Authors: Lena Seidel and Simone Singer
Publisher: MLR Press
Length: 114 Pages
At a Glance: The Demon Seal is a good effort that needed some serious editing, and more story with less sex.
Reviewed By: Sammy
Blurb: The alluring demon Seere offers Morten a contract as irresistible as the man himself…
Morten Rykers is pleased with his life. He is a skillful art thief who loves the risk of his work. After his last successful coup he is approached by a compelling stranger and ends up in bed with him. But there is more to the man than meets the eye. The appealing redhead is a demon who offers him a contract he is unable to decline…
Review: Three demons are sent to recruit humans to do their bidding on earth. As The Demon Seal informs us, this trio is not the only evil harbingers from hell, but they most certainly are the most unique. This first novella in what appears to be a series focuses on Seere—a highly successful contractor who is unparalleled in his ability to stack up a great number of obedient and mercenary human slaves. You see, once an agreement is reached, the human in question belongs to Seere and the partnership is unbreakable. There are benefits for the human, which include essentially a get out of jail free existence and the joy of doing every conceivable nasty thing one could imagine. Seere goes by the alias of Damian, and it is in his human guise that he approaches a successful art thief in the airport to woo him and win him over to the dark side—well, darker side, as Morten is already a pretty amoral guy when it comes to stealing from others.
A second benefit is a night of unparalleled sex with Seere, as this is always how he lures his conquests in. One night, mind you—as a demon never falls in love with their human slave. At least, that is supposed to be how it goes. Unfortunately, there is something about Morten that pushes every one of Seere’s buttons and before too long, Seere and his demon heart are captivated with his human.
I am fairly certain that these two authors can write a good story when they concentrate on evolving a plot. Unfortunately, their sex scenes leave much to be desired. There is an extended opening seduction scene in this novella that can only best be described as bordering on purple prose. So much effort went into describing this initial seduction by Seere that it almost became laughable to read. There are only so many ways to describe the act of sex, and using the word “member” over and over to describe a man’s penis gets old fairly quickly. What was most unsettling about this particular scene was that the follow up sexual interactions were much better—less descriptive in nature and more action filled. Therefore, your first impression of the writing technique of this author duo is a fairly poor one, based on this initial scene that went on far too long and was just so overdone. Thankfully, once I moved beyond this opening, the story did begin to take good shape—the tension between Seere and Morten developed, and the action overall began to pace well.
As the novel progressed, the second problem then became apparent—this was supposed to be a romance, and yet there seemed to be no real building of intimacy between Morten and Seere. Don’t get me wrong, there was sex, and lots of it, but there was little else and so the huge declarations of love toward the end of the novel fell rather flat. The Demon Seal had such great potential. When the authors focused on the story, it built well, and although there were times where the pacing slowed, all in all it held my attention and then some. The added sex scenes were superfluous in my mind and did little to further the plot; in fact, they often disrupted the flow of the story itself.
Before I close, I’d like to say a few words on the writing and syntax aspects of this novella. English is obviously not the native language of Seidel and Singer. I knowingly overlooked some awkward sentence structure and descriptive language as a result of being aware of this, but it definitely gave me pause during the reading of their work.
The Demon Seal is a good effort that needed some serious editing, and more story with less sex. I will look for the next installment in this series, as I really think this writing team has great potential to turn out a good novel as they grow in their storytelling skills.
You can buy The Demon’s Seal here: