Succubus Blues by Richelle Mead

succubus blues

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. . .

I first picked up the Georgina Kincaid series when I was young and naive about my sexuality. Because of the former, I picked up this book, read parts of it, and felt too embarrassed to continue. Now that I’m much older and mature and can appreciate its contents, Succubus Blues turned out to be perfect escapist material. Succubus Blues has everything that I love: Read’s writing and characterization, a compelling romance, paranormal and urban fantasy elements, and subtle exploration of ideas of mortality and love.

From what I have inferred from multiple reviews of Mead’s writing, her characters are oftentimes a point of contention – you either hate ’em or you love ’em. For me and Succubus Blues, it was undoubtedly the latter. Succubus Blues feature complex and diverse characters that are quick to love and have a satisfying amount of depth. In the Georgina Kincaid series, a handful of characters are demons and thus inevitably venture into ‘morally questionable’ territory. After all, Succubus Blues centres on Georgina, a succubus (a shape-shifting demon that sucks the life force out of people through sex) who, despite her eternal damnation, has a heart of gold and morals of right and wrong.

Among its cast of demons, there are also vampires who love to cook, sweet-tempered, earnest imps, archdemons that look like John Cusack, and demonesses that come in a pair, matching outfits and all. The Georgina Kincaid series doesn’t just feature demons – it also features angels and humans that are just as, if not more, interesting and mysterious. Mead’s characters and their development are integral to Succubus Blues, and is half of what makes this book so enjoyable. There’s also plenty of witty and fantastic writing that will definitely make you smile.

Statistics show that most mortals sell their souls for five reasons: sex, money, power, revenge, and love. In that order.

But what really distinguishes Succubus Blues from just-a-steamy-romance is its compelling explorations of mortality and the human condition. As a lesser immortal – but an immortal nonetheless – Georgina’s damnation raises a lot of angst that you cannot help but empathize with. What does it feel like to never age and to inevitably lose the mortal friends you grow to care for? What is it like to foster friendships with mortals, knowing that they will one day die? What does it feel like to possess an eternity’s worth (or centuries in Georgina’s case) of regrets and sorrows that you will have to bear forever? What does it feel like to love someone mortal, knowing that you cannot express physical affection because doing so could kill them? Georgina’s fantastic narrative offers insight to these questions and its answers. The fantastic thing is that Mead takes full advantage of the paranormal elements to meaningfully explore ideas that we would not otherwise contemplate.

Though Succubus Blues adheres to Mead’s formulaic storytelling, with the urban fantasy it works wonderfully. There’s a central mystery, plenty of introspection, character development, and a heck lot of (awesome) angsty romance. (Also, Hell is an extremely bureaucratic enterprise; who woulda thought?) There is some sex in this novel (and Mead writes great sex), but it doesn’t eclipse the other elements of the story and the overarching narrative. The various elements of the book come together to create a fun – and sometimes serious – novel about demons, love, and what it means to be loved. 

Succubus Blues is an addictive, fun, and all-round awesome start to, what I hope will be, a great series.

Rating: 4/5

Book Information
Book Name: Succubus Blues
Book Series: Georgina Kincaid #1
Author: Richelle Mead
Publisher: Kensington
Format: eBook

Succubus Blues in:
Goodreads | Book Depository | Amazon | My review on Goodreads


31 thoughts on “Succubus Blues by Richelle Mead

  1. I’m reading Vampire Academy right now and loving it. I will definitely be reading more of Mead’s books because I love the witty humor and the characterization is just epic! Love it! Great review!

    • OOOOH YES, VA is awesome! I think that book helped me get over my 3 – 4 year reading slump when I was a teen. c: BUTBUT after you read VA, you HAVE to read Bloodlines, VA’s spinoff series! I thought it was such a solid series and EEEPP THE CHARACTERS?!

      But anyway, yes you must read the Georgina Kincaid series! Super fun and made me laugh lots. :D

  2. “But what really distinguishes Succubus Blues from just-a-steamy-romance is its compelling explorations of mortality and the human condition.”

    I’m sold. It’s been too long since I picked up an adult paranormal series. Thanks for pointing this one out! =)

  3. Succubus Blues has been on my TBR for a while. It’s one I’ll definitely read because I love UF that explores adult relationships but also meditates on other ideas. (I didn’t realise you were a VA fan too! :D)

    • Oooh definitely read it! I like it a bit better than VA, though I’ve yet to read the last two books. and YES, though I think I see myself as more of a Bloodlines fan – did you ever read that series?

        • Oh my gosh Glaiza, you must! I liked Bloodlines much much much more than VA (and I really liked VA!), and YAS side characters get a lot of love and development. I almost wish I could ‘unread’ it so I can just read it again and experience it for the first time – if you know what I mean?

          • *Moves to the top of my UF pile. I know exactly what you mean about wanting to relive that experience – I’d love to re-watch Battlestar Galactica for the first time again with a memory wipe because that experience was phenomenal.

  4. I read so many books by Richelle Mead, but I haven’t read Succubus Blue yet. I’ve heard that it’s one of her best series and your review definitely makes me want to pick it up! It’s true that she’s great at urban fantasy! Vampire Academy and Bloodlines and I read them when I didn’t want to do anything with vampires anymore… But she made me love them again! :)

    • I haven’t quite finished Succubus Blues yet, but I have enjoyed ALL of the ones I have read so far! The characters are just so lovable and awesome and funny.

      AHHH You read Bloodlines?? That is one of my favourite series (though the ending left me a litttle disappointed)!

  5. Omg this book sounds like so much fun! I want it now. I really feel like I could be friends with anyone who shares my deep and abiding love for John Cusack. Like honestly, that detail alone sold me on this book.

    Her writing sounds a bit like Kelley Armstrong’s. Paranormal and adventures and lots of sex. Sometimes that’s just exactly what you need to take your mind off the world for a while. Also Pushing Daisies has forever given the whole ‘we love each other but we can’t touch’ thing a place in my heart.

    • I think you’d enjoy it, Lydia! It’s SUPER fun, and, idk, I have immense love for it.
      Oooh I had never heard of Kelley Armstrong but I am really intrigued! And completely agree – sometimes you need that lighthearted fun. They kinda cleanse your soul.

      I never watched Pushing Daisies but my friends were obsessed. I had completely forgotten about it – and didn’t it cancel after the second season or something? ;_; My friends were so devastated; they said it was an incredible show!

  6. I haven’t ventured into this series yet. I do have to agree with you on Mead’s characters. Love them or hate them! This one sounds really intriguing and I will have to give it a try. Lovely review. :)

    • Hehee, well if you love them, definitely give Succubus Blues a go! I think the series has the most lovable set of characters ever – if you don’t mind morally ambiguous characters, that is. 😊 Thank you!

    • Thank you so much (again) Jenna! ❤
      Oooh, VA is so much fun! And there’s lots of character development and the romance is nice! If you like VA, try Bloodlines too! Hehehh sorry to add to your ennndlessss TBR – I know the feeling!!

  7. Aw, I definitely want to check this one out now! Mead’s books are a bit of a hit-or-miss for me (liked VA series, but didn’t love; Soundless fell through but Glittering Court was really awesome); however, I’d still pick this one up! I like the exploration of humanity that Georgina goes through in the story, and how Mead uses the paranormal aspects to highlight these developments. This totally sounds like a fun and fantastic read. :D Wonderful review!

    • Ooooh!! Did you ever read Bloodlines? Its a spinoff from VA, and I liked it WAAAY better than VA!

      But yesss this book is really good! *u* I was amazed because it can be so raunchy but it was perfectly balanced with its more serious and explorative elements? If you read it, I hope you enjoy it! ❤

  8. Great review! I’m in the market for a new UF-ish series to get into and this one keeps coming up on my recommendations. I’m a little hesitant though because I’m really looking for another great series like The Night Huntress Series by Jeaniene Frost but I love how that is UF but with a heroine who only loves one male the entire time. I don’t know if I have the patience or fortitude to stick with a lady that tries on a different man as easily as a new dress. How does this series compare in that regard?

    • Thank you so much!
      I’ve read 4/6 of the books of this series, so I would definitely recommend the first book. However, if you don’t connect to the characters by the first or second book, then you could give it a miss and it won’t be a loss!

      The character in this series doesn’t try a different man as easily as a new dress per se; the books approach sex and sex partners very differently given the main character’s nature and her powers. So, I would say that the romance and love interest/s are approached differently, which is what makes the story so interesting. In saying that, at the end this book is part UF but also part erotica, so that is something to bear that in mind. :)

      • Its gotten such great reviews I think I’ll have to try it! Plus I’m not having luck finding a new series so maybe trying something different like this will work out :)

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