Relationships are a complicated thing in more ways than can be easily explained. Things get a lot more complicated when a work tells of a reality where things are going to hell, quite literally, and meeting succubi and incubi on the street isn’t anything special.
But that brings with it the question: if nothing is special, then what makes the characters interesting and compelling?
- Title: Succubus Temptations
- Author: Nastya Bednaya
- Published By: Smashwords
- Length: 23 Pages
- Format: eBook
- IBSN: 9781005849580
- Publishing Date: March 23, 2021
- This work in Various Formats at Smashwords.com
The work tells of:
Life for Jennifer is not going to plan. Recently single amid a burning Apocalypse, she is turning into a half-succubus sex demon after an ill-advised fling with her ex, an incubus sex god whose entire existence is to give women pleasure.
To add insult to injury, her career is stagnating, and it turns out she lives in the same crappy apartment as she did before the Apocalypse, but this time there is no running water! Hardly the glamorous life she pictured before demons started roaming the earth.
However, she is not going to take it lying down. Always sardonic, Jennifer turns to her neighborhood dive bar in search of whiskey, but what she finds is even better: Jack, a former professor turned self-loathing incubus who is the perfect counterpart to her free love hedonism, he just may unlock parts of Jennifer’s heart she didn’t know existed, that is if they are both brave enough to try.
Jennifer is, and isn’t, a succubus, being caught halfway between becoming and being human. But while that is its own problem, the larger issue is what the hell she is going to do about Jack and what he’s looking for in her.
The work tells of a lost love and how that loss turns one upon themselves and where that lack of purpose and direction can take them. Jennifer as a character seems to be lost throughout the work and that tugged on me quite a lot. She’s never sure of herself, seeking solace in drinking or other diversions and as the story goes, so does how deeply the flaws and crutches come to define who she is.
This tends to turn the story very melancholy and once into this tone, the work never really comes out of it. It seeps into the characters, the world building and there’s never a point where something close to hope comes out and makes itself known.
While that works to bind the story together, it makes the story drag on at points, lose its way, and in the moments where Jennifer or Jack try to start to come to terms with things, the mood overcomes them and they fall back into the trap they were almost out of emotionally.
It takes a good deal of the work for the story to find its footing, to get past the deep well and crawl out towards something of a resolution for the characters. The ending is… hopeful, even if the world itself has little of that honestly. Still, there’s a certain appeal to what Jennifer comes to realize and what difference that makes for her.
Three and a half out of five pitchforks.
I think the overall idea works well, there’s a good interaction between the characters overall. The problem for me is the seeming lack of clarity as things progress for Jennifer. I found myself trying to sort out what she was going through verus her interactions with other characters. At times the story felt lost and seeking answers, a reflection on Jennifer overall.
But it left something lacking and needing in the background and I’m a bit lost as to how things turned as they did. It’s not that the story isn’t a good one, for it is, it’s a question of how morose things turn and where some semblance of light can be seen.