Mar 24 2015

A Review of Hard-Boiled Immortal by Gene Doucette

Hard-Boiled Immortal by Gene Doucette

Hard-Boiled Immortal by Gene Doucette

I have been reading of late quite a few works about Succubi that are set in a sort of “film noir” setting. Sometimes that setting doesn’t work well because the author can’t get the personalities right, or the setting is wrong. Sometimes it’s a problem with having today’s language seep into the story and that breaks the spell of the work.

However. When an author can write well in this genre, writes amazing characters and tells a gripping story in which you aren’t quite sure what’s coming next… That I really enjoy reading. Add in a Succubus that I think is wonderfully alluring and intelligent and that’s something I adore beyond words…

The work is about:

The year was 1942, there was a war on, and Adam was having a lot of trouble avoiding the attention of some important people. The kind of people with guns, and ways to make a fella disappear. He was caught somewhere between the mob and the government, and the only way out involved a red-haired dame he was pretty sure he couldn’t trust.

Adam is an immortal, having seen the world for longer than he’d care to remember. It’s World War II and he’s tending bar in Chicago and meeting some interesting people. The problem with that is those people are interesting to other people and Adam is getting their interest as well. A Succubus walks into the bar, and it isn’t the start of a joke… It’s deadly serious.

One in a series called The Immortal Chronicles, this work is a perfectly written story that enters a dark and smokey bar where some good and not so good characters gather to drink, tell stories, and muse over their drinks. Adam, the main character, has a stellar personality, one that takes hold of the story from the first moment and doesn’t let go of it till the very last page. He’s intelligent, witty, tactful, but most of all, there’s a magnetism around him that draws the story and surrounding characters to him and that allows for some amazing plot and story to be told.

The work reads like a mix of mystery, detective, and supernatural with a bit of humour tossed in at the right moments to break the tension when it needs to be. Really one of the very best in this style of writing that I have read in quite some times and I couldn’t stop turning the pages to see what came next.

When Lucy, the Succubus of the work, appears, she has that certain look, character and drive that tells that she is a Succubus, but not in a simply sexual way. She’s a lot more complex than that, having her own story to tell, but also slipping herself into Adam’s world for her own reasons. As the story unfolds it’s never quite clear who’s side she is on, what she intends to do, or if Adam can trust her until the climax of the work arrives. She doesn’t appear in the work as a sex object, she’s so much more than that in all she is and discovering that along with Adam is amazing when it occurs.

The story is very much one where the reader needs to pay attention to what’s going on, to follow the stories being told, red herrings and otherwise, and when the payoff comes for paying attention to the story, that’s very satisfying. The work is solidly written and while it is just one part of a series, it can be read as a stand alone work and the effect is the same. Everything you need to know about the characters comes in the story, doesn’t feel like an info dump and holds together extremely well.

The work ends, naturally, in a way that tells of something to come, and considering this work is part of a series that’s expected. In spite of this, most of the loose ends are tied up, save for Lucy and one other character. while Adam mulls over the events of the story.

The only thing that I would have liked it to know more about Lucy than was told. There are some good hints about her, some thought towards her background, but that remains mostly shrouded away in the mists of the story as it wasn’t critical. But leaving so many questions about her and not answering them, or at least spending a bit more time in the aftermath to find out about her was a little bit disappointing.

I’m giving this work four and a half out of five pitchforks.

An amazing work, a telling story, strong characters and more. One of the best reads in this genre that I have seen and well enjoyed…

 

Tera

Mar 24 2015

A Review of Mallory of Strange Valley by Kassandra Coley

Mallory of Strange Valley by Kassandra Coley

Mallory of Strange Valley by Kassandra Coley

To me the worst thing that happens is when an author begins a series with much promise, with a story that is captivating with characters that are truly endearing and then… nothing more happens.

It’s a wonderful thing to read a work that sets up an amazing premise, lays out the path for the series to take going forwards and ends on a note that makes one want to see where things go from there.

It’s a very sad thing when the work vanishes soon after it is released and the author vanishes as well leaving only the promise of what could have been… and still hopes to be.

  • Title: Mallory of Strange Valley
  • Author: Kassandra Coley
  • Length: 50 Pages
  • ASIN: B00B8TWO9M
  • Publishing Date: February 5, 2013
  • No Longer Available

It is the story of:

Mallory attends community college, listens to oldies and Motown, and creates collages from mid-century magazines. Oh, and also? She’s a sex demon – a succubus – who preys on the sexual appetites of her male classmates to survive. There are plenty of perks to being a succubus – smoking hot body, lots of explosive sex, the ability to glamour mortals – but what she really wants is to remember when she turned Immortal, who turned her, and most importantly, why.

Mallory stays out of the Immortal political clashes and power struggles that have been playing out for centuries. The conflicts are all about the Immortal pecking order, where Angels grace the top and sex demons are relegated to the lower ranks. Throughout history, the Immortal conflicts have amounted to little more than posturing between the species. But things are taking a dangerous turn. Succubi and incubi are being extinguished, and the danger is growing closer to Strange Valley.

Meanwhile, Mallory is trying to contend with Asher, an Adonis of an incubus who’s inexplicably moved into her territory and now competes with her for prey. There’s more to Asher than he’s telling, but it’s worse than a few secrets. Much worse. Mallory is deeply, irresistibly drawn to him. But coupling between sex demons is deadly dangerous. She’s convinced they’ve crossed paths before, but she has too many gaps in her memory. Asher may hold the key to Mallory’s past . . . and Mallory’s past may be the key to the lethal wave sweeping the Immortal world.

Mallory is a Succubus with a list of problems the length of her tail. Her best friend is so much more hypersexual that it makes Mallory look like a prude. An incubus has appeared in her world that she can’t get out of her mind, and wants him in other ways that could be bad. Very bad. There’s someone out there killing Succubi and Incubi, and they seem to be getting closer. Worst of all, she’s starting all over again with a new identity in her hunting grounds… and she’s bored of the whole thing.

Mallory is an interesting Succubus. She does have wings and most of the usual Succubus appearance, but doesn’t display them too often. She shapeshifts, but only when she needs to change identities, not for the sake of those she feeds upon. She uses some rather interesting means to get the attention of the men around her, a bit of mind control coupled with a look, a bit of bare skin… and the ability to “play” with them from across the room.

Tied into the superficial comes her personality, which I adored in that she isn’t a wall flower, she has her own firm ideas about what’s right and wrong, and she is intent on keeping things that way. The scenes with Mallory making her way through a world of hyperactively sexual college students is actually quite amusing at times and is a good foil from the more serious and darker aspects of the work.

Mallory finds herself coming into contact with Asher, an Incubus that received permission to be on Mallory’s territory. At first, he is brash, over the top defensive, and does quite a lot to get on Mallory’s bad side. As the story continues, that attitude changes, softens, and there is an obvious connection between these two characters that starts to emerge. But all of that is cloaked in mystery, questions, and really the explanation isn’t said, but inferred.

The attraction between Mallory and Asher is a real problem in their world because… it simply isn’t allowed. The thing about that is… no one really can say why that is. It’s an obvious means to connect Mallory’s past, which she is trying to figure out, and who Asher is… and Mallory for that matter. With all of that confusion between the two, there are moments when the veil of forgotten memories is almost, but not quite parted.

The mysteries are thick in this work, and they tend to pile up over the course of the story, but this was supposed to be the first work in a series and as such, this needs to happen. In something a little less than fifty pages the plots are drawn up, the characters defined and the direction of the series as a whole is made quite clear.

There are some lovely scenes of Mallory as a Succubus using her powers to control others, or at least influence them to some extent. When she goes to feed on those she is interested in, that mind control turns very hot and erotic and as a whole the heat is there, the story is there, and it made me like Mallory even more because of what she does reflects on who she is. She isn’t a killer, she doesn’t want to hurt others, and she does her best to make them happy. Doing so is a small measure of happiness for her as well.

The work is simply written well with excellent characters, themes and heat that made this a delicious read. But with all of that good comes one sad truth. There is no second work to this series. There are no answers to the questions posed, there is no resolution to the plots opened. There’s a expressive buildup to a cliffhanger and then… we are left wanting for something that never appeared.

Four out of five pitchforks.

It’s a real shame that this work is no longer available, that there will, it seems, never be a continuation, the answers Mallory is looking for never to be revealed. I have a fairly good idea of what the answers are in a roundabout way, but whether I am right or wrong seems to be something that will never be told.

And that really shouldn’t be.

 

Tera

Mar 23 2015

Certainty by TeraS

Yesterday was a special day for myself and my Eternal … It was our anniversary, and, every morning when I wake up, I am thankful that he’s there. I try, so much and so often, to say how much love he and I have for each other, how much in sharing that love with our family, with the ones we love, and more, matters. The day we met is the moment in my life that I remember more than any other and so clearly that it feels like it happened just moments ago. There’s a certainty that I have in me, one that never leaves me, one that just … is … Always.

 

Certainty
By TeraS

 

The morning rays of the sun warmed the bedroom as she slept under the covers, the tip of her red tail just poking out, seeking out the sunlight so it might keep warm, as well. Off in the distance, echoing through the house, there were sounds of someone in the kitchen doing something. The sounds were muted by efforts not to wake her, but, of course, while she didn’t hear everything, she knew who was in the house with her, knew with certainty, and she dozed on.

In the kitchen, he was stirring a bowl of batter, working towards his goal, and humming an idle tune as he did so. He kept checking a cookbook that had been given to Baker for safekeeping, in which one particular recipe had been marked by a folded-over page as the right one to make on that day.

Finding that the batter—Devil’s Food Cake, of course—was about ready, he turned away to look for a cupcake baking sheet. Looking at the cupboard, he puzzled over where she would have put such a thing; baking was, after all, more her thing than his. Nonetheless, after a bit of rummaging around, he found what he was looking for and turned back to the counter …

… to find a certain blue tailed daughter poking her finger into the mixing bowl.

“Rianna, what are you doing?”

She pulled her finger out of the batter and stuck it in her mouth, mumbling around it: “Testin’.”

Amused, he set the baking sheet on the counter and crossed his arms over his chest: “Really? I hope you don’t expect to be licking the spoon as well.”

Rianna shook her head and then nodded towards the fridge, where a certain silver-tailed daughter was poking around inside: “Nah. That’s her job.”

Branwyn looked out for a moment: “And I get the leftover frosting, too … if I can find it. How do you find anything with all of this Redi-Whip in here?”

He chuckled: “Hours of practice in searching, and there’s a reason why there’s so much whipped cream in there.”

The fridge door closed with a thump as Branwyn waved a small tin of frosting in the air: “Found it!”

He shook his head and looked for a ladle: “No tasting the frosting—or the batter—for either of you. Not until I’m done.”

His daughters set themselves on the other side of the kitchen island where he was working, and, as he did so, they started talking …

“Ya’ know Dad, what’s so special about those cupcakes, anyway? Either you, or Mom, makes them, and you make them only once a year.”

“That’s right! They don’t show up on any holidays, or when people visit, or anything. What’s the deal?”

He was rubbing some butter into the baking sheet, a slightly far-off look in his eyes as he did so, before replying: “Today is a special day for us. It isn’t a Realm holiday, it isn’t something that everyone is supposed to celebrate. It is an ‘us’ holiday. Today marks our wedding anniversary in the human world.”

Rianna and Branwyn looked at each other for a long moment, then Rianna asked: “Okay, but what’s so special about that? Isn’t the day you became Mom’s Eternal more important?”

He put the baking sheet down, and, after dragging the mixing bowl away from Rianna, he started stirring again: “It’s just as important … probably a bit more so.”

Branwyn’s tail swisched behind her: “Okay, Sis is being a little stupid, ‘cause we know that it’s important. But why keep it a secret so much? Everyone celebrates the King and Queen’s vows here. So why not your human ones, too?”

He dipped the ladle into the batter, smoothing out the batter with a knife, and then poured the first bit of batter into the cupcake sheet: “It all goes back to how we married in the human world.”

Branwyn looked at Rianna: “This sounds like a three-Kleenex moment, Sis.”

Rianna nodded and dragged the box that had been sitting on her side of the counter between them both: “Prolly.”

Tapping the ladle, he smiled: “I’ll keep it short so you don’t wake up your mother.”

As he continued to fill the baking sheet, he explained …

“Where I came from, I couldn’t give her a royal wedding. I couldn’t go and pay for a huge ceremony, have all of my family there, and have her be alone. But there was no way to have your mother’s parents there, there was no way that anyone from the Realm could be there. At the time it was still a secret that we were going to marry, that I was going to be her Eternal. I understood that she couldn’t have something flashy and wonderful.”

He considered the portions and then started to put a bit more into each: “Still, I needed to make her happy. She insisted, as we all know, that she didn’t need anything fancy, that she was just fine with whatever came, even if it was just to trade vows in front of an Elvis impersonator.”

Rianna interrupted: “That would have been weird, Dad.”

“I think your mom would have loved it. Not to mention running up and down the Vegas strip laughing in the aftermath. But no, we didn’t do that.”

Both of his daughters were resting their elbows on the counter and staring at him, their tails up over their shoulders in a very familiar way. He chuckled as he looked for some chocolate chips to sprinkle on top: “I know that look; your mom is better at it. What’s the question?”

Rianna was first: “Couldn’t mom have just paid for everything?”

He tossed a few chips into the batter: “Could have. But I didn’t want her to–not because of pride, but because all of that flash couldn’t match her smile and how much I love her.”

Branwyn then asked: “Yeah, but she would have anyway, ‘cause she woulda’, ‘cause that’s what you expect from someone that’s the Queen.”

He balled up the now-empty bag of chips and tossed it off towards the wastebasket, missing by a mile, and sighed, “You’d think I would know by now that basketball isn’t my thing. As for what I expected from her: well, the only thing that I wanted was to make her happy. That came back to my being happy, and we went around in circles.”

His daughters looked at each other as he picked up the baking sheet and put it in the oven. They didn’t say anything as he returned and continued his preparations, this time putting a squirt tube of red frosting beside the chocolate frosting that Branwyn had brought over. He was in the midst of breaking in half a small pile of thin, red candy slivers as Rianna became inpatient and wondered: “Okay. So, what happened? Can’t leave us hanging, Dad.”

“The rings were simple. They were my grandparent’s. Oh, they had to be resized a little, but that wasn’t a big problem. We did the paperwork at City Hall, and it amazed me that your mother could come up with the paperwork they needed by looking in her purse for it. I’m amazed she can find anything in there when she’s carrying one.”

Rianna and Branwyn just looked at each other knowingly. That was a special skill that they had been taught and were not supposed to share. After all, it was important that, as two of the Succubi, they always had access to Redi-Whip … among other things.

He stared off into space again for a moment, smiling at the memories, then continued: “So, we had the paperwork, the rings … but, as for the ceremony, well, that was something special.”

There was a soft ‘ding’ and he removed the now-baked cupcakes, popping them out of the pan and then waiting for them to cool. He looked at the cupcakes and continued to explain … “I found a bakery nearby and, in the window, I saw a tray of cupcakes; chocolate ones, which I knew your mom liked. But they were a little bit different and it was that difference that made them something that she’d remember.”

He nodded towards the cookbook he had been using: “I went inside and asked the baker there for one, to my surprise he gave it to me for free. He also gave me that cookbook, said that it was meant to go with me. Of course I couldn’t accept that, and so I paid for it, and the cupcake, with the last of my change that I had with me. Keep in mind that we were intending to leave the human world for the Realm shortly afterwards, so, after that moment, there wasn’t anything left.”

Rianna nodded, Branwyn considered the cupcakes, a thoughtful look in her eyes.

“I met your mom in the town’s park, and I put her ring on her finger, and she put mine on me.” He spread the frosting over the cupcakes, then drew a pattern down the middle with the red frosting before sticking two pieces of red candy on either side. He then held up the cupcake to his daughters: “And our first meal together was … this.”

The cupcake was chocolate, deep and dark, almost the same colour as Tera’s hair. The red frosting in the middle made a tail that looked quite similar to Tera’s as well. The two pieces of candy made a pair of horns that completed the look. It was a cupcake that looked, in a way, a bit devilish.

Both Rianna and Branwyn giggled as they realized that what their father had made. Rianna touched the cupcake that Keith held: “Yeah. I can see how mom would love this.” Branwyn laughed and touched it as well: “I can imagine the giggling fit mom had, too.”

“Oh I giggled. But I also smooched him … and hugged him.”

They all turned to see Tera standing in the hallway, watching them all, a warm smile on her lips.

Keith chuckled: “How long?”

Tera crossed the kitchen and tapped Rianna and Branwyn on their noses: “Long enough to know that these two were being silly.”

Rianna blushed: “Um … we’ll clean up, Mom.”

Tera hugged them both tightly: “Thank you, sweetheart. Your father and I have … things to do.”

Keith’s smile was as warm as Tera’s: “Important things.”

Branwyn shoved the almost empty tin of frosting at Rianna to keep her busy before she got them into doing more chores, like cleaning the house.

“Yeah, well, you two have fun!”

Rianna and Branwyn snuck one cupcake each for themselves and then bampfed away to leave their parents to their fun.

After they had left, Keith walked over to Tera and gave her the cupcake he had made.

“Happy Anniversary, Love. Thank you for …”

Tera kissed him, stopping his words, and then, when they broke for air, she purred: “Happy Anniversary, Love … and I know. I always know.”

It was the one thing that they both knew with certainty. They always knew … always.

Mar 22 2015

A Review of Demon Seed by Madelene Martin

Demon Seed by Madelene Martin

Demon Seed by Madelene Martin

An Incubus story this week for a review and it is one of the better works that I have read this year. Most of the time the story lacks for the erotica when it comes to Incubus stories. It always seems that the writers want to just get to the submission and the climax of the moment leaving any kind of real story in the dust. Thankfully this author didn’t go in that direction…

The work is about:

Melinda is stuck in a months-long dry spell after leaving her boyfriend. At night she dreams about a dark, preternaturally sexy stranger with glowing eyes.

As her dreams grow more intense and sexy she finds her cravings begin to take over her life. But nothing will make them go away – except Him.

Every night he visits her in her dreams.

Her dream stranger finally reveals his purpose with her – he wants to impregnate her, and he intends to make her beg for it. Mel is powerless to resist. But now she knows: She’s not dreaming – and he’s not human.

Melinda, better known as Mel, is trying to live though the mundane problems that come her way and at the same time get past a boyfriend that did her no good. This has, of course, coloured her view of men in general and that means she’d rather be at home than out in the world.

The thing is, when you are alone, and you are wanting, that’s when sometimes, just sometimes, an Incubus will hear you and come to visit. After that happens, then things become complicated. The dream world he brings becomes more real and then things come from there.

The way in which Melinda’s dreams go from fantasies to the world of the Incubus is subtle and really is so gently created that the tipping point is easy to overlook. The fantasies woven around Melinda are deliciously seductive and tempting in all the right places. Melinda’s decent into the Incubus’ hands is done in a way that gives them both what they want in the end and that I enjoyed.

Issir is the Incubus in this story and there are only hints of his having the wings of an Incubus and nothing more than that through the story. Of course his ability to tempt Melinda, play her body and make her want to succumb to him are all the marks of an Incubus. He’s sex personified, but also more than that. There is a hint of caring, of desiring, of wanting to be. That makes this story special and one that I really enjoyed.

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

The heat is wonderful, the story is captivating, and holds you throughout the work. My only wish is that it would have been a longer story and that more about Issir was told. Perhaps there will be more sometime, after all, Mel knows his name now and names are power after all…

 

Tera

Mar 21 2015

These are rather expensive hooves…

I’ve mentioned at several times that I really don’t care for Succubi with hooves very much. Nonetheless, it is a trope of Succubi and some similar beings. I came across a YouTube of a pair of hoof boots that I thought were very well done. Then I understood why that was when I found where they were for sale and what they cost.

If you can’t see the video here on the Tale, try this link:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VPJeU3k_MUo

And here is an image of the boots in question:

Hoof Boots

As an accessory for a costume, I think they are very well done and look really nice. However there is a slight problem which comes when you look here and see what they are selling for.

It’s a little expensive for my tastes… I have nothing against the quality and obviously you get what you pay for. I’m not sure that I could justify the cost in this case…

Again, that’s my particular view of things… Hooves and all…

Tera

Mar 20 2015

A Review of Sin Incarnate by T. C. Archer

Sin Incarnate by T. C. Archer

Sin Incarnate by T. C. Archer

One of the things that, to my regret, comes to be a part of many characters that are Succubi, or appear to be Succubi-like, is that they are transformed because of anger, then are played with, physically and emotionally by the one that transforms them.

They are made to seek a path, all odds against them to succeed and be free. But in spite of this, sometimes what seems to be their fate can be changed by one simple word.

The work tells of:

Forged in the fires of hell beauty becomes sin incarnate.

Something malevolent grows in Lorna. When she conjures a dark lord and begs for irresistible beauty, he makes one demand; serve him as an underworld female who tests mortal men. Now, a millennia later, this is her last chance to find a man who can free her. But Lorna must learn to love if she’s to save herself. Yet that won’t save the two men who shared her body. One of them must be sacrificed.

Lorna makes a deal with a dark lord to be everything that any man could want. The price is that she will serve him… eventually. That time is nigh, and she has one last chance to find love to save herself. And in two men, that might just come to be.

Lorna, at the beginning of the story, does not quite understand what she is asking for and when she gets it, her wish is turned against her in a way that means she’s on a one way path to disaster. While she is not described as a Succubus in the work, it’s fairly certain that she is, in some ways, one. While she seems to be completely human, and there is no evidence of her having horns or a tail or anything similar, she does have a presence, a beauty in her that tests men and in that comes their downfall. It is a similar story to that of the stereotypical Succubus in that she “takes” those that only want her for one night and nothing more to “hell.”

But she does have a scrap of her humanity in her, it does come out as the story unfolds, and she, as a character is better off for that happening. When she finds in Jace the truth, that one thing that she has been searching for, that’s an amazing moment in the story. But there is a complication, and that’s Ryan. While Jace is the answer, Ryan has complicated things and with that, at the pivotal moment in the work, another truth is revealed and in that moment Lorna changes, becomes true to herself and that was a wonderful thing to see happen.

Before all of this, of course, comes some lovely story telling, a sizzlingly hot series of erotica, but in that, more importantly, comes not simply sex, but emotion, caring, and some very clear evidence that some things are worth waiting for. Even centuries.

The only real issue I have with this work is that it ends on a sort of cliff hanger which begs the question about what happens to these three in the aftermath of their choices. After all of the buildup, the story, the emotional connections… It sort of grinds to a halt a little too late I felt. The author I think would have been better served to end the work about two pages earlier when the story would have ended on a point where things came together. As it ends now, there’s… something off about it. Like it was tacked on at the last moment and it feels wrong.

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

Lovely, sensual story once the setting up of the story is done. Passionate characters, well told, and that always makes for a better story. It’s a shame where it ends, an open door to another story which never has appeared and it seems like it shouldn’t have ended there. It would have been nice to see the mornings after to come for Lorna instead or drop that ending for the one that really matters here.

 

Tera

Mar 20 2015

A Review of Undercover Unicorn by Terry O’Brien

Undercover Unicorn by Terry O'Brien

Undercover Unicorn by Terry O’Brien

A review today of the beginning of a new series that a dear friend, Terry O’Brien, recently began. A bit of crime drama, a bit of supernatural themes… and, of course, there is a Succubus to be seen. The series is called Changes and Changers and I think it’s quite the interesting read and more.

It’s quite a enthralling story about a universe that’s changed, in some ways good, in other ways not so much so, but there is one underlying truth. It doesn’t matter how magic has changed you, inside you are the same person. It’s what you do now that matters.

The work tells the story of:

Vanity is an FBI agent, and, in the words of her friend, “a damn good one.”

That’s because she’s a Changer; specifically, she’s a unicorn in human form.

As a unicorn Changer, Vanity wields her unicorn magic as part of her calling as a Federal agent. She was one of the lucky few who were imbued with magic on that fateful day in July almost three years ago when magic suddenly appeared in the world. But while she and the other Changers Changed, they didn’t really change: they remained exactly what they were, only with magic, on both sides of the law and all points in between, so while there are cops with magic, so, too, there are criminals with magic.

That’s why Vanity carries a badge, a Federal badge, to protect innocent Changers and normals alike from criminal Changers. After all, that is what a good person does and what a good unicorn does, and Vanity is also a damn good person and a damn good unicorn.

The world has changed, some say. Magic has come to the world, changing all that it has touched. For good or evil, magic itself doesn’t care. However, for those that have been touched, changed, become… different. Who they were remains the same. Good still does good and evil can be very bad. It takes someone special to be able to be more than they are.

The most wonderful thing about this work is the world building and in this work a world is built with its own rules, needs, and history that sets up a situation in which the characters really come into their own. There’s a past to all of them, sometimes good, sometimes so very dark, but in all of that also comes the promise that who they are is true to themselves… no matter what that truth might be.

Vanit, the main character of this work, is simply enthralling. She’s complex, intelligent, but most of all, she’s something very special in a world where darkness holds many and causes much pain and more. She’s… hope. Quite a lot of hope for not just herself and those she calls friends, but for many others.

One of the minor characters, Suzette, is a Succubus, and her story tugs at my heart quite a lot. I love her past, what she made of herself, and more importantly, what her role is in the here and now. She might look somewhat stereotypical, hooves and all, but she is not, at all, what is expected of Succubi. She has a certain way about her in the few short moments she appears that reminds me, quite a lot really, of a Realm Succubi and that I adored.

Suzette, along with several other characters, make of Vanity’s team and that is an interesting mix of personalities that work well together, but more importantly, the interaction, the dialog, really brings out that they have been together for a while and that helps to build upon the story and make it better.

The work focuses on Vanity, her past, and a challenge that she must face alone. It also  reveals a very interesting mythos about unicorns in this world, only touched on and not explored fully, but leaving doors open to return to the questions left behind. It’s a tragic story in a lot of ways and when her past catches up with her, Vanity discovers that a lot of what she thought she understood isn’t quite right.

There are moments of terror for her, things that push at her self worth and more, but it’s how she deals with them, the decisions she makes, that brings the story together as a whole and makes it a wonderful read.

There’s a good deal of mystery as well, not only in the world, but in the characters which sets up the series going forwards and I think that all works well. The story solidly sets up things going forwards and there is a lot to explore just from this work alone. There is a mystery, one that affects Vanity and I’ll be looking to see where that goes.

Five out of five pitchforks.

A wonderful start to what I believe will be something very special as the series goes on. The next work in the series Sympathetic Succubus will feature Suzette and I do look forward to that story being told. There’s quite a lot about her that I love dearly and that mixed with how much I loved the entire cast of characters as a whole bodes quite well…

A small postscript: Quite some time ago, Terry shared this work with me, in an unfinished form. Even then, the story was gripping, the characters true, and the writing simply wonderful. I am thrilled beyond words that this work has been published and I wish Terry well in his writing and the future of this series… I will be waiting and watching…

 

Tera

149/5381st...2040...148149150...160180...Lst