That’s The Spirit by Belinda Burke
There are some stories that are, in a way, eternal. Such as the story of Dr. Frankenstein, for one. Putting a new twist on things makes that story renew itself and the tales that can come from that have their own appeal.
A review then today of the second work in the series Dr. Frankenstein’s School for Monsters. A series with an interesting premise, lovely characters and a unique way to tell a story. However, even with the basis of a story, or series, there are some things that need to be done.
Such as telling a bit more about a character within the story rather than in the book summary for one. Another thing that’s good to do is to allow the characters to tell their story and in doing so make the erotica so much better still. The former is a shame, the latter is a must.
It is the story of:
The succubus Lin is both student and teacher at Dr. Frankenstein’s school for monsters. A Vietnamese demon with an interest in anatomy, she is also responsible for the school’s weekly atmospheric cleanup – getting rid of ghosts that haunt their asteroid’s orbit.
Maeve, lately of Ireland, is one of those ghosts…and one of Dr. Frankenstein’s experiments. Daughter of a line that once produced banshees, Maeve is looking to become more than merely mortal. Phase two of her experiment required her to become a spirit just as she caught sight of Lin. Now, she’s going to take advantage of her ghostliness by taking advantage of the succubus.
Like any demon, Lin is a lusty being, but even she might not be prepared for the spectral encounter waiting for her in the stratosphere.
The good Doctor Frankenstein has made a home for himself and the monsters of the world on an asteroid deep in space. In the future, monsters can hide easily among the stars and the humans that are travelling there. A place for monsters to learn sounds good, but the Doctor needs to experiment of course. A succubus and a ghost sounds interesting, and the Doctor is, if nothing else, quite curious to see what comes next… and who.
The series is set in a universe where Doctor Frankenstein has built, on an asteroid, what he has claimed to be a school to keep human eyes uninterested. In truth, it’s a home for various supernatural beings, one of which is a succubus named Lin. This particular story tells what happens when the Doctor tries an experiment and what happens when the result of the experiment “happens” to encounter Lin.
I liked the story as a whole, the telling is quite unique, I loved Lin and Maeve very much as they were interesting, had personality and when the two came together in the erotica, it was wonderfully hot and passionate. The setting has a lot of promise, and, honestly, the mental image I have of a succubus in a skin-tight spacesuit makes me smile.
But there are some things missing and one of the largest is telling about Lin herself. Really there’s not a lot of time spent in setting up her past, how she came to be where she is, how succubi exist in this universe. There’s a lot of handwaving to get past the questions and directly into the erotica as fast as possible. Lin is described as being Vietnamese in the book summary, but there’s no real focus on her appearance within the story. It’s hinted at, suggested barely, but her form is very shadowy and the missing clarity bothered me.
That said, once the story turned from an adventure to an erotic encounter, Lin’s physical form as Maeve teases and plays is wonderful and I adored the erotica for being something more than just a short moment as many such encounters are. There’s a point to things, meaning and desire for what comes. it’s not an encounter without a point, which is amazing really. There’s a feeling of there being more story to tell, that Lin’s life will change, and what that means to her. Even the Doctor himself cannot ignore this, regardless of his personality.
I found it hard to really like the Doctor himself, there’s an air of aloofness to him. Perhaps that’s because he cares more about his experiments, as a whole, than those around him. It would be something interesting to explore as well in the series. While this is the second work, I didn’t read the first and, as a whole, really this work can stand on its own. There’s enough underpinning that things made sense, but there are still a lot of questions to be wondered about.
A unique story idea, a universe that has a lot of promise. A succubus who is anything but stereotypical, erotica that feels rather than rushes. There’s a lot to like here, and I do very much. But honestly I dearly with there had been more told about Lin herself.
Three and a half out of five pitchforks.
I really wish some time had been spent in telling Lin’s story, describing her more than she was. It’s hard to grasp a character when she’s really only described as a succubus and what gives her form is the book summary. I wish the Doctor hadn’t been so eminently dislikable as well. The erotica was wonderful, the story captivating. It’s just the little things that were missing that got in the way for me.
Perhaps Lin will appear in a later work in the series, perhaps there will be more story told about her and Maeve. I really hope so, there’s so much story left untold here that needs to be.