Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Book Review: Nighteyes by Garfield Reeves-Stevens

Garfield Reeves-Stevens is a writer that not enough people know of. He and his wife Judith have teamed up in the past many times on novels and TV shows like Star Trek Enterprise and the SyFy original movie Fire Serpent. Alone, Garfield has also written many novels, including plenty set in the Star Trek Expended Universe. Many of his works are genre-benders with a sci-fi touch.

When I came across Nighteyes in a used bookstore, it wasn't only the cover that led me to buying it. The inside flap compared it to the works of Whitley Strieber. For those who don't know, that means Nighteyes has something to do with the alien abduction phenomenon. This is a topic I find endlessly fascinating. 

Nighteyes came out in 1989, not long after Whitley Strieber published Communion. One would think that the success of Communion might have led to more interest in the subject of alien abduction and therefor help sales on a novel like Nighteyes. Now, I don't know how well Nighteyes sold, but I do know that it is no longer in print. I recommend that anyone interested in purchasing the novel go straight to a used book dealer.

With Nighteyes, Garfield Reeves-Stevens does something similar to what Strieber is doing with his new Alien Hunter series: mixing the crime genre with classic alien abduction tropes. If it wasn't for the UFO on the books cover, the reader would likely be quite shocked when a good chunk into the story they realize what is behind the plot. I'm not giving anything away, because like I said, the cover makes this element very clear. Which I feel is a shame because a good portion of the novel's first half feels like a crime thriller and then BAM- the creepy bug-eyed Grays appear.

As an alien abduction novel, Nighteyes is unique in other aspects too. As I already stated, I don't want to spoil the plot because I'd being doing everyone a huge disservice. But there is another reason fans of this genre should seek out Nighteyes immediately. The aliens are not the typical sci-fi aliens. These Grays have a very complex history and aren't intensely focused on destroying humans. The climax of this novel is mind-blowing and not at all what you would expect.

Garfield Reeves-Stevens wrote an incredibly smart and thought-provoking piece of fiction. There are a lot of people who would avoid a book like this because they'd look at the cover and read the flap and feel they were holding a book full of sci-fi and alien cliches. I pity those people. They have no clue what they've missed. Nighteyes is not what you would expect it to be. 

So go search every used book store, thrift shop, and online seller for a copy of Nighteyes by Garfield Reeves-Stevens. Any fan of smart, original horror and science-fiction will devour Nighteyes like it's candy.

1 comment:

  1. Fuck yea
    Amazing article. Jesus fucking Christ you deserve a Pulitzer.