by Sam Burns, W.M. Fawkes
Volume 1 of Poisonwood & Lyric
Posted in Book Reviews on October 12, 2022
Jasper just wants to be loved for real, for who he is rather than what he is. For an incubus, that's a bad thing. The pheromones he produces make him irresistible to most humans, so it's impossible to tell if someone is attracted to him or just under the influence of his spell. Caleb is happy living alone in his somewhat isolated cabin in the woods, but that's not unusual for a bear. Only, it does get a bit too lonely at times. When a mischievous witch sends Jasper into the woods to find a cure for his “problem,” and Caleb meets him, the sparks fly. But is it real?
“Poisonwood” is a modern adult fairy tale, a short, sexy story about finding true love where you least expect it. There might even be a moral to it if you're so inclined. The book alternates chapters between Jasper and Caleb's point of view, so we get to know each of them well.
Jasper is probably the more interesting of the two main characters. While reluctant werewolves or reticent vampires have been familiar themes of fantasy stories, Jasper is my first disinclined incubus. It's an interesting idea: someone with the power to seduce anyone, but who doesn't want to use it because they desire a ‘real’ relationship rather than an endless string of one-night stands. Jasper also has a strange and troubling family to deal with.
Caleb is a bit less complex of a character. He is clearly introverted, but even they need human contact. Caleb might be a bit too nice of a guy, but then it's possible that's why he has chosen to live far away from other people.
“Poisonwood” is available from Amazon.