A review today of the first work in a new series called The Succubus by Alana Church, a series that I think has quite a lot of promise, story and more. It’s a very difficult thing to start a series, to set up the who, what and where which eventually, as the series progresses, gets to the why.
To do so needs a group of characters who are the focus. They tell the story through who they are, what they desire, and how each of their lives come into contact with one another. Sometimes all that takes is a strong willed woman, her long forgotten desires, and a succubus in need. When that combination works well, all else comes into play.
- Title: Idle Hands
- Author: Alana Church
- Cover Art: Moira Nelligar
- Length: 31 Pages
- ASIN: B01DMFTGJ0
- IBSN: 9781311484116
- Publishing Date: March 29, 2016
- This work at Amazon.com
- This work at Smashwords.com
The work tells the story of:
Althea was an immortal succubus, dedicated to a life of sexual pleasure. She lived her life on her own terms, caring little for others. However, one fateful day she was torn out of her own body by a deranged mortal. Forced to take shelter in the nearest woman, how will she regain her power and her body?
Rachel Wainwright was a successful attorney, but one with a troubled home life. Separated from her husband, fighting with her children, her life was cold and sterile. When her long-forgotten sexuality returns to her, how will it affect her, and those around her?
Althea now shares Rachel’s body and her mind. To return to her own form, she must take power from Rachel’s pleasure. And to do that, she must find work for her Idle Hands.
Althea is having a really bad day. It’s not enough that a mere mortal has harmed her, it’s not just that she had to take up residence in a mortal woman to survive. No, the real problem is that she can’t get out of the mess she’s in without the mortal’s help. It’s going to be a long road, filled with peril, strife, loss and more. Neither of them will be the same, and in the end, perhaps both will learn something about themselves that they didn’t expect before.
The work is interesting in many aspects, not the least of which is how Rachel, the main character of the series, sees her world at the beginning, how that changes over time through Althea’s presence, and what that drives the story towards by the end. There’s a thoughtful, gradual change in Rachel, not just physically, but mentally and emotionally. How Althea does so, the way Rachel’s thoughts move from being a bit cold and focused, to being something more seductive, passionate, and emotional, made a real difference.
Althea’s path through the story is somewhat “behind the scenes” but there’s a good, logical reason for that, it makes complete sense, and there’s nothing strange or off putting about it. There has been thought given to what could Althea do, how could she influence Rachel, and what comes with her doing so. This core plot has a grounding in this first work, it lays out a path through which the series can follow, and in doing so allows for some erotic moments that work quite well as Rachel succumbs to Althea’s needs.
The erotic undertones don’t overcome the story, which I liked very much. There is a bit of self-pleasure, which was delicious, there’s a seduction scene that was very hot, very well written and I enjoyed. While there are but a few erotic moments to focus on, Althea’s influence on Rachel, those little whispers of ideas, thoughts and suggestions that pop in and out of the story are hot and teasing in what they promise. That is quite a talent to have as a writer and it is done here exceptionally well. The double entendres are amusing, the moments of scattered sexual thoughts made me smile. They are little punctuations in the story that make it more alive, more passionate, and more seductive.
The writing is lovely, there’s nothing that takes the story away, leaves it without direction or purpose. The erotica mixes well, not being silly or over the top. Each character, from Althea and Rachel through Rachel’s family, have their own personalities, thoughts, needs and goals. There’s a story for each of them and I feel that seeing how Althea’s presence touches each will make things more complicated, but also for a more fully realized story overall.
As the work progressed, there were quite a few moments when I had questions, thoughts and pondered over things that one character or another did. Rachel’s office scene with another character made me wonder about something and what that might mean going forwards. Rachel’s son and daughter have quite a few issues to work though, many with their parents, and I look forward to seeing what happens there. Most of all, the singular question of what Althea’s overall plan is, what happens to Rachel along the way is the largest question of all.
I would have liked to have seen a bit more told about Althea herself, though really that couldn’t happen, all things considered, because of her situation. There’s just something about her that I can’t quite put my finger on. She’s not stereotypical, I’m hoping that she remains so, and I think the author has a goal for her that is every bit as important as what happens to Rachel. The other thing that I would have liked to see more of would be a little more time spent before Rachel seduced another character. I felt like there is something missing just before that point that would explain what happened.
I highly recommend this work for the characters, the depth of the plot, the time taken to tell each of the main characters’ stories. This opening work doesn’t focus mainly on the erotica, the erotica is used to push the story forwards intelligently, which I really quite enjoyed. I have high hopes and expectations overall and I believe this series will be one of my continuing favourites to follow throughout.
Four and a half out of five pitchforks.
Althea has a “home”, it’s in need of a bit of tender loving care that only a succubus can give. I think that’s the most captivating part here and I look forward to what comes next…