A Review of Vengeful by C S Dixon

Vengeful by C S Dixon

Vengeful by C S Dixon

Not all stories about succubi, or characters who might be defined as succubi are necessarily focused upon the erotic. Sometimes the focus turns to the aspects that are more horrific or sometimes their ghostly manifestations.

A ghost story told from the perspectives of those being haunted allows for bizarre moments, confusion and moments of shock which lead towards some kind of terror to be encountered. But just telling of the haunting’s physical and mental force leaves two important questions to be answered. Why does it happen, and when the story closes, is there something more than the loss to be found?

The work tells the story of:

Anne notices a gradual change in her boyfriend Peter’s behavior. His aggressive mood swings and bizarre actions frighten and confuse her. Something has happened to dramatically affect their relationship, but what has come between them?

The past haunts some and when it does the effects are forever. For Peter, his past tells of pain, loss and the finding of Anne, who brings him hope. But there is another who wants something dark and in darkness comes a path which leads to but one ending.

The book summary is a little bit misleading, really only scraping the surface of this work. Overall, it is the telling of a haunting, an encounter with the supernatural that drives the main characters into places which are so dearly dark and foreboding. The forces pulling on the main characters change them, press upon them and at first there’s confusion as to what’s going on exactly and what is causing things.

It takes some time to get past the seemingly ordinary relationship problems that appear and turn towards the real protagonist of the story. Getting to that point brings with it a series of short, sharp scenes which didn’t quite work for me at several points. That comes many from the way the main characters are talking at each other until, at last, there’s a fleeting ghostly appearance to answer, at least partly, what’s happening.

That seems to be a succubus, but there’s nothing told about what she wants, how she came to be, why she suddenly has appeared and what her purpose is. It can be inferred, but there’s not one word from the succubus. She’s a spirit, a ghost and nothing more even if her physical manifestation and her effects are unmistakable. Those moments aren’t erotic, they tend towards the shock value, dwelling on some ghostly horror moments which work overall, but I’d have liked something more substantial.

This is not a work of erotica, it reads very much like a modern day horror movie with many twists and turns leading towards the climax. That climax is one which puts a series of twists into effect, an ending that is ambiguous, and didn’t work for me at least. It’s too vague, too open an ending and it offers a hanging plot moment that just disappointed me.

This isn’t so much a story about a succubus herself than it is the telling of a haunting, what that does to the main characters. There’s a feeling of them being possessed, the space around them being embedded by the spirit seeking some sort of revenge over the past. I thought it would make for a reasonably good teen horror film, there’s quite a number of scenes that offer that aspect to consider. But the connective tissue of the story, the succubus, isn’t as present as I’d have liked her to be.

One and a half out of five pitchforks.

While there is a succubus, or rather that Shadara can be described as being one, the issue is that there’s nothing really told to explain why things happen, how she came to be or really anything beyond her physical aspects. I found that to be a gaping hole in the story because it is all about effects and not cause itself.

The story seems too rushed, a bit too stressed in how scenes shift, the characters are effected by Shadara as things unfold. There’s a missing piece of the puzzle and it doesn’t have to explain everything, it just needs to be something more than ghostly moments who’s substance leaves a lot to be desired.



1 comment

    • avatar
    • James on July 7, 2017 at 9:46 pm

    So, there’s a concept, but a really poor execution. And it seems a succubus who doesn’t need to be one for any reason than she is called one.

    Indeed, that may be what is missing most of all. The reason for her to be a succubus doesn’t have to be sex, but it does have to be manifest somehow. In this, the author seems to have missed the boat.

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