Book Review: Siren by John Everson
Evan walks the seacoast of his small town every night reliving the horror of watching his son drown. But one night he hears a beautiful song and discovers a perfectly naked, perfectly beautiful woman attached to it. As he begins an affair, willfully oblivious to anything about the woman beyond her beauty, he fails to realize he is falling for the siren of Delilah.
I picked this up during one of the monthly kindle book sales on a whim, and am I glad I did! This book was simultaneously terrifying and electrifying. The flip-flop between fear and titillation was a truly delightful reading experience, and it came with a well thought-out plotline and delicious settings to boot.
Evan is not a likeable guy. In fact, Ligeia, the Siren, is more likable than he is, and she routinely rips people’s throats out with just her teeth. But disliking Evan works for the story. It lets the reader invest in Ligeia and see her side of things. There are ways in which she is a monster, yes, but there are also ways in which she is quite human. Having a deeply flawed male “victim” to her charms allows the reader to see the monster in us all.
Both the horror and the sex scenes are adeptly written. The sex scenes are titillating without being too much, and, similarly, the horrific scenes are grotesque without going too far. The presence of both in the story makes for an ever-changing, exciting read. Similarly, the plot is complex without being overly so and managed to keep me guessing. It also strikes the balance quite well.
I also really enjoyed the light commentary on hunting and eating another species. It provides a depth to the story beyond simply lust leading one astray.
Kind of puts a whole new spin on fishing, doesn’t it? Here you men are always out there reeling in the fish, and here’s a half-fish woman who’s reeling in the men. (page 146)
Of course, there is also commentary on cheating and the other woman. There has to be, since Ligeia is Evan’s mistress. I must admit that that basic plot can sometimes upset me, so I do think it distracted me a bit from enjoying the book as much as I would have otherwise. On a similar note, the ending is not quite what I would have hoped for, although it did make sense in the context of the story.
Overall, this is an interesting mix of horror and erotica that is fast-paced and enjoyable. Those sensitive to cheating as a plot device or explicit deaths may want to exercise caution. Recommended to those who would enjoy their horror and erotica together.
4 out of 5 stars