Mar 22 2016

A Review of The Last Succubus by Marquis Woolford

The Last Succubus by Marquis Woolford

The Last Succubus by Marquis Woolford

I fail to understand why it is that some authors cannot take the effort to edit their stories before publishing them. It serves no useful purpose to write a story and not take the time to make it read better, to fix structure and tenses, and, most importantly, stop the work from reading like a runaway train that gives the reader not a moment to pause and reflect on what has happened so far.

The other thing that I cannot quite understand is why, as core to the story, there has to be almost constant violence and along with that a particularly off-putting description of the age of the main character which, when coupled with what they are, turns me off completely.

  • Title: The Last Succubus
  • Author: Marquis Woolford
  • Length: 27 Pages
  • ASIN: B00WMIW7DG
  • Publishing Date: April 23, 2015
  • This work at Amazon.com

It is the story of:

Chastity was an angel who gave up Heaven for love and was betrayed. Now she’s on Earth disguised as a young prostitute taking down evil men, all while being hunted by both the Devil…and God!

Chastity is a Succubus, known by those that are aware of her as the Mother of Succubi. She gave up Heaven, then Hell and now lives on Earth trying to bring to an end the evil around her. Sometimes that’s not as simple as it sounds. Sometimes it can mean the loss of more than you could know.

There are, to be honest, many problems with this work, not the least of which is Chastity’s apparent age. I’ll just say that she isn’t drinking age, not by any means, and as such when the story turns to some ugly sexual situations I was extremely uncomfortable with them. I did not like the use of a tremendous amount of violence, did not care for all of the death and destruction, and, most of all, I didn’t find that I cared very much about any of the characters and that didn’t need to happen.

To be clear, setting aside Chastity’s age, which is the only thing about her that really bothers me, she’s interesting, has purpose and a past that she knows. The connections between her and the other characters in the work are quite good and I liked the reveal at the end of the story which told of Chastity’s real identity and that of another character.

I liked the story away from the evil characters, which were completely stereotypically evil. I liked the story when it wasn’t telling about Chastity being used and abused before she took revenge of those that did so. I didn’t mind the events when they made sense and weren’t simply a reason to have someone die, someone get hurt, or worse. There is, really, a story underneath all of this “action” which is really muted to the point that it can’t really come out well. But it’s hard to find it among all of the sidetracking into shock value storytelling.

The other problem with this work is that it needs more editing. There are many tense errors, word errors, spelling mistakes, several words crushed together that they didn’t make any sense. The work reads very much like it was published with not much attention put into making the story a better read by fixing the errors for one. For another, the way it reads leaves no time to pause and figure out exactly what is going on. There’s no pause in the story, no moment where things calm down for an instant. What does happen is that there are a massive number of characters introduced one after the next. Many of these last for barely a page before they are removed from the story.

And that’s the real problem here. The work seems like a series of short scenes that are barely connected through Chastity’s existence or tangentially to her. The race to get to the last page means that not a lot of time is spent getting to know them. There’s too much “show” and not enough “tell” by far.

I can’t say that any of the erotica, and there is a smattering of that in this work, appealed to me in the slightest. Again, there’s more shock value to that here than actual story, or for that matter, emotional connection with the characters when it happens.

The works ends on a cliffhanger which tells of series to follow. But here’s where I have a problem. If the author actually wants readers to continue, they had best fix their mistakes, edit their story and help the work to become what it could have been and not what it did.

Just really disappointing considering the book’s description and the promise that I saw in it.

One out of five pitchforks.

The background story is interesting, the violence, blood, and overall destruction is not. There is a story here, one that actually did interest me. But that interest disappeared very quickly and it shouldn’t have. I will give the second work in the series, if it actually does appear, a chance, but after reading this work I have little hope that I will enjoy it any more than I did this work.

 

Tera

Mar 22 2016

A Review of The Dark Queen Returns by Dou7g and Amanda Lash

The Dark Queen Returns by Dou7g and Amanda Lash

The Dark Queen Returns by Dou7g and Amanda Lash

A review of the third work in the Succubus Apprentice series today on the Tale. You can find my review of the first work in the series here, and the second work in the series was reviewed here on the Tale recently.

The thing about being on a quest is that, sometimes, you can’t quite tell those around you what it is exactly about. Sometimes that’s for your own good, something that’s for their’s. When the affairs of the heart are involved, keeping secrets can lead towards more than a misunderstanding. When that involves a mage and a succubus, that’s a real problem for them, and everyone around them.

  • Title: The Dark Queen Returns
  • Author: Dou7g and Amanda Lash
  • Length: 32 Pages
  • ASIN: B01D6QPEUA
  • Publishing Date: March 18, 2016
  • This work at Amazon.com

The story is about:

In this installment of “The Succubus Apprentice” Edmund continues his war for books with Phil the Ogre and his girlfriend, Amy, by his side. Then Megan the former Dark Queen of Demons, who was also the object of his unrequited love, returns. Hijinx ensue.

Edmund’s quest for books finds itself a little sidetracked through Amy and Phil, but things get more complicated when Megan appears out of thin air with Kendra nearby. Something’s up, but there are distractions keeping them all from the truth. Perhaps the one thing that ties everything together is Manhattan after all?

The work is every bit as smart and funny as I have come to expect things to be, perhaps a bit more than that really. The wit in the dialogue is wonderful, the story being told so very well. There’s a bit of a mystery still unfolding and with Megan and Kendra returning to Edmund and the rest, the complications get a bit more so.

It’s that mystery that starts making them question each other, worry over boyfriends and girlfriends. There’s a little tension here and there that feels right for what happens and that tension I think added some needed depth to a few of them. The singular question is that of what Kendra is planning and when things slip a little, Megan’s reactions to that were completely what I would have expected her to do.

The thing that I wonder about is where Megan and Kendra have been. That’s really not told and I think there’s a reason for that. Megan’s a little different in her personality, as is Kendra and for that matter, Helen as well. Some of this may well be from being, to greater and lesser extents, succubi in nature, but there’s something more.

That said, the work is just a fun story overall, telling about what Edmund has been up to, what’s happening with his relationship and that of Phil’s and others. There’s a neat little tie into the events that happened earlier in the series when Kendra and Helen went to Manhattan, which I thought was cute. There’s even a little bit of succubus mind control in one scene that made me smile.

There’s a good deal of focus on Amy over most everyone else, and it told a lot about her, what she’s feeling, what she deals with when Megan returns. Having that gave something that I think was missing. Purpose. Where that goes could be good or bad, depending of course.

Another well written, smart, and funny chapter in the series by this author, one that made me smile. I would have loved a little more time spent with Megan and Edmund, perhaps a bit more with Helen and Amy. The teasing in both scenes was delicious, but there’s a little serious tone as well that might have been explored a little further than it was.

Four and a half out of five pitchforks.

It’s just wonderful to see the entire group together, if only for a moment, and then on their own paths again. The mixing of desires, goals, and most of all, just human nature, whether human or not, is what I love the most about the series. There’s something afoot and when, not if, Megan figures out what Kendra is doing… there’s going to be a problem between lovers that might not be fixed with a kiss.

 

Tera

Mar 21 2016

Rebirth By TeraS

I was ready to write that this may well be the shortest, or one of the shortest stories I’ve ever shared on the Tale … That’s not a bad thing, in all honesty. My heart pointed out to me that every phrase in this scene suggested a thousand stories, every one of them bringing a moment of …

 

Rebirth
By TeraS

 

The Lake of Fire is something that all who visit the Realm know of, have heard a story or two about, and cannot help but visit.

To describe a deeply blue lake that seems to stretch onto eternity from the shore, upon which the waves break, caress, and then withdraw wouldn’t be that hard to explain. However, attempting to put into words how the foam isn’t foam but rather tongues of red and gold flames that swirl and play among them is a little bit more difficult.

On this particular day, she was resting on the golden sands, her red bikini not quite getting sand in uncomfortable places yet as she watched the tide roll in. Occasionally, she would pick out a flash of red, or white, or some other colour that seemed to peer out of the surf and waters, regard her and then vanish once more.

Pushing her sunglasses down her nose slightly, she peered over the edge of her frames and wondered why the lake was so wild today. Usually there was a placid sheen across the waters, so smooth that, when the light was right, one just could make out the skyline of the Realm mirrored there. But not today. It seemed like there was a storm within the waters, something that was causing things to be different. The home of the Tails was in upheaval. The question was … why?

Moments later, Tera had kicked off her sandals, tossed her glasses to the beach beside them, and made her way to the surf along the shoreline. The waters and their flames licked around her toes. It was the place where two worlds collided, but also embraced each other as one.

As she waded in further, the waters slowly crept up her legs, soon wetting her bikini bottoms and turning them black. A bit further and her tail was beneath the waters, the colour shifting from red to a particular shade of black that was legendary. Further still, and the waters caressed her curves, soaking her top and turning it as black as night just before she kicked off the sandy bottom and started swimming out further into the lake. Some of her hair had turned red now, the flames of the water licking at her hair, her skin. The caress was that of multitudes, all trying to please her, guide her, draw her to them.

Well out from shore now, she took a breath and then disappeared beneath the waters, a wide ripple marking her passage as she did so. Beneath the waves, her hair was red, a beacon in the depths around her. The passage from the Realm above to the Realm below coincided with a shift from Tera … to Tail.

She arced around in a wide circle, her eyes growing accustomed to the darkness in which her kind, the tails of the Realm, existed. A place where they awaited their return to the world above, to rediscover, or discover, that there were always possibilities. She dove deeply, the waters turning darker with the shadows of tails around her, the waters still and at the same time vibrating with tails and the power they held. After a time the darkness began to give way to a light far below her.

Moving towards the light, the waters still held tails, their numbers growing larger and larger. The surface beckoned before her, the light sparkling in wait for her to draw close. She came to the moment of breaking through, her hand about to pass through the division between the water and the air. A black tail came out of the darkness, entwined itself around her waist and began to pull her away. She looked for the one that was holding her back, stopping her from continuing … and found no one there … for it was her own tail that was calling her away. Then a red tail joined the black. Then a green, an orange, more and more came to her, holding her fast and pulling her away from her goal. She struggled, fought to break free, to find her answer, but could not overcome the sheer number of tails that encompassed her and drew her elsewhere.

The light faded away, the darkness returned and still she struggled. Then the light came back, the darkness faded and she ceased her battle with them. The surface came closer, then she found herself breaking the water and took a breath of air again.

She floated there, her red hair around her, looking at the Realm before her, the waters still churning about. Her tail broke the surface, the tip looking at her, then darting below the water again, waters broke, and she faced … her.

From afar, if there had been someone there to witness the moment, it would appear that an ebon-haired woman looked towards the other with hair of fire. If someone had been close enough to see, they would realize that the two looked like twins, echoes of each other, save for their hair, horns, and when they appeared, their tails:

the same, but not …

…opposites and mirrors of one another …

… the one of the past reborn in the one of the moment.

They drew close, their hands reaching, touching, their lips drawing closer until they touched. A burst of power, of the love that encompassed each with the devotion that burned within the other, burst from their moment, rippling over the waters and turning them calm and still once more. The light reached the shoreline, spilled over it, and then, when it faded, there on the beach she stood, looking out into the Lake and smiling softly. Her tail wrapped itself around her waist, the unspoken meaning a simple one that she well knew.

The promise was within each of them, filling their world of the Realm, surrounding them always:

the past held in the moment of the present …

… the present embracing their past …

… the future being shaped by them both …

… the moment bringing with it … rebirth.

Mar 20 2016

A Review of Scarlet Dreams by Jeanna Pride

Scarlet Dreams by Jeanna Pride

Scarlet Dreams by Jeanna Pride

A review of a new series today which has an incubus as the main character. There are some themes that I simply do not enjoy. Abuse, pain, suffering and so on, do nothing for me regardless of how the story might be presented. I cannot find a way into such stories and when this all is wrapped around a domination theme, my view becomes quite a lot dimmer for reasons that shall remain my own.

There are some things that lurk within one’s soul that are very dark indeed. But the darker truth is when the light is taken away and all that remains is the darkness inside.

  • Title: Scarlet Dreams
  • Author: Jeanna Pride
  • Length: 24 Pages
  • ASIN: B01CXJZKVY
  • Publishing Date: March 12, 2016
  • This work at Amazon.com

The story is about:

Mandy, a bored and frustrated Manhattan housewife realizes her dark fantasies when she takes control of her husband and releases her frustrations in a very sexual and dominating way, all with the help of Incubus.

There is a darkness in the human soul that attracts incubi. It calls out to them and in that comes the soul itself in which the darkness needs to consume. But also with the soul comes the heart and the mind. Never are they alone in the decent to darkness.

The singular theme of this work revolves around domination and that being very dark, brutal, and heartless most of all. While some will enjoy these themes, personally I couldn’t find my way into the story once Mandy’s darkness came out and the suffering for another began. Before that point the work was interesting, it told the story from a rather unique perspective from the incubus and I thought that worked exceptionally well.

It was when the “erotica” started, when Mandy encountered the incubus that the story started slipping away from me. Really the darkness was on the edges, a temptation. Then the work moved into the dominance theme, the pain, suffering and control through that along with the humiliation and that’s when the story came apart for me. I can’t accept the abuse of a submissive. To me that’s an abuse of trust, at the best, a crime at the worst.

But the work is billed as a dark story, and it really becomes that at the halfway point. There’s nothing of light to be seen, no hopes, only sheer domination of one character in every possible way which involves some sort of abuse and belittlement. The thing of it is, at least in the frame of mind of the main characters, is that it makes some sense. By that I mean the lead up to that point makes what follows reasonable for all of the characters, regardless of how awful some of those moments are.

The ending of the work leads towards the next work in the series, but also brings up a question about Mandy herself. I feel like there’s a hint she might have taken the first step to becoming a succubus and that brings up some questions as well. Being there is a dark tone, and how the incubus acted, I really hope she won’t be stereotypical and that the incubus himself can prove to be less so than he was in this work.

The writing is quite good, there is some character development, even it I found it to be a little uncomfortable at times. The erotica didn’t have any heat for me, and being so the story had to support my interest. Half the work did so, the other half lost me along the way.

Two out of five pitchforks.

I didn’t care for the pain and suffering, even if it was deserved. The characters aren’t attractive to me, though there is the thought that Mandy might become a succubus in the next work, which might be interesting. I’ll give the next work in the series a look, but the darkness and pain so far makes things a difficult read when I can’t find my way in.

 

Tera

Mar 20 2016

A Review of the Blood Prophecy series by Kathi Huggins

Bloodlust by Kathi Huggins

Bloodlust by Kathi Huggins

There are some characters who are a mix of different supernaturals. Part of their character is trying to deal with, for example, being a succubus and were of some kind. This sort of theme can add something to them if the rest of their character can support everything else. There is the struggle, the dealing with mistakes, and, sometimes, coming to find a means to otherwise solve their own internal struggle.

This can, of course, become very complicated, and when there are eight different “you’s” to deal with… That’s not fun. It also makes for an odd definition of the word “time-share” too…

 

The series tells the tale of:

Jade thought she grew up with the best dad ever until she’s kidnapped. Her life is turned upside down when she learns he has kept secrets from her for her own good! There are 8 pure species of supernatural beings as well as mixed bloods, combined species. The purebloods feel they have superior bloodlines and look down on mixed bloods.

Jade is mixed with most of the species; Vampire, Lycian, Angel and probably Succubus, knowing nothing of being Shifter, Faye, Demon, and Jinn the most powerful species, and that she would have a mate for each.. There was a war coming and she was at the center. Now it’s wait and see what the purebloods will do when they know it’s Jade they seek.

The core of this series revolves around Jade, who seems to be the centre of a prophecy and now she has to deal with what that means. One woman with eight mates to keep under control is not an easy thing to do. Worse so when the entire world is trying to kill you. Still more so when you are the only hope and all you really want is to, somehow, be happy.

Jade’s main problem is that of all of her “selves” the most complicated one is what she calls her succubus, this being the last of them to come out and in doing so, Jade simply craves sex. It would have been interesting to see that to be more of a struggle over the series, but almost from the beginning, she is given a means to control herself, supposedly, which then opens the door to the rest of the series to unfold. I’m not sure that really was the best means to deal with what otherwise would have been. As the series goes on, it is hard to say if it actually worked, considering how much sex Jade gets into over the course of the series.

All of Jade’s mates are vastly powerful beings, to the point where the Archangel Michael is one of them. Her father is Luc, better known as Lucifer, and for me, he was the most interesting of all of the characters in that he was a father first. There’s not much seen of his “other role” and that I think made him different and more interesting because he could be a father that only wanted the best for his daughter. That comes out over and over again in the series and compared to all of the fighting around Jade, it was a refreshing thing to see. There is also, for me, one wonderful character who bakes cookies. In truth, they were, many times, so much more interesting than all of the others around them for one important reason. They spoke plainly, truthfully, and understood what happened around them and didn’t judge. The young are, many times, wiser than all if they are listened to.

There are some oddities in the works, mainly in some of the dialogue that doesn’t “flow” well at times. It reads a bit stilted, and if one read the dialogue out loud that becomes obvious. There are a massive number of characters to keep track of, some of which are present a lot of the time, some that pop in here and there over long stretches of the series. There might be too many minor characters as a whole considering that the main character list runs to something like 15 individuals and there are probably as many, if not more, minor ones.

The erotica, at times, becomes a bit repetitive, as Jade finds each of her mates, she joins with each. Most of the time it is Jade being dominant, sometimes almost equal, and only once is she submissive to one of her mates. However in each, the scenes follow the same path of discovery, disbelief, acceptance, and then, in the last, the characters are joined and then it is off to meet the rest of the partners. It does wear a little thin, and occasionally gets in the way of the main plot and story trying to develop.

The storylines have their moments, there are mysteries to solve, relationships to battle over, the coming of children is, in its own way, a strain on everyone involved. Some of the threads aren’t solved, being left open for, what I assume will be, the last work in the series. There is a good deal of “doom and gloom” that hovers over the work as well. There is some sidetracking as well, and a lot of time passes between some of the chapters using one of the more different means of moving time forwards.

The work is, as I have noted, a little uneven and that does make for some passages where attention wanders and staying with the story can be difficult. The series does tend to, as each mate is found for Jade, close off that thread and bundle it into the main issues that Jade deals with, occasionally working, sometimes just seeming a little odd. The one thing that does become tiresome is how often Jade’s mates fight over her at times, some trying to control her, some needing her to live, others unsure about the entire arrangement at times. This is a stumbling point for the characters, over and over again, and I wonder if there can’t be a solution to this that allows the focus of the work to move from who’s dominant to some kind of understanding. Perhaps, in time, the children will make that happen… We’ll see.

I’ll give the series three and a half out of five pitchforks.

The erotica becomes a bit repetitive over time, some of the scenes in that feel very deja vu. The work is very complicated, needing the reader to keep in the story even when it stumbles over itself to keep going onwards. The writing occasionally is a bit stiff, the dialog sounds a bit off here and there. But the core idea of the work, that one’s blood doesn’t matter, it is who you are, and what you do with your life… That holds everything together and makes this all work.

The third work in the series, Bloodrites, has been published, I expect that, like the rest of the series, it will have its own interesting moments. Especially since an incubus will finally appear. The review of that work will appear… shortly…

 

Tera

Mar 19 2016

Another tribute YouTube for Morrigan Aensland

Yet another of many tribute YouTubes of Morrigan Aensland today on the Tale. While the music doesn’t do much for me, there were quite a few images of Morrigan that I liked. Naturally, it was the one image with her smiling that I adored…

If you cannot see the video on the Tale, please try this link:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wnt1r5XBOhE

And here is the one image of Morrigan that I liked best of all of those shown of her…

Morrigan Screenshot

Really it’s her smile more than anything else that caught my attention. It’s nice when Morrigan is drawn with some fun in her personality and this image really does have a lot of that I think by far…

 

Tera

Mar 18 2016

A Review of Curvature: Part One by Amber Stuart

Curvature: Part One by Amber Stuart

Curvature: Part One by Amber Stuart

A review on the Tale today of a new series that started recently that has me wondering about the main characters. Not all books I read have succubi or incubi in them, but there are those works that suggest there might be some in the pages to find. Sometimes that hit can be as simple as the reaction between the characters and the musings about themselves and their pasts.

Need is more then what it seems. One can need a vacation, one can need to settle themselves. Then comes the need which is wrapped in passion, pleasure, and the realizing that there is more that what is seen on the surface.

  • Title: Curvature: Part One
  • Author: Amber Stuart
  • Length: 41 Pages
  • ASIN: B01BD3KITA
  • Publishing Date: February 1, 2016
  • This work at Amazon.com

The story is about:

A Space Command employee who wants to eliminate her V-card. A pleasure worker in need of a sabbatical. Their introduction to sex magic and discovering how it can help a crippled Earth and the human race.

Hannah has come to a point in her life where she needs to make a change before moving on, and away, from an Earth she’s never known. Xasper is a pleasure worker about to give up on his craft and fade away. Brought together something sparks between them and what is revealed is something they never expected. But others did.

It’s unclear if there are succubi or incubi in this series, at least in this work, but Xasper would be the closest thing to an incubus overall. He has an interesting ability and mixing that with Hannah makes for some very unique moments. Xasper’s personality, his thoughts, fears, wants and hopes are wonderfully deep and he isn’t a cardboard or singular aspect character. There’s soul, if somewhat hidden, and how the series draws him into the open will be interesting.

In a similar way Hannah is a bit of a contradiction within herself, her thoughts and the expressions of that. She has a need, but it isn’t simply a sexual one. There is a drive in her, one that defines her strongly, and I liked she not being a damsel in distress as happens often in works similar to this. Taking her from her sexual innocence and confusion seems to be a struggle, or is suggested to be one. There’s a certain amount of self-doubt to overcome, a bit of a wall built between the real Hannah and the one the world sees.

Written well, the characters have good voices, the story moves along the plot overall at a good pace. However there are moments in the story where it takes a turn aside and then struggles to get past a hint of information, or a suggestion about what is happening before moving on. As well, there is a lot of time spent moving from one place to the next, Hannah or Xasper mulling things over as they do so. While not quite an information dump at times, the story loses some of its emotional drive at those points and, considering this is the start of a series, I’m not sure the details couldn’t be better served by not being so much so.

There are questions raised about what happens to Xasper and Hannah, about the connections between other characters in the work that isn’t explained, but offers a tantalizing hint that there might be something similar to succubi and incubi in this series. Whether or not that happens, Xasper’s powers I thought were well suited for a pleasure worker, but also they are so very familiar as well.

There seems to be a lot of promise in this series and I would like the next work to tell more about Xasper, about what the past for him is like. I’m not sure I want to see them rush into a relationship, which seems to be where the series is going, in any kind of hurry. The framework is set for a complicated story, I just hope the author can resist having to make things too much of an information dump as some parts of this work were.

Three and a half out of five pitchforks.

A very long building up of story and characters which needs to be for a series. The wrapping of mystery about the characters is wonderful. But there comes a moment when the minutia needs to get pushed away for the sake of getting to the characters and the story itself. I will be looking for the next work in the series, I’m hoping my assumptions about both Xasper and Hannah are correct. If so, and if the rest of this universe holds what I think it does, it will an interesting series to follow onwards…

 

Tera

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