"Shadowy Tentacle Passion" is book one in the "Magical Girl Chronicles" by author Reed James.
This novella is about an introverted virgin college student who finds herself wanting to explore her sexuality and to break free from her very sheltered upbringing. Aided by her knowledgeable and overtly sexual roommate, Ashly, Cora visits a porn store for the first time. On impulse, Cora buys her first sex toy--a colorful vibrator--only to discover that inside the toy lives the spirit of Iris, the demigod of rainbows. With Iris's power and the power of the vibrator, Cora learns to channel the ancient magic of the Greek Goddess Persephone to become Magical Girl Persephone. She fights evil using energy/magic she obtains through sexual encounters. Traveling the streets by night in search of her nemesis, the tentacle God Ophiotaurus who works for the twisted Goddess Hera, Cora transforms from a shy girl into a powerful superhero. In order to defeat Hera, Cora must fight against all her monsters, and even a former lover.
My thoughts on the story:
I enjoyed several aspects of this story. The author did a great job describing Cora's conflict between exploring sex and wanting to be in love beforehand. Her boyfriend, Aidan, is everything she thinks she wants in a man. She trusts him and cares deeply for him. Her curiosity about sex has her wanting to learn everything she can, and she does her best to be true to her boyfriend despite her attractions to Iris, Ashly, and the man embodying Persephone's former lover, Hades. Cora's struggle was believable and something I believe a lot of people can relate to in their lives.
This story gets super points for being hella creative! I found myself pleasantly surprised by the classic, witty superhero style banter, complete with all the cheese! In order to transform into a superhero and use bits of magic to battle her enemies, Cora says things like "I am Magical Girl Persephone, Pretty Pussy Soldier for Truth and Justice!" when she introduces herself, and "Sexy Razor Leaves!" when she uses a magic spell. Her magic is charged through exploring her sexuality and having sex, and the story is based on ancient culture while set in modern times. Nothing about the plot was dull, and because of its complexity with all these elements, I was felt compelled to comfortably read the story all the way through.
The best thing about this story is that it's sex positive. Although Cora struggles internally over what's okay sexually and whom she's allowed to sexually explore, she comes to understand that exploration, love, and pleasure are wonderful aspects of what should be included in (hopefully) everyone's life.
Overall I give this story 4 out of 5 Pussy Solider Stars!