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Succubus Blues is the first book in the Georgina Kincaid series of urban fantasy stories. Georgina is a succubus: a female demon who derives her life energy from sexual congress with humans. This leaves a stain on their soul as well as shortening their lives.
Being a succubus may seem a pretty glamorous existence: being able to shape shift into any clothes you desire in a trice, no bad hair days, men desperate for just a touch. Admittedly if they do anything more than touch, their immortal soul could be forfeit but let's not dwell on that! Georgina Kincaid's life may have some great perks but it seems very mundane most of the time. Her boss is a middle-management demon and her day job is working in a local Seattle book store which gives her the chance to get to know her favourite author, Seth Mortensen, who has made his writing base in the coffee shop of the bookstore.
But something isn't right in Seattle, somebody is killing demons and suddenly the immortal community is in mortal fear for its life.
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This story begins with a bang, to use the vernacular. Georgina is doing a favour for her friend, Hugh, an imp. Imps are literally agents of the Devil, persuading people to sign contracts selling their souls. Hugh has acquired the soul of Martin, a thirty-something virgin who wants to lose it. Enter Georgina, shape-shifted into her best demoness costume: not that a real demoness would be seen dead in thigh high leather boots, tight leather mini skirt and brandishing a whip - they're far too classy. The encounter is soon over.
Y-yes," he gasped out.
I cracked the whip. "You ready to play with me?"
Exactly six minutes later, I left the Miller residence. Apparently thirty-four years doesn't do much for one's stamina.
A succubus must be one of the most unlikely heroines ever to hit the page of an urban fantasy novel. By their very nature, they're sexual predators but Georgina isn't your run-of-the-mill succubus. She's a genuinely nice person with a sharp and sassy attitude which isn't too over the top. She last lived as a human in the 5th century and became a succubus after her infidelity left her husband a broken man on the verge of suicide. Distraught at her perfidy and desperate to save the husband she really still loved, she made a contract with Hell to become a succubus on the understanding that her husband and family would forget all about her. Something she's regretted ever since.
And even in the paranormal worlds of Heaven and Hell it seems there are shades of grey. Succubi such as Georgina are lesser immortals whereas angels and demons have existed since the dawn of time. But there are Nephilim too; creatures born of demons and angels and as such have far greater powers than a mere succubus. They are also highly volatile and dangerous creatures and on Heaven and Hell's wanted list because they are considered to be an abomination.
You would expect a book where the heroine is a succubus to be filled with pages of lurid and graphic sexual detail and this isn't the case at all with these books. Admittedly, Georgina needs to get her sexual fixes to keep her energy levels up but as is demonstrated in the excerpt above, it's all done in the best possible taste. Her love interest, if you can call him that, is Seth Mortensen, a crime fiction writer who Georgina has idolised since she read his first book and once she makes his acquaintance at the book store, she's even more smitten. But, of course, Seth is a good man and Georgina can't touch him without putting a stain on his soul. There is also the little matter of Seth not being totally convinced to begin with that there is a parallel world peopled by demons and other immortals, although as the book progresses, he begins to think maybe Georgina isn't telling fibs.
Seth is a genuinely nice man, though somewhat single minded when it comes to his writing. His feelings for Georgina develop slowly from an initial attraction which makes the romance seem that much more believable.
The love story between Georgina and Seth is a slow burner and not the main plot point of this book. Someone is killing off immortals and Jerome, Georgina's boss, is keen to find out who this could be.
Being the first in the series, there is quite a bit of world building and character introduction involved but this is done in a subtle and interesting way whilst moving the story forward at the same time.
Obviously, as with any fantasy novel, it's necessary to suspend belief to a certain degree and with urban fantasy, its success or failure depends very much on the quality of world building by the author. The beauty of these books is it's all so much more believable because the team of immortals reporting in to Jerome, the demon, are all employed in very mundane professions, interacting with humans on a daily basis. Also the bureaucratic nature of Heaven and Hell's administration is very appealing. The idea of Hell as one huge tangle of red tape is not very far-fetched if, like me, you're employed by the local authority!
I loved this book, as I've also enjoyed the others in the series. Richelle Mead is an excellent fantasy writer who draws the reader into the story from the first page and has created such an array of appealing and entertaining characters that you want to find out more about them.
There is only one angel featured in this book, Carter, who seems very unangelic. He's scruffy and grungy but he seems to be taking a great interest in Georgina's life. This raises a question that isn't answered in this book but continues to be raised in subsequent books, giving the impression that Georgina is being watched by higher powers for what reason neither she nor we know as yet.
I know this isn't great literature but it's certainly an entertaining read. This is an ongoing series and I've read all five of the books currently available and I'm eagerly anticipating book six, due out in 2011. If you enjoy good quality fantasy, you'll definitely enjoy Succubus Blues and the following four books.
The books in the series are:
1 Succubus Blues
2 Succubus Nights
3 Succubus Heat
4 Succubus Dreams
5 Succubus Shadows
6 Succubus Revealed (published 2011)
Georgina Kincaid is a succubus who sucks the life force out of men by having sex with them and I found her to be a very intruiging character. She doesn't like the life she leads so to ease her conscience she only sleeps with men who have no morals. Because of this, Georgina comes across as an incredibly likeable character. Although she is technically a demon, she isn't portrayed as evil and that is one of the things I like a lot about this book. She shuns the succubus lifestyle and attempts to live like a human, for example by actually changing her clothes and putting on make up rather than shapeshifting into her outfit for the day.
Georgina cares a lot about other people, which is shown during the flashbacks of her human life and through the way she puts herself in danger to find the person who has been killing her friends. I really enjoyed the flashbacks that showed why she became a succubus in the first place. They showed that although she did give in to a moment of weakness, she was willing to do anything to rectify her mistake - even if that meant becoming a demon. I couldn't help but feel sorry for Georgina and the situation she found herself in. She is obviously incredibly lonely and wants to share her life with someone, but she can't as she could end up killing the man she loves.
There were many, many types of mythical creature in this story, including vampires, imps, demons, angels and nephilim, and these characters all help to enhance a great storyline. I really enjoyed the mystery part of the novel and I got sucked straight into the storyline. Although I had it narrowed down to two suspects in my mind (and it did turn out to be one of them), the ending still came as a surprise with a few little twists that I hadn't seen coming.
Georgina Kinkaid is the manager of a book shop in downtown Seattle. Sexy, glamorous and hard working she enjoys working in the book shop and when the famous author Seth Mortensen decides to make her book shop cafe his regular writing haunt there is an immediate attraction between them. The only problem standing between them is the fact that Georgina is a Succubus who sold her soul to Hell hundreds of years previously and to even kiss her is to give up part of your life energy and the better a person is the more they lose and Seth is good, very good in fact.
To further complicate Georgina's life she also has to contend with her boss a Demon named Jerome who looks uncannily like John Cussack complaining that she isn't delivering enough souls and her motley group of immortal friends teasing her over her crush on Seth. Life goes on as normal but a spate of killings in the immortal community happens and when one of Georgina friends is attacked she decides to investigate but perhaps has she bitten off more than she can chew when the killer can even evade Demons and Angels what chance does a lowly Succubus have.
I went through a faze of reading Urban Fantasy books as they are called after getting sucked into the Sookie Stackhouse novels by Charlaine Harris. Unfortunately there is a lot of drivel out there but Succubus blues is definitely at the better end of the genre. Written by Richelle Mead succubus blues is the first in a series of Georgina Kinkaid novels, I think there are 5 so far. As an introduction book it does a really good job of not only setting up the world making you interested to read the others in the series but it also manages to be a satisfying book in its own right.
Succubus blues is a fun book and while not greatly written Richelle Mead does manage to suck you into her world and Georgina is a fascinating character. She keeps her part of her bargain she made with Hell for immortality and delivers her souls but she only delivers the minimum and no longer enjoys her work. Although she works for the "evil" side none of the characters is portrayed as being evil more like a normal group of work colleagues who have a job to do and need to fill quotas. Georgina is frustrated with her life and years for the normality that a real relationship would give her but unfortunately she can never have that as she would kill anyone she was ever with.
I was a little worried the book was going to be an erotic romp but I needn't have worried as the sex scenes are rather tame given the subject matter and Richelle Mead seems more concerned with the development of the characters. The whole mystery surrounding who is responsible for the killings of immortals is interesting but the real fun of the book is reading about the characters interactions with each other. Georginas group of friends are a motley bunch including vampires and an Imp and I really enjoyed reading about them and their get-togethers. Her boss Jerome and his friend Carter who just happens to be an Angel are hilarious and nearly manage to steal the whole book in their few scenes.
The love story aspect of the book works really well for me as it is not written in a conventional manner, there can be no happy ending for her and Seth and although I am sure Richelle Mead will manage to find some way to get them together eventually the whole keeping them apart works for the book.
The book does leave on a cliff hanger of sorts but it does manage to wrap up nearly all the threads of the book while leaving plenty to be explored in the next one. I liked this as a lot of urban fantasy series seem to forget that even though the books are about a specific character the reader needs some sort of payoff at the end for reading the book.
I really enjoyed Succubus blues and all the other books in the series and think anyone who enjoys urban fantasy should definitely give them a try as they are a fun, fast paced and most importantly satisfying read.