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Monday, December 17, 2012

Succubus Blues by Richelle Mead


When it comes to jobs in hell, being a succubus seems pretty glamorous. A girl can be anything she wants, the wardrobe is killer, and mortal men will do anything just for a touch. Granted, they often pay with their souls, but why get technical?

But Seattle succubus Georgina Kincaid's life is far less exotic. At least there's her day job at a local bookstore: free books; all the white chocolate mochas she can drink; and easy access to bestselling, sexy writer, Seth Mortensen, aka He Whom She Would Give Anything to Touch but Can't.

But dreaming about Seth will have to wait. Something wicked is at work in Seattle's demon underground. And for once, all of her hot charms and drop-dead one-liners won't help because Georgina's about to discover there are some creatures out there that both heaven and hell want to deny. . .

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An intriguing book with a storyline that keeps you guessing, pointing you in one direction then revealing it had sent you down a blind alley so to speak. It will make you think, and to second guess your conclusions at times, just as any good mystery should. While I suspected who the villain was, I wasn't really sure of it until just before it was revealed. Still, there were a few twists at the end I didn't quite see coming, and the ending left me very curious to see what will happen next.



Georgina is very personable and easy to relate to. A reluctant succubus, it's easy to feel sorry for her and the life she's landed herself in, her desire to do as little bad as possible. It's difficult to impossible to see her as an evil being for she seems filled with good rather than evil. Still, it's made clear that she made her choices, and made them willingly and with at least some idea of what she was doing. Perhaps she didn't take time to think through all the consequences of the decision that caused her to become a succubus, but she at least knew that they wouldn't be slight. Still, she couldn't have predicted all of the consequences, especially to herself, and so the heart breaks for her just a bit for some of the harsher aspects of what she is, such as the inability to have a true and meaningful relationship with anyone.

Seth and Roman, the two men that Georgina finds herself attracted to, are both interesting characters as well. Seeming opposites, with Seth being the shy and quiet type that finds it difficult to communicate except via the written word, and Roman being vivacious and outgoing and a life of the party type. Still, Georgina is irresistibly attracted to both of them, despite her desperate attempts not to be, for her own code of conduct won't let her feed off of good men, and she knows that she can't love them or be with them without harming them. As we get to know more and more about them, they both seem to have something to hide, though it's nearly impossible to say what it is. Are either of them really telling the truth at all about who they are, or are one or both of them playing some sort of game to catch Georgina and her friends in a trap of some sort? You'll have to read to find out.

The more that was revealed about this world, the more fascinated with it I became. It certainly makes you question whatever standing notions you have about the nature of good and evil, and how demons, angels, and the lesser beings belonging to both heaven and hell really act and think. Start with the fact that Georgina most definitely has a conscience, and strives not to do more harm than she can help, preying only on lowlifes to get her necessary life energy fixes, add in the fact that the city's principal agents of good and evil, the angel Carter and the arch-demon Jerome, are best buds and drinking buddies with a definite bromance going on, and you quickly realize that these are not the kinds of divine beings you learned about in church. The fact that these beings are all presented as being just normal people for the most part, people that have lives and hold down day jobs, makes them charming and makes you question whether either side does what it does out of true desire to spread good or evil, or if they're just ordinary folks doing their jobs and going about their lives on that level as well.

A great book, and one that I'd definitely recommend to others. I read some of this one on my Kindle to start with, then switched to audio for the sake of being able to keep making progress on it while doing other things, and am very glad I did. It was enjoyable from the beginning in print, but the audio performance really brought the characters to life and drew me in more than I think the print might have done. The narrator is to be commended for a job well done. I debated a bit on how to rate this one, and in the end gave it 5 stars because I can't do fractions on Goodreads. It's definitely worth a bit more than just 4, but I'm not entirely certain I'd go all the way to the top either. Either way, definitely a book worth reading for anyone who enjoys urban fantasy, paranormal romance, or fiction that makes you think and question basic questions such as the nature of good and evil.

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