First and foremost, it should be said that this isn’t a work of erotica. That’s not to say that there aren’t some moments in it. There are some really well written scenes between Lily and Ceri that were exactly right in many ways…
But it’s not only that, Lily, while she is a half-succubus, is not a “sex doll” as many writers have Succubi be. That’s refreshing and, truly, a rare thing to see. What’s more fascinating is how she struggles against her nature, with and sometimes without the help of Ceri, and how her personality changes as the story progresses. It’s also interesting how Ceri’s view of her friend, and they are friends, in the story both threatens their relationship and, eventually, strengthens it. Now Lily doesn’t have horns or a tail, she is a half after all and so she looks completely human if of course being very beautiful.
As an aside, the book cover above shows Lily on the left and Ceri on the right. She knows what she is, and in knowing she also fights against her Succubus side. She’s been through hell in her past and finding Ceri, a woman that her powers don’t work on, gives her the strength to be more than what she was becoming before.
That brings us to the heroine of the story, Ceri. It’s important to me at least that characters that are the core of a story make you want to care about them. Now I cared about Lily when she first appeared and there were moments in the story were I did, actually, fear for her. Ceri on the other hand, I didn’t fear for. She is someone that seems to have their stuff together, save for some moments of indecision at the beginning of the story. As she grows in character as the story is told, she becomes not simply a “person that bad things happen to.”
That’s important because you can only threaten someone so many times before you, as a reader, expect her to get into a mess and then get herself out of it again. You don’t expect them to fail, and Ceri does fail now and again, but her friends help her to figure out her life and world and move on again in a positive direction.
I’ll get to the other characters that interested me in a moment as I want to comment on the universe in which they live. Their world, which is set in our current time frame, isn’t our world. Not by any stretch of the imagination. There was an event in the past that unleashed magic into the world and through that all sorts of mythical, supernatural and similar beings have appeared. There are Succubi of course, but also vampires, witches, zombies, and all kinds of other beings which, in this world, fit the setting really well. I found it easy to place myself into the worldview that the author has created. As I noted, it isn’t our world. There has been massive changes that have occurred there and the repercussions still vibrate to the time this story is set in,
Now, that alone is fascinating, but what is more so is that the world has a clear set of rules that all being that use magic have to abide by, and the author has laid out the system very clearly and makes it well worth understanding. I also liked that the understanding of those rules wasn’t an info dump but became a core part of the story. The point of the story, or the goal of what Ceri and Cheryl are trying to discover connects characters and events in a tight web. That web, if you pay attention and you should when reading this work, makes so much sense by the end of the story that you wonder how long the author spent thinking about the universe.
It must have been ages…
I also can see the care that has been invested in the supporting characters as well. Even the smallest appearance of one of them means something, and it’s important to pay attention to them because they do have a bearing on where the story goes and what happens to Ceri. It is fascinating to read of their past and present and watch as they are fit into the world that she lives in.
Possibly the most interesting to me are Twill, a Fairy that is almost completely a mystery. That’s a good thing as following her through the story and what she does to help, or confuse Ceri at times is amusing at times, but does make you consider what’s going on and remind you that you don’t know everything as the story moves on. Then comes Carter Fleming, a mystery is his own right, and he is one that I would love to know more about. There is something going on in his past and I’d love to know what that is. I also find the transformation of Cheryl Tennant through the story amazing in taking her from where she starts to where she ends up. Just an amazing series of characters that add so much to the story as a whole…
The author has indicated that this is the first book in a series. The next work, called Demon’s Moon will be released soon and a third book is also being fleshed out as well. I can hardly wait for the story to continue. Not just for Lily, who is just fascinating to me, but Ceri and all of the people that surround her… I am quite sure that they are all in for some… interesting times to come…
I’m giving this work five pitchforks out of five.
It’s fun, interesting, well written, has a Succubus that I want to care about in it and a heroine and world that are just so well fleshed out that I almost expect to see both Ceri and Lily walking down the street someday…
Well worth your time to read and I hope that you do! Much thanks to Niall for answering some of my questions on his site, please do visit it for lots of background on the characters and world they live in!
It’s interesting to see how other people see the concept of Succubi and Incubi. More so when they take their ideas and turn them into stories and novels. Occasionally I don’t agree with the ideas, but I do give them a chance to give me story that keeps my interest in spite of what the concepts might be.
And this time, this is one of those ideas that is tempting, interesting, but just falls short of give me enough of the world that I want to see…
The story begins with Trent on his way home seeing a woman in trouble and rescuing her. It turns out that the woman, Anastasia, isn’t what she appears to be. She is a Succubus, and over the course of the story uses her powers to take control of Trent, his wife Nancy and their son Rick.
Her control is over the men and through them Nancy who does her best to try and find a way to overcome the control that Anastasia has over her family. But the cost of that might be more than she realizes it will be.
I won’t spoil the end of the story, nor anything else about the work, but suffice it to say that there is a battle between Anastasia and Nancy and what happens to her family changes their lives forever.
I have to say that the story didn’t quite work for me as well as I had hoped it would. There were a lot of sex scenes in the work, but the connections between them were not enough to hold my interest as I had hoped.
It strikes me that a story is not sex alone when it comes to Succubi and Incubi. There must be more than that for a work to take hold of me and make it worth my time to read.
This author came close to making this work here, but the sex seemed to be more important than the world that the Succubi and Incubi exist in and we get but a small taste of it which was truly disappointing to me.
I should note that there are moments of incest in the story, it’s not the focus of the work by far, but readers should be aware of it…
I’m giving this work 3 pitchforks out of five.
Too short, the universe of the Succubi and Incubi needed more exploration. I understand that it is the first book in a series, but really there should have been so much more background shared by far.
I would best describe this work as a romantic supernatural crime drama, and an excellent introduction to the characters and worlds within this story.
If you purchase this work, you should be aware that it is the first in a series of stores that this author is planned to release, the next book in the series being called Demon Among Wolves, the release date, as yet, is unknown.
The story revolves around a Succubus named Azra who has a rather large problem. She is told by her kind that she cannot find love as it is not for beings like them, but she continues to try and find that love regardless of the pain and suffering she inflicts upon herself.
Azra makes her home on the mortal world in Atlanta Georgia, and spends as much time as she can there. However, her search for love has meant that she has left a trail of bodies in the city behind her. As a result she is made to face judgement in front of a tribunal of demons that sentence her to remain there, her needs slowly breaking down her will. At the same time, a detective named Raif Lungren is investigating the deaths.
Azra makes some errors in judgement that bring her and Raif face to face. They are attracted to each other and through that attraction, Azra learns Raif’s secret, and that secret comes to threaten both of their lives.
That’s all I am going to reveal about the story in this review, I think that the above summarizes the main character’s situation well.
I found the writing quite good, the drama wasn’t over the top, and the plot followed along well from place to place. I like the use of Atlanta in the story, the descriptions of places were well done and I felt like the author knew the places well.
Arza is an interesting example of a Succubus, she has a demonic form that isn’t all human, but has a human side that fits well for her as a mortal. I found the use of her Succubus powers when she was with Raif quite original. I didn’t expect the changes when they came and the confusion on both sides, Arza and Raif, was an interesting layer placed on them both.
There is a “baddy” in the work named Tarmin, who is very evil as you would expect any demon to be. But I was less impressed with him than I was with Tatianna, a lesser being in the demon planes that I think is just fascinating. Not just in what she did in this work, but what she could become in the future stories to come.
The story did leave many questions unresolved, as I would expect the first story in a series to do, but that didn’t bother my enjoyment of the story as a whole. I thought the work was well polished, that the world was well constructed, and that I found that I cared about the characters.
I’m going to give this work 4 pitchforks out of five.
I would have liked a bit more about characters such as Tatianna to round out the story, as there were many questions about her and the other members of the Demon Council that were unanswered in this story. But there will be another chapter in the story to be told and I await that with a swisch in my tail…
There are two things that I like… One is curling up with a good book… The other is looking up from finishing it and realizing that I spent seven hours reading and didn’t stop once. This work gets both of those check-marked off… Another engrossing story from the Ceri universe that is lovely in every way.
The story itself builds in an interesting way in that we get hints about what might be happening through most of the story, but the actual revelation of what the threat is, how that threat is coming to pass, and what can be done about it, are kept away until the right moment to reveal them. I thought that seeing the way this universe works, especially in its government and how it guards its secrets, was fascinating.
The characters grow, the world is more and more detailed, and most of all, the underlying plot, which I will not spoil, made a lot of sense. I didn’t see the resolution of the plot at all, I had an idea, but it didn’t turn out the way I expected. But the climax was everything I could have asked for. You created a world within a world for the weres and what they have as their own society which was well explained and brought a lot of questions from the pervious story to their logical ends… bravo!
The book itself mostly focuses on werewolves in this universe and the author has constructed a society and structure for it that serves well for the characters to live in but also doesn’t feel like something that was added as an afterthought to the story. It has a core relevance to the book, it’s important, and you need to pay attention to it. I thought it was interesting that even within a society were, generally, all of the characters are weres of some kind, the social structure broke into small groups with their own opinions of other groups they were attached to, by biology at least if little else sometimes.
I can’t honestly call any of the characters in the work minor ones really… That is to say, there is no point at which you can look at one and think that having them there was a bad idea. What’s more interesting is that minor characters from the first book grow into major ones in this book and vice versa to an extent. In doing so the mythos of this universe is enriched and it makes reading the work, and the series, more gripping as you care about the individual characters more throughout the book.
Lily, my favourite half-Succubus was central in the story again, which I enjoyed… I loved the way that Lily grew in this story and how her relationship with Ceri is progressing. I think that I like this smarter and more… passionate Lily as she comes to realize, and I hope, to help Ceri realize what she can do. I also liked that we learned some of the fears that Lily has through the story, and also how much she loved Ceri and would, really I think, if it came down to it, die for her, which I hope never happens in the series.
Ceri, the heroine of the series, I also think grew up a lot in the course of the story, though there were two moments where I was a little squeamish at what happened to her. But she didn’t break and I think that in the end, you have to place your characters into jeopardy… and Ceri seems to be into a lot of that doesn’t she? Ceri is hurt, there is no doubt of it, but she pushes through that hurt in order to battle the evil that wants to turn the werewolves to its goals. That shows a great deal of character in herself, but, I think that it also shows that Ceri is vulnerable in other ways which I expect the author to explore in the future.
Solidly written overall, it kept my attention throughout, and I eagerly turned the pages wanting to see what would happen next. There are some sexual scenes in the book, but like the first book they aren’t the point of the work, but endeavour to solidify the relationships between various characters.
Lily showed some of her Succubus powers in the work, but she didn’t go so far over the top that I didn’t like it when she did so. What was interesting, and happens somewhat in each book so far, is that Lily treats her powers and her relationships with others in the book as just being the way things are. However, and this is the part that I like, you can sense how proud Lily is with Ceri after a battle with what she did… mind you it makes Lily just ever so slightly horny when Ceri displays her power. Then again our Lily is connected to someone that is very special in this universe and that is becoming more clear as each book comes to its end.
Lots of questions left at the end, but that’s just fine as, of course, book three has appeared with its own trials and tribulations for our heroines and friends… I saw a lot of foreshadowing of what the next book will be about, and if I am right, then Lily and Ceri are going to be in a lot more trouble personally next time… and honestly, if that trouble reveals more about Lily, then I’ll be okay with that…
I’m giving this work, like the first book, five pitchforks out of five.
The work expands on the first book well, the characters develop in ways that are a joy to see, and most of all, the story is a gripping one. I also liked that there are some openings in the plot for the story to continue smoothly into the next book, which will have Lily facing her own demons in a lot of ways…
All are the marks of an excellent story teller and I look forward to reading the next book in the series…
It’s very hard not to spoil much of this book, so you’ll have to forgive the vagueness of some of my thoughts about it.
One of the things that I have liked about Niall’s writing is that he’s not afraid to build suspense in his stories, but not in telling you something that is important, but showing you something that is important with some other, not so much so, things. A little misdirection in a murder-mystery, which really is the core of this book, is not a bad thing at all.
I was taken by the lengths to which Ceri would go to protect Lily. Not just in the sense of comforting her when that was needed, but also to take risks that might, possibly in the future, come to haunt them both. I did have moments in the story, especially in the first moments of it, when I wondered about Ceri’s mental state at times. It was explained well when it needed to be, but even with that, I felt like something else was going on between Ceri and Lily, and it has throughout all of the stories so far. The thing of it is, to puts a lot of tension between the two, builds on that a lot in this story, but when they have to come to a resolution on their relationship, out of need more than anything else, Ceri didn’t do the easy thing and that made me respect her as a character more.
I also found Ceri’s past coming back to haunt her in this story was well done and actually more than I expected. I felt that how Ceri dealt with the horrors inflicted on her in the second book seemed too pat. That is to say, that there didn’t seem to be any long lasting effects on her from her experience. That came to an abrupt change in this work. She suffers, and I can see the how and why of it, but when it comes, it’s not something that is brushed aside by her. It’s effects are real in that there is emotional and mental harm that Ceri suffered and she starts to be effected by that.
Lily’s past comes back to haunt her in this story, and it breaks her at one point. That was, honestly, the saddest thing to see happen. I understand why it had to, I know that in the end it serves to get Lily to a point she needs to be at, but, it wasn’t the easiest thing to read when it happened.
Lily’s father appears in this story, and I won’t say much about him save that I would have liked to know more about him, and Lily’s mom for that matter, than we do. Yes there are moments where Lily’s past through her parents is shown, but it’s fleeting and I had the oddest feeling that a lot was left out to be revealed in the next story. Lily’s father was, mostly, what I expected him to be. The story itself, and Lily herself, make him out to be quite the evil being… I expect to see him again… soon.
The threat that Ceri and Lily face is well wrapped in darkness and you don’t get a good sense of how bad it is, and who is involved until Carter, one of the main characters in all of Niall’s stories and an important person to Ceri and Lily, opens a door to them, and to the reader, on a part of the world that has been hinted at before, but never really revealed. That places another problem into Ceri’s universe she had to deal with, and considering that they threaten someone she loves, namely Lily, I was surprised at her response to them. I don’t think I would have been quite so… nice with them.
It’s good to see many of the characters in the previous stories appear again in this one. More so that their appearance means something to the story and it isn’t just a name-dropping exercise. One thing that I have learned about this series is that you should pay attention to all of the characters in it, no matter how small their roles. They will appear when you least expect them to and then their reason for being in the series makes you stop and wonder why you didn’t see that when they first appeared.
As in all of his previous works, the writing is solid, the characters are well rounded, and the plots within the work are well thought out. The science of the magic in this world remains solidly grounded in rules as well, which adds to the overall plot. There isn’t any point where a solution is offered or a threat appears, where it makes no sense with the rest of the universe that has been created before. The past is remembered by the characters and that I think is wonderful to see. It makes the story, and the series, more like “reality” and, of course, reality is what you make of it isn’t it?
At the end of the work, I was quite satisfied with the resolution of the plot, at least the main one, which resolved several ongoing themes in the series. I could see a few dangling plot lines that will lead, I am sure, into the next book in the series, which I am fine with as well. I still have a lot of questions about Succubi in general in this world, but then there are other beings, like Twill, the fairy of the series, which we know little about. But then a good series shouldn’t give you everything you want in one moment, but sprinkle knowledge and understanding throughout.
And this series certainly does that…
The second story in the book, Black Moonlight, actually had a moment in it that brought me to tears which I think is a good indication of how much I have become invested in the characters in the series. Set during the events of this book, it gives us a look into part of the werewolf Michael’s life, as fleeting as it is. That’s not a bad thing as what we do see answers a lot of questions about this character and, at least for me, makes me wonder about his and Ceri’s ongoing relationship in the third book.
Niall has written some other short stories set in this universe that he has published elsewhere in the web. I can’t quite decide which of these I like the best, but I hope that, eventually, they appear as their own book because they add a lot to the entire series and I think that they haven’t been seen by a lot of his readers…
I’m giving this work, like the first two in the series, five pitchforks out of five.
Some answers given, some hints of what is to come appear. All wrapped in excellent writing, characters and stories that are the mark of a talented author that cares about their works…
And I have no doubt that the next book in the series, Dragon’s Blood will add so much more to this universe. I can’t wait to see what happens next…
I was quite happy to see that one of my favorite authors released a small collection of short stories from the series he has been writing. I have wanted to see these stories in their own collection for some time now, I have to admit that I have a small connection to it as well in that I sort of gave Niall the idea for the cover, so you can blame me for that if you'd like.
I also want to make it very clear that I have purchased every book that Niall has released as some might wonder if my views are a bit colored on the series. Mind you, a series with a smart Succubus in it will always get my attention, but one with the world, characters and writing to match? That's just icing on the cake...
If you haven't read the series so far, this work is a good taste of some of the characters in the series, but also Niall's talents in telling a story which personally I enjoy very much. I'm going to touch on each of the tales here a little bit and try not to spoil it too much...
Bedtime Story: One of the characters in the series that we actually know very little about is Lily's father. He appears in the third book of the series, but we know get to know much about him and, honestly, if you read the book you would have a poor opinion of him. This story however, I have to say was loving, beautiful and gave us a peek at him being a father. He loves Lily, cares about her, and wants to see her grow up. Lily is only a child in this story and she is being read a bedtime story, but the cuteness of little Lily is so very much reflected in the Lily that I have come to love and for that I am grateful to have the chance to see her like this.
Birthdays: This was, for me at least, the saddest story in the collection. It tells of Ceri's birthdays at several points in time. Two of them are happy in a way, but it is the third one that tells so much about her and how absolutely lost she was after her parents passed away. More interesting is that it also, I think, foreshadows something to come in the series and is well worth reading and remembering for the future.
Black Lily: It is sometimes hard to remember that Lily wasn't the person that she became after she met Ceri. The story shows us a moment in that Lily's life where she wasn't happy, didn't like herself and most of all, didn't think she could be more. It's important to see where Lily came from to appreciate what she has made of herself. This story shows a lot of that and it's important to know.
Redemption: If Black Lily was the dark of Lily's life, then this story was the first glimmer of hope. It tells of the first time that Lily met Carter Fleming, a character in the series that gave Lily a chance, put her in touch with Ceri, and, most of all, is a focal point in the series for much of the personal growth that both Lily and Ceri have gone through. This story is vital to understanding why Carter makes the decisions he does in the series, and it explains much of his character.
Nightshade: On it's own an inspired piece of writing. It involves two, and I hate to call them this, minor characters in the series, John Radcliffe and Kate Middleshaw who are police detectives that deal with supernatural crimes. It gives a look into both of their lives away from Ceri and her problems or their having to deal with crime within the series itself. More interesting is that while it does tell of John's home life with his wife, it also tells of his fears and frustrations as well. It also opens a small window on Kate's life in a way that I didn't expect from the story until the end when it was revealed. I have to wonder if both of these characters will come to have a more central place in future stories in the series... I hope so as they have much to say I think.
I'm giving this work, five pitchforks out of five.
It's not enough to just toss out stories in a universe for the sake of doing so. The stories here matter in the overall scheme of things and whether you have read the series or not, it's time well spent in a world that is cared about.
And that, really, is what matters most of all.
Please do read this collection and take a peek into this universe... I think you will not be disappointed in doing so...
It’s very hard not to spoil the entire story in this review. The overarching questions about Ceri begin to be answered, and the answers are, quite simply, unexpected. What Ceri had gone through during the story of Demon’s Moon really comes to hit her very hard and it’s somewhat disheartening to see the amount of pain and fear that she carries with her.
A pivotal moment in the first book returns to threaten Ceri, and in ways that are unexpectedly violent in nature. Whether or not that threat disappears is, I think, something that is yet to be seen. We learn a great deal about how this universe works outside of the small parts of England that we have seen in the series so far. The hints about China, Australia and the United States really ground the series very well and make it, if not easier, more possible to send Ceri and Lily to new places to see.
It’s good to see many characters from the series returning again for this story, but also that they haven’t remained static since the last time we have seen them. They have made choices, lived lives, and, occasionally, made choices that have changed them forever. What’s more, one particular character, who seemed to be nothing really special earlier in the series, is now very much a part of Ceri’s life, and has given her answers that she never expected.
How those answers change her life, her relationship with Lily, and her world, I think will be amazing to watch unfold. Ceri’s secret, and who it draws into her life, was completely unexpected. I didn’t see the reveal coming until it happened, but there are hints along the way about it. The trick, and the author managed this well, was that what the hints are is vague enough and innocent enough that some readers might miss them… you shouldn’t.
Lily is of course a large part of this story as well. But her father also appears, an in doing so quite a lot about Succubi and Incubi in this universe are revealed. Again, I won’t spoil that, but, the reasons and the effect that Ceri has on them, is completely understandable in the mythos that the author has created and within the rules as well. I liked that Lily grows in her power, and that Ceri is a great part of that transformation. I have the feeling that in doing so, this will come to cause a problem for Ceri and Lily soon. I’m just not sure how exactly.
There are three new characters that appear in this story, and they are possibly the most mysterious and powerful ones that have appeared so far. I have to say the most mysterious one, the one that connects most deeply to Ceri… I want to know more about her than we do. I’m hoping that Cheri will meet her somewhere that allows them to discover each other. I think there is something important to come from that relationship, but I am not sure if it is for good, bad, or indifference…
But that’s the core of this series isn’t it? It’s the relationships between the characters that matter, it’s what drives the series forward, and it makes it well worth the time to read and enjoy. The moments of what happens to them, what happens as a result, and where things go from there is the icing on the cake when you have the characters to support the journey…
And it’s a really, really fascinating one this time…
I’m giving this work, five pitchforks out of five.
Once again, a riveting story that uses all of the past in the series to build upon, but not to give you all of the answers. You are left with questions that you hope will be answered in another story to come… and the one after that, and the one after that…
The mark of a good author is to leave you wanting more. This author has that gift within them…
The fifth book in the series, Distrubia will be released March 3rd, 2012, and I can hardly wait to see what comes next…
My page turning tail awaits…
The story of Ceri and Lily sort of takes a diversion in this chapter of their lives. They find themselves learning to be part of the police force that they have been involved with from time to time in the series and in becoming more involved, things become somewhat of a train wreck for them.
I can see how both of them gaining a certain amount of “respectability” would be helpful considering what has dropped into their lives in the past, and where it might go in the future. There is of course some police work for the pair, much of it at times hilariously funny. But also the book shows just how much both of them have grow as characters as well.
Ceri is more centred in this story, she seems to have some of her life figured out, especially her relationship with Lily and her werewolf mate Michael as well. Lily has gained more understanding of herself, who and what she is, and more interestingly to me. made a relationship with her father. That I found to be especially interesting when talk in the book came to Lily being “owned” by Ceri and what that might mean and do to Lily’s father… I see something coming of this in the future, if I’m not sure what precisely.
Ceri learns an important point of her past as well, which really opens the door to several questions I have about one particular, not so minor, character in the series. If that goes where I think it does, that being their hesitation with regards to Ceri… That will be a moment to come when that truth is revealed between them and it might change Ceri… a lot.
The core of the story is dark. Very dark. I have to admit that at certain points I was squeamish over things that happened, or were remembered to have happened. I understand that the seeder side of the universes exists, we’ve seen hints of it in the past, but the moments were hard for me to get through even knowing that it was a story alone.
The resolution of the core story, the bringing of justice to those that deserved it in whatever means it came to pass was violent as well, but considering the source of the “justice” that had to be expected. But the mindless anger, rage and transference of that towards others that were not part of what happened… it seemed a bit off for some reason to me. Not that the character that was responsible for the actions wasn’t the right sort of being to do so… It just seemed slightly over the top to me… But then insanity will have that effect won’t it?
I liked the looks we were given into werewolf society. Michael’s father and family were more than I expected them to be and the climax of that plot thread was perfect in many ways… I admit that I cried when it was over for Michael and his brothers for their loss. It’s important to give characters like Michael a past, a reason for their lives, and a reason to live. I think he has that now with Ceri and I hope that leads to something wonderful for them both.
One of the more telling things that happens in this work is that Lily is forced to face her past head on. While that’s hard to bear at times, and really it is, Ceri and Ceri alone is enough for Lily to get through it all, push it aside, and turn her back on it for the woman she loves. That’s a victory for Lily and I think that will help to make her a stronger character in the future.
We get some very interesting hints about Twill in this book and I really, really want to know more about her that we have seen. She’s a mystery in Ceri’s life, not that is a bad thing, but the massive hints and suggestions that appear when Ceri looks into the Fae world… Dearest Twill you have some explaining to do my dear and when you do I wonder what Ceri will think of you then…
There is an undertone in the story which focuses on the question of, I think, doing the right thing for the wrong reasons, or the wrong thing for the right reasons. Ceri makes some ill advised choices, but that makes her human. Lily does as well, as so many others in this work do. But the thing of it is, given the chance to see right from wrong, and then using that knowledge to fix what isn’t right… That makes for an interesting read and, more so, a lot of character growth from the beginning to the end of this story.
As always, the work is well written, holds you in the universe tightly, and keeps the pages turning to the very last one. Of course that is the problem isn’t it? You get to the last page and need to see what comes next…
This work is well worth five pitchforks out of five.
Niall has expanded the universe in many interesting ways, offered some closure to a few questions that have cropped up in the series, but also left me wanting more…
And that’s never a bad thing…
The sixth book in the series, Hammer of Witches will be released very, very shortly…
My page turning tail awaits it as always…
There is an underlying theme in this work that revolves around the question of, what frightens you the most? There are some very specific things that Ceri sees in this story that tell a great deal about her. Some of which, if you have been paying attention to the series are quite obvious, but there are some that are much less so which was interesting. More so, the being that Ceri and her friends face reflects and in a way, lives for the application of those fears to gain more power for itself.
The thing of that is, while that threat is faced, the world around Ceri begins to come apart at the seams. It reminded me a lot of the 1950s in America where there was a Communist around every corner and everyone was a spy. The sheer level of paranoia that builds up and around Ceri is really something to see.
What makes that worse is that there are strings being pulled and in that larger questions remain at the end of the work that will, I am quite sure, return again in the series. I am expecting that the question of “who do you trust?” will be an ongoing theme from here till that mystery is solved fully…
I rather liked Ceri and Lily’s comment at one point in the story about how they seem to always be involved in the worst possible situations over and over again… It made me pause and wonder, quite seriously, what it would be like for them to have absolutely nothing of consequence happen at some point in the series… It would never happen of course, but the thought itself was amusing to me at least…
I think this particular story is the most fast paced of the series in that you are taking from place to place and event to event without having a lot of time to reflect on what just happened. In a way that is telling in what Lily and Ceri go through, and that was a nice touch to the telling as well.
At one point Ceri confronts an angel in her home, and, to be honest, I thought that it was the funniest thing I have ever read. The angel is someone that I do hope we see again really as they have quite a lot of personality and would be a pleasure to see return once more. Reflecting against that, the glimpses of the underground of the vampires, the inter workings of the military and government, the inherent fears in them all and the events, mainly bad ones for several characters in the story, are driving forces to the story. It is a shame that in all of that a stupid mistake takes one of them away forever…
There is of course tension in this work from the main story, but as well, there is a bit of tension in Ceri discovering her nature as a Domme and that nature coming out in force as the story progresses. I have to say that I understand that Ceri is changing, has changed and will change further… I am perhaps a bit saddened by the loss of the innocent Ceri for the more worldly one that we see now.
Ceri has grown in her own skin in more than one way as has Lily. There is a bit more known about Twill which was nice and the relationships with Michael, Ceri’s werewolf mate were wonderful to see. He really does come into his own in this story and it is nice to see that he does.
While all of the characters I have come to enjoy appear, the thing that I discovered was that they all have something bothering them and that in a way is Ceri herself. The question is, what happens when she finally becomes who or what she seems to be transforming into. There isn’t a lot physically that happens in this book, but, mentally and emotionally, as I have said before, she has changed…
What that amounts to will be something I will be looking forward to seeing in the future…
Wonderfully told as always, Niall didn’t disappoint and so another five pitchforks of course…
There is a part of the Thaumatology universe that has been hinted at, but never really explored. The question of the Fae, their world, their existence has been on the edges of many of the stories in this series, but never really delved into. There were hints of their power, their influence, where they acted on the Earth, but nothing really definite or something that you could point to and say… that’s how it all works.
That all changes in this work. The inner workings, powers and more of the Fae world meet up with Ceri and Lily as they try, so very much to protect their friends. And in doing so we learn something about what to me has been something of an icon or rock in Ceri and Lily’s life for a long time.
Twill. Possibly the most mysterious being in the Thaumatology series that I can think of. I think that because we didn’t really know all that much about her it made her not the most active or the most powerful being, which she isn’t. But it did make her the one character in the series that you had to think about and wonder about from the moment she first appeared. There was an aura around her that you knew something was different about her.
And in this book, all of her secrets come out fully. Her world, her family, now and why she came to be with Ceri and Lily. Everything that wasn’t said before… is. But here’s the most important thing about this work. While we learn her name, her true name, that name is not who Twill is. And for that one important point and how the story goes from beginning to end… That’s her being true to the Twill we have known throughout the series.
In meeting Twill’s family I can see why she wanted to leave and how in spite of all that goes on now to her and to her friends her family cares more about power and position than anything else. It gives full voice to how Twill became who she is and why and it explained so much of her personality.
There is one certain fairy that appears with Twill when Ceri, Lily and Michael arrive in the Fae world that I fell in love with from the first moment. It’s good to see her… not quite grow up but realize that she can be and do more than she thinks she can. Her transformation runs in parallel with that of the Fae world and Ceri as well.
There is a good deal of intrigue in this work and the reveal of the threat when it comes, turned the story into something of a perfect example of that saying “may you live in interesting times.” For Ceri and many others, they truly do. The path to the climax of that thread in the story goes in a lot of directions that I never expected. That’s the thing about Naill’s writing, the simple path isn’t the best one when you can made the story better for going off the beaten track. By the end of the story, many of the loose threads from the previous works in the series are tied up, but then. of course, some new themes appear which gave me a smile. It was really something special to watch Ceri do things that she never thought she could, or would, want to do.
Lily of course appears in this work and she is a lovely talented Succubus as I have come to love. But while she is what she is, it does not make up all of who she is. Yes we see what Lily is capable of, but it’s much more satisfying to see her relationship with Ceri be all that is should be. I am, I admit, a bit put off with one piece of jewelry she wears, even if I understand why she does so. But Lily’s story is far from finished and there are still things to be told about her.
The same holds true for Lily’s father Faran who appears for a bit in this work. There is something more about him that is missing and someday I hope that story is told as well. There is a side of him that we haven’t seen and I would like to see it.
In spite of some of the threads being completed, there are a great many plots begun at the end of this work which will I am sure bring many more works in this universe to light. And that is, of course, the mark of a writer that knows their craft, characters and world.
Five out of five pitchforks…
There are. when you think about it, really two main truths in the universe. On the one hand you have those that look to do dark things. To bring that darkness into others, envelope them with it, and then spread that taint as far as they can. On the other you have those that believe in light things. Compassion. Caring. Love. Understanding. All of the better traits that truly we should see in ourselves and each other.
The same can be said of Succubi really, if you think about it. They can be the ones to cater to more darker desires, or they can be the way to enlightenment….
To find that balance within themselves, and ourselves by knowing them… That, truly, is enlightenment…
Quite some time ago, this author released a work called Tesla’s Succubus, which I reviewed. At that time, I had several unanswered questions about the beings that were, in a way, Succubi. I wanted to know why they did the things they did, what their purpose was, and most of all, why it was that they were more… animal-like or predatory… With this, a second peek into this universe… I have more questions, but I also have quite a lot more to enjoy…
This work has a taste of mystery within it, on several levels, that is nicely played out over the course of the story. I found it a lovely touch to have what I would consider dark and light Succubi existing. Now neither of them have horns or tails, nor are they physically Succubus, or for that matter, Incubus, in their appearance. They do have the ability to shape-shift, to see into the minds of others and draw on their wants and needs. Where the difference comes is that one side looks to be based on what I would call animal needs while the other is based on compassion, love, and so much more. It’s quite a thing to watch thread its way through the work, what it means to the characters in the story, depending on which they are “possessed” by.
As in the first work, there is a touch of TG aspects, but it isn’t overwhelming by any means and what I particularly liked was that when these themes appear, it is for a purpose. It isn’t the typical “I have breasts! Have to explore myself” theme. It is a transformational moment for the characters that are changed in this way, but it is also one for those that do not switch gender. The changes that come, on either side, light or dark, are telling for each, in their own way, and help to drive the story forwards. The comparison of both, the ways and means of their lives really is core to this story and a gripping read.
I still have many questions about the creatures however. Really there isn’t a lot of focus on them, no real understanding of them save for passing thoughts and feelings that the characters tell us about. Perhaps it is that mystery that makes this work special in its own way. The story is of the changed, not the changers.
The personalities in the work are well defined, their actions make sense and are not strange or wrong as the work goes on. There is a truth to each one, and in the end we see that truth appearing quite clearly. Transformed yes, but their humanity remains with them and, for me, the best part was when that humanity was revealed.
There are moments of strife, of conflict of course. Some of these carry over clearly from the first work. It was nice to see the author make the connection to the previous book, and also give us a name for the main character of the previous work. I also was very happy to see a resolution to their story after all they had been through.
The new Succubus, like the first told of, is a TG transformation, but the event in this story is well described and plays out very smoothly and makes a good deal of sense. I have questions about how exactly it all started, the beginning of the work is very unclear, at least to me. Mind you the uncertainty and self-questioning along with self-discovery was interesting, I did take pause at two points within the first five pages of the story to put straight in my mind the scene and the being that begins the tale. I’m not entirely sure about the start of the story, but once past that, the rest of the work really flows nicely from moment to moment.
The story has what I felt was the right erotic moments at the right times in the story. It wasn’t sex for the sake of it. It was a means to push the story forwards as it should be used. There is an obvious contrast between the two sides, but in that comes the way for the story to move towards its conclusion.
For the most part, the ending was satisfying, though it does leave several paths for the story to take in the future. Compared with the first work, this one has a purpose, not a word is wasted, and in the telling of this story comes an important truth. One that I have always believed in and it was nice to see that here. Sometimes the simplest things make for the best stories and I think this work is one of the author’s best by far.
I’m giving this work four and a half out of five pitchforks.
Really an engrossing tale of truths that everyone should believe in. Still questions to be answered, and I wish they had been here. Still there is much more story to be told in this universe and I await quite eagerly for the next part of the story that I hope is still to come…
My thanks to the author for this work… Truly so much more than I really had expected…
To begin a new series is, really, a very difficult thing to do. There has to be an emotional connection between the reader and the characters in the story for one thing. That connect can’t be vague or a wisp of a thought either. It has to make the reader want to see what happens next and where the story goes. Then comes the story isn’t. It should never be a massive information dump that the reader has to slog through before actually getting to the meat of the story. Purpose and reason are important and mixing that with background does matter.
Managing to balance both of those needs and do that well? That’s a talent. I found an author that certainly has that going for them…
One of the core plots of this work is all of the events that happen to Arthur and his family. Were this a “young man coming of age” story that would fit quite well. Arthur is much older than he looks and as such, he cannot express the loss of his wife, cannot grieve as he must, and when his world comes crashing down… it is an awful thing to see. To know that you could live, in theory, forever, and have to see all that you hold dear fade away around you… That can kill a soul.
But in spite of what happens to him and his family, Arthur knows the value of doing the right thing, even if it hurts. He knows that he has done wrong and accepts that he has. He knows that he need to do the right thing and, truly, no matter what he will strive to do so. I said that Arthur is older than he looks. He is an old soul. But even an old soul can learn something new. Especially about themselves.
That journey, from despair to a need for retribution is a long path full of moments unexpected, friends not believed, places encountered, and truths given that he never saw. It is that last experience, to know what had been happening around him and his family. takes him to a place where knowing the truth makes it no easier to accept. But that is, in the end, what the path of one’s life must be.
Arthur carries with him six beings and their stories are both tragic and inspiring as well. One of these is a Succubus, but I will return to her in a moment. Arix is the sorcerer with his secrets to be told. Vetisghar is the warrior demoness-cat who speaks little, but holds honour above all. Hjuul, the devoted hellhound that can be a puppy in one moment and fearless in the next. Pffiferil is a leprechaun with a bottomless flask, a sharp wit and a taste for the things that he enjoys. But also a compassion that few see. And Sheyliene is the fairy who suffered greatly in the past and faces her tormentor once more unexpectedly.
And, finally, there is Silithes the Succubus, also known as Sil. I have said many times that stereotypical Succubi bother me greatly, that having them in a story just isn’t interesting to me. Sil, her past, her secrets, who she is, what she wants are… different. Some say that a Succubus cannot love, cannot have a soul, cannot be anything more than what they are so crudely called. Those need to meet her I think and discover they are completely wrong. She isn’t perfect, though she would like to be. She holds secrets that when revealed nearly destroy Arthur. But the thing is that she is not dispassionate, she isn’t simply a temptation. She is so much more than that and for me that was the most attractive thing about her. That and she doesn’t have hooves, but she does have a tail and wings, but I digress a bit. Sil is, when the moments come, every bit wanting to do the right thing, to show that she is more than Arthur believes. That secret I mentioned does cause much pain, but there is closure for both Sil and Arthur eventually and in those moments, she I think gained that soul that she claims she doesn’t have.
There are several other characters in this work that some might call minor, but they are written with the background and personality that when they appear they hold the moment quite well in spite of the main characters they are with. Grey is an enigma, Marthe is one cook I would never want to cross, Karen runs hot and cold but for reasons we don’t quite now really. But then… then there is Znuul. He reminds me of someone I know, really quite a lot, and reading his thoughts and actions I can her that being’s voice speaking to me. He is… well I won’t spoil things, but I would really like to see, at some point, he and Arthur sitting down, sharing a drink, and talking about what they have seen. For them to be the friends that I feel like they are meant to be. It may sound odd, but when I see those two together the chemistry reminds me of a Hollywood movie two buddies road trip… Come to think of it, that would be wonderful thing to see. They would be perfect.
The works is gripping from the first to the last, there is little wasted moments and you do need to follow what is going on intently. But that is the point of any good story, of any well written tale to be told. To make you want to pay attention, to not skim the words… That is a talent. And for that, especially to read these characters… That really was important to me.
There is only a hint of erotica in this work and to be quite clear, having that as part of this work in any obvious dramatic way would have felt… cheap. This work is not about erotica. This work is about finding one’s self when the one you love isn’t there any longer. It is about finding out who is your friend, who matters to you, and what you do with your life. The tone of the work, the heartfelt moments for Arthur, for Silithes, for all of those that touch Arthur’s life positively in this work is what matters. In the end, when the last page is turned, the ending leaves the door open to the next story in the series quite well and in doing so that gives thoughts to where the story goes from here… As it should.
The writing is tight, the characters full, as I have said, the plot is well designed and all of those things are the hallmark of excellent story telling.
I have a new series to follow… And I will be.
Five out of five pitchforks.
A very good opening to the series, full of passion, real characters, and moments when they are, truly, more than they are expected to be. One of the things that I have always believed in is that family matters. In this work, by far, that is so very plain to see.
Recommended, the author has indicated that the second work in the series will be coming soon and I for one will be watching for it intently…
It is said, by some, that there is one thing each of us desires that we would do anything for. A single thought, desire, wish. Something that we know, deep inside, we can never have… or can we?
What if you were given that desire? What would be the cost? What sort of deal would you make for it? In the end the question becomes one that is more focused when what you are becomes what you desire to be… and what others desire of you…
Sarah does not like herself all that much. When she sees an advertisement that promises her everything she wants, she tries to make it happen. Darkness arrives and offers her wish, a choice, and a fate. Sarah receives all three and then discovers that when you make a deal… it’s really never finished.
The being of darkness, really there isn’t any other good way to describe them, I thought had the right mix of evil, mystery and… I’ll use the word dominance I think. They were at one moment charming, in the next evil barely contained, and what I particular liked was the humour that drifted in and out of their conversation with Sarah. I’ll also add that, for me, the appearance of a single cupcake and what it represents, was deviously ironic. They set the tone of the series well I thought and I find myself wondering about them and if they might return when Sarah least expects them to.
Sarah’s personality and character is an interesting mix of submission and dominance which I think reflects who she seems to be. She wants to submit, to be changed, to become her desires, but at the same time she fights against that within herself. She could just give in, but she does not and that I found made me like her a lot more than I would have if she simply had given up. She’s intelligent, which was nice to see, and thinks… usually… before she acts. But now that she has her desire, the question is just how long she can keep that controlled… It will be a fight, on that point I have little doubt.
There is a Succubus in this work that Sarah encounters towards the latter third of the work. The Succubus isn’t quite stereotypical in nature however for many reasons. One is physical in nature, one seems to be very specific to Sarah herself, and a last is that what the Succubus can do is somewhat different than what you might expect. She is evil, of course, and the battle that Sarah faces has its lusts, wants and desires, some of which are within Sarah herself and some that are pressed upon her. Overall I thought the Succubus was interesting, though remaining unnamed, but for a good reason I think if the series goes in the direction I think it will. I didn’t care for her having hooves, one of my own personal peeves and not a criticism of the author herself. But her personality worked well for me and how she ensnared Sarah fit into the story very well.
The one thing that puzzled me somewhat was that Sarah had to jump through two “tests” and I’m not quite sure that needed to be. I do realize this work is setting up the rest of the series to come, and of course there has to be an origin to all good storytelling… It just felt to me as if there was a little too much “test” and not quite enough “consequence” in what transpired. However, I am quite sure that things will change as the story progresses forwards.
A good, solidly written work with really nothing that took me out of the story. I will admit that I winced a bit when the Succubus appeared with hooves, I really do not care for them, but that is my own personal bias. A touch of mind control hinted at which was well done. And I have to add that the appearance of a particular cupcake made me smile, but you will have to read the work to understand that reference. I would have liked to know more about the Succubus, the question that Sarah thinks about when she first encounters her is one that I think is a bit of foreshadowing of what is to come and getting from here to there will be something different I expect.
Four out of five pitchforks.
It is an interesting beginning to the series with quite a lot of introspection, self-examination and desire. I believe I see some foreshadowing within the work, and where the series goes from here I find to be intriguing. The balance of erotica to story was quite good and I hope that continues as the series goes on…
I will be following it to see…
Dirk finds himself called to a mansion where he encounters Selina. He is captivated by her, ensnared, and then she reveals her world, and what she needs from him. Submitting to her seems a dream… and in doing so, could change reality.
Selina isn’t quite a succubus, really she’s many different kinds of seductress, but as a whole there’s a certain tendency, at least in my thoughts, to think of her as being one. Dirk asks a question in the latter part of the work which turns on an important point, but I will return to that. She is a seductress, she expresses that in words, her actions, her voice. She is, in so many ways, passion, seduction and erotica brought to like and I enjoyed that quite a lot. The cover of the work, at least in my mind’s eye, doesn’t quite fit Selina well. She’s less “evil” than she is “practical” in her outlook.
Being so, knowing what she wants, that makes for some amazing dialog. As well it allows the story to push towards one of the more unique D/s scenes I have read in some time and I enjoyed how that played out. Selina is sure in her power, what she needs from Dirk, and the story of his submitting to her will has some lovely heat that I enjoyed. The way in which Selina weaves her story, how she draws Dirk into her world and then where that story goes is told in a way that’s very erotic, has a smoking hot tone and puts the story out in a way that the erotica isn’t simply “there” it is bound to it, pushing the story onwards, and being so makes the work so much better.
Dirk himself, as things unfold, is drawn into Selina’s web and there is a delicious undercurrent of mind control that reads exceptionally well. Dirk knows something is happening, but Selina sees to it that he focuses more on her than anything else. That beings a moment where Selina’s dominance comes to the fore.
In that moment, Dirk asks a question of Selina, and the answer to that question cemented my belief that she wasn’t a stereotypical succubus. She is something quite different and more. She has a purpose, it drives her, and in being so, she’s found there is more to her and her world, than what has been. In that moment, I felt there was a payoff in the story, that everything that had happened made sense and that thrilled me.
The erotica has lovely heat, Selina’s sexuality doesn’t overcome her seductiveness. She knows what she wants, what she is doing to Dirk and, as a whole, he has an inkling of what she is doing to him. It is the slow descent towards the climax of the work that works so very well with the erotica.
The work ends on a note that offers a way for the story of Selina and Dirk to continue, but it does so in a way that there is a satisfying closure to the work. There’s no disappointment in the ending, really it offers the most interesting conclusion and in doing so the characters continue to be true to themselves to the very end.
I wish there had been more told about Selina, her past, how things came to this point in time. I found myself wondering about those that had come before, what happened with them. I would have liked a little more revealed about the time between Selina and Dirk’s climax and the ending of the work. It feels like there’s a scene missing for some reason. Not a critical one by any means, just a question I have that I feel like wasn’t quite being answered in the end.
Well written, the characters are wonderfully told, the story is strong, has power, and tells of a universe that has so many stories to be revealed. Well enjoyed and recommended.
Four and a half out of five pitchforks.
An amazingly good read, Selina is a wonderfully complex character and in being so, she avoids being stereotypical which made me enjoy the work even more. I’d like to see more, what happens next. I feel like the story of Selina and Dirk and the others isn’t finished by any means. I hope to see that sometime. To know more about Selina, the secrets not told would be a story within itself.
The time that Dirk has spent in the house is difficult to say, but he knows that something is happening to him. A mystery unfolds around him, he faces himself to find the answers, and along the way Selina awaits him.
I think this is a wonderful continuation of the first work in the series and it does, to a point, answer some of the questions that were left unanswered at the end of the first work. While the second gave another view of how this universe works and some of the beings within, the core of the series is Dirk and Selina, their relationship, and what it all means.
Following Dirk as he examines the library of the house, discovers a book there, and then what comes from that point onwards is one of the most captivating supernatural erotica scenes I have read in some time. The struggle within Dirk as the book tells a story is one thing, but when Selina appears, the heat moves from a simmer to a boil deliciously. The mix of physical and, for lack of a better term, spiritual sexually play off against each other well.
What’s most fascinating to me is that neither Dirk or Selina are really in control of what happens to them, and how those reactions play off each other reflects how little Dirk knows and what Selina knows and isn’t telling. It isn’t evil or horrific, there’s an current of desire, need, pleasure that joins the two together and works really well.
When the revelation comes as to what happened and Dirk confronts this, that interplay is very true to his character and doesn’t seem out of place or odd. Along the way something happens, the world changes and another level of the house is revealed bringing with it two new characters that have a unique relationship, but also reveals something about Dirk that I assumed, but wasn’t stated until he was confronted with it.
The broadening of the mythos of the series in this work comes to the core of the story. It pushes the characters, allows for some questions to be answered, but leaves a few new ones in the wake of the events. The characterizations are lovely, the erotic heat is very well done. There’s a touch of snark around Dirk at one point, but it made sense, seeming to be very right.
Selina remains a bit of an enigma, but even so, her need, want and desire for Dirk doesn’t waver. Wrapped in this comes a better feel to her intelligence, her purpose, and what she wishes. Perhaps not all of her truths are told, the erotic moments cause a bit of drifting from thought to need, but it doesn’t harm the telling of the story at all.
With each work in the series, the author’s grasp of the characters, especially Selina and Dirk, make the work read better, their voices clearer. The writing is excellent, the characters true, and the events, while odd in a supernatural way sometimes, fit well. I wish there was more about Selina’s past, or a little more time spent in the library between Selina and Dirk in an intellectual way. I found that little snippet of their time together was the most telling of all.
Four and a half out of five pitchforks.
The questions about both Dirk and Selina are still there, the story isn’t finished I think, call this a moment of clarity along the way to understanding. Learning about the house, what Selina’s role is to those within the walls was telling. More so the struggle within Dirk was told in a voice that expressed so much about him. A tempting quandary and I look forward to where the story goes from here.
Caroline finds herself stranded on a farm and has no idea how she got there exactly. An encounter with an Incubus leaves her both frightened and aroused, but at the same time confused. The truth is stranger than fiction, but the reality isn’t. When the answers come, then everything is made clear by an odd couple Caroline encounters, the Incubus that pursues her, and her own desires revealed.
The work is every bit as good as the first work in the series. The characters, and there are a lot more in this work than in the first, speak with their own voices, but Caroline is the centre of the story and everything revolves around her for the most part. There is a secondary storyline which centres on a couple that Caroline comes across in the midst of a rather intimate moment that I enjoyed.
Through this second couple, there’s a fascinating explanation of how things work, why Caroline is where she has come to, and what, as a whole, it all means. Much of that reinforces the prior work in which Selena, the succubus, and I tend to think of as, Mistress of this domain, explained how things worked. I found Wyneleth, who is the supernatural part of this new couple, a complete joy in the story for how she presents herself, her character and how she holds her opinions and thoughts so well. She seems a bit of a foil to Selena, in a way, and where that leads to I think will be interesting to see.
The incubus of this work, Sebastian, is a mystery through most of the story and when his secret is revealed I liked how it fit into what had happened in the work to that point, what Caroline’s reaction was, and where the story went from there. It made sense, it explained a lot of why things happened, but left a few questions loose to be picked up towards the end of the work by other characters as need be.
Sebastian has most of the classical appearance of an Incubus, but his character is not stereotypical, cruel, or strange. It takes some time for the story to get to the point where the truth appears, Caroline confronts this and has to make a choice. I liked the little touches of Sebastian’s Incubus nature that came out in his being with Caroline, and how that was used to heat up the erotic scenes quite nicely.
The balance between story and erotica was well done, there is good heat in the several hot flashes that creep in here and there. There are one or two points where things go a little over the top, but not too much so. Some of the reactions from the other characters as Caroline and Sebastian have their fun are amazingly funny and I adored that part of the story.
The characters are written very well, having a clear voice, the scenes are rich with descriptions, thoughts, and how everything links together is well done. There are a few, very minor spelling and word mistakes, but they are very minor as a whole, and do not take much away, but they are a little stumbles in what otherwise is a strongly told story.
With all that comes in this work, what it describes and lays out, I do look forwards to the next work in the series. Selena’s fleeting appearance adds a nice connection to the prior work, but it also tells of what the future holds. How that works out, where it does, I think can make for many delicious stories to tell.
Four and a half out of five pitchforks.
I think this work is a wonderful followup, it tells a captivating story, but more so, it explains more about this universe, how things work, and why they do so. It feels like more of a complete world, the characters dwelling there with their own lives and stories to tell. I do hope that Selena and her realities do appear again for there are so many more stories to tell.
Althea is having a really bad day. It’s not enough that a mere mortal has harmed her, it’s not just that she had to take up residence in a mortal woman to survive. No, the real problem is that she can’t get out of the mess she’s in without the mortal’s help. It’s going to be a long road, filled with peril, strife, loss and more. Neither of them will be the same, and in the end, perhaps both will learn something about themselves that they didn’t expect before.
The work is interesting in many aspects, not the least of which is how Rachel, the main character of the series, sees her world at the beginning, how that changes over time through Althea’s presence, and what that drives the story towards by the end. There’s a thoughtful, gradual change in Rachel, not just physically, but mentally and emotionally. How Althea does so, the way Rachel’s thoughts move from being a bit cold and focused, to being something more seductive, passionate, and emotional, made a real difference.
Althea’s path through the story is somewhat “behind the scenes” but there’s a good, logical reason for that, it makes complete sense, and there’s nothing strange or off putting about it. There has been thought given to what could Althea do, how could she influence Rachel, and what comes with her doing so. This core plot has a grounding in this first work, it lays out a path through which the series can follow, and in doing so allows for some erotic moments that work quite well as Rachel succumbs to Althea’s needs.
The erotic undertones don’t overcome the story, which I liked very much. There is a bit of self-pleasure, which was delicious, there’s a seduction scene that was very hot, very well written and I enjoyed. While there are but a few erotic moments to focus on, Althea’s influence on Rachel, those little whispers of ideas, thoughts and suggestions that pop in and out of the story are hot and teasing in what they promise. That is quite a talent to have as a writer and it is done here exceptionally well. The double entendres are amusing, the moments of scattered sexual thoughts made me smile. They are little punctuations in the story that make it more alive, more passionate, and more seductive.
The writing is lovely, there’s nothing that takes the story away, leaves it without direction or purpose. The erotica mixes well, not being silly or over the top. Each character, from Althea and Rachel through Rachel’s family, have their own personalities, thoughts, needs and goals. There’s a story for each of them and I feel that seeing how Althea’s presence touches each will make things more complicated, but also for a more fully realized story overall.
As the work progressed, there were quite a few moments when I had questions, thoughts and pondered over things that one character or another did. Rachel’s office scene with another character made me wonder about something and what that might mean going forwards. Rachel’s son and daughter have quite a few issues to work though, many with their parents, and I look forward to seeing what happens there. Most of all, the singular question of what Althea’s overall plan is, what happens to Rachel along the way is the largest question of all.
I would have liked to have seen a bit more told about Althea herself, though really that couldn’t happen, all things considered, because of her situation. There’s just something about her that I can’t quite put my finger on. She’s not stereotypical, I’m hoping that she remains so, and I think the author has a goal for her that is every bit as important as what happens to Rachel. The other thing that I would have liked to see more of would be a little more time spent before Rachel seduced another character. I felt like there is something missing just before that point that would explain what happened.
I highly recommend this work for the characters, the depth of the plot, the time taken to tell each of the main characters’ stories. This opening work doesn’t focus mainly on the erotica, the erotica is used to push the story forwards intelligently, which I really quite enjoyed. I have high hopes and expectations overall and I believe this series will be one of my continuing favourites to follow throughout.
Four and a half out of five pitchforks.
Althea has a “home”, it’s in need of a bit of tender loving care that only a succubus can give. I think that’s the most captivating part here and I look forward to what comes next…
Rachel finds her thoughts turning in directions she never seriously considered before. A voice whispering to her, calling for her, wanting her, but she not quite able to understand what it means. Still, she has other things to think about, not least her family. But with those thoughts comes desires, needs and wants. Fulfilling them leads Rachel to discovering herself, her needs, and, along the way, discovering that there is someone sharing her body and mind.
In the second work of the series, there is quite a lot of character development involved that answers quite a number of things that had been bothering me in the first work, not the least of which is… just where is Althea’s body and what has happened to it. Thankfully the author gets that question out of the way very quickly and in doing so serves to add even more questions about Althea herself that I now have spinning within my mind.
Along the way, there’s a moment where Althea comments about what succubi are in this universe and in that moment about a thousand new questions about the succubi, and Althea, came to mind. Personally I think her description is wonderful, but the thing is, now I have an expectation that the author will allow the series to tell that story, to have Althea and Rachel involved within that role and see what happens with that.
Rachel’s family, her husband, son and daughter, are focused on more in this work than the prior and in doing so, some of their own personal quirks, personality and sexual, are hinted at, or laid bare. As well a new character, Maria, in introduced and I simply adored her and dearly so. There’s something very real, very truthful about her, there’s nothing separating who she is from what she appears to be and I think that really works well.
There is some conflict amongst the characters, but it isn’t strange, odd, or creates moments where the events simply feel wrong. They make a good deal of sense, feeling in many ways like the connections, and missteps, that all families face. There are, of course, some that are quite unique, and in being so, they offer Althea something to think about, to consider, and, possibly, something that she herself needs most of all. A purpose.
There are two really quite well done hot flashes, both of which have Rachel at the focus. One tells of a desire another character has, one tells of Rachel’s desires and Althea’s feeing of them. There are also two other, quite short moments where the erotica is used to tell of a character’s needs and in a way that doesn’t make it seem like an information dump, which worked really well and kept the story alive.
One of the plot threads comes to a close, but in that a door opens to allowing Rachel to be herself and not have other things distracting her. The means to that, what leads up to Rachel’s surprise to her family, I liked because of the passion that Rachel put into her words and what it made happen. Along the way, Rachel gains something she’s wanted, and the reason behind it, I hope, Althea will have something to say about, if for no other reason than Rachel’s family after her admission to herself about what she has been missing.
The development of the characters is the real focus in this work, but along with that comes the background I wanted to know of. Defining the succubi as the author did, has my attention now. Revealing where Althea’s body is leaves a huge question to answer. Giving voice to Rachel’s family, in all they hold within, tells of the story to come.
Really a stellar followup to the first work in the series and I thoroughly enjoyed this work as much as I did the first. A wonderful read, many things to think about and ponder, and the ending, which is so very short, is a bit of a cliffhanger, makes me wonder what’s coming next. Obviously that will be Rachel, at least, but somehow i think that Althea won’t be disappointed either.
Four and a half out of five pitchforks.
Everything I could have hoped for as a follow up in the series, offering much to think about, smile over, and adore. There’s much still to be told, the mysteries still abound and as they become answered I think the series will continue to shine…
Rachel finally meets Althea and learns that everything that has been happening of late is because Althea took needed refuge within Rachel to survive. The reality they are both in comes into focus and Rachel learns just what it means to be a succubus. There are trials for both, needs of many, and along the way some discoveries are made. People change, some more than others, but when it is one’s own desires unleashed and true, is that really a bad thing?
The most interesting part of this work is, by far, the interaction between Althea and Rachel that finally comes into full bloom. There isn’t a clash of personalities so much as it is a merging, a reflection, a meeting of two souls that each have their own needs and desires, but also their own points of view and mindsets. Some of the funniest moments are when Althea makes offhanded remarks to Rachel here and there, sometimes in the midst of passion and they are simply hilariously funny.
Beyond that, there is a good deal of time spent explaining just what it means to be a succubus, about some of Althea’s past and what has happened to Rachel. The author has a particular view of the succubi that I cherish and the simple statement of their purpose, of where they come from and why there are on Earth is perfect. The author spent a good deal of time in consideration of just how things work, why they do, and more importantly, takes succubi in a direction within this series that is bright and promising.
Really that isn’t a surprise, all things considered about what we have seen Althea think and consider overall and finding that this is simply how all succubi are is perfect. The discussion leaves many questions answered, but as well, so many questions made anew. The series going forwards has something really interesting to play off of and that is what makes things so promising overall. There’s thought in what’s coming, it isn’t all just the erotica and that makes for the better tale to tell.
Rachel having a focus makes her that much more interesting because she isn’t acting now for her needs, she’s acting, playing, loving, for something more now. She understands what she’s been given, what it means, and even if she now has a little voice that she can hear in her mind now, it’s more of a sister, a friend, than anything else. The story isn’t about conflict between Althea and Rachel, though there are some moments of uncertainty. It’s about Rachel seeing the possibilities and accepting them, whatever they are.
In the same way, the rest of Rachel’s family undergoes a similar transformation. Josh comes to terms with his desires and in doing so rediscovers the woman he loved and she him. There’s a moment when there might be some conflict, but it’s handled well and when the focus turns to Sarah, the story pushed her character development a long way. She makes the most inspired comment to her brother at one point, and it was in its own way really funny, but sad as well. Sarah’s frustration is palatable, and here’s where a conflict comes in the closing moments of the story.
Next to Rachel’s enlightenment, the other focal point of this work is that of Alex, his hidden sexual desires and linked to them that of Maria. This is a lovely well told erotic scene that had a wonderful mix of a D/s relationship, the need for love and hope, and as well a focus upon sexual discovery. It is a love scene, in the best possible way, and it respects both sides of the D/s relationship. There’s no abuse, no foulness. There’s acceptance, understanding and, most of all, the connection which few can find, accept, and be worthy of.
The erotica melds well, as it has in the prior works in the series, into the story, not reading like something that is pasted in for the sake of being there. It pushes things onwards, there is both a reason for it to happen, and some kind of aftermath, or purpose when the moment passes and life for the characters continues onwards.
The core plot moves a little further onwards, there is a needed answer for Althea, but questions for Rachel, desires for Alex and Sarah they need to understand. The entire family is discovering things about themselves hidden away from themselves and that brings growth to them all. That is what makes this work sing. It’s that the characters are becoming more.
There is some conflict revolving around Sarah and where that goes does make me wonder, especially from the ending. She’s held in a situation where Rachel knows, her father knows, and it’s unsure of what she will do now that another has entered the picture. At the same time, what happens to Althea and Rachel now that what was lost has been found makes for a problem to solve and it doesn’t seem to be one that’s simple. Complexity is a wonderful thing and all of their lives are going to be very much that from now on.
Four and a half out of five pitchforks.
The series continues to build deliciously, the characters transform a little more each page. Answers are coming, as are they, and within that is a tale that I find I cannot wait for the next work in the series to appear. I continue to highly recommend the series and I await Rachel’s first real encounter with Althea.
Not all answers are found in one’s mind, so many of them come from without as well. The next work in the series ''Bright Shadows'' is next and with the knowledge of the succubi comes the question of who else is out there.
We shall see.
Althea and Rachel have discovered some things about one another they didn’t expect. Much of that has to do with Althea’s succubus nature and the most interesting things that is it doing to Rachel the longer Althea remains as her guest. Rachel is seeing the world through different eyes, catching things that are new and unexpected. Althea finds the family she is now part of means the world to her and more. More lives become entwined, the path is not a simple one and one small turn makes what has been passionate turn so very serious and worrisome.
The core of this part of the series focuses mainly upon Sarah, who’s story has been brewing in the background for the most part so far. The frustration, the need, the wants that have been eating away at her while everyone else in her family has been growing in their sexuality, comes to a boil. The part of this work that I liked was the time spent with her parents, Rachel and Josh, the three working out what Sarah’s needs are, how to express them, and, eventually, this to lead to an involved encounter that I thought was very satisfying. It isn’t a throw away scene where Sarah’s issues are dealt with in a rush, the dialogue matter, the emotional context of the scene is wonderful and when the moment passes, there’s something more within Sarah than there was before.
Along with this comes a moment when Rachel speaks quite frankly with Alex and Maria, in a way that I thought resolved another simmering conflict in the right way. There’s a hierarchy starting to appear, and everyone needs to know where they stand. Rachel makes this clear, but in the same way, Maria makes that clear to Alex as well. This isn’t anything half-hearted, it’s well told, makes sense, and considering the focus, I think it’s very real.
Eventually Rachel finds Althea’s true body and that scene, how it unfolds, the effect that Rachel has on others to make certain things happen, was quite amusing but at the same time it gave voice to Rachel having a little bit of Althea’s succubus powers. Which brings me to the moment in the work that I have been both pondering and smiling over.
Rachel… has a tail. Her first experience with it was wonderful, mainly for the erogenous zone aspect of it for one, but there’s something else. It seems that succubi in this series can hide their tails inside of their bodies… and I just can’t wrap my head, or tail, around how that works exactly. I realize this is artistic license and all, but I keep trying to work it out in my mind. Yes, I am rather obsessed with succubi tails as a matter of fact. It still confuses me and bother me, but just very slightly.
Along with the appearance of Rachel’s tail, there’s a amazingly funny moment when Rachel reveals her tail to Josh. I honestly couldn’t stop laughing in the moment as I read the scene, but more so, how Josh managed to wrap his mind around the fact that his wife has a succubus within her, but also, his first actual encounter with Althea in Rachel’s body was telling. I found myself wondering when, or if, Althea might just ‘borrow the keys’ and have some fun with Josh sometime.
Along with the discoveries comes an encounter with someone that is going to be a real problem for Rachel and Althea. They aren’t stereotypically evil, at least in the short time they appeared and I believe the author can keep them from being so. It will be interesting to learn about them, how they contrast against Althea, and what they want as well.
Overall, the work told a very good story, there was only one part that I found odd in the storytelling, that of Rachel, Alex and Maria finding Althea’s body and in the midst of helping her to heal being discovered. I think I know what’s going on, and it makes some sense, but what that means for the one that is captivated by Althea isn’t clear and will take some time to unfold.
I did feel like there was a lot going on in this work, possibly too many things happening alongside of each other. While part of that needed to be, the characters had to move on, the story needed to get to the next stage and so on, I think a little rest in the rush along the way might have been a good thing. Nonetheless, the story didn’t let the characters down, nor did it go off the rails. Lots of questions to wonder about still, the future is uncertain and that leads to more story to tell.
Four and a half out of five pitchforks.
The series continues to tell a story that I find myself deeply invested in. Not everything has been told about Althea, about the succubi. Nor has the story been told about those that are the real evil to be seen. The tension is mounting, lives are being shaped, changed, and taken to flights never before thought of or experienced.
This then is what makes this series what it is. The expression of making a choice and the consequences of doing so. Where things go from here will be telling, in many ways, and at the same time there’s a certainty. I can hardly wait for what comes next in the next work, Sacred Sins, and what Rachel, her family, and Althea, encounter.
The time has come for Rachel to reveal the truth to her family. To explain what’s been going on, how she’s changed and why. Telling of Althea opens the door, but Rachel’s tail pokes through it soon after. Althea needs to be rescued, a plan is formed. But at the same time the evil seeking them out comes closer, threatening them all. The battle is joined, but at what cost and who will be paying?
The focus of this part of the series revolves around the discovery of the entity that, should it find Althea, intends to kill her, Rachel and her family. This revelation sets up a series of thoughtful encounters within Rachel’s family and a choice being made. That choice has ramifications, some of them quite severe, but also there comes understanding. Watching as Rachel’s family comes to terms with Rachel’s changes, Althea’s existence, and most of all, the understanding that there is something very evil and very dangerous looking for them tells a lot about each of them.
In this work, all of the characters are forced to grow, to make difficult choices. But also it tells of the light each of them carries, what they are willing to do for Althea, and, as well, the truth that Althea herself has to face in that. The ties among them all become so very tightly woven. That fabric of the family, of their love for each other in the face of what are terrible things, I really enjoyed.
Much of the work otherwise has very much an “Ocean’s Eleven” feel in that the rescue Rachel and her family undertake doesn’t quite go as well as they had hoped. The action was fast enough to keep me turning the pages, but not to miss the details. Again, it’s written like an action adventure movie scene, it has a hot start, some moments of fear, almost away and clear, threat comes back, and then, finally, the ending when the threat is overcome, if for the moment only. The entire passage just really brings into sharper focus the talent this author has in their storytelling.
The erotica is as wonderful as ever, the scenes are not silly or odd, there is focus, passion, need fulfilled. While much of this comes between the couples that have been formed throughout the series, there is one other important passage where the erotica was deliciously told. The returning of Althea to her body was interesting and I have to admit it wasn’t anything like I had expected. I’m glad it wasn’t a simple thing, that it meant something to everyone, as it needed to. There’s a good deal of “succubus tail action” throughout, and some of the moments did make me smile, for they are written so very well.
I loved so much about this work, but there is one part that gave me pause. We finally meet the real Althea… and she rubbed me the wrong way a little bit. I feel like she was a little cold at times. Not that she was evil or something, I just felt she was slightly disconnected from everyone in her tone and some of her actions. Her “voice” seemed warmer within Rachel than without. I feel like she’s a little out of sorts, which makes sense. That she needs to gain her powers, centre herself, gain her footing to face the threat that is coming for her and all those that she has touched.
There’s a sense of preoccupation, that Althea is worried that something will happen to those around her. That’s all good and it needs to be a worry for her. It’s important. Althea isn’t human, and being so there is the barrier between an immortal and a mortal. How do you relate? How can you “speak” and not be speaking down to someone? It’s a fine line, and it seems like Althea is going to have to deal with something she hasn’t for a long time now. Caring about someone again.
The ending is both funny and worrisome. It’s a good place to leave things to the next work. The question about what comes next is a hard one, when it will be and how it will be. I think it works well being so. The family is threatened, but at the same time they are together. I think that’s the point where the story turns next.
The series continues to build on its strengths, the characters remain true. The editing is very good, the prose is tight and paints a vivid picture. All good things and I am quite certain there is still more good to come.
Four and a half out of five pitchforks.
The chase scene is one of the best I have read in quite some time, but while the action is at the fore here there is something more. The question of faith, belief and family. The core of the story remains true, the characters continue to grow and the story deepens. All are good things, but more the question comes as to what will happen next and who will feel the wrath of their enemy. Regardless of that, there is hope, it lives, and that matters most.
Althea is herself once more and with that comes some difficulties to deal with. Being a succubus, being who she is, sex to her is like breathing. She loves unconditionally, she watches Rachel and her family work out their own relationships, but Althea has her own needs as well. But among the desires comes the knowledge that there is a threat to them all and defences must be made. Even if some of them happen to be difficult ones to accept for some.
This work in the series is a complex telling of the shifting of of the family dynamic with Althea’s return to her own body. That’s not to say that things change drastically, it’s more of the shift of focus from Rachel alone to both Rachel and Althea. How Althea deals with the family, with those that have been drawn into events is quite telling about her. She does make amends with regards to one specific character, which then leads towards some very deep and painful moments for them. Opening old wounds, even if unintended, does cause harm.
Rachel’s force of will is still strong, she holds her own with Althea and she’s clear in her being who she is. There are moments of Rachel and Althea pleasuring each other, which has some lovely heat, but the more interesting dynamic is that between Josh and Althea. With that came an interesting little tidbit about succubi tails in this universe, one that I hadn’t thought of, but makes perfect sense. I’m looking forward to seeing what Rachel does with hers sometime.
There are several pieces of erotica in this part of the series, all of the couples have their moments together as well as some of them having moments with Althea as well. There’s a glaring omission of one character in all of this, but the reason for that makes sense and having something happen in this moment of the series would have felt, by far, wrong. The heat in each passage is very good, the need and desires are well brought out in each character. There’s also quite a lot of sexual tension that remains unfulfilled which makes for some very good moments of dialogue between the characters that I enjoyed.
As an aside, there’s a teeny little passage that happens to mention Althea’s sisters… one of them happens to have red horns and dark hair. That, along with a certain exclamation of Althea’s about her sister’s “titties” made me smile and wondering about her. She might never appear, but knowing that she’s there was a wonderful moment for me. It was a really nice moment to have Althea talk about her past, her family and while that was but a small part of the overall story, it added a lot to her character and a bit about something she longs about.
The characters develop further, the story moves onwards towards the next crescendo. But in this work the time spent in piecing together what everyone is thinking, settling some of their thoughts and concerns is important. After the action of the prior work, the thoughtfulness of this part of the series worked well. A pause before things take a turn is a good thing and in this case that time isn’t wasted by simple introspection. There’s a point to it, there’s need and it helps to redefine the relationships which the series needed to do.
Written as well as always, the author’s grip on the characters allows for exploration of them. I’ll admit to having wanted a bit more seen of Kincaid, the glimpse allows for knowing his plans for the future, but I feel like there’s more about him that needs to be said. Beyond that, the only other thing I would have liked is a bit more time within Althea’s thoughts and her focusing upon the effects she’s having on those around her. She sees some of them, but might be a little blind to the important one.
Four and a half out of five pitchforks.
A lovely interlude which adds quite a lot to who Althea is, what is going on around her and more. The blending of the lives around Althea is leading towards a bit of strife, a bit of thought, but that also leads to understanding. That’s the most powerful thing of all. Knowing their own strengths and being able to face what is coming is difficult, but that’s nothing compared to trying to figure out what’s going on within themselves.
Althea knows three things. Duty, family and light. Combined within her, they are what grounds her, gives her purpose, drives her onwards. But there’s something else which is the hidden fourth cornerstone within her. Her past, her experiences. What she’s lost, who she’s lost. We all have burdens that play upon our souls. Facing them can be freeing, but also can be more, if given the chance.
The work is best described as a pause in the series. A means for the characters to catch up with all that has been, what they face. Throughout the series, each character has been developing a piece at a time, and in doing so that development has been reflected against all of the other characters. But even so, the one character who’s thoughts have been somewhat blurred has been Althea herself. We know what she is, we know her purpose, but the telling of her past, of her family hasn’t been really delved into deeply.
The telling of some, not all by far, of Althea’s past revealed depths within her that, for me, brought Althea to being one of the most captivating succubi characters I have encountered. The mixture of religion, theology and history, all of which I enjoy, was wonderfully wrapped together and made it possible for Althea’s past to be more than being told in rote. She relives her past, recalls the pains and joys. The emotional void that has been simmering within her finds a means to be expressed, to be formed fully and when it comes together, that changes Althea for the better.
There’s a difference in her by the time this work closes. A sense that she’s opened not her mind, but rather the heart and love she’s kept hidden for so long, to being able to live again. That turning point brings with it a change in tone for her. There’s been hints, at least within Althea’s mind, that something hasn’t been quite right. She finds the key and then what I think of as the true Althea comes to the fore.
The depths of theology than come out appealed to me, in many cases I couldn’t help the smile I had when Althea’s thoughts were expressed to other characters. Some moments of joy, outside of passion and pleasure, were delights and gave that little extra push to Althea’s own transformation.
While the work pauses, setting up the next, and sadly for me, final work in the series, there’s no lack of story telling. All of the characters have their moments, their realizations. There are passions, but also understanding and acceptance among them all. Story matters here, dearly so, but hand in hand comes some light erotica which simmers along the way. It doesn’t overcome the story, rather adding that little bit of heat which makes some of the revelations that much more delicious.
I do wish there would have been more told about Althea’s parents, her past, perhaps telling of her first encounters with humans and otherwise. But what is revealed tells something important that has always been with Althea, whether said or not. She needs. More than pleasure, she needs the emotional connection of having someone close. That then, is the point. Coming to see the truth and accepting it completely.
A needed pause for all that has been in the series so far, but not leaving out the heat and story. The story offers much to ponder, which I loved, but also it gave rise to some very important questions about Althea, Rachel’s family and most of all, where Yasna fits into things as a whole. Yasna’s presence, her thoughts, suggest something vital and where that goes I think will be telling for all involved.
Lovely writing, the characters are everything that I expect them to be. The heat is there, the story is told. The moments of collecting one’s thoughts have come and gone, now what comes next is the question to be answered.
Four and a half out of five pitchforks.
A well thought out pause in the series which allows the characters to reflect, but also to find themselves. It develops all of the characters into being more than they have been, opening them towards a stronger and brighter whole. For me, that development, being able to fit the pieces of their lives together and see a path forwards was as captivating as the erotica, if not more so.
Being able to see inside of Althea, to know what she is thinking, reflecting on, gives depth to her character that I think brought her more fully into the story. Not from the perspective of acting within it, but rather in expressing her motivations, her fears and her needs. She might not have revealed everything, but a piece of her was missing and now she’s whole.
The family is gathered, they look forward with concern, worry. They know the future is uncertain, but in spit of this, they also know that there is hope. That in itself is a powerful thing and should never be discounted by those that cannot see that themselves. Not all weapons are those of being physical. Many times the ones within our own minds are the sharpest of all.
Althea knows the time has come, her family is at risk, she must take up the mantle of protector once more. A sword alone isn’t enough to take into battle. The shield she carries is her love, her heart and soul. Her will demands she confront that which threatens all she cares for. But with all of that, there is one thing she cannot overcome, not without help, should she be willing to accept that which she’s denied for so long.
What strikes me the most about this work is that within the pages we see Althea at her best and at her worst. She’s forced to come to terms with the pain she’s been carrying inside for so long which results in what is, for her, the most heart wrenching moment of the series by far. She’s always loved Rachel, her family and Yasna, but she’s never really been able to have the one thing she’s been wanting for so long. It takes a lot to break that truth out of her and when it comes it makes total sense and explains much of her personality and drive.
In the same way, there are some telling moments for Rachel, Yasna, and the family as well. They face a hard fact, one they cannot avoid, and how each reacts was true to them all. Not everything is wonderful emotionally for them, but at the same time, there is a telling moment for each as a character, to push them towards a focal point and that was very interesting to me.
While there is conflict, the climax of the series takes place in a way that gave truth to the succubi, to those they face, and, at its core, the question they face. The answer to that question, the offering of a reason to be more than just “because Goddess says so” was all that I could have hoped for.
There are some lovely soft and passionate moments of erotica which give rise to some needed truths for two characters. Both were perfect in how they developed, gave rise to the story and didn’t take away, but rather added much to joining the pieces of Althea’s soul. There is humour, dearly needed with all of the seriousness that come in this part of the series. The mixture of light and darker moments tells much about this universe, the souls within it, and in doing to makes the story become alive.
There are one or two little tiny editing mistakes, but they don’t take away from the passion, the story, or the characters. The series has remained true to the core plot, the characters themselves and in this work the ending brings about a satisfying conclusion.
There are, of course, some story plots left open, the appearance of two characters that made me smile, one in particular for which I was thrilled beyond words to see. The emotional connection is delightful, the resolution of Althea’s arc made compete sense. Most of all, the gift which appears, in all of its forms, is one that’s perfect in so many important ways.
I’ve loved the series from the beginning, I love it even more now. Althea, Yasna, Rachel and her family are dearly loved for all they represent and have been. One of the most delightful, passionate series about succubi that I’ve read in some time. I dearly hope Althea’s story will continue, but if not, knowing her has been a dear pleasure to me.
Five out of five pitchforks.
Everything that I could have hoped for, an ending that I loved dearly and spoke to me in a way that only those that know me will understand. While this is billed as the last work in this series, there is a bit of hope in the words “The last? work” which I dearly hope that this isn’t.
Althea has something to live for again. There is hope again for her, more than she’s known in so long. I’d like to see that story told. I’d like to know more about her sisters, whether the redhead or the raven haired one doesn’t matter, it would be nice to know more about them. There are doors open to tell more about Althea’s world, her life, her past and future.
Promise. That’s what this series has and perhaps, in time, the author will tell more. I, for one, will be watching with joy and love always…