Honestly, when "Succubus Blues" arrived on my review stack, I was worried. It looked good, but it also raised a few warning flags; this could, I thought, be another lascivious sex romp disguised as urban fantasy/horror, proving little more than an excuse to have demons and other supernatural creatures get naked and sweaty with lustful mortals.
I was pleasantly surprised, however, to find relatively little graphic sex -- apart from a few torrid scenes here and there, and one opening encounter that will bring joy and hope to basement-dwelling ubergeeks everywhere. "Succubus Blues" is a very good novel, featuring (obviously) an "alluring, shape-shifting demon who seduces and pleasures mortal men." In exchange for their souls, of course, but Georginia Kincaid apparently makes that little trade quite worthwhile in her Seattle stomping grounds.
Georgina's life is troubled, because she can get all the sex she wants but love and romance are largely denied her. Carnal acts -- even really good kisses -- steal life force away, and while Georgina is immortal, it doesn't serve well to deplete and kill the men she loves. So she leads an emotionally vacant life, supplementing her nocturnal duties with a more mundane job as an assistant bookstore manager, hanging out when time allows with a couple of vampire pals, a demon or two and even the occasional angel. Technically, succubi are evil, but Georgina doesn't get too involved with the politics of her job.
But then someone starts killing the people around her, and Georgina finds bigger issues to deal with than romance. Is it an amateur vampire slayer, inspired by the exploits of a popular TV heroine, or is something more sinister at work? And what's a poor succubus to do when the doors of both Heaven and Hell close on her cries for assistance?
Figures that Georgina would suddenly find, not one, but two romantic possibilities in her life.
"Succubus Blues" is a damn fine first book, and Mead can be proud to make such a bold stride into the market. Her protagonist is sexy, appealing, smart and resourceful, but amped-up sensuality isn't much use against the thing stalking the streets of Seattle.
The book is hardly action-packed; Mead moves the story along slowly, spending more time on characters than plot, so adrenaline junkies may be bored. That's a shame, because the characters are extremely well-developed, and the action she provides is certainly worth the wait. Sexaholics may want to avoid this one, too; the sex in this book is mostly of the "tease and titillate" variety, not the graphic stuff you'd expect if Georgina's cleavage-baring dress on the cover was cut just a little lower. The denouement, while not too hard to spot well in advance, is still grist for one good read with plenty left over for a sequel.
by Tom Knapp, Rambles.(n e t) editor
Even when people whose opinions I respected told me I'd like "Succubus Blues", I couldn't quite get past the title. Then, I had a few minutes to spare at my local bookstore while my husband perused the computer books and I picked the book up.
I was laughing in the first chapter and of course Georgina went home with me. Georgina Kinkaid, the protagonist, is a succubus and has been since ancient Greece. She's surprisingly decent for someone who drinks the life essence of her lovers to stay alive.
For starters, Georgina doesn't pick men who she considers nice. She buys her own flowers and chocolates and wishes sometimes for a child and someone to love.
Okay, and she works at a bookstore--not the first occupation I'd thought she'd have. When her favorite author shows up at the Emerald, the Seattle based bookstore she works at, she's elated. She's so elated, she tells a customer at the store's coffee shop been a fan forever and reads only 5 pps of his books per day--because they come out so frequently. Little does she know that customer is the author himself.
Next, she tries to beg off of a 'date' with her boss and gets involved with handsome Roman, a teacher of linguistics.
Two good men at once and she won't allow herself either because being with them could substantially shorten their lives.
Then, someone starts killing the immortals in the area. First a vampire who Georgina had problems with--then, an angel, who no one thought could be killed.
This isn't precisely what I'd term an action-filled thriller, but Ms. Mead keeps reader interest by bonding her readers to a sympathetic character and embedding some pretty good hooks at the end of chapters.
If you're looking for hard erotica, "Succubus Blues" is probably not for you. There are two sex scenes and the rest is titillation.
The writing is good. Ms. Mead really does know how to create characters who come alive on the page. Her characterization of Seth, the shy author, seems so endearing and spot on and Georgina, who no longer plays by the devil's rules, is someone you can like despite her occupation.
Ms. Mead's 'voice' is good. She's got a lot of humor in her writing and can really depict interactions like you were there.
The writing is also economical. For the most part, Ms. Mead knows when to show and when to just simply tell and get on with the story. This skill helps the reader keep moving without long narrative passages that make you lose interest.
The bad is very little. I wish I had seen more of Seattle in the writing. We read about the U District and Queen Anne, but we really don't see it--setting is a critical part of any novel. I was able to fill in the blanks with my own images because I lived in Portland, OR and visited Seattle, but other readers could not and really should have a glimpse at the Emerald City.
Also, when I read there were killings, I actually expected a bit more action in the book. Yes, there were two pretty strong action sequences near the end, but for the most part, Georgina is on the periphery. If Ms. Mead plans to create more of a thriller this next time, she may want to have Georgina discover the body(ies) at the first of the book and be more into the gore.
This is not the type of work that I read; however, some Amazon friends reviewed this and I became intrigued. After having read this excellent thriller, I'd like to share my thoughts.
First, the cast of characters is quirky, including immortals, such as demons, angels, imps, vampires, and a succubus. And a strange creature that I had never heard about before, foreshadowed, of all things, by Scripture. The central character is a charismatic succubus, Georgina Kincaid. A succubus leads a life that is intriguing--shape-shifting, libidinous life style (although it can cost her lovers time off their life span and worse), immortality. Georgina works in a bookstore in Seattle, populated with mortals and immortals. Her snappy one-liners, putdowns, and so on make her an interesting and even likeable character--despite her effects on her lovers.
The bawdiness and humor take a dark turn when two immortals come up dead and two others attacked and hurt. Much of the rest of the volume focuses on the efforts of the immortals, led by a demon and an angel, to determine who the villain is and how to stop the attrition of immortals.
And, as a complicating part of the plot line, Georgina is interested in two very different men--Roman and Seth. On the face of it, she is torn in an impossible situation. Developing a physical relationship with them would wound them badly (at the very least); her attraction to them without being able to go any further is a torture in itself.
At any rate, the novel moves toward a tense confrontation and sets the stage for sequels. A reference to Peleus and Thetis (pages 342-343) suggests some future twists and turns. And I would, against all odds, be interested in looking at those sequels, one of which, as I understand it, is already out. This is well written and a real hoot; the pace moves ahead with great momentum.
on April 6, 2010
Succubus Blues, is the first in the Georgina Kincaid series of books staring a likeable succubus and her tragic (or not so tragic) life. Georgina is an interesting character, as are her group of friends. She struggles hard to deal with her powers which allow her to sap the life force from humans. At the beginning of the story, Georgina is sapping the life force of a nerdy `good' mortal who sold his soul in exchange for her favors.
I was quite intrigued at first, and indeed, I like the author's writing style. But I rapidly got a bit bored by her love life which consists of Georgina refusing to date good men, but doing so anyway and toying with them emotionally. To make matters worse, her main love interests seem to consist of Seth, a nerdy writer, and Roman, a romantic young man she meets in the bookstore where she works.
As the story progressed, I came to really dislike Seth, who I know is the major love interest for Georgina. What is odd, is I'm not certain why I dislike him... Except that he seems a bit too good to be true. Georgina herself kind of began to irk me as well. Because despite not `wanting' to get involved with men and refusing to date, she seems to not actively discourage them either. Why not transform herself into a hag? Problem solved. Georgina also seems fairly modern for a person born so long ago. By this time, she should have the hang of her powers and have a steady relationship with another immortal who wouldn't be harmed by her special abilities. Instead she comes off as a bit of a novice, unaware of the dating scene and still psychologically struggling with the ramifications of her gift.
This is an ok series, and I might try another, because I like the writing style, even if some of the characterization seems a bit weak.
on January 31, 2014
You know you don't like a book when you would rather fold laundry than pick it up again.
As I was struggling with this book yesterday, I was thinking, "Maybe I have some dishes to do or something? What chores can I do?" Not a good sign.
**Some mild spoilers ahead**
Most people love this book so feel free to ignore me. In all fairness, I had read some really good urban fantasy books right before this one so I was coming off a huge UF high when I picked this up. And it did not measure up. At all.
Let me start with the world building, which I found to be incredibly weak. All of these supernatural characters (an angel, an imp, a demon, and some vampires) meet to chat with Georgina and drink beer at her house, seemingly everyday. They kind of bitch about their looks and getting girls and whatever. They seem like overgrown frat boys, not supernaturals. I honestly had no idea about what the heck their roles were. They just seemed to sit around all day and do nothing. The vampires don't hunt, the imp doesn't imp, and the demon and the angel (though they were supposed to be really powerful) do a whole lot of nothing.
These are the least super supernaturals that I have ever encountered.
I was bored by the lack of world-building, totally bored.
The most exciting thing these guys do is go swing dancing in a book store. True fact.
When supernaturals start dying, all of the supernatural friends of Georgina kind of sit there with their thumbs in their mouths and wait to see what would happen next. These guys don't fight, and aside from some lame detective work from Georgina, they all don't seem to really care about the danger facing them. It was really odd.
The whole reason that Georgina attempted detective work was that the more powerful supernaturals decided to keep some information from her. Why they chose to do this was never made clear... I think because they didn't want to worry her or some crap?? The stuff that Georgina "figured out" is really bordering on common knowledge. Why she didn't think to learn more about paranormal beings in the centuries that she has been alive completely baffles me. What the freak do you do with your time, Georgina??? You have no desire to LEARN anything about your situation? You don't know who can kill you or your friends? Who can sense power and who can mask it? Really, nothing???
Georgina also irritated me to no end. If you are going to have a character be a succubus, than make her a freaking bad ass succubus. Georgina was whiny, timid, and fickle. She was all, "Love me, don't look at me, LOVE ME, GET THE F AWAY FROM ME" with everyone, even her friends. And the book was not even hot! Georgina had body and image issues to no end, she had no confidence, and she was just a very unappealing succubus. She did nothing for me, to be honest.
To top off the content issues, there were some editing issues that I couldn't overlook. Now, mind you, my copy was from Amazon, NOT an ARC. This book should be proofread, right? Then explain these little tidbits:
"I was a hair's breath away from kissing Roman again, from taking him somewhere-anywhere-where we could be alone and naked, where I could do all the things I'd fanta-sized doing with him." (loc 2586)
"Christ, I'll never forget the first day I saw you. How feisty you where." (loc 4031)
You what now??
There were so many examples of editing issues like this. It really bothered me and took away from the scraps of reading pleasure that I had.
The only thing that I wanted to do after reading this was write some Jerome/Carter slash fiction. Anyone else feel the sexual tension there?
on June 8, 2009
I was really looking forward to reading this book. The Vampire Academy series is one of my favorite new series and I was hoping that Mead's first adult series would be just as engaging. I didn't find this series opener as engaging as Vampire Academy was and I thought the characterization was a bit weak. The world that Mead created is interesting though and the main character has to deal with interesting moral issues.
Georgina Kincaid is a succubus. Unfortunately she is a somewhat unwilling succubus; instead of corrupting good souls she tends to feed off of the bottom-dwellers of society, much to the disdain of her demon boss. Georgina likes to live as a human and holds a job at a book store. When immortals in the community start dying after they argue with Georgina, the demon and angel community wants to know how she is involved.
I wanted to love this book, but I really only found it somewhat engaging. Georginia has been alive for centuries yet she still seems to struggle with some basic interaction with humans; which I found a bit unbelievable. She is also an indecisive and weak character. She spent a lot of the book getting distracted and making decisions and then unmaking them. She also spent the majority of the book whining about her succubus nature and then giving into it and then whining that she gave into it. All in all I thought the main character left a lot to be desired. Georgina's bright spot was her sharp wit; which after reading Magic Bites (Kate Daniels, Book 1), still wasn't nearly as sharp as Kate Daniel's.
The above being said, some of the side characters were worth meeting. Gerogina's demon boss was interesting and his angelic friend Carter also promises to be an engaging character. The book writer Seth has many dimensions to his character that are just starting to be explored. The world itself is also interesting; Mead's angle on demon/angel politics was engaging and I am interested in learning more.
All in all I was expecting more of an paranormal action book and what I got was a paranormal romance novel. The actions scenes are all but non-existent; in fact Georgina spends some of what could be the most intense action scenes oblivious to the world. There are sections where the book drags quite a bit and not a whole lot happens. Overall though the book was engaging and interesting to read. In fact I have to say that the last three or four chapters in this book really redeemed it and made me decide to read the next book.
I am trying to keep in mind that this was kind of the intro book to the series, so overall I think it was okay. I am interested in what the second book will bring, but still on the fence as to whether or not I will continue reading after that. I really like my paranormal books heavier on the action, than on the romantic side. This book was definitely more of a romance. It has potential to be more of an action type.
I really enjoyed Magic Bites (Kate Daniels, Book 1) series more than this one so far. I also enjoyed Mead's Vampire Academy (Vampire Academy, Book 1) a lot more. Hopefully the next book will be better.
on May 8, 2007
Succubus Blues is the first in the Georgina Kincaid series. Georgina is a succubus, an alluring, shape-shifting demon who seduces and pleasures mortal men. And she's good at her job - really good. But after having sold her soul nearly a millennia ago, she's tired. Tired of not being able to go on a decent date without having to worry as to whether or not she'll end up sucking the guy's soul out in one kiss - literally. Talk about put a damper on a first date. But there is an upside in Georgina's life. Her job. She's an assistant manager at a local bookstore and has access to all the free books she can get her hands on - what more could a girl want? Aside from the aforementioned decent date, and well, getting her hands on her oh-so-favorite author, Seth Mortensen.
However, those are things that will have to wait because someone or something is taking out Seattle's immortal residents and Georgina and her immortal friends don't know who'll be next. And when all eyes start turning to her, she decides to do a bit of own snooping of her own.
I whole-heartedly enjoyed reading this book. It was hot, sexy and very entreating read. I thoroughly enjoyed the worlds that Richelle Mead created around Georgina - both the mortal and immortal. Georgina still has enough of her humanity to make the reader feel connected to her. She wants what most people want in life - to be able to love and be loved in return.
Succubus Blues also has a great supporting cast: Hugh, her friend and professional imp; Jerome, her demon boss who looks to have a John Cusak fetish; and Carter, the grungy angel who lives to torment Georgina, as well as a host of other equally engaging and likable characters.
If you're looking for a hot new author and equally hilarious and steamy mystery, I'd definitely check out Succubus Blues.
on January 28, 2015
Our protagonist works in a bookstore with a coffee shop on the second floor. *heaven* and it is located in beautiful downtown Seattle. From mentions of Pike’s Market to the scent of white chocolate mochas, I felt right at home. The supernatural are hidden in this world and living amongst the humans.
Georgina Kincaid reminds me a little of Bo, the succubus in Lost Girl or I guess I should say Bo reminds me of Georgina. She is a succubus who is down to earth, and not at all comfortable with her side job. She fulfills her obligations to the demons but prefers reading, coffee and hanging out with her friends. She is a bit of a romantic and her back-story endeared me to her.
Secondary characters consist of humans, vampires, demons and angels. While most of the world at this point does not feel much different from other urban fantasies, I loved the mixed species friendships that Mead gave us. Each character has a unique voice and personality. I thought Rodgers did a terrific job of giving voice to them. I have a soft spot for Carter already.
Georgina has several relationships developing which I found hilarious at times. She doesn’t do relationships for obvious reasons, but whether she admits it or not she is a romantic at heart. She begins friendships with Seth, her favorite author. He is a handsome yet socially awkward. While my panties did not melt in the beginning, he turns out to be a real sweetie. Their interactions are hilarious and yet sweet. Then we have Roman, a swoon-worthy mysterious stranger with all the right moves. He was edgy, dressed sharply and yep we both wanted him. I loved how Mead wove them into the current story.
The murder thread involves the supernatural beings within Georgina’s social circle. It was interesting, and I enjoyed seeing her defy orders and research the killings. Mead skillfully develops the characters. She created humor, delivered a little romance and kept us curious about whodunit. I love when the threads all come together weaving an engaging tale. While this does feature a succubus it was tame, except for the language which was often and colorful. It totally fits Georgina’s persona though and the girl has some spunk. I am looking forward to spending more time with her.
on November 26, 2015
I have read Succubus Blues three times and I still feel like I want to give it a big hug upon finishing. It's funny, sexy, and sweet. The characters are absolutely wonderful. The plot is engaging, even if it does get a bit predictable. But there's a certain charm about it that I hadn't come across before or after. Georgina is a succubus, but she tries to be a "good" one. She's by no means perfect or pretending to be, but when someone starts killing off supernaturals, Georgina throws her whole self into figuring out who's doing it even if that means putting herself in danger to save those she cares about.
Succubus Blues just transports me to this happy place. I love Georgina! She's a succubus who is hanging on to her humanity and finds delight in the simple things. So what if she's going to live forever, she's going to savor the things that matter to her. She has some quirky habits, such as only reading five pages of her favorite novels a day to make them last. She cares deeply about people, even if she won't let herself date. But stealing energy from anyone she would kiss also makes that complicated (and adds some serious sexual tension in future books!). She's not without her flaws though, but she doesn't try to justify them. She knows when she's doing something bad, but she does try to find another way first. Basically, she feels like a real person, even though she's a demon.
I also adore the rest of the cast. Cody cracks me up as the new vampire who is too obsessed with his appearance. Carter, the hobo angel, is quite the mystery as he hangs out with a bunch of demons and always seems to know more than he lets on. Jerome, the archdemon, who looks like John Cusack and is quite infuriating! Then there's the love interests: Seth and Roman. Roman is charming and hot and causes a dilemma for Georgina, because she wants the closeness of a relationship but can't get close to anyone. Seth, on the other hand, is quiet and awkward, but his e-mails are clever and funny. I just want to grab everyone into a big group hug!
I just love Succubus Blues. And I've noticed now that there are a lot of little details that one would probably overlook, but are actually clues of things to come! I loved noticing this and it made me excited to revisit the rest of Georgina's story.
on October 19, 2015
Ok. So first off, let it be known that I am COMPLETELY HOOKED on this series after just one book. I have officially added myself to Richelle Mead's fan list.
This book had some of everything it seemed. Romance, action, mystery, erotica (just a bit), comedy... And even though this is clearly paranormal (with Georgina being a centuries old succubus and all), the entire story was written in a way that made everything seem real. Georgina drew me right in (who knew succubus powers worked through digital words too!). She had me sticking up for her, hurting along with her, puzzling out the mystery with her, aching for the guys in her life with her, sympathizing with her...
Georgina treated her friends like family. She struck me as being the "mama" of the group. Something I could relate to since I'm the one my friends tend to turn to for advice, and the one always worried and nagging them to be safe lol. The other characters were just as well written and had me liking and/or seriously disliking them depending on who they were. The twist wasn't a huge surprise since I was following the mystery rather closely, but it was very satisfying to find out I was right :)
Overall... AWESOME read! I will most definitely be reading the next book in this series, and plan to do so in the very near future. (And I mean in the next few days...)