / PUBLISHER: COSMIC EGG / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW
An offshore drilling crew releases something monstrous and murderous from the bottom of the sea. Within moments, all but one of them is viciously torn apart. The lone survivor, his mind forever broken, will never forget the creatures’ strange singing. Once you have encountered a siren, your life will never be the same.
Kirsten Costello is about to find that out for herself. After she moves to Brighton to stay with her cousin Simone, she’s violently attacked by something lurking beneath Brighton Pier. Something that lulled her with its strange, seductive song. Something with razor sharp claws that tore deep into Kirsten’s flesh as she was making her escape.
Something that looked exactly like her.
And now, thanks to the wound it inflicted, the creature has made a psychic connection with Kirsten. It’s obsessed by her and it wants Kirsten’s face and body as its own. It knows where Kirsten lives, and it’s only a matter of time before it tracks her down and inhabits its prey.
All the other sirens are doing the same, cutting a deadly swathe through Brighton’s population and wearing their victims like flesh-suits. Except the hypnotic luminescence of their glowing eyes will always give their true identity away.
Only Kirsten, Simone, and local clairvoyant Melissa Clarke understand what’s happening, but nobody will listen to them. As the sirens close in and the body count rises, they are forced to take matters into their own hands. But how do you destroy a relentless enemy that’s already inside you, part of an ever-growing horde that’s intent on the destruction and assimilation of everyone it meets? An enemy that can transmute itself through water, so even a dripping faucet or a puddle in the street could be the vehicle it uses to reach you? Nowhere is safe. There is no escape. And even small victories cannot be trusted.
It can only be a matter of time before Kirsten is dragged beneath the Night Waves…
David Irons’ Night Waves is the literary equivalent of an ‘80s grindhouse horror flick. It’s fun, it’s sexy, it’s incredibly nasty, and - just like the horrific body-snatching predators at its centre - it moves like a machine, giving the reader little time to catch their breath. It’s also very well written, with plenty of highly unpleasant but stylishly evoked imagery and a cast of characters who (mostly) succeed in being more than pulp horror stereotypes. Kirsten, especially, is a believable and sympathetic heroine. On the minus side, it’s a shame that the sirens didn’t have an agenda besides stealing bodies and creating mayhem. There’s a scene midway through when Irons’ entices us with a historical backstory it would be nice to know more about. Hopefully that’s for the follow-up. Still, with the shocks keeping coming and Kirsten and her friends repeatedly discovering you can’t put a good siren down, the sirens’ grisly modus operandi will probably be the last thing on your mind. Just like the siren’s song, Night Waves is a mesmerisingly realistic descent into hellish urban imagination. It might also put you off the seaside for life.