Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Review: Succubus Blues by Richelle Mead

Succubus Blues
Succubus Blues by Richelle Mead

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I had some trepidation halfway through this book. The author was using a romance trope I hate, and I didn't yet know if it was being subverted or promoted. A character constantly pushes Georgina's boundaries, ignores her very clear communication, and shows stalker tendencies. I was worried he would turn out to be her love interest, and then I would have to throw the book across the room.

There was no book-throwing. Instead, I enjoyed the conclusion.

Succubus Blues is about Georgina Kincaid, a succubus who's lived a couple thousand years, sucking out men's life energy by seducing them. Her sexual mores would horrify most good Christians. She is what she is, and she's not going to apologize for her need to sleep around with terrible people. It's easier to forgive her for that, knowing it's not the great coup these jerks think they've landed.

In modern day Seattle, Georgina is the assistant manager at a bookstore, where her idol is coming in for a signing. She has some curious notions about writerly fame, which can be forgiven knowing the author is inserting them for humor value. Richelle Mead knows better; Georgina does not.

Then supernatural creatures are suddenly dying and being attacked, and Georgina isn't content to leave it to the local demon and angel authorities. It doesn't help one little bit that the killer starts addressing sick love notes to her.

I liked Georgina's voice in this book. She's an interesting blend of seductive, snarky demon and naivete. I liked her friends, too, and I most certainly want to read more of Seth. I'm wary of the assertion he makes, though, that pairing off the main characters will make readers lose interest. As meta-commentary, it's frustrating to think it might mean he and Georgina will always have more obstacles than snuggling time.

There's a lot to like about the book, which is why I'm puzzled about why I was able to set it down and leave it for three nights in a row. There's a slump a little past midway, when things start feeling repetitive and predictable.

That slump isn't going to keep me from reading later installments, though. I enjoyed this book a lot, and I found the ending satisfying, if on the predictable side.

I didn't read up on the author until I was almost finished with the book, and I learned only then that she's a biblical scholar. That explains a lot; she has a lot of Bible tidbits I hadn't realized nor learned. I felt that added a lot to a book about angels and demons. There was a whole layer of depth I hadn't expected.

If you're looking for some enjoyable urban fantasy with some smut and solid worldbuilding, you should give this book a try.

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