I don’t think I’ll ever get enough of Richelle Mead’s writing. True, I wasn’t very impressed with Bloodlines, but after Vampire Academy I knew I had to check out her other works. I’ve been very into urban fantasies and paranormal romance lately, which is exactly what Richelle Mead is known for.
Like Vampire Academy, the Georgina Kincaid series is composed of six books:
- Succubus Blues
- Succubus on Top/Succubus Nights
- Succubus Dreams
- Succubus Heat
- Succubus Shadows
- Succubus Revealed
Before I give you my summary and thoughts on each one, here’s a brief idea of what the books are about (copied from Richelle Mead’s website):
As if love wasn’t hard enough! Imagine not being able to touch your boyfriend without sucking away his soul. Welcome to the world of Georgina Kincaid, a reluctant succubus living in Seattle who always seems to find herself in the middle of supernatural intrigue…
So yeah, the story focuses on Georgina Kincaid, a succubus who is forced by Hell to prey on innocent (and sometime not so innocent) men and steal their life energy for her own survival. She’s been around since around the 4th century (if I remember correctly) and has mastered the art of seduction. However, despite the promise of immortality and her deal with Hell, the only thing she really wants is to be human again and live a normal life with a family of her own.
Below are my thoughts on each book. They are FULL OF SPOILERS so stay away if you plan on reading the books.
Before reading this picking up this series, I didn’t really know much about succubi and what they do, so I found the idea of shape shifting and seducing men (and sometimes women) to survive quite interesting. The books also features other immortals beings such as imps, angels, nephilims, vampires and demons.
One thing I found very interesting was the idea that although Heaven and Hell existed in this story, it showed that there is no distinct line that separates good and evil. Georgina and her friends are good people, but they are minions of Hell and must therefore do evil things such as preying on mortals, even if they don’t want to. Carter is an angel (an archangel to be more precise) and yet he is friends with many immortals from Hell, including the archdemon Jerome, and even tries to protect them when he can. Now while I found all this to be interesting, the series didn’t immediately hook me. It took finishing the entire first book before I really started enjoying the story and liking the characters.
As for the romance in the book, I was quite happy with it. As a succubus, Georgina catches the attention of many men, including Seth Mortensen, a famous author who she idolizes. I was a bit annoyed at first because it was initially unclear who Georgina would choose from the men who went after her (Seth, Roman, Doug … I even thought she would end up with Carter or Jerome at one point), but it all became clear at the end. (And speaking of the ending, I thought that note that Seth wrote for Georgina was very sweet, with the whole Thetis and Peleus reference.)
SUCCUBUS ON TOP
The book opened up with Georgina receiving an award for fulfilling her succubus duties thanks to her deal with Jerome in Succubus Blues. The readers are also introduced to Bastien, an old friend of Georgina who also happens to be an incubus.
Out of all the books, I think this one had the least magic and supernatural events. Don’t get me wrong, there were still plenty of it to go around, but there weren’t any huge displays of power and magical battles or anything. This book mainly dealt with three issues. The first is the relationship problems between Seth and Georgina. The two had started dating secretly, and it’s taking all their willpower to stop themselves from sleeping with each other. It shows how the two are forced to deal to the fact that they must remain chaste with each other while knowing that Georgina is forced to be with other men in order to survive.
The second issue deals with how Doug, one of Georgina’s best friends, gets caught up in some drug addiction which turned out to be Ambrosia or Food of the Gods. Georgina reports it to Jerome and Carter but unfortunately they cannot interfere without risking a war between supernatural forces. The concept of a God providing mortals with ambrosia in exchange for sex was interesting, but the way Georgina took him down was a bit anti-climatic in my opinion.
The last issue is the task that Bastien has set out to do, which is to corrupt a hypocritical radio talk show host and expose her. Out of the three issues, I found this to quite boring a bit annoying. I wanted to see an incubus in action, how he lures and traps his prey, but in the end it was still Georgina who managed to figure out a way to finish the task and save Bastien while she’s at it.
Maddie (Doug’s sister) makes her first appearance in this book. She shows up towards the end after Doug is hospitalized due to an overdose of ambrosia and decides to stay and take Georgina’s old position at the bookstore after Georgina’s promotion to manager.
In this book, Georgina is plagued by dreams (or should I say “dream” because it’s always the same one), but not the bad kind. They show her doing something as mundane as washing dishes and taking care of a daughter she wishes to have. It also shows her greeting a faceless husband. The dreams are pretty harmless unless you count the fact that each time she gets them she wakes up with her succubus energy drained. After some investigation, she discovered that she was being preyed upon by Nyx, the goddess of the night. With the help of Carter and a few angels, they manage to come up with a plan to capture Nyx and release Georgina from her spell, but not before Nyx tells her that the dreams were not simply dreams but are premonitions of future events. Georgina wishes it to be true but knows that as a succubus, any chance of her living a normal life and having her own family is pretty much nonexistent.
In this book Georgina realizes how fragile human life is after Seth takes a bullet for her during a mugging. Fortunately he survives, but the event causes the two to rethink their relationship. In the end Seth decides to break up with Georgina to protect her from having to constantly worry about him, and begins to date Maddie. This drives Georgina into losing all hope in everything good and she turns to the dark side by deciding to date Dante, a human psychic who has done several horrible things in order to strengthen his powers.
A bunch of new characters are introduced in the story, including Tawny (a new succubus), Yasmine (an angel), Vincent (a nephilim), Joel (another angel), and Dante. Niphon, the imp who bought Georgina’s soul in Succubus Blues, also makes an appearance in this book. In the end they discover it was actually him who released Nyx and set her on Georgina. His actions and sudden interest in Georgina’s love life causes Hugh to suspect that there might be something wrong with Georgina’s contract. Unfortunately, there is no way to check it so the best they can do is speculate what could be the problem.
I found this book to be extremely captivating. It’s definitely one of my favorites out of the entire series. There was just so much going on and so many new characters that it was hard to not get caught up in everything. Also, the possibility of Georgina being able to regain her soul due to a faulty contract made me so excited. It was pretty clear that she wanted nothing more than to be human and to have a family, and now the readers are presented with the idea that it could happen after centuries of living the succubus lifestyle.
As for the ending, it took me completely by surprise. I did not see that coming at all. I was so pissed at Seth for doing what he did. I know that Georgina goes around and sleeps with other men every few days, and that she’s been urging him to sate his lust with some other girl, but still! To do it with someone Georgina considered to be a close friend is just so wrong. So although I didn’t approve of it, I kinda understood why Georgina decided to turn to Dante for comfort at the end of the book.
After having her heart ripped apart in the previous book, Jerome orders Georgina to start seeing a therapist to get rid of some of her anger and depression. Unfortunately she thinks the whole thing is stupid and ends up sleeping with her therapist. Jerome is displeased and as punishment he sends her over to Canada to work for another archdemon who has been having problems with a Satanist group called the Army of Darkness. Through some investigation, Georgina discovers that the Army of Darkness is being controlled by some “Angel” who is using them to create distractions while she made arrangements to gain power by “summoning” Jerome (AKA trapping him inside a box like some genie) and taking over as archdemon. During Jerome’s absence, all immortals under him lose their powers temporarily. Roman reappears in this story and works with Georgina to free Jerome from captivity. In exchange, he asks Jerome and Carter for amnesty and that he be allowed to live in Seattle without the fear of being hunted down by the archdemon and archangel.
Despite everything that’s going on, Seth and Georgina realizes Jerome’s absence is the perfect time for them to consummate their love without the risk of Georgina stealing Seth’s life energy. Unfortunately, this meant that Georgina and Seth both cheat on their respective partners. While this doesn’t do much damage to Georgina’s soul, Seth cheating on Maddie (several times) pretty much assured him a place in Hell. Overcome with guilt, Seth ends up proposing to Maddie.
Now while it’s pretty clear that Seth and Georgina are meant to be, I definitely don’t condone cheating. And I’m glad that the book showed that their actions lead to terrible consequences, such as the corruption of Seth’s soul. As for Georgina, her boyfriend’s actions almost killed her, so I suppose that was punishment enough.
I was happy to see that Roman is back. I know he went on a crazy killing spree in Succubus Blues, but I sorta understood why he did it. After all, he lived through so many centuries having to hide in fear of both angels and demons for a crime he never committed. Both sides wanted him dead simply because he is the product of sin. I understand his anger at the injustice of it and why he felt that he had to do what he did. Georgina was scared of him when he first reappeared, worried that he had come back to kill her, but she discovered that he only wanted to play a part in rescuing Jerome so he can call in the favor of being left alone.
Something I really loved about this book was the ending. Kristin (an imp who worked for Canada’s archdemon) risked going to the vaults of Hell to check Georgina’s contract, but found nothing wrong with it. Because of this, Georgina pretty much gave up all hope that Nyx’s premonition would come true – until she encountered a pleasant surprise at the end.
Depressed over of Seth’s and Maddie’s upcoming wedding, Georgina suddenly starts to experience strange sensations of something calling out to her. In the end, the siren song manages to lure her in and she becomes trapped in some sort of dream world where she is shown memories and dreams about her painful past, which includes her encounters with different men who has touched her life. The Oneiroi (the vengeful sons of Nyx who captured Georgina to make her pay for what happened to their mother) also show her the recurring dream she had in Succubus Dreams, but this time the faceless man is revealed as Seth.
In this book, we are shown just how wonderful Georgina’s friends are as they investigate what happened and try their best to bring her back. Jerome comes up with the idea of having Erik (another mortal psychic) send Seth over to the dream world to try to retrieve Georgina. Mei (Jerome’s demon lieutenant) insists that finding Georgina in the dream world is an impossible task even with hundreds of people looking for her, so there’s no way that Seth alone can bring her back. But surprise surprise, he manages find her and they return to the land of the living together. Seth realizes how much he still loves Georgina so he breaks up with Maddie and gets back together with Georgina. As they cuddle in bed together, Seth unconsciously calls her “Letha”, her name back when she was still mortal.
Curious and suspicious about her contract with Hell, Georgina turns to Erik to help. He tries to find answers but his investigations eventually lead to his murder. Before he died, he informs Georgina that there is nothing wrong with her contract, but a second contract exists which might be the cause of everything that’s happening.
Out of all the books, this was perhaps my least favorite. It’s not bad or anything, I just didn’t enjoy it as much. Most of it was spent relieving Georgina’s memories in the past. Some were interesting, but most of the time I just wanted to get on with the story. Also, I couldn’t figure out Simone’s (another succubus) role in the story. She hit on Carter and Seth and impersonated Georgina when she disappeared, but for what? Jerome knew something about it, but I don’t think the author really explained her intentions. (Or I might have just missed it – I sped read through many parts of this book because, like I said, I didn’t enjoy it as much as the others.)
In this final book Georgina tells her friends that Seth called her Letha unconsciously. The next day she receives a memo from Hell telling her that she is to be transferred to Las Vegas in a few weeks. She is sad about having to leave Seth, but there’s nothing she can do about it. Jerome orders her to visit Vegas to see her future home. There she meets up with potential new friends and a few old ones (including Bastien) which makes her realize that she can easily live a happy life there. Roman becomes suspicious of how everything is turning out perfectly so he starts to investigate for her. He somehow comes up with using hypnotism on Seth, which leads them discover that Seth was actually Kyriakos (Letha’s husband) in his past life. When Georgina made her contract with Niphon by wishing that Kyriakos (and everyone else she knew) forget about her and her mistake, Niphon promised her that no mortal would remember her. True to his word, Kyriakos lived his life happily not remembering Letha/Georgina and the wrong she had done him. But deep inside he knew that there was something missing in his life, and so he made a deal with Niphon to give him 9 additional lifetimes to look for this missing piece, which was of course Georgina. It turned out that all those men who have touched her were all him. The fact that Kyriakos forgot about Letha/Georgina but remembered his love for her contradicts the contract Georgina has with Niphon. Hugh and Roman help her make an appeal to the demons and eventually earns both hers and Seth’s soul back. Together they live as mortals and set out to fulfill the premonition that Nyx showed Georgina in Succubus Dreams.
This was definitely my favorite book in the entire series. Finally, after everything Georgina went through, her wish to becomehuman and start her own family is granted. My favorite scene would definitely have to be when Hugh hypnotized Seth. I had goosebumps the entire time! To be honest, I kinda figured out that Seth was the reincarnation of Kyraikos early on, but I never expected that he was all those guys too! That came as such a shock!
The only thing I didn’t like was what happened to Roman :( But it was his decision and he felt that it was the right thing to do, so I guess I should just be happy for him.
As for Jerome, I couldn’t quite figure out what to think of him. I’m still a little confused. For most of the series I believed that he truly cared about Georgina (in his own twisted way) but he knew about everything from the start and tried to silence her by sending her off to Vegas. I understand that he can’t really warn her or give her a heads up about the contracts in the same way Carter can’t interfere with things happening in Georgina’s life. In my opinion, he didn’t really do anything big to try to screw Georgina over, nor did he try to save her. Mostly he just appeared neutral. Sure, by doing so he almost ruined Seth’s and Georgina’s chances of getting their soul back, but what do you expect an archdemon to do? It’s not like any of us really expected him to risk his own reputation by trying to save Georgina.
Anyway, I loved how the story unfolded in this book and how everything simply fell into place. I finished the series with a smile on my face.
WHAT I LIKED:
- The concept of angels and demons being friends and sometimes helping each other out. I loved reading about Carter’s weird friendship with Jerome and Georgina’s friends. (Of course in the end we learn that there was another reason he was hanging around Georgina’s group so much, but still …)
- The idea of redemption and forgiveness. This was shown throughout the book, but I suppose the best example would be how Seth managed to eventually forgive Georgina for causing him 10 lifetimes of pain. And also how Roman turned out to be a good friend after Georgina forgave him for what he did in Succubus Blues. (And after he forgave her for turning him in.)
- The different kinds of immortals. I’ve never really encountered a book with such a wide array of immortal beings before. Some of them I’ve never even heard about, like the nephilim. And I found the concept of lesser immortals and greater immortals interesting.
- I really liked how the book showed that being a minion of Hell doesn’t automatically mean that the person is “evil” or “bad”. Georgina and her friends are good examples of that I think. They are forced to take victims (and buy souls) to survive, but its obviously not something they enjoy.
- The fallen angels. It’s not a new concept, but I still thought it was interesting to see how an angel could fall, like Yasmine. And how they end up turning evil after being exposed to Hell for so long. I know that we didn’t really see Yasmine turn evil in the story, in fact she was still pretty much herself in the end, but that’s probably because it hasn’t been long since she fell. If we look at Jerome and his cold demeanor, it’s hard to imagine him as an angel who fell in love with a mortal.
- Seth’s and Carter’s pet names for Georgina (Thetis, Daughter of Lilith). Richelle Mead obviously has a thing for pet names, she did for Rose it in Vampire Academy too (Roza, Little Dhampir)
- And of course I loved all the romance and steamy love scenes. Unlike Vampire Academy, this series is targeted towards a more mature audience, so there were plenty of these to go around.
As for my favorite character in the story (aside from Georgina because I obviously love her), I would definitely have to say Carter. With his hobo-like appearance and addiction to alcohol, he isn’t really what I imagine when someone describes an angel. But I just love his witty comebacks and caring nature. He enjoyed taunting Georgina and constantly reminded her that he is not allowed to interfere in her affairs, but he was always there when she needed someone – like how he held her the entire time she cried after talking to Seth in Succubus Blues, or how he bought her flowers after her breakup with Roman. His constant presence annoyed Georgina at first, but she eventually grew to respect and like him. And I thought it was cute that he took good care of the hat that Georgina got him for Christmas, and how he bought her a new Christmas tree after accidentally setting her old one on fire. And of course I loved him even more after his last conversation with Georgina in Succubus Revealed. It was such a pleasant surprise and it explained why he was so concerned about her all the time.
Another character I really liked was Roman. He may have appeared to be a crazy psychopath in Succubus Blues but like I said earlier, I kind of understood why he felt he had to do what he did. And he wasn’t that bad – he eventually agreed to stop the murders for Georgina, but by then it was too late. When he made his reappearance in Succubus Heat, I was so happy to see him again. And I thought it was sweet (and sad) how he truly loved Georgina, despite knowing that she only had eyes for Seth. Seth and Georgina were obviously meant to be together, but I couldn’t help but wish that there was an alternate ending where Georgina and Roman ended up together.
WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE:
There really wasn’t anything I didn’t like about the book, aside from how Seth and Georgina cheated on Maddie and Dante. But I do have the same complaint I did with the VA series, which is the book covers. I know we’re never supposed to judge a book by its cover, but that doesn’t mean that it can’t look nice. Now I’m not talking about the covers I showed at the beginning of this entry, because those are beautiful, I’m talking about the US covers. This is what they really look like:
They made Georgina look like an overly-Photoshopped dominatrix. It’s just my opinion but I think these covers look so cheap.
The covers I showed at the beginning of my review are actually the German covers, and I decided to put those on top because they look so much better than the US ones. I really liked the French covers too, but I couldn’t find a picture of the cover for Succubus Revealed. Here are the first 5 covers in case you’re interested to see what they look like:
So pretty right? Why can’t the US covers look like these?
Once again Richelle Mead has done it. She got me so hooked on this series that as soon as I finished the last book I immediately picked up the first one again and started reading from the beginning. It’s been days since I finished the series but I still haven’t picked up a new book because I just want to give myself some time to fully absorb everything before moving on. True, this series didn’t hook me immediately unlike Vampire Academy, but after finishing the first book, I just kept going until I finished all six.
For my rating, I would give this the same thing I gave Vampire Academy, which is 4.8 out of 5 stars. I thought about giving it 5 stars because I absolutely loved the ending, but I didn’t really enjoy Succubus Shadows and Succubus on Top that much. They were still good, though nothing compared to the other 4 books. But like I said, the ending more than made up for it. Unlike Vampire Academy, there weren’t that many unanswered questions and we were able to see how Seth and Georgina both got what they wanted. I’m really happy with how Richelle Mead decided to end the story. I think the last booked wrapped everything up quite nicely.