Jan 20 2017

A Review of Succubus Sundries 3 by Zayna Noble

Succubus Sundries 3 by Zayna Noble

Succubus Sundries 3 by Zayna Noble

Last month I reviewed the first two works in the Succubus Sundries series and you can find those reviews here, and here on the Tale. My ongoing issue with the series was, and still remains that Lala, the succubus of the series, isn’t so much part of the story as she is drifting along side of it.

While Lala is the plot device pushing the series onwards, the problem I have is there’s a lot of transformations, a lot of erotica, there’s even quite a bit of character development, but there’s something missing. The problem is that Lala herself isn’t all that much part of things and I think that’s a shame. A review then of the third work in the series and there’s a short review of the series overall following as the author has released the three works in a single volume as well.

The work tells the story of:

Abby is back! And this time, she’s brought her boyfriend, Felix. She’s excited to take him to Lala’s potion shop and share in a series of exciting transformations.

Felix is a little reserved. The scrawny nerd has enjoyed the fruits of dating Abby in her new plant girl body and when he meets the succubus shop owner personally, he has a few requests. Both would turn him into a creature twice his size; a buff, beefy minotaur, or a strong, scaled dragon.

Lala is more than happy to help the couple explore their new kinks but this time, there’s a different price. She’ll be extracting a few materials from Felix and using Abby as a guinea pig to test some new potions and artifacts. The first will turn her into a slime girl, transparent, morphable, and blueberry-flavored. The next will change her body into a dullahan, her head separate from her body!

The nerdy couple are being offered a unique opportunity. Would they dare refuse a succubus’ deal?

Abby returns to Lala’s shop with her boyfriend in the hopes of sharing with him the delights she’s found in her own transformation. Things do come with a price and Lala is open to some ideas, but the couple in love will have to allow Lala to get a little something in return. That isn’t decision isn’t a hard one, but for Felix, something else is going to be very hard when all is said and done.

Much like the other works in this series, this isn’t so much a story about a succubus than it is about a series of transformations being tried out. Lala, the succubus of the story, remains a mystery as before. There’s nothing told about her past, what drives her and her character. There are hints and vague ideas, but nothing really concrete to base one’s thoughts upon. I will note that Lala makes one comment about succubi in general which puts things in a way that made me smile however. It also gave, for the first time, an explanation about how the transformations are chosen and how they work.

Abby isn’t all that different from her first appearance and Felix is delightfully nerdy and shy at the beginning. As things unfold the heat between the pair builds, the erotica that comes after the transformations has some good heat, but it felt somewhat rushed in this work, being a bit set aside for the transformations themselves, which there are a lot. The transformation scenes are well written, there are some really funny moments in the telling as well and they are the core of the story overall. That tends to push some needed character development aside sadly.

The ending of the work is rather abrupt and, at least for me, again it was disappointing. There isn’t so much the story moving onwards as it was the story going back to tease two characters about things before coming to a halt. There are some threads to explore going forwards, assuming there will be more stories to be told, and I really hope there are for Lala just feels like she’s a character that’s underused.

Written well, the characters have voice and I did adore them. But like the rest of the series, the story lacks direction for quite a long time and when it finds its way, it has taken too long. The ending left me wanting and I wish it didn’t. Abby and Felix had fun, but at the end of things, nothing really changed all that much from where they started. Lala remains an enigma to be explored and that she wasn’t is another shame for me at least.

Three out of five pitchforks.

The formula is about the same, Lala’s past isn’t explored, the series of transformations seem like they were meant to be their own stories, but didn’t get anywhere and rather than lose them, they were added to this story. There’s a bit more heat, a little smidge of character development, but when the story closes, it didn’t feel like Abby, Felix or Lala were much further ahead than they were..

Sometimes it isn’t enough to have a taste, sometimes the better story is to have it all and see what happens. Perhaps that might be a story to tell about Lala some other time. Hopefully the author will return to Lala, her world, and tell a story about her. Because that mystery is interesting and needs to be told.

Succubus Sundries: Tonics and Artefacts by Zayna Noble

Succubus Sundries: Tonics and Artefacts by Zayna Noble

The author released the series so far as a collection called Succubus Sundries: Tonics and Artefacts which I’m going to share a very short review as well.

The work contains the first three works in the series, which tells of those that encounter Lala in her shop, the transformations they experience and the payments which Lala collects from them all.

The series is really cute and fun overall, there’s some nice heat in the erotica, the characters are interesting and aren’t two dimensional either. However, this isn’t so much a story about succubi, overall, than it is about transformations into various supernatural beings.

Lala, the succubus of the series, has a lot to offer as a character, but she isn’t really allowed to develop much more than her personalty seems to suggest. She is a tool for the transformations, a catalyst for the erotica that appears, but what her story is, overall, doesn’t get a lot of time in each story.

While that is because Lala isn’t really a main character, and the stories focus more upon those being transformed, it just left me asking, repeatedly, what’s her story and why isn’t it being explored at least somehow. I did like that at least some of Lala’s beliefs, and that of succubi in general are mentioned. I enjoyed that she wasn’t evil, more fun and mischievous overall, which made the overall story have a lighter tone that transferred to the main characters as well.

I just really want more succubi in a series that has succubus in the title.

Three out of five pitchforks.

It would be nice to see the series continue, the way things ended suggests it might and considering that other succubi series by this author have some connections to this one, it would be nice to see some more real crossovers happen. There’s promise here, but a little less transformation and a bit more succubus would be a delight.

 

Tera

Jan 20 2017

A Review of Hell and Damnation by Carolyn Gregg

Hell and Damnation by Carolyn Gregg

Hell and Damnation by Carolyn Gregg

One of the possible stories that appears about succubi or incubi is when something happens to make them human. The story then turns towards what happens next, but generally with one common thing. They know what it’s like to be human. The more interesting story is however, what if they don’t?

Making a mistake can mean punishment. Sometimes that punishment is just trying to live another day. Occasionally in stumbling through, someone decides you are worth saving. Sometimes you see that in them as well.

  • Title: Hell and Damnation
  • Author: Carolyn Gregg
  • Length: 69 Pages
  • ASIN: B00NWULFO0
  • Publishing Date: August 21, 2012 (Original)
  • September 24, 2014 (Reissue)
  • This work at Amazon.com

The work tells the story of:

What’s an incubus to do when he’s kicked out of Hell?

Danelius is an incubus. His job is to engage in sex with mortal women as they sleep, drawing them into his snare and condemning their souls. He’s damn good at what he does, and it doesn’t matter that he’s quite proud of the fact that his record is practically spotless. After all, isn’t pride one of the better deadly sins?

But when his last job goes awry, and he subsequently pisses off the Devil, Danelius finds himself in serious straits. For one, he’s kicked out of Hell and ordered to find a pure soul to replace the sinner he lost. For another, he has no place to go and no place to stay.

Stripped of his powers, naked, and freezing his delectable buns off, Danelius suddenly discovers that being mortal hurts. It’s even worse when he’s rescued by Gemma, and soon thereafter realizes he’s falling in love with her.

It’s when he discovers the true purpose of his exile that Danelius realizes he no longer wants anything to do with Hell or the Old Man. He wants to remain a mortal with Gemma for whatever time they have left of their lives.

Wonder how well Satan will take the news when he finds out?

Danelius has been fired. To be more clear, the Devil wasn’t happy with him and he’s been mad human. Told what he needs to do, but not how, Danelius, now Dan, learns of the pleasures, fears, and troubles of being human. Including finding that there is something called love.

This is a very quirky and fun story which begins in a way that makes Dan not quite what incubi are known to be. It’s a different twist on the legend, one that’s quite unique and I rather liked. Dan is a bit unlikeable at the beginning of the work, not so much for being an incubus, but rather his attitude which is a bit grating.

A run-in with the Devil changes everything for him and Dan becomes entwined in Gemma’s life. Much of the story is taken up with Gemma trying to figure Dan out, to see a way to believe that he’s telling the truth about himself. Once past that awkwardness, Gemma’s lessons on human life are cute, funny and silly all at the same time.

Eventually Dan and Gemma come together and then the real story behind the story comes out. On the way to that, there is a short hot flash of erotica that works well and I did enjoy. The characters fit together, their needs match and it’s a passionate moment before things take a turn.

The twist in the story makes for a nice path to the ending which is then followed with a few more surprises that leave things in a situation that wasn’t quite expected. I wish the story had continued further than where it ends however. I thought it was a bit abrupt and a bit more of the after would have been nice to see. Despite that, the story is well told, the characters are full of depth and they grow, especially Dan, which I really liked as the Dan at the conclusion is a much better character than at the beginning. I just wanted a little bit more than what the ending gave.

Four out of five pitchforks.

One of the more unique incubus stories I have read and the story it tells is a wonderful mix of humour, discovery, need and, in the end, discovering what love means. Quirky beyond words at times, but that’s what makes this really special.

 

 

 

Postscript: For some reason, last month, I received a notice that this work’s appearance in the SuccuWiki was an issue and was required to remove it. I have done so, and was considering not releasing this review. But after some consideration, I’ve decided to offer this review publicly of the work. The work is very good and it’s a shame that I cannot have this work listed on the SuccuWiki.

It bothers me that either the author,  or their publisher, has a problem with the listing of their work, or for that matter, I expect, not wanting a review. Sending a DMCA notice for the sake of listing a book and reviewing it, seems like someone doesn’t quite understand how such a thing works. At no time did I offer a copy of the work, I did not quote from it, save for the book summary which is publicly available on every eBook seller this work appears on.

After removing their work from the SuccuWiki, and sending both the publisher and the author an email explaining how their work was shown and what the purpose was, as well as noting that I had removed the work, I have not, to the date of this review, received any sort of communication from either.

I’d love an explanation as to what, exactly the problem was. I don’t expect I will see such a thing however, all things considered, as nothing has happened so far. But it would be nice to know what the problem was rather than the vague explanation that I received was.

 

Tera

Jan 19 2017

Succubi Image of the Week 470

Last week was some pencil art which I shared and I am continuing that theme in this week’s Succubi art… Really it is the expression that matters, I think, more than anything when drawing a character. The eyes are the windows to the soul after all, but as well, an expression can say as much at times too.

Succubus by wrexjapan

Succubus by wrexjapan

This art is by the artist Wrexjapan, and I found this work on their site on DeviantArt. You can find the original page with this art here and this artist’s page can be found here as well.

It is her earnest expression that caught my eye really. I’m not sure if she is in the midst of asking for something, calling out to someone, or otherwise is needing something, or someone. That said, I think she has a lovely outfit, her horns are wings work quite well and her body shape seems to fit all else well.

I love the messy hair, but really it is the look in her eyes and that expression that gives me pause and starts me to wonder…

 

Tera

Jan 18 2017

A dress that gives me some Succubus costume ideas…

Red Heart GownSome time ago I found a dress for sale, which isn’t any longer. I thought it was interesting and being so it gave me some costume ideas…

This dress isn’t a costume by itself, but the overall look I do like quite a lot and being so I have been pondering what sort of costume that could be created with it in some way.

The dress is described as being from the 1980s, which I can see as the look does sort of fit that time overall. I think a nice set of horns with some slingback red heels would make for a nice, simple costume that isn’t over the top.

It might be a little subdued in some way, but nonetheless, the look of that heart in the dress I think makes for a really nice focal point for everything.

Three and a half out of five pitchforks.

I like the idea, I’ll have to try to do something with it.

 

Tera

Jan 17 2017

A Review of The Incubus written by R.E. Baker

The Incubus written by R.E. Baker

The Incubus written by R.E. Baker

I stumbled across what is described as a bit of a teaser, or introduction to an upcoming series today. It has its own appeal, there are some point about the work that I thought were really quite interesting. But there with the good comes a minor issue for me.

Sometimes in telling a story one needs to allow it to unfold. Rushing from moment to moment, encounter to encounter with seemingly little point between them can be somewhat confusing. It’s also a bit difficult to find the heat in a story, or like the main characters when there’s precious little to hold onto.

The past is present in all we are. What we are, who we are, is a reflection of what has come before. Our conscience be that which either guides us or makes us suffer. Which of the two matters becomes a matter of perspective, honour and understanding… If we are very lucky.

The work tells the story of:

Welcome guests. You are about to enter the dangerous world of Cano.

Ruled by the Demon Lord baring the same name, Cano watches her underworld from afar. Divided in what seems to be an infinite number of realms to all but her, the center of this universe is her personal island where Demon Lords retire upon grooming an heir, a process which takes no less than 1000 years.

This story centers around two lords, Kylie the rightful heir and birth child to V’romi and Delphie, and her earthbound brother Matdur, who was captured by Cano when he was ten and brought to the underworld. The children are used to either fertilize the universe with their souls, or tend to the realms of Lords. As slaves they either work until their mortal death, or are offered the opportunity to achieve immortality by undergoing a metamorphosis.

Only Lords who are unable to produce an heir, or question the strength of the one they produce, offer this opportunity to an earthbound.

In this Underworld demons collect souls to maintain their realms. Different demons collect souls by different means.

Kylie and Matdur are Lilin demons, Kylie a succubus and Matdur an incubus. They collect their souls by laying with mortals.

The world is slowly crumbling around Kylie and Matdur, bringing with it confusion, anger and self-loathing. A world that can only survive by feeding on the souls taken is a harsh world when there’s less souls brought to the fore. A fight leads to a promise, one with dark intent, a future that looks bleak and uncertain. Among all of this, choices have to be made, the question becomes who is willing to act and who is willing to not be foolish.

There’s a lot that happens in a very short period of time in this story and being so there’s a feeling that things are very rushed for the main characters, not allowing a lot of time for thinking about what’s going on and so on. I found it a little difficult to enjoy the story as my mind was trying to piece together everything that was going on, trying to understand how things worked from what little details popped up from time to time. At times the story is a bit lost, trying to find its footing, but much the same can be said about Kylie and Matdur, the main characters.

Kylie, the succubus and Matdur, the incubus, have what can only be described as a tense relationship, much of that coming to the view each has. Kylie seems to have no conscience and Matdur’s conscience seems to be overcoming him, causing no end of problems for him. The contrast is striking, and I think it works, but again the rush to move through this work takes that conflict and does not use it to the extent I think it could have been.

There isn’t really any erotica in this work save for one encounter that Matdur has with a woman on Earth. That is a bittersweet thing, tragic in all honesty, and what’s more bothersome for me was that in the aftermath something didn’t sit right with Matdur over it all. That needs to be explored, but there wasn’t time to do so and I think that really matters.

There are a multitude of plot threads and arcs going on in parallel, sometimes colliding when Kylie and Matdur confront each other. There is some character development, but it’s again in a rush, seemingly lost in the overall story and missing something vital. With all of that said, there’s one telling point that I thought was the most interesting and emotionally impactful of all.

Matdur’s misgivings about taking souls, looking to see what goes on around him and trying, so dearly not to do harm is a wonder to behold. It’s core to who he is, I think it will be a central point to all that comes from here. More so, how Kylie forces the issue, demands of him, whether the reasons are right or not, opens up questions about her motives as well, if there’s something else going on and that interested me.

The characters have something about them, there’s no question, and I just wish the story had allowed more of their character to develop than it did. The other thing that bothers me is that Matdur’s name seems to change as the story progresses, becoming a more human one. Again, that’s an interesting thing, it does matter I think, but it’s odd and tripped me up at times. There is some heat, but this isn’t a erotic story, it’s a story about making choices and it does that well, but it could be a lot better than it is.

Three and a half out of five pitchforks.

It’s very difficult to like, as a whole, either Kylie or Matdur and I think a lot of that has to do with being thrown headlong into a story that seems to be moving at breakneck speed from the first words. There are so many questions about how things come to be as they are, why there is so much conflict going on, what else is happening about the main characters. I felt like the story was holding something back, something important that it couldn’t reveal as yet.

As an introduction to this new universe I think there’s something missing and it hurts the storytelling a lot. That said, getting past the brusk mannerisms of both Kylie and Matdur is something I didn’t manage to do. I’m also very bothered by Matdur’s name changing to what I assume are pet names or similar, but it just reads oddly.

I will be looking for the next work in the series to see where the story of Kylie and Matdur goes, how things all fit together and why their world is so dearly in trouble. The past matters here, but it’s not delved into and it really needs to be.

 

Tera

Jan 17 2017

A Review of Demon Girls – Females From Hell by Neurodyne

Demon Girls - Females From Hell by Neurodyne

Demon Girls – Females From Hell by Neurodyne

A review today of a small collection of short stories by an author with a singular theme. While the most obvious one are all sorts of demon girls, succubi included, the more prevalent theme is one of needs which revolve around the unspoken horrors that exist in some souls. It’s an interesting collection, but as happens with so many collections like this, there are some stories that naturally lead into larger, more involved storytelling.

No two demons are the same, but then no two souls are the same either. Each has a story to tell, and it is in the telling that answers are given, lost, or misplaced.

  • Title: Demon Girls – Females From Hell
  • Author: Neurodyne
  • Length: 28 Pages
  • ISBN: 9781310012808
  • Publishing Date: June 18, 2016
  • This work at Smashwords.com

The work tells the story of:

A collection of 8 demonic short stories about erotic adventures with female demons, succubi and other hellish entities. Fascinating creatures wishing to explore their untamed and weird sexuality with unsuspecting human males. Sometimes these undertakings are dangerous, as these fiends are definitely not of the usual timid kind. They could rip you apart if they wanted to, but this time its more about getting really up and close with them.

The collection of stories takes a specific demon woman and tells a bit of her. Sometimes that’s her life, a moment in time. In other cases it’s less about the woman herself and more about the man they encounter. What drives them, what leads them to the moment they are found in. Some of these works have a slight horror edge, but it isn’t by any means overwhelmingly so.

The work has some moments of erotica, a little bit of heat that simmers. But it doesn’t really go very far, nor does the heart draw more out of the characters and story. At the core, the works in the collection speak of various kinds of temptation, whether that of a human or a demon, and where that takes the character in question.

There are two stories which have the appearance of succubi. In one case it is a story of a human meeting one and in another it is a rite of passage for another succubus. In both cases, the stories are, as a whole, teasing towards a longer more involved story, but never really get to tell it. They set up the encounter and then rush to the conclusion. A pair of flashes of things more to be seen, but not done.

This then is the thing which holds back this collection. These works are stories at the beginning. A series of thoughts towards telling a story but then brought to a close in the moment after something happens. Flashes of really good writing, but nothing developing more than it does.

There are some editing issues in this work, some capitalizations missed, some words a bit odd. The characters are there, but not fleshed out more than being described. The story is there, but not fleshed out. A collection of teases which leave me wondering.

Three and a half out of five pitchforks.

It’s more horror titillation than it is erotica as a whole. These works are more story ideas, hints of bigger things, hot flashes and ideas. Some of them really need to be fleshed out into larger stories as the worlds and ideas are really good. Perhaps the author will manage that someday.

 

Tera

Jan 16 2017

Isn’t Much By TeraS

Another one of those weeks in which I haven’t been feeling all that well, which means that I haven’t been writing much and what I have managed to accomplish doesn’t feel like a lot. But great things sometimes come from something that …

 

Isn’t Much
By TeraS

 

If there is one constant about the Queen of the Succubi, it’s that she never expects anything in return for what she does for others. The common refrain heard is, “I owe you”, and Tera’s reply is inevitably, “You owe me nothing.”

Regardless of what she might have done, how complex or simple it might be, how much it means to the recipient of Tera’s generosity, she expects nothing in return. This, of course, brings no end of confusion and concern to others. It’s obvious that she’s a Queen, that she should, therefore, expect some sort of gift in return, some promise made, some offer. Some even think their soul would be acceptable to her. The red-tailed one just smiles in that bemused way of hers, shrugs, and comments: “It isn’t much, don’t worry about it.” She doesn’t see that what she’s done is anything special, that it might be something beyond the pale. Giving to others, for her, is a kind of pleasure and it is one that she especially loves.

So, regardless of who it is, what Tera might have done, or anything else, nothing is expected, nothing is wanted, nor is anything needed. A “thank you” brings a smile, while the offering of a gift is gratefully noted, but she’ll always say that she couldn’t possibly take something.

And so we come to the telling point. It’s just about impossible to give something back to the Queen for all of the things she’s done. Not that many haven’t tried, in all of the ways you could imagine, of course. It’s quite a battle trying to get Tera to see, within herself, that what she’s done for others is far more than nothing much at all.

This, then, brings to light a cherished gift which can be found in Tera’s bedroom, something which she did accept, in spite of her stubbornness, from a moment in her life where the gift mattered, more than she could put into words for the gift carried with it that most cherished of things… a memory. The first, the very first thing she ever accepted seems so simple, something almost so ordinary that it could be overlooked, but Tera never does. It’s a pair of fuzzy red socks.

This very special pair that brought her to tears one Christmas a long time ago was a gift from the Queen’s heart, one that few can understand or see in the way that Tera can. It was a reminder of a conversation at the fence between the Queen and her heart one winter. She spoke of being a bit cold. That thought drifted for a bit in the winter air between the two, the musing that she needed a pair of socks to warm her toes on those cold winter mornings when the floors were so bloody cold.

Whenever she saw those socks, she remembered a package arriving, out of the blue. Her mind drifted back to opening the gift, looking inside to find a Christmas stocking with some delightful fudge hidden beneath a pair of red socks. A card from her heart, the tears of joy in holding in her hands that which he and his Beloved had blessed with their love. The first Christmas they’d shared as family, one she cherished, one that she was forever grateful to Goddess for scheming to bring two families on either side of a fence together.

She can remember telling her heart how wonderful the gift was, how delighted and thankful she was, asking how she could repay his kindness. Her heart, being who he is, replied in a very familiar way: “It isn’t much, don’t worry about it.” It was a familiar reply, said with love for the one that was gifted, whether they expected the gift or not, whether the giving needed to be or not. It simply was and all else that came with the gift was reflections of what giving unto others means.

Perhaps, then, the need within the Queen to brush off the idea of receiving a gift for simply being herself is something that is reflected in many of her family. Perhaps, in a way, they all know that it isn’t about the gift, about the thing done. It’s about giving, as one can.

Perhaps the gift is found in the giving. And, sometimes, the grace is found in the receiving without worrying about deserving, but just because the gift is given out of love.

For in giving to another may seem like it isn’t much, but it’s the greatest miracle in any Realm when it is done out of love.

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