There are some series that have an idea, a concept, a hook as it were, that catches my attention. The story of that, how it unfolds, why things happen as they do, interests me.
I hope to see the story, to have characters that learn something, be something more. That doesn’t always happen. When the story gets sidetracked for the sake of a series of hot flashes and loses it’s way… That becomes a problem. More so when the story abruptly comes to a stop when things were just getting to the point of closing the circle and getting somewhere.
- Title: Succubus Incorporated
- Author: Vanessa Von Vine
- Length: Varies (24-30 Pages
- ASIN: Various
- Publishing Date: December 2014 – December 2015
- The first book at Amazon.com
- The second book at Amazon.com
- The third book at Amazon.com
- The series boxed set at Amazon.com
The series tells the story of:
Succubus Incorporated is a paranormal Romance. It is about the training of a new Succubus, a young eighteen year old girl named Sarah Donavan, who saves the world by having sex with mythical creatures – the only way to keep a demonic force from exiting its cage, a strange wooden idol. She has many problems, but the biggest is that she is in love with her former French teacher Mr. Morlock, who just happens to be her “Watcher”, and the husband of the retired former sex witch and succubus Mrs Morlock, hates her and will do anything to make sure to keep her husband away from Sarah’s growing magical sex powers . . .
The series summary is slightly misleading as the story tends to centre around Sarah and Mrs. Morlock butting heads, threats being thrown at each other and, as a whole, that becomes all that the series seemed to focus on. That and a series of short hot flashes as Sarah learns about her powers and the new existence that she finds herself in.
The plot that keeps returning over and over again of Sarah wanting Mr. Morlock, then having to deal with Mrs. Morlock just becomes too repetitive. It turns into a game of ‘ticking each other off to see who breaks’, along with the typical taunts and curses being thrown. This takes away from really learning about how things work for Sarah, what she can do, how the Morlocks got into the situation they are in, why things happen as they are.
While both Sarah and Mrs. Morlock are called succubi, it’s not really clear if they actually are. There are hints of some mind control being used, a little magic ability, some shapeshifting and so on. Being they are acting in a succubus-like way, and there is some references to that, it makes some sense in that context. But to find that, one has to wade through all of the internal monologue from Sarah about pining for Mr. Morlock, her hate for Mrs. Morlock, and so on. In the moments when Sarah uses her powers, or when Mrs. Morlock does, that was interesting, had some heat and worked overall.
The erotica runs hot to warm, depending on the events of the moment. There is some vanilla scenes, a couple of supernatural ones as well. There is some complexities as well in the erotica which reflects Sarah’s internal needs and struggles which I didn’t expect and added something to her character.
But as for some growth in the characters, that really doesn’t happen. Sarah’s thoughts do not change from start to end, Mr. Morlock is as conflicted as he was in the beginning, and Mrs. Morlock is every bit as ugly in personality as she was at the start. There’s so little change in any of the characters and that need not have happened.
One thing that kept nagging at me was how the Morlocks were never referred to by first name. It always was “Mr.” and “Mrs.” which I could understand from Sarah being somewhat overwhelmed by events. But it also put up a wall to those characters where there wasn’t a connection to them. Sarah being focused on only having Mr. Morlock as well didn’t make a connection for me either, and her constant cursing and ranting internally over what Mrs. Morlock does, again, just left me not caring to any great extent.
There is a story, background and a universe here, but that’s fleeting in how much is told about it. There’s a info dump at times which helps, but, again, the infighting among the characters gets in the way of the storytelling. I understand there needs to be conflict, that it makes for a better story, but repeating the same curses, having the same arguments, doesn’t really make things work.
As a whole, the characters are a little thin, needing to be rounded out more, tell more about themselves, and not be so sealed up with who they are. To have the characters be, in their own ways, stereotypes of the horny teen, the submissive husband, and the overbearing wife, leaves a lot to be desired.
At the end of the series the work ends on a cliffhanger of sorts, a threat in a way. There seems to be a direction for the series to take which I think would be interesting, but that never came to pass. But as well, on the last page, it’s clear that none of the characters has learned anything and the series ends where it begins.
Two and a half out of five pitchforks.
Characters that are hard to like, a plot that doesn’t really go anywhere, and then a series that ends on a cliffhanger and goes no further. It’s a shame because the core idea is a good one, but losing that to the infighting just takes away so much.