I’m back in the Underlayes, this time reviewing book 2, The Succubus, The Demon, & the Witch. Feel free to skip past the book information to get to the review. Or maybe you want to get to T.A. Moorman’s guest post about how much her own life has made it into her books. There’s also a giveaway in there, so don’t skip around too much. And make sure you check out the release day party on Facebook today starting at noon.
The Succubus, The Demon, & The Witch
by T.A. Moorman
Series: Underlayes, Book 2
Genres: Romance, Occult, Coming of Age, Adult
Release Date: March 27, 2018
Purchase from: Amazon
My Rating: ★★★☆☆
In Underlayes, a dimension separate from our own, where all mystical creatures reside, lies an orphanage for seemingly cast-off children, known as the Abbey. Children who are born from two or more factions. There they learn both who and what they truly are, and what powers they have lying within. What these children do not know is they were put there for their own good, for their protection, not because they were unwanted or unloved. In fact, the very opposite is true. Many would kill to get their hands on these children.
As Jelissa comes of age, she is about to learn the hard way to what lengths one such being is willing to go.
Jelissa has been a resident of the Abbey for as long as she has been alive. She has also never known what she is, besides being part witch. At the age of twenty-five, she will learn just what types of blood run through her veins. She will also find out much more—that she is also the long-lost princess almost no one even knew existed.
Tialanna secreted her only child away for her own protection. Before she can tell Jelissa the truth, Jelissa is kidnapped. All Tialanna’s greatest fears unfold before her very eyes, and her past comes back to haunt her in more ways than one.
As most do when they come of age, Jelissa will learn the hard way that adult life isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. And Tialanna learns the hard way that if you don’t learn from your past, it will come back and bite you on the ass.
Tialanna and her band of unmerry misfits are in a race against the clock to rescue Jelissa. Will they find her in time? And if they do, will they be able to save her from a danger they hadn’t anticipated: herself?
Like book 1, Witch Wars, there is some good and some bad. Since I like to end on a good note, I’ll start with the bad.
The Succubus, The Demon, & the Witch (TSTDTW) picks up 25 years after Witch Wars ends. That wouldn’t be a problem, except A LOT apparently happens during those 25 years. Throughout the book, you get hints about the events, but it felt to me as though an entire book was missing.
The hints at “missing” information were annoying, and I feel as though I got cheated out of the destruction of one of the villains of Witch Wars.
However, TSTDTW is mainly about Jelissa and her rescue, so it makes sense that the “missing” information isn’t included. I’m really just saying that I wish there was a book between the two.
NOTE: Since preparing this review, I’ve learned from Ms. Moorman that there is an “in between” story as part of A Hero’s First Father’s Day anthology coming out June 6.
Ok, the bad is out of the way. On to the good.
Evaluating TSTDTW as a stand-alone book (because in my eyes, that’s part of the point of reviews) the story is fantastic. I really enjoyed the “here and now” parts of it, as in, the parts that weren’t about trying to catch the reader up on everything that’s happened in the last 25 years.
Jelissa seems like a fun character, and I wish we could have seen more of her. I look forward to seeing more of her and her mates, as well as finding out how Tialanna’s life moves forward. I hope that in future books, or Novellas, we get Dravyn’s and Hildegard’s stories as well.
Overall, I enjoyed TSTDTW for what it was, I just feel it could have been more, especially if we’d gotten the “in between” story first. I am eager to read future installments of the Underlayes series. Both books so far have been well-polished, and contain few, if any, errors, which I greatly appreciate. Ms. Moorman has created a fabulous world, and I want to take another dive into it.
I’m often asked if I base my characters off of anyone in real life, and the answer is usually no. But, there are times when real life people find there way in, and if they knew it they wouldn’t be so happy about it. Good thing for me I could care less. Ha! Like for instance, my ex. Well, here is a scene from The Succubus, The Demon, and The Witch that is dedicated to him and every male in existence that is anything like him…
Laina then did something she never would have done had she been in her right mind, but right then she was, as they say, high as a damn kite. She flashed herself down to the human dregs who had not volunteered to be donors. The ones who had spent their worthless lives preying on other humans; using, abusing, and some even murdering their own kind for nothing more than sport. Now they were the prey. Usually she never strayed down there because seeing any of their memories was the last thing she wanted, but she did hear talk of what each of them had done to end up in their predicaments.
This one in particular she had heard the female guard whispering about right before they had learned of the kidnapping of her cousin. This formerly arrogant, piece of shit human was much worse than just a womanizer, but a user and an abuser in the worst way. He preyed on single mothers who were slightly overweight, with self-esteem issues and a little bit of money, building up their confidence, making them fall madly in love with him while convincing them he felt the same way, tricked them into believing they would be together forever. He would even go so far as to include the children, acting as though he loved them as well and they were going to be the perfect family; even had the smaller ones calling him Daddy.
Then he would conveniently lose his job and begin asking for help with this and that, to the point where she was basically taking care of him. When the woman would begin to catch on that he really didn’t give a damn about her, he would start with slight insults, then the cheating and lying, then verbal and emotional abuse until she couldn’t take it anymore and ultimately dumped him.
The way he ended up down here was the last woman he had been with was part witch, and he’d treated her worse than all the others. He’d hurt her so badly her cry could be heard all the way in Underlayes by all the most powerful witches. Her aunt especially wanted him as a special treat, and to torture the Hel out of him. See, this halfling witch had fallen in love with him way before he became the lowlife he was, and he took full advantage of the fact. He swept her off her feet and moved her in with him, at first so they “could help each other out.”
When he lost his job, however, she became the main provider, just like all the others she had known nothing about. But, when she became impregnated by him, she could no longer work. And even though this child was indeed his without a shadow of a doubt, he still did to her what he did to all the rest: began treating her like a worthless piece of garbage once she had nothing left to give to him. He depleted all her savings accounts, played a major part in helping her to lose her job, even made her lose her car, and forced her to move back home with a family who openly hated her, with yet another child to raise on her own.
So Laina paid him a brief visit, not to feed, because she wanted none of his memories. No, this one she only wanted to make bleed and suffer. Flashing into his barren cave of a cell, with nothing inside it besides a chamber pot and stalagmite, she made quick work of stripping him down to nothing, moving so fast he had no chance to scream or even see his tormentor. She then began by ripping off the piece he held so dear and shoving it into his mouth before he could so much as whimper. Then she continued by tearing his skin to shreds, beginning with the face that gave females false hope and shattered dreams, then down to his chest. When she got to the arms that gave a deceptive sense of comfort and security, she ripped them off and threw them across the cell.
She made short work of him after that, saving his cold-ass heart for last, snatching it out of his chest even though he was already dead at that point, crushed the cold, no longer beating organ in her hand, and laughed like a rabid hyena as she did so.
So, yeah, writing that scene was very therapeutic for me, and fun as hell. Hope you enjoyed it!
About T. A. Moorman
When you become a Mom, you begin to put yourself last, and your combat boots begin to collect dust. Going to your child’s PTA meetings in full Gothic, especially industrial, regalia is pretty much frowned upon. Especially by your own children, and your teens would die of a heart attack. But, one should not have to completely stop being themselves, uniqueness is greatness. All of that darkness is put into the words in her books, and designs in her jewelry sold in her GothicMoms DarkCharms shop.
Single mother of five beautiful children, but by far more than just that. T. A. Moorman is an artist, a former violinist, a seamstress, a crafter, a writer, a blogger, a reviewer, a dark confidant and a darkly dangerous, fiercely protective friend. And currently broke, so go buy something of hers. Lol.
Disclaimer: This review is based on a complimentary eBook I received from T.A. Moorman. The complimentary receipt of this book has in no way affected my review or rating.