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Aug 29 2017

A Review of The Kiss of the Succubus by Isaac Byrne

The Kiss of the Succubus by Isaac Byrne

The Kiss of the Succubus by Isaac Byrne

In the telling of a story, there comes a point where the characters come to face their own reality. Sometimes that’s an emotional one, other times it is simply coming to terms with what is and what isn’t. Regardless of the moment and what it reveals, there’s a need to express that moment, to make it meaningful. Twist endings aside, an ending needs to have a purpose, to close the story and bring the characters full circle.

It’s a shame, honestly, when the story offers so much, develops so well, and the ending seems like it’s tacked on, rushed, or avoids what otherwise can be a striking shock to the character development. Either way, losing the story’s path when the ending comes leaves disappointment behind.

The work tells of:

Who says warlocks don’t live in the same world as the rest of us? This one has a crush on his next door neighbor. Mastering the dark arts has left precious little time for mastering the art of seduction. For a little boost, Driscoll calls upon a succubus to show him the ropes. But Nymyra isn’t just any demonic incarnation of lust. She’s been cast out for daring to follow her heart, and she means to show her summoner just what love means – as only a succubus can.

Driscoll loves his neighbour from afar, and being a warlock, that means he knows a few things about her. But he’s not really comfortable with talking to her and that’s only the start of his problems. Seeking some help, in his own way, Driscoll summons Nymyra to help him with the concept of love. Nymyra isn’t like most succubi and being so there’s something to be learned, the question is who will be the one that comes to discover the lesson?

Much of the work appealed to me in that there’s a lot of time spent building up Driscoll’s character, his past, his wants and desires. When Nymyra appears, I delighted in that her story was something unique, different and interesting to me. As the story moved onwards and the two interacted more, there was real effort taken to make both characters have a soul, a past, tell of their hopes and to an extent, what they both desire.

Nymyra herself. while a succubus and clearly so, didn’t feel stereotypical and that mattered within the context of the work. There is sexual tension between herself and Driscoll, but it’s tempered by the telling of Nymyra teaching about both lust and love in equal measures. There’s a palatable connection between them, it’s core to the story, and over time that part of the story meant more than the reason for Nymyra being summoned in the first place.

As such, the majority of the work is centred on Nymyra and Driscoll, the little moments and words said, the lessons taught, the edge of temptation Nymyra offers and the resistance that Driscoll maintains overall. It’s a bit of a power struggle, which isn’t at the fore of the work, but whispers throughout. Every bit of the character development within both characters just worked overall. At least until things took a turn in the climax.

The climax of the work felt wrong in a lot of ways. Perhaps that’s mainly from how things suddenly turned on a dime, the story twisting upon itself in a way that, while making sense, had moments that didn’t work for me. Much of that came from some of the dialogue, especially that of Tabitha at times. The turning of both Nymyra and Driscoll’s attitudes didn’t work for me, nor the reason as to why things suddenly took a turn in the story.

The erotica happens within this moment and I didn’t find a lot of heat in it. There was a certain amount of mind control, succubus powers and so on, but it just didn’t have heat for the way things happened, the actions taken, and how the tone just didn’t fit with all else that came before.

The ending simply took away everything that the rest of the work had given, at least for me. I didn’t expect the perfect ending, but at the same time how things came to a close fell flat and it shouldn’t have. Given the time spent by the author in creating the characters, the mad rush to an ending which felt like a bit of a cheat, in a lot of ways, just left things hanging.

Well written, save for a few scattered spelling mistakes which didn’t take anything from the story as a whole. With all of the good in building up to the climax, it’s a shame that things tuned more porn movie than erotic when the time came. It felt more crude and rushed than the balance of the work and similarly the ending, while not unexpected, didn’t feel like it served the story well as a whole.

Three and a half out of five pitchforks.

Creating characters who are three-dimensional, have depth, and yes, a soul, begs that the story gives a meaning to all that came before. Cutting corners at the last moment when none were before just is disappointing and it need not have been. A happy ending wasn’t ever going to happen, but even a sad one needs enough time to be more emotionally impactful.

 

Tera

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