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Sep 06 2013

A Review of Sleepy Hollow Dreams by Taryn Kincaid

Sleepy Hollow Dreams by Taryn Kincaid

Sleepy Hollow Dreams by Taryn Kincaid

I think it is interesting when someone takes an established myth or legend and uses it as a basis for their own idea for a story. It is in that creation of this new, different place, with its own rules, characters and meaning that makes those sorts of stories special and interesting to me.

A Succubus need not be the core of the story however. She can be a force within it to drive the lead characters along, to bring strife to them or be the back-story that makes things possible. There is one thing that I wish for however. That she be, please, not the stereotypical Succubus…

The work tells of:

Is he the man of her dreams…or her worst nightmare?

All Katy Lyndhurst wants is a normal suburban Sleepy Hollow life, despite the strange things that keep happening to her. Blistering hot erotic dreams bleed into her waking hours, making her yearn for her dream lover to materialize. When her sexy dream voyager, Ryck, shows up in the flesh and ignites her steamiest passions, she wonders if he’s a sultry fantasy conjured by her fevered brain…or something much more dangerous?

Centuries ago, a wicked succubus cursed Ryck Van Winkle to fulfill the desires of sleeping women while unable to take pleasure himself. Only Katy possesses the power to break the spell and awaken him. But Ryck’s defiance sparks the demon’s fury, causing supernatural portals to crumble and allowing demonic minions to threaten Katy and her world.

Now Katy and Ryck must battle the forces of darkness together. But will Ryck will be trapped forever in her Sleepy Hollow Dreams?

 

Katy is suffering from her dreams… Well, not exactly suffering so much as finding herself entwined in them. When she discovers her dream is real, then things become a bit stranger. What’s stranger is that the man of her dreams isn’t a dream any longer…

Ryck is a man cursed by a Succubus, who I’ll speak of in a bit, to inhabit the dreams of women, but have no pleasure himself until he encounters Katy. Once he is there with her, the pieces of their individual puzzles fall into place and the real story behind the story appears.

Ryck does not describe himself as an Incubus, but that’s a rather thin thing I felt through most of the story. While he does not harm Katy or anyone else he has been with in the past, he does come in dreams, shapes them, and exists in them. I found myself thinking of him like my own Incubi in that and that made me like him quite a lot more. The only part of Ryck that I really had an issue with was his calling Katy “Sweetling” through most of the story. To me at least it felt quite wrong, but I suppose that was part of his own particular personality. Setting that aside, there was a life about him when he was with Katy that I loved and found quite entertaining.

Katy was, to be honest, a bit scattered save for when she and Ryck were connected and her thoughts were more focused. I did like more that she had, truly, a power over Ryck and how that gave her strength in the moments where she truly did need strength to overcome that which threatens her. And the real threat of this story is Vivienne.

Vivienne, the Succubus of the story, does not actually appear all that much, and I am of two minds about that. On the one hand, she is very much like the stereotypical Succubus in many ways. She has a bad attitude, is forceful, and doesn’t really care about anything but herself. There are some obvious moments where her use of mind control happens to some minor characters in the story, but it really isn’t seen so much as hinted at. When that doesn’t work, and it does not in one very important case, she’s a brutal thing at her core and that was disappointing.

I like how she is described, her tattoo is a unique part of her character, and it helps to define her quite well I thought. But that’s the thing; she’s more of a “typical” bad being and not a lot more than that. She could have been a bit more personality-wise, but she isn’t the core of the story, she’s there as a means for Ryck and Katy to find each other and past that point, she isn’t all that much in the story. I would have liked to know more about her, regardless of how that might have turned out to be. Even if, as I would expect, she’s nothing special as a Succubus and that could have been a bit more than it was.

Setting aside my problems with Vivienne, I rather liked Ryck and Katy. They are interesting characters with an interesting past. I could have done with a smidge less frantic love and a bit more character development however. We do learn quite a lot about the two of them, but it felt at times like they were talking past each other instead of talking to each other. Their chemistry as a couple was lovely and I did like having the two of them together, there was a connection between them that was brought to the fore of the story and that helped to drive things nicely I thought.

It is an interesting thing to compare this work with the author’s later ones and see how their own writing style and character development has changed and for the better I feel. There is a certain hesitation, questioning, almost a pause here and there in this work that brings a bit of unevenness to the work as a whole. That isn’t to say that the story isn’t a good one, it’s more to wonder about where the story could have used a bit more polish or a little more exposition.

I’m giving this work three out of five pitchforks.

Lovely heat, really interesting characters to drive the story forwards and a neat twist in the tale of a story that we all think is well known. Just would have liked Vivienne to be a little bit less stereotypical Succubus in nature, but that’s something that I do tend to look for… But then my own personal views on Succubi are well known aren’t they?

A small note: The author has released a series called Sleepy Hallow after this book, which is not actually part of that series. For the next five book review days on the Tale, I will be going through the series, from first to last work, and reviewing them in order… And I can tell you that the Succubi in those books are quite a lot more interesting than Vivienne was by far when they pop up now and again…

 

Tera

2 comments

  1. avatar
    James

    So, the author grew in her writing, and her stories changed and developed as a result. That happens to many authors, I think. While we can then fantasize or speculate about how the same author might re-write the same story years later, I think we have to accept it for what it is: the succubus could be a more fleshed-out minor character, but she isn’t. What the author did with the not-quite-incubus, however, turns out to reflect a certain Realm we know and enjoy.

  2. avatar
    TeraS

    And, perhaps that is what will come my heart…

    Tera

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