Aug 11 2017

A Review of Subdivisions by Justin Bedard

Subdivisions by Justin Bedard

Subdivisions by Justin Bedard

Who a character is within a story matters in that their personality, what they want and what drives them, pushes things to happen. If that character happens to be a succubus, that doesn’t mean that her nature overcomes who she is. That’s a story that interests me because it need not turn towards erotica to make a point or tell the story.

Relationships matter, how they form is important. It’s telling that story which leads towards good storytelling, full characters and an adventure that’s more than what it first seems to be. Attractiveness is, after all, not just a physical thing when one comes to figuring out what makes someone attractive.

The work tells the story of:

Whoever said “life’s not out to get you” has clearly never met Joey Johnson. He works a mind-numbing retail job, he’s the only guy in his house, he’s flunked senior year, and to top everything off, he hasn’t got a single clue what he wants to do with his life.

That is until he and his knucklehead friends form a band known as the Divide with the local goth chick Alice, and all of a sudden comes adrenaline-filled and drug-induced endeavors of the most absurd proportions. From skipping out on the truant officer to ticking off a band of hipsters to playing all corners of their town, the Divide is ready to forge a path of bleeding ears and melted faces, and through it all, Joey begins seeing his mundane life a little bit differently.

Now if only he could figure out why Alice has taken such a special interest in him…

Joey’s life is, overall. kind of boring. But Alice sees things differently and she especially sees something in Joey she really likes. Life sometimes takes unexpected turns and Joey’s about to find out that Alice might be the most unexpected surprise of all.

The work is, as a whole, really about the entire ensemble of characters beyond Joey and Alice, but they do push things in the direction they go in. There’s a bit of oddness in what Joey does and how Alice is so dearly attracted to him, but there’s a charm in that which I enjoyed.

Alice, the succubus of the work, really doesn’t appear as a succubus save for one short scene in which she reveals herself. While that’s a bit of a shame, considering all of the story about her that could have been explored, it doesn’t take anything away from her character. What it does do however is ask a lot of questions which aren’t answered otherwise.

The story is a bit scattered in places, the characters are trying to find themselves after all, so that all fits well. But there’s too many moments where the story seems to drive aimlessly until Alice appears and pokes Joey and the others into moving again. But it’s that connection between the characters, how they relate, which makes this a wonderfully complex and yet funny at times, read.

The work could use one more edit to clean up some odd dialogue here and there. There’s also a bit of a need to tell more of Alice’s story as well. I loved the characters, the story, and just how the entire ensemble fit together so well. If there’s one thing that I wanted more of, it would be Alice telling more about herself, revealing more about her being a succubus because that’s a story that didn’t come out with all else that happened.

This being the first work in a series, I’ll hope the author’s focus will be on who Alice is, why she is so enamoured with Joey and where things go from the ending. There’s a lot of story to uncover and I think that will be where things really find themselves.

Four out of five pitchforks.

Sometimes a succubus doesn’t have to reveal herself fully to be interesting to me, Alice does this  and it’s her character and how she relates to Joey that reality makes this work something special. I’ll be looking for another work to see what happened to Alice and what Joey and his friend find out about that.

That’s a story that should open up Alice fully.

 

Tera

 

Tera

Aug 10 2017

Succubi Image of the Week 499

I don’t believe I’ve ever had a GIF as a SuccubI Image of the Week, but I found one that, in a lot of ways, I think is delightful, reminds me of a certain red tail Queen of the Realm and that just makes me smile. Perhaps the best “attack” a succubus can have is a sexy one at that.

Succubus Attack by HenryPonciano

Succubus Attack by HenryPonciano

 

This is called Succubus Attack by the artist HenryPonciano, and I found it here on DeviantArt. You can also find this artist’s page on DeviantArt, which has some really amazing art, here as well.

I really can’t help but smile as the sequence unfolds, her form twirling, that smile that appears, how her tail darts about as she turns. I dearly love her look, the outfit she’s wearing, all of the little touches that add a little bit of character overall.

And yes, it’s very easy for me to see myself within her… But she isn’t, I know.

Next week will be the 500th Succubi Image of the Week, and it will be one that’s very special to me…

 

Tera

Aug 09 2017

I like the boots, the costume I’m not so sure of…

Little Red Devil CostumeIt’s important to read the fine print when looking for a costume. Sometimes the picture doesn’t reflect what is actually offered and that’s a problem. I understand the need to sell these costumes, I understand they have to be shown in the best way. What I don’t quite understand is why there isn’t more clarity in the ad copy?

This is called the Little Red Devil Costume and it comes with the top and skirt. The horns, the gloves and the boots are not included and it sells for $26 US.

It’s a bit disappointing that the image shown with the ad seems to suggest that the gloves and horns are included, because generally they are with devil costumes.

But they aren’t here and that’s a problem. If they aren’t, and everything that I read about this costume says they do not, then this isn’t a devil costume and shouldn’t have been offered as one.

However, adding the gloves and horns, which oddly work overall with the skirt and top, would bring this costume to about $40 US.

As a whole, I think the complete look is rather cute. It’s just that you don’t get all that you see.

Two and a half out of five pitchforks.

I’m looking at this as being a complete costume and not a partial one in my rating. As a partial one, this gets one pitchfork.

Clarity please? Thank you.

 

Tera

Aug 08 2017

A Review of The Terms by L.L. Frost

The Terms by L.L. Frost

The Terms by L.L. Frost

A little while ago I reviewed the first two works in the Succubus Bargain series here on the Tale and you can find those reviews here and here. Like the first work in the series, there’s something about Adie that I adore. In this part of the series, it was wonderful to see her be forceful, to know what she wants and to do the best she can with the cards she’s been dealt.

A review of the third work in the series then where there’s more revealed about those that want Adie, the barriers that she faces in dealing with them, but most of all, the unfairness of not being seen as having something of real worth by one, dismissed by another, and most of all, finding that the deals never end with demons. But at the same time, a deal is a deal and with Adie, it’s her dream that’s not negotiable.

The work tells the story of:

Armed with new knowledge about the sexy demons who pursue her, Adeline Pond decides to stop running and confront them with an offer of her own. But will her carefully laid plans get her into more trouble than she bargained for, or will Adie finally get back on her feet and back to planning her bakery?

Join Adie on her (mis)adventures towards achieving a quasi-normal life among humans.

The art of the deal might not be Adie’s strong point, but being persuasive is. Still, the demons are being a pain, even if sometimes Adie might just want to have them all for dessert. But there’s baking to be done and boundaries to be laid down. The question however is, who’s going to break them and who’s going to be paying?

The work follows on immediately after the events of the prior work and things aren’t going any better for Adie. But she’s headstrong, her tail’s ticked off and most of all, those three demons aren’t going to get the better of her. I really liked seeing how she made her deal, how the others reacted and then, most of all, how Adie made herself part of their world, showing them that she’s not going to be a push over, or forgotten for that matter.

It’s the little victories that I loved most of all, the moments when flashes of Adie’s personality overcome the stifling personalities of the demons and where they live. I think it’s going to be so delightful when Adie puts her stamp on things and the demons discover just how much of a mistake they made in getting involved with Adie. They might have been better off giving her what she wanted in the first place, all things considered, and when push comes to shove in this work, the victory she gains in standing up to them was just perfect.

Lovingly written as all of the prior works, it’s still clear the author is having all kinds of fun with Adie and what’s happening to her. Again there’s little erotica in this part of the series, but there really need not be as it’s about gaining more insight on the main characters, all four of them.

A delicious read, Adie just continues to make me smile. I still have the hope that the next part of the series has the three demons be less confrontational and more revealing in what they want from Adie and why. That mystery remains and it needs to be part of the story, not lurking on the edges.

Four out of five pitchforks.

The series holds onto its strengths, the plot is developing and Adie herself seems to be coming more and more into focus. There’s problems ahead, without question, and much of that comes from the three pains in the tail she’s having to deal with. I’m hoping that friction will turn soon as its been going on almost constantly. Getting past what seems to be mistrust to the reasons why Adie’s so important matters.

But more so, it matters that she gets to do some baking again.

 

Tera

Aug 08 2017

A Review of The Succubus: A Dungeons and Demons Story by Alrich Wild

The Succubus: A Dungeons and Demons Story by Alrich Wild

The Succubus: A Dungeons and Demons Story by Alrich Wild

There are some things I look for when reading stories about succubi. One of the most important ones, at least to me, is that calling a succubus character a succubus, and not giving her a name, seems a bit of a cop-out. Not having a name for the succubus, especially one with a central role, makes it a bit more difficult to find my way into a story.

Beyond that, not having some background to a story, to lead into it, to explain the world the characters exist within, makes it more difficult to become grounded in things. Jumping into the middle of a story always begs the question as to what happened before. Sometimes that really does matter.

The work tells the story of:

In the world of Dungeons and Demons, fantasy lends itself to fantasies. Elves, dwarves, monsters, magicians, and even dragons give into their lustful natures in their own unique ways. This is a tale of one of those encounters.

After being gone on an adventure with his party for a few days, all the elven warlock Alrich can think of is getting upstairs to check on the demon he left bound within a summoning circle before he left. The succubus should be starved, as the only thing that can sustain its type are blood and lust, and this one has been days without either. This encounter will bring the elf to heights of pleasure never dreamed of by mortals, as long as he survives!

Alrich returns to his lair after an adventure and he’s looking forwards to playing with the succubus that he trapped there. But being trapped and starved for so long also means that the succubus desires something as well. The question is which of them will be paying the price and which will be learning the limits within themselves.

The story drops the reader in the midst of things, not really spending a lot of time introducing the characters, what they have been up to, or otherwise explain the world they exist in. It’s more of a scattered entry into things followed immediately afterwards by Alrich playing with the succubus that’s trapped. That then brings up the second problem in that how he managed that isn’t explained either. There’s a lot of storytelling that just seems to be set aside in the rush to get Alrich to the succubus and begin their encounter. I think that’s a real shame as the characters are interesting and there is a story to be told through them, but it’s not.

The succubus herself I thought was a very good character, being seductive and temptation and in these moments that seemed to offer something to be told. But the author never gives her a name, Alrich only refers to her as succubus or demon, so there’s not the level of character development I would have liked. The succubus seems to be part of the story for the sake of being used, or abused, by Alrich at first, but there’s some really good twists and surprises that made her far more than that.

The erotica doesn’t, as a whole, have that much heat in it. Part of that comes from the blood and gore aspects of this particular succubus, some of it from the odd telling of the BDSM and “torture” parts of the work. When the succubus is being seductive and tempting Alrich, there’s some really good heat, but when the blood aspect comes into play that heat gets lost in the blood which disappointed me.

There’s a lot of story about Alrich that’s barely touched on and that’s the part that’s missing here. How he came to be where he is, isn’t told. How he met the others in his party isn’t told. Why he lusts after another character isn’t told. There’s a lot of gaps which, I’d hope, another book might tell more of.

Similarly, the ending of the work opens the door to the succubus appearing as an ongoing threat, and I’d hope she’d be more than just a creature going for Alrich outright. She’s very good at being in the shadows, a temptation, looking for the chinks in the armour of others. That could be a story to tell, especially with the one character that has all of Alrich’s focus and fantasies.

The work could use another editing pass to improve the start of the work, tell more about Alrich and if nothing else, give the succubus a name so that she’s more of a fully realized character. There’s a lot I liked in the moments between Alrich and the succubus, and I think that opens up a really good story to tell. But there needs to be time to set up a story, put the pieces into place and then move onto the erotica and all else. The sex isn’t enough by itself without the story to back things up well.

Three out of five pitchforks.

There’s a lot of background story not told in the work overall. The beginning doesn’t explain how the succubus came to be where she is. There’s no name for the succubus as well and setting that aside, I didn’t enjoy adding the succubus literally devouring the main character overall. It seemed a bit overdone to me. Lastly the BDSM/torture aspects just took away what otherwise could have been more a story of a succubus using temptation to overcome rather than outright violence that happened a bit too much for me.

There’s a clear path towards another work considering the ending and that does interest me. I think there’s a story there to be explored. But the author really needs to develop their background story quite a lot more all things considered. The characters are too interesting for anything less.

 

Tera

Aug 07 2017

Auntie By TeraS

A short little story this week, mainly because all of the other ones I’ve been poking at aren’t … quite done, not quite finished, or something like that; just not … quite. So, let’s call this something that made me smile …

 

Auntie
By TeraS

 

There are moments when Tera needs to be the Queen of the Realm. To be clear, these are moments she’s not exactly thrilled about, either. She’d thought, after so long, that by giving those in the Palace the right to make decisions, that at some point she’d not have so much to do.

Of course, she’d never managed to get the paperwork of the Realm bureaucracy passed off to someone else when it was placed upon her doorstep, or, more accurately, the desk in her office within the Palace proper. Whether it be a post-it note, a scroll, a computer printout, a postcard, or some other means of paper-based communication poking in her direction, there always seemed to be something that needed to be done.

But there were times when Tera wasn’t the Queen. There were times when Tera was just Tera—if it is even possible to conceive of “just Tera”—and those were important moments for her.

The single person in the Realm that made all of that easier was, of course, a certain red tail called the Receptionist. She’d been there from the first moment that Tera had become the Queen … at least that was what most remembered.

Tera, however, knew far better than anyone else could know.

This particular morning found Tera looking out onto the courtyard of the Palace, waiting, sipping some tea, and watching groups of incubi and succubi making their way towards all the shops, labs, offices, fields, gyms, classrooms, and other places where the inner workings of the Realm went on, as happened every morning. She smiled around a sip of her tea as she watched the occasional pair, trio, quartet, or larger grouping looking quite disheveled as they approached. The Realm’s nightlife was rather varied, and she wondered which of the many delights they’d happened upon—some being more obvious than others, of course.

She was in the midst of tapping a finger on her lips, thinking about a particular club that would appeal to her Eternal when a flash of red appeared on the main walkway outside. From far away, some might think it was Tera herself, but it wasn’t, not quite at least.

The figure appeared to be a little bit older than Tera, a little bit more no-nonsense. Oh, she was a raven-haired, red-horned-and-tailed seductress, no question, but her hair was pinned into a bun, her choice of dress very business-like. As Tera continued to watch from afar, a pair of green eyes regarded her through silver rimmed oval glasses, an eyebrow arched inquisitively.

The smile was almost like Tera’s, but not quite. Bemusement was, to be sure, a family trait.

It was somewhat early for the Queen to be present, after all.

Tera watched from above until the older red-tail disappeared below the balcony. She then turned towards her office door, waiting for her trusted companion to arrive. Her attention was drawn to a little bit of fluff that was clinging to her fuzzy sweater, she’d forgone the idea of dressing up this morning, and there was no reason, anyway, to be tied into a corset, or thigh-high boots, or, for that matter, being all made up. Blue jeans and a red fuzzy sweater were more than enough, thank you—especially and most of all in this moment.

The pinch of her tail was a surprise, and it was a good thing that she’d put her tea cup on the table moments before; otherwise, she’d have a mess on her hands.

The Receptionist didn’t like messes. She did like, however, surprising the Queen: “What are you doing here so early, young lady?”

Tera rubbed her tail where she’d been pinched: “I should be asking you the same thing.”

A small travel mug was set on the table beside Tera’s own cup: “I asked first, so spill.”

Tucking a lock of her wild mane into place, the Queen sighed: “I’d … like to talk to you.”

The Receptionist nodded, the moment of humour dissipating, her no-nonsense personality returning as she started for the inner office: “Of course, let me go get my notepad and …”

“No. I want to talk to you … Auntie.”

The word was a surprise. She hadn’t been expecting it, and she clutched the doorframe reflexively. How long had it been? Centuries? She’d set aside that part of herself when her niece had become the Queen. It wasn’t important at that moment that she be Tera’s aunt. The touch of her niece’s fingers on her shoulder was as much of a shock to her as her playful pinch had been to Tera’s tail moments ago. She hid it well, she thought, when she looked over her shoulder: “Who?”

The Queen was quiet, and her eyes were soft. “Uncle told me.”

She sighed: of course he had. Tera had always been close to him, while Auntie was been more in the background, helping her sister, Tera’s mother, and not having time for Tera after … things happened. She’d tried to make up for that as best she could. The workings of the Palace were her domain, after all; no one knew them better than she did. That is how she’d faded away into the machinations of the Realm bureaucracy, setting aside being an aunt for being the gatekeeper to the Queen, organizer of Realm, and protector of Tera herself.

“Auntie … please … just for a little while, be my aunt and not the Receptionist … please?”

The doorframe made for a good brace as she turned. She found herself looking at Tera, but seeing her sister. She was looking at Tera as her niece, but also her Queen. It was, she was sure, a matter of priorities, she’d made her choice knowing full well that it needed to be this way. “Tera … you need me as your receptionist. I’m fine with that.”

“No, that’s where you’re wrong.” Tera turned back to the table, picking up an old leather-bound diary. Auntie recognized it; how could she not? She’d know the handwriting of her only sister anywhere.

I’ve let Simone know what I’m going to do. She’s madder than hell about it. I hope she’ll do as I asked. Tera’s going to need them when I’m gone. If there’s anyone I can trust to protect her, it’s going to be her and William. They’ll look after her.

Tera looked up from reading the passage: “Please, just … be Auntie Simone … please?”

It was hard for the Receptionist to even think about what that was like, to try to remember a time when she’d held Tera in her arms, watched a small red tail wind itself about her finger, to remember laughing as the young girl swung in circles from the swing set, to reach back into a time before things became so serious, so focused, so one-sided. “It’s been a long time, Tera. I don’t know if …”

A long, red tail twined itself with another long, red tail: “You know … I remember this cool aunt …” Simone didn’t pull away as Tera’s fingers tugged her silver, horn-rimmed glasses away: “She had this amazing smile … she loved to play pranks on me” … the pins came out of her hair as easily, and it fell in long, straight, raven waves over her shoulders. Tera smiled: “I got her back a couple of times, you know.”

The smile was a reflection of Tera’s own: “You only think you did. She let you.”

“I’m glad she did. I wish she’d come back.”

The elder red-tail paused, looking into the hopeful eyes of the younger one. She saw the anticipation, the want, the love in Tera’s eyes … and the shift from no-nonsense happened in the blink of an eye. The business dress gave way to faded jeans, even more faded out top and sneakers.

Tera pretended to eye her critically: “Hmm … Looks sort of familiar.”

Simone hugged her: “Where did you think you got your fashion sense from, anyway?”

“I wondered why mom always looked at me funny.”

She tapped Tera’s nose: “Oh … your mom always looked at me funny. I was a bad influence, obviously.”

Tera hugged her aunt tightly: “Sure you were, Auntie. Sure you were.”

From afar, an elderly red tail with the whitest hair the monarch of the Realm had ever seen watched as a long lost Aunt was held by her adoring niece. He tapped his cane upon the cobblestone walk that led to the Palace in thought. It had been far too long that the Queen and the Receptionist had been together, and far too long since his niece and his sister had been together. It was about time that Simone put aside all of that office work. It was about time that his niece got to know her aunt again. He smiled at the thought of calling Tera tonight, knowing full well that he’d not get a word in about hockey.

He could hardly wait.

Aug 06 2017

A Review of HSA-293: The Door by Quixerotic

HSA-293: The Door by Quixerotic

HSA-293: The Door by Quixerotic

I’ve read most of the works by the author Quixerotic from the time they were posting on MCStories through they self publishing their works. Some of the stories I’ve reviewed on the Tale and quite a number of them I’ve thought were very good.

A review then of a recently released work by this author that has an incubus theme to it today on the Tale. As I’ve reviewed another work that had a succubus theme, I’d hoped that I’d like this one as much. But as much as I liked the characters and the plot, there’s a point at which things turned too dark for my liking. It’s a shame really because I understand why it turned dark, and there’s a good reason for it, but it made me lose my way within the work and that’s a problem for me.

The work tells the story of:

Tessa has been booked to stay the summer in a fraternity house while she participates in a theater camp. During the tour of her meager accommodations, she notices a strange door across the hall from her room. Matt, the frat guy left behind to supervise the house for the summer, tells her not to worry about it, but she would swear to hear whispers, whispers about the naughty desires she dreams about. Other girls arrive and the whispers get louder until finally they feel they must open the door. What they let out immediately changes their summer, and lives, forever.

Tessa’s home away from home seems odd. There’s something odd about a door, there’s something odd that she hears and feels. Something calls to her and it calls to everyone in the house. Stepping over a boundary releases something evil into their lives and none will be the same.

There’s a mixture of erotica, horror, possession and mind control in this work that overall works well in building up tension, creating heat and driving the story towards its conclusion. The characters are a little two-dimensional at times, but not to the point where they become characters with no meaning. That said, when the story takes a turn into the supernatural, things go a bit outside of the boundaries and it takes a real suspension of belief to continue on with the story.

The incubus of the work isn’t quite revealed as a whole, though it’s effects are clear and unmistakeable. It’s very much a stereotypical incubus, having one thing in mind and using whatever means it can to fulfill those needs. That leads to some erotica that didn’t quite have so much heat and tended towards something which might be called mindless at times.

The first two-thirds of the work I think worked really well to build up tension, to give life to the mystery overall. The characters have some time to develop, at least somewhat, before the story takes a sudden turn and things become very dark overall. The ending, a postscript of what was found later, didn’t quite sit well with me and that mainly came from the final line of the work. It felt a little too dark, a bit too over the top and seemed to have an air of hopelessness that took away much of what I enjoyed otherwise.

The work is written to the author’s standards, but there’s just not the same heat, or the same connection with the characters that I had with the other stories I have read. I felt like at times the story rushed past some points where there could have been some more time for plot, or telling more about why things were happening, but didn’t.

Three and a half out of five pitchforks.

Overall I didn’t feel like this work was quite up to the same level as many of this author’s other works. While part of the mystery of the HSA series is what isn’t said, there’s a point in the work where things just took a turn that I didn’t enjoy very much. It’s a matter of taste, I know, but nonetheless, the erotica lost a lot of its appeal at that point and the ending didn’t help. The thing about this series is that the endings are always very open-ended, leaving what comes next up to the reader. In this case the dark ending just took too much away from the work overall.

 

Tera