There is such a thing as getting lost in the minutia of telling a story. While telling of a character’s need for a cup of coffee, and their reaction to it, offers a glimpse into them, it isn’t who they are. Telling that story, especially for the main character, matters. Leaving out the why for the sake of telling about the where they are leaves something important out of the story. A reason why.
The solution to a mystery comes from many different directions. Not everything makes sense, not everything has to. At some point the truth will look after itself, even if all else that surrounds it, doesn’t believe in it.
- Title: Seduction From Hell
- Author: Kevin Landrum
- Length: 50 Pages
- ASIN: B01KZA7OWG
- Publishing Date: August 24, 2016
- This work at Amazon.com
The work tells of:
A cynical detective clashes with the world of the supernatural.
Detective Miles Sherman has a mystery on his hands. Men are being killed in his city in a very bizarre way, though they all seem to have a smile left behind. The evidence doesn’t add up, the truth, when he encounters it, makes little sense. His faith hasn’t been seen in a while and now he’ll need to find it again to end the monster that stalks the streets around him.
If there is one issue I had with this work, it comes to the almost fixation of following Miles as he stumbles about his world, looking for a cup of coffee, and muddling along much of the time. The book summary says that he is “cynical” and he is by far, but that doesn’t really tell the story about Miles. That is the part of this work that’s missing. While short little hints are given about how he came to be the person he is, it leaves a lot unsaid overall.
The reason for things is telling and that is barely touched upon here. It is a plot point that, I think, the author might have used for the climax of the story, when Miles confronts the succubus, but isn’t. There could have been a way to make the ending feel stronger than it is, to give Miles a little bit of light within his own darkness.
The succubus herself, who isn’t named, isn’t much of a presence in the story as a character. She speaks very little, she really only appears fully in two scenes and even then there’s not much there. Much of her is told in the aftermath of her actions, the evidence left behind. But that’s not taken very far. The details are told, there’s actually some very interesting concepts within that, but it’s not explored too far and becomes a lost opportunity.
She is, as a whole, a little stereotypical, a little bit cardboard in her character. If she is the one that Miles is to battle, then she could have been used to tell the other side of this story. This is something that makes me wonder about her, in a lot of ways. I can see a story to be told, but it just doesn’t get the chance to be.
The sense of deep loss in Miles, how it shapes his character, is ever present and hangs over everything that happens. It becomes more of a character in a lot of ways, than Miles himself. While he encounters others in the story, it’s less about him than it is about his attitude, his nature, that tells the larger story overall.
There isn’t any erotica in this work, really there’s no need of it. This is the exploration of Miles himself and all else is used to dance around the edges of that story. It is that dancing around the core plot that causes that issue with being fixed on the minutia, of telling bits and pieces of Miles’ life and not making the connections he has with some of the supporting characters be more than a passing thing. There are moments where the story seems to want to make Miles connect, but they suddenly stop and the story staggers onwards to the next scene and encounter.
The writing is a little clunky, lacking at times the emotional impact that the author seems to be striving towards. At times the story wanders, almost aimlessly, for really no reason and that bothered me. This happens most strongly at the beginning of the work when Miles first appears. Miles’ character needs to be explored more deeply than it is. The succubus needs to be more within the story than she does. Beyond that, how Miles connects the dots, and how he is driven towards them, needs to be tied up better somehow in the ending.
The ending is a little bit lacking, though there is a little ray of hope which, considering Miles himself, I liked. There’s no twist ending or surprise out of the blue to draw things to a close. But it feels like the ending is rushed, leaving some of the finer points of the plot to languish.
Three and a half out of five pitchforks.
The work needs another editing pass to make the narrative become more alive. As things are, it’s a little too clinical, too forced. The story goes around in circles more than it really needs to. Telling more about Miles, his past, making his character have more depth than just being snarky I think would add more flavour to the story. The succubus herself could be more present in the work, perhaps revealing more about herself or, as a thought, appear to Miles as the one thing he seems to desire more than anything else.
The minutia in the story could be smoothed over some, the scenes told with more emotional impact. As a whole, really that is the singular thing that’s missing here. A story about passion needs some passion, anger, drive. It need not be erotic, but it should have the characters live more than just exist and go through the motions.