Oct 19 2012

A Review of Steam Heat by Elizabeth Darvill

I am, to be honest, not that interested in steampunk stories. I just find that a lot of the stories are missing something for me personally… That being the story is less about the characters and more about the world itself. But if that was reversed, so that the characters drive the story and the world becomes just the setting, that makes the difference for me. Adding a Succubus to that just is the icing on the cake really…

Steam Heat by Elizabeth Darvill

Steam Heat by Elizabeth Darvill

The story revolves around:

In a world of speed steamers, poisoned air and soulless paranormal beings, two people hold the fate of millions in their hands—and their bodies….

As a half-succubus, Angel needs energy from sex to live. The temporary fulfillment she gets from strangers is nothing compared to the erotic encounters in her linked dreams with Ian, the man whose soul she shares. Lately the dreams have become more intense and intoxicating, which can mean only one thing: she and Ian are dying, just like the magical crystal that purifies the city’s air. Only by making love in person and joining their split soul can they heal both themselves and the crystal.

Yet despite Ian’s amazing sexual prowess, Angel doesn’t want to give up her other lovers, like sassy steam engineer Jezebel. Can they resolve their differences and continue sharing a bed to save themselves—and the world?

The work is part of a larger series of books set in a steampunk setting and in this particular case the supernatural world has mixed with the steampunk one in various ways. One of these is that there are half supernatural beings in existence as well as fully supernatural ones. In this particular story, the heroine of the work, Angel, is a half-Succubus.

She does not have horns or a tail, and, interestingly enough, she feeds on sexual energies but does not kill the people she has sex with. But it is, for lack of a better explanation, an addiction for her. She dreams of a man that gives her a release like none she has felt before and is drawn to him. In turn he dreams of her as well.

The problem is, Ian isn’t quite what his dream self is, and Angel is torn by her nature and her needs. He accepts that he needs her and she him, but she doesn’t want to be tied to him alone. This sets up some conflict between them which is mixed with some very hot, and at the same time, odd, sex scenes.

I have to say that the moments of Ian being a scientist and taking measurements and calculations and then driving Angel to climaxes she has never experienced before was thrilling and hilarious at the same time. There is a connection between them that the author draws out though the length of the story which I enjoyed. What was also an interesting comparison between the two of them and another character was how being human and being half human gives each of the characters a different view of the world and what is happening around them.

I will admit that not having read the other books in this series, I have many questions about this world, about why certain things happen within it, and most of all, I wonder about just how everything links together. It is a strange alien Earth that appears in this story and while it is core to the characters and their story, and we see some of what is there, I am happy that it didn’t overwhelm the point of the story.

That being how three people can change the world, or at least find a way to make it, even if only a little bit, better than it was.

Well written, there was nothing in the story that took me out of it and that helped a great deal for me to enjoy this work. I would have liked a better, more involved ending than there is, but, for how it ended, there could well be a second story written from this one… But that didn’t happen.

I’ll give this work four pitchforks out of five…

A really interesting world with interesting characters, but a bit short and I wanted more…



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