Monday, February 26, 2007

Succubus Blues - Richelle Mead

When Richelle Mead offered me an advanced copy of Succubus Blues, I said yes because I was curious. This book had already gotten some great buzz by that time, but I was having trouble with the whole concept. Why? Because the book was about a succubus! How could a succubus make a good heroine? Aren't they supposed to be evil creatures who seduce men and then steal their souls?

Well now, that question is what makes this book so interesting. Georgina is most definitely a morally ambiguous heroine. She does things a good heroine would never do, but she also does things an evil one would never do. She is, as she puts it herself, doing a "half-assed" job of being a succubus.

That's what makes her so likeable - though as I was zipping through the early pages, I still wasn't sure I quite liked Georgina...then suddenly, I realized I did. I was on her side. Flawed, vulnerable, drawn to that which she can't have, Georgina is a woman in a difficult position and she's making the best of it. The glimpses that Richelle gives of her past and why she became a succubus also help deepen our understanding of - and liking for - the character.

As to the world - this is a world where the denizens of heaven and hell coexist with humans, and it works. It just seems very natural. And I think a lot of that is because of Georgina. Sure she's a succubus, but she's also so dratted...normal - she makes a fool of herself more than once, has a cat she talks to, and friends who gossip about her life (they just don't happen to be human).

This book definitely isn't a romance, though there are romantic threads in it. It's about Georgina. She is the book's center and in the same way that she isn't morally black or white, neither are the divisions in the book. Succubus Blues muddies up all sorts of boundaries - good and evil, dark and light. However, I think by the end of it, you'll be as invested in Georgina as I was. I already want to know what happens next.

Overall: Totally recommended if you're looking for an intriguing urban fantasy with memorable characters and an original take on the paranormal.

6 comments :

LesleyW said...

I have this one coming - hopefully soon. I've heard good things about it - though as you say succubi make for interesting heroines to say the least.

I'm becoming convinced that female demons / succubi are the supernatural of 2007. We've also had Hells Belle's released recently (succubus) and Demon Angel (female demon). Both currently on my TBR pile. So many books and so little time. :)

LesleyW

Nalini Singh said...

Those two are on my tbr pile too, Lesley. If only there were more hours in the day!

Have you read Twilight by Stephenie Meyer. I'm supposed to be working but I couldn't resist peeking at it and now I'm hooked. Will do a post on it when I'm done. It's such a cool book.

LesleyW said...

Nope, haven't got that one, though the title is familiar.

Had a quick look at Amazon :), at the moment it seems to only be available in hardback in the UK - paperback is out in April. I will add it to my wish list.

I'm currently reading When Darkness Comes by Alexandra Ivy.

LesleyW

May said...

I loved this book. I got an ARC too. I have to review this soon...

OMG! I just realised! I will post my review of your book today.

Hell's Belles and Demon Angel were amazing.

Shannon said...

Thanks for the review - I'm adding it to my list of books to buy tomorrow - I love Tuesdays!

Have you finished Twilight yet? *g*m Once I picked it up I couldn't put it down. The next book (New Moon) has a very different feel to it, but also wonderful.

Nalini Singh said...

Shannon - no, not yet. I had to leave it behind for the trip as it's a fairly big hardback, so hard to carry, but I'm dying to finish it. I can't wait to see how it ends. I'm only a few chapters from the finale!