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Dec 01 2017

A Review of Dead At First Sight by Susan Hart

Dead At First Sight by Susan Hart

Dead At First Sight by Susan Hart

The emotional tone of a story matters in that without an emotional connection there’s a flatness to a work. The passion come not only from that which the characters have, but the tone of their voices, the edge in their aspects and how that drives the narrative onwards.

A review then of an anthology work today on the Tale in which one of the stories has the appearance of a succubus within. As is my usual method of reviewing anthologies, I will be focusing my review on the story in which the succubus appears and then an overall rating for the collection as a whole.

The collection tells of:

  • A Magical Day at the Coffee Shop – What if someone gave you, a college student working in a coffee bar, a magical device that could make things – any desire or dream you’ve ever had, happen?
  • Dearly Departing Vampire Lover, is all about two of the last vampires on earth. The only thing they have to contend with is roving bands of renegade humans. One of them develops wanderlust and discovers a group of humans and vampires cohabiting in the woods. Will this be the last nail in their coffins?
  • Immortal, But Dying — is about a world where all of the male vampires are either dead, or sick and dying, and how the female vampires cope – or not
  • Succubus – A woman is seduced by a succubus; a being in a female form, who drains her of both her sexual, and life energy
  • The Mummified Monkey’s Paw, is about an odd young man and an even odder curio shop, which he’s frequented all of his adult life.

The collection of stories is multifaceted and there’s quite a variation overall. For the work called Succubus I think the author’s summary works well save for perhaps adding at the end: Sometimes the reality we have never should be rejected for the fantasy offered.

The succubus of this work doesn’t actually appear very much overall. The work tells the story from the main character’s perspective and as such there’s little time allowed for the succubus to become much more than a means to an end within the work. She barely speaks, her need and goals are seemingly clear from her first appearance.

The story reads rather linear and the title itself gives a large hint as to how things develop and what happens to Avery over time. Avery herself seems dearly disconnected from events quite often and I think that’s a reflection of her personality and relationships overall. There’s a hurt throughout the work which seems to dampen any heat that was built up over time.

There’s just this overwhelming melancholy that, for me, seems to overpower this story and the stories in the collection themselves. It feels like a theme, which I can appreciate. However that took away from the more tender and emotional notes overall. Nonetheless, the collection reflects on the author’s talents very well.

The work ends in a way that takes the erotic heat and moves things towards the stereotypical aspect of succubi that I don’t particularly care for. That’s not to say it doesn’t make sense, for it does. The effects of the succubus are clearly told, the ebb and flow of what Avery faces is quite telling and unmistakable. It’s just so dearly sad, so disconnected emotionally that something’s missing in the telling.

For Succubus, I’ll give this work three and a half out of five pitchforks and the same for the collection as a whole.

An interesting collection of stories which passes through quite a number of supernatural and magical themes. Worth picking up and reading as the story telling is excellent in depth and care taken to tell the stories. I’d only wish there was something more positive appearing overall in each part of the collection than there is.

 

Tera

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