Stories about succubi or incubi set in historical times face several problems, not the least of which is how women were treated at that time and having to overcome that aspect of the storytelling. It sometimes overcomes the main part of the story and in doing so can leave a lot to be desired.
That said, there are other stories in which the summary suggests one thing and the work delivers something entirely different. Succubi and incubi aren’t ignored, as such, but the story takes on a different turn, one that places them on the extremities of the plot waiting for their moment. Sometimes that moment doesn’t quite come out as one might expect things to be.
- Title: On Becoming a Succubus
- Author: Lillian C. Sisk
- Length: 26 Pages
- ASIN: B01FSUNMF6
- Publishing Date: May 16, 2016
- This work at Amazon.com
The work tells the story of:
Though she has suffered much abuse, she has done so in silence. She couldn’t risk fighting back. She had to live so she could be with Dan, so she could become a succubus, so she could be with her lover, so she could gain revenge. At seventeen, Rachel fell in love with Dan, an incubus, but their love was against his society’s laws. As a result, he was banished from his society for fifty years. He must prove his love by spending those years feeding off only Rachel. If he feeds off anyone else, or if Rachel dies before those fifty years, they will not be able to spend eternity together.
While he remains with her in spirit during this time, he cannot physically protect her, so he encourages her to marry a kind, generous man named Fredrique. She does so, but while Fredrique is performing tours of duty, his brother, Paul, stays on as a guest in Fredrique’s country mansion. Paul is obsessed with Rachel and doesn’t hesitate to enforce his desires. Dan visits her during these times, trying to comfort her in her dreams, but there is nothing either of them can do—until now. The fifty years is over. Rachel has become a succubus.
Rachel encounters a strange man calling himself Dan and over time they fall in love. But love has nothing to do with the time in which Rachel lives. A promise made by Dan leads Rachel to accept her family’s fate, but along the way she finds that with a promise of love comes the pain of betrayal and suffering. But Dan is with her, for always, and sometimes love is what you have left when there is nothing left beyond.
The summary is a little misleading as the story isn’t so much about Rachel becoming a succubus, In truth she never really does become one, though the ending leaves that possibility open to happen. We never see that event, never see what that takes Rachel towards. There’s no expression of the “what comes after” so much as there is the telling of “what comes before.”
The encounter between Rachel and Dan is lovely, telling quite a lot about them both, about what they share and when events turn against Rachel. the discovery of Dan’s truth and then what his own society thinks of Rachel knowing about him is telling as much as that of the time in which Rachel lives. There seems to be another story within the story that I would have liked to see, that of what Dan goes through, but the story is about Rachel and while Dan is part of that, he fades in the background over time, appearing here and there to offer Rachel comfort.
Overall the story is a little hard to read, mainly from all of the abuse and suffering that Rachel faces in her life. However her secret, the encounters with Dan and what that means with regards to her family is captivating. There comes a moment when Rachel speaks of revenge, for which I cannot fault her, but in doing so I hope that her becoming does not allow that to overcome what she and Dan have together.
There really is no erotica in this work, the encounters with Rachel and Dan have some sexual tension, but it isn’t really resolved. The moments that are there are not what I think of as sexual, really they are Rachel having someone forced upon her and it just rubbed me the wrong way when it did happen.
However, as a historical story, one in which there is hope that is tested and pressed to the limit, it reads very well. The characters are strongly written, you are immersed in the story and this is what I enjoyed the most. I wish the author had taken the story a little further in that there’s a seeming happy ever after, but that is never told. I think it should have been for all that Rachel passed through and what happened to her. It’s the one thing this work is missing and I wish it had been.
Four of out five pitchforks.
The book summary is a little misleading, really Rachel never becomes a succubus and that’s where the problem is. There’s a lot of story in the world of the succubi and incubi, but it’s touched on fleetingly and isn’t really expanded upon. The work ends at the exact moment when things turn towards that plot and are then left dangling. This needs some kind of continuation, to close the circle and finish a story that really isn’t finished where it ends.