May 29 2016

A Review of Fourth World: Erotic Tales of Monsters, Myths and Magic by Lisabet Sarai

Fourth World: Erotic Tales of Monsters, Myths and Magic by Lisabet Sarai

Fourth World: Erotic Tales of Monsters, Myths and Magic by Lisabet Sarai

The most common stories about monsters and similar beings resolve themselves to telling a story in which there is more horror than love, more pain than life, and more darkness without having a sense of the light that should be. Telling stories like this can be a difficult thing in that one needs to push the boundaries of that darkness to the limit at times in order to tell the story.

Trying to mix in a little bit of seduction can temper that to a point, but there is always the need to have that moment of shock, of the seduction becoming entrapment. When the story loses the seduction for the blood and darkness, it is difficult for me to enjoy the story for what it tells otherwise.

The work is an anthology collection of:

Enter the fourth world – a world of lust and shadows, where anything can happen.

Obsessive passion and dark ecstasy mark these seven stories of paranormal desire from eroticist Lisabet Sarai. An undead couple hunts for beauty and youth in the history-drenched streets of Prague. A sex addict meets his fate in the embrace of a seductive monster. An innocent writer offers her body and heart to a century-old ghost. A spiritual seeker succumbs to temptation in the arms of a fearsome and greedy goddess. A kinky, blood-drenched threesome unfolds in a luxurious Bangkok penthouse. These tales conjure the magic of sex, and its dangers. Expect to be unbearably aroused and occasionally terrified. Do not expect happily ever afters.

The work is a collection of stories that, as a whole, have a rather darker turn in them, tending towards a range of emotions from simple attraction through obsession. Each of the works tells the story of a particular mythological being, or act of magic, but doesn’t quite come out and say who and what they are for the most part, leaving the reader to figure out things as the stories progress.

The theme that seems to run through each of the works is an initial attraction, something that tugs the characters together and then, when the moment of pleasure arrives it is tempered, or overwhelmed at times, by horror or violence or some other action that in a moment takes the heat from the story and leaves something quite different behind. It is the tailing off of the passions into, at times, loss and despair that makes the works difficult to read, at least for me personally.

There’s a distinct lack of hope, a feeling of disconnect and being so the work as a whole was difficult to become involved with. While there is some erotica, there’s more of a harsher tone to that which I didn’t find attractive. For some there likely will be something in the tone they will find interesting, but I just couldn’t find my way. It isn’t so much a work of erotica as it is a work of horror and mystery with an undertone of erotica to push the story towards its conclusion.

The singular story in the collection which has a succubus-like being is less seductive as it is manipulation and while there is heat, seeing all of the manipulation makes that erotica seem flawed and lesser as a result. While there is a sense of seduction and pleasures offered, there is also a harsh edge to them, an almost aloofness, and it didn’t quite work for me. But as a story on its own, the characters are very good, the textures in the words are excellent.

As a collected work, that is the core. There is excellent writing, good storytelling, and there is purpose to the stories. But the erotica is muted by the harshness of the stories and in being so my enjoyment of the collection was tempered quite a lot.

Three and a half out of five pitchforks.

A slightly dark collection of erotica, but written well and telling some interesting stories. Perhaps too dark at times for myself, but there are some attractions as well.

 

Tera

May 28 2016

You Kiss Like A Succubus

Some of the things that I find on sites like Etsy do make me smile and, sometimes, giggle. There is a series of things which have a certain phrase on them that make me laugh really. After all, kissing like a Succubus can be quite a good thing…

You Kiss Like A Succubus

I do rather like the sentiment of this in my own way. How one takes that depends on who you are of course…

You can find this as a sign, as well as a pillow and other items on Etsy here, assuming of course that the seller is still selling them of course.

I will have to find a way to work this particular phrase into a story sometime for no other reason than I keep smiling when I think of it…

 

Tera

May 27 2016

A Review of My Best Friend is a Succubus: Book One: Summoning by Amanda Clover

My Best Friend is a Succubus: Book One: Summoning by Amanda Clover

My Best Friend is a Succubus: Book One: Summoning by Amanda Clover

One of the themes that is actually very difficult to write well is bringing a succubus character from the distant past into the present. By that I mean there is a certain tone of voice, understanding, experience, that should lead to a ‘fish out of water’ situation. If that’s done well, it can make things interesting. A review then of the first work in the My Best Friend is a Succubus series by Amanda Clover which has quite a lot I liked, but two things that could not but help give me pause.

There is a cost to everything. Whether that is one you understand or not isn’t the question. What matters more is if you are willing or if you are guided into what happens. There is a difference, but sometimes that can simply be a matter of a misplaced word… or a bemused succubus.

The work tells the story of:

Faith’s boring life is about to get wild!

Faith Granger considers herself to be a chubby loser. She lacks confidence, she lives in books, and she works in a high school library. The closest thing she has to a love life are all her dirty daydreams, but those aren’t enough to quench her desires for football star Maxwell Harper.

Faith discovers a mysterious occult book called the Septagrammaton Codex in the library’s donation box and decides to take it home and try her hand at a love spell. She doesn’t really expect it to work. Faith casts the wrong spell and ends up summoning Morgana, a succubus as beautiful as she is dangerous.

Can having a sex demoness for a friend help Faith finally win over Maxwell Harper or will Morgana lead Faith down a new and kinky path?

Faith’s imagination is quite interesting. If she wasn’t human, she’d certainly be a succubus. The discovery of a book leads to Faith summoning Morgana, a succubus who has some ideas of her own to share. Want and need turn into desire, but sometimes desire turns into something far more troubling. The ability to make dreams real, or, perhaps, a nightmare.

The series starts out with telling quite a lot about Faith from her perspective, and the entire work is told from that perspective as well. Faith has a rather deeply set self-image problem, and the things about that is, well before Morgana appears, it’s clear that Faith knows that all she really needs to do is look after herself better. Her friends are unique and interesting, the library she works in has some real possibilities as well. There’s just something I really liked about Faith, but at the same time there’s an almost constant internal monologue about her fantasies which gets a little worn before Morgana appears.

Morgana I can’t say is a stereotypical succubus, in truth it’s a little difficult to say what she really wants, if she is telling the truth or otherwise. What adds to this confusion is that Morgana’s view of the world is a little focused on the past, she not being on Earth for a very long time. There’s an oddity in her speech, her mannerisms and so on. At times she’s subservient to Faith’s will, at others she’s very much in control. There’s a bit of duality in her character which works well, but it might be at the cost of her becoming stereotypically evil at some point and I really hope that doesn’t happen.

I rather liked Morgana’s appearance, her means to transforming herself, the other powers she shows through the story. There’s a little bit of mind control as well, though that is very minor and fleeting. It isn’t out of place though and fits in with the scenes it appears in well. At one point Morgana shows Faith something which I understand about being intimate with her, but it was a little too… expected.

I’m hoping there’s something more to Morgana, that she’s actually going to be a friend to Faith and that the series won’t rush off towards pushing a twist ending at the last moment that makes everything that happened before have no weight.

The characters are very well written, their voices are quite distinct. A small scattering of spelling mistakes here and there, but nothing that takes away from the story as a whole. Some of the dialogue that Morgana speaks is a little bit odd, not just from what she knows, but more in that how the words flow seems wrong when spoken out loud.

The length allows a lot of story, character development, history and plot to be formed. The ending was a little bit expected, perhaps not the best way to end the first book. There’s a lot covered and it might have been good to split this work into two parts, expand on each and have the story not read as being as rushed as it feels like.

Four out of five pitchforks.

I’ll be looking for the next work in this series, I think there’s quite a lot of promise, certainly what might be happening to Faith is something to follow and if things turn as they might, I’m not sure if I will be disappointed or amused. That I think depends on whether Faith remains true to herself, or if Morgana’s game is more than it seems on the surface.

We shall see, I hope.

 

Tera

May 27 2016

A Review of Incubus: An Intense Novella by C. De Melo

Incubus: An Intense Novella by C. De Melo

Incubus: An Intense Novella by C. De MeloStories

Not all stories written about the Succubi and Incubi tell of beings that, in some way, actually care about others. They can be aloof, cold, even spiteful. But being what they are, less so, who they are, can hide their true selves away.

That in itself can be a good story, but when the same can be said for the mere mortals that encounter them, the story can be quite a lot more complicated. Not everyone can show their true selves and survive, to be the same as they were.  Choices need to be made, regardless of all else, to one’s self be true.

The work tells the story of:

Mia is obtaining her PhD in paranormal studies in Edinburgh Scotland. After moving into a new place, she discovers that she is not alone. Something strange and erotic starts happening to her at night- and her body is reacting to these nocturnal episodes in a manner she has never imagined. Could this dark dalliance end in danger? Her attractive professor, Craig, may be her only hope.

Mia encounters two things she didn’t expect when she came to university. One was the crush she has on her professor, but the more troubling one is the nightly visits she has been having from… something… since she moved into her new apartment. A lesson told, a demand made, and Mia finds herself encountering an Incubus that has plans for her, whether she likes them or not.

This work is a slightly different approach on the theme of a woman encountering an Incubus in that there’s a distinct point to the story in how the Incubus, Shemhazau, is first seen to be and then, when the truth comes out about him, how different the attitudes are between mortals of the here and now and being of another age that cannot understand them.

Reflected in that is Mia’s own uncertainty which over time becomes somewhat of a barrier to her. While that is mainly to draw her story towards a conclusion which is at odds with Shemhazau’s plans, it doesn’t overcome the simple point that Mia has made her own choices and will continue to do so. She’s very strong within herself, once she makes up her mind, and there’s no point in the story where her character goes back upon itself.

While the work’s title speaks of intensity, that doesn’t really come out overall. There’s a very light piece of erotica, some moments of anger and strife, and a telling scene which makes complete sense all things considered and what Mia understood of her situation. The work’s story is really that of Mia’s relationships, her life, and an encounter which, when explained, becomes more than troubling. It becomes life changing.

This makes for a very well told story, but the ending leaves something to be desired. It reads very much like the ending to a television drama in which the things to come are mentioned, suggested, and left open-ended in something like a summary. With all of the care taken with all else, the ending that is shown doesn’t quite live up to the story itself and that shouldn’t have been.

Three and a half out of five pitchforks.

The ending left me wanting in a lot of ways and considering how good the story is overall, that’s a real shame. I wasn’t looking for everything to be ended nicely, or completely, but in telling of what might be to come in a bit of a roundabout way, that felt like a way to get the story to an ending and not to the finish.

 

Tera

May 26 2016

Succubi Image of the Week 436

One of the more strikingly unique works of Succubi art today on the Tale. They say that reality is what you make of it. I find that this art has quite a lot of ‘reality’ and in being so that makes it something quite unique when it comes to Succubus art…

Succubus1-WaterColour-wash by herarip

Succubus1-WaterColour-wash by herarip

You can find the original page on DeviantArt where I found this work here and this artist’s page can be found here.

I really like the ‘reality’ of this art. By that I mean she doesn’t look impossible, out of the realm of what makes sense in the real world. In a way, she looks like a model who just happens to be a succubus and I rather like that idea.

More, like that her tail and horns are well matched to her body shape, pose, and expression. There’s really nothing that feels out of place here, and in being so that adds to the ‘reality’ very well I feel.

That idea of a Succubus as a model is something that I should wrote a story about sometime…

 

Tera

May 25 2016

I’m not sure I see the alluring in this costume

Alluring Dark Devil CostumeAnother example of a costume who’s name I find hard to connect to the costume itself. Still, perhaps there’s more to this than is obvious at first glance.

This is called the Alluring Dark Devil Costume, it sells for $25 and, like last week’s costume, there’s really no other information about it available.

For those that might have noticed, yes, this is in fact the same costume as last week’s, the only difference being that this one has no red at all.

In truth, I like this version slightly better than the first one mainly because the black works together. The horns are still lousy, the overall look is still trashy and I’m not overly fond of it.

But really removing the red changes the overall look and if nothing else, that helps this look slightly less trashy.

Still nothing that I would buy, it still gets a low mark.

Two pitchforks out of five.

At least it doesn’t look completely wrong in all aspects which is something…

 

Tera

May 24 2016

A Review of Lilith by Keith Vlasak

Lilith by Keith Vlasak

Lilith by Keith Vlasak

Stories about Lilith can take quite a number of different twists and turns. Some of them are outright horror, others try to find meaning, scope, something to define her. The most interesting stories are those that make one think about Lilith, who she is, her personality, why she is.

But something that isn’t really touched on enough are those beings that are connected to Lilith. How do they relate to her, what happens when they meet? And more to the point, why would Lilith have anything to do with them, or for them. What happens when one is freed and the other wishes to be?

  • Title: Lilith
  • Author: Keith Vlasak
  • Length: 29 Pages
  • ASIN: B013N8BC5C
  • Publishing Date: August 8, 2015
  • This work at Amazon.com

The work tells the story of:

Lilith, who looks barely 18, is the wife of Satan, and bound to wander the earth for eternity — only she has a plan. Lilith’s sister, The Shekinah, the goody two-shoes, is trapped in a bloody Nazi medallion. If she can free her sister, maybe her sister will help Lilith get free of her bonds.

Lilith encounters a man who, unknown to him, holds her sister imprisoned. She uses herself to try to gain what she needs, but instead finds that she holds not what she expected, but what she has given to herself.

This work is a little bit different in that the story isn’t told from Lilith’s perspective, but rather from another’s who isn’t revealed until quite late in the work. By doing so, the story seems a little odd, almost as if we are looking over the shoulder of Lilith and the man she encounters. There’s quite a heavy melancholy throughout the story, in truth all of the characters are dripping with it, but that doesn’t hurt the story but rather reinforces who they are.

This isn’t a work of erotica, not by any means, nor does the horror of the work really overcome things either. It’s more of a “moment” than anything else in which some truths are revealed about each of the characters. There is a certain disbelief in Lilith, a small piece of light in the man, a telling contradiction in what happens along the way. Lilith expects something to happen, as, at least to her, that is how humanity is. She expects to have to give something to get something as she has been made to do.

But the work doesn’t tread that path, it finds a new one that I think told a must more powerful and captivating story. It isn’t quite innocence but in the story there’s a moment where all of the characters have to see who they are and why. It is what each of them does with that moment that tells the most.

Lilith is a very strong character, her soul in the work is very old, tired, worn. She thinks she knows the world, believes that in taking the action she does that she can have what she wants, and the resolution of that plot is both tragic and saddening.

The characters are very well told, the story itself is quite interesting. There are some moments were the details of the story overcome the plot and the characters. When this happens there seems to be some confusion before the story continues onwards. While it does add to the tapestry of the story, some of the details, especially in the beginning, seemed to be there for no real reason.

A thoughtful work, one that did make me pause and consider and that is always a good thing to have.

Four out of five pitchforks.

Quite the different sort of story, one that travels in one direction, turning to another, and along the way some interesting truths are revealed. There are a few difficult passages, but they don’t overcome the inherent storytelling which is very good. Perhaps a little short, a bit lost along the way, but in the same way, that is true of the Lilith of this work as well.

 

Tera

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