Series: The Executioner Series, Book 1
Author: Brandon Varnell
Published: December 1st, 2016
Audience: Adult/ New Adult
Genre: Science Fiction, Fantasy, Paranormal, Urban
Source: I received this book for free from YA Bound Tours in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my review.
Christian is the Catholic Church’s best executioner. Dedicated. Devout. Deadly. Ever since the Church saved him from the decimated ruins of his hometown, his commitment to their cause has been unshakable.
Then he’s sent to execute Lilith, who lives in Seal Beach, California. He’s baffled. Lilith is afraid of men. The Church believes she’s a succubus, but he just can’t see it. Yet the way men—both human and monster alike—act as if they’ve been possessed whenever she’s near is disturbing.
With lustful men attacking Lilith and monsters attacking him for being near Lilith, Christian must uncover what’s really going on, and soon, or innocent blood will run through the streets—as will his own.
Love. It can kill a man.
If you follow me at all on ANY of my social media platforms you know that I’m a lover of anime & manga. So when I saw the gorgeous cover for Succubus and read the interesting blurb, I became super excited.
Lets take a moment to look at the cover again.
Now. Back to my thoughts. The world in which we find Christian and Lilith is a unique twist on the age-old story of secret supernatural world hidden/ governed by the mysterious Catholic Church. I found the executioners and the many other branches within the Church that deals with the supernatural, as well as, the various paranormal creatures that were introduced in this first installment intriguing. The world itself was superbly built and it captivated me fully.
I’ll be honest, it was hard for me to get into the book at first. Christian is a dry character – which is not a bad thing, but it took me well past the 15% mark to start connecting with him. Honestly, it wasn’t until he and Lilith began interacting for me to really enjoy his narrative. His stoic, pure, and honorable character is VERY reminiscent of the anime hero architype. It was refreshing to see that in an American novel.
“Math had never been her strongest subject. It would not be inaccurate to say that she royally sucked at math. In fact, she didn’t just suck at math; she was so splendidly horrible that mathematician’s everywhere cringed whenever she attempted to solve a mathematical equation.” – Succubus, Brandon Varnell
Typically, I enjoy characters like Christian, but I tend to connect with them more when their counterparts are more lively or mischievous. Lilith, although a great character in her own right, doesn’t shine next to Christian. Her shyness only exasperates Christians. In an anime or more visual medium like manga – two shy characters falling in love would be more interesting. Honestly, I would have liked it more if Tristian were more involved in the story. His presences would have added that quirkiness that was missing.
Varnell’s writing is engaging and descriptive (for me it was a little too descriptive at times – to where my eyes glazed over – , but that is my own personal quirk). He tends to overuse certain words. Specifically, carnelian. After the third time within a few pages, it stood out like a flashlight in a dark room. My biggest issue is the massive cliffhanger. Typically, I don’t mind them if they’re done right, but this one left me frustrated – and not in the good way.
“Or was she simply uncomfortable sending a man to do a woman’s job?” – Succubus, Brandon Varnell
If you’re a fan of anime, Japanese light novels, stoic heroes with pure hearts, damaged heroines who are not as weak as they seem, quirky supporting characters, the idea of secret supernatural creatures living among us, and a frustrating cliffhanger then Succubus is the book for you.
About Brandon Varnell:
Brandon Varnell is a writer. The end.
... Just kidding.
Brandon Varnell is the writer of the American Kitsune series. He has absolutely no skill at anything aside from writing and looking half-baked. He used to play guitar, but due to laziness, he never went anywhere with it. He also used to play a lot of video games, but after suffering this terrible affliction called book addiction, he only plays occasionally these days. Brandon lives mostly within his own imagination, but can occasionally be found in Phoenix, Arizona.
Outside of writing, he likes to read. His general reading preferences are Japanese light novels and manga, but he also enjoys a good sci-fi or fantasy story. If the story can mix both sci-fi and fantasy elements, then all the better. He also likes fanservice. Just don't tell anyone. It's kind of his guilty pleasure.