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.
Book Name: Succubus Blues
Book Series: Georgina Kincaid #1
Author: Richelle Mead