Monday, May 21, 2012

Book Review: Succubus Heat by Richelle Mead

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Author: Richelle Mead
Publisher: Kensington
Series Order: Book 4
Paperback: 304 pages
Summary: (taken from Goodreads)
Georgina Kincaid has been a bad, bad succubus...
…which should be a good thing. But lately, thanks to her foul mood over breaking up with bestselling writer Seth Mortensen, she’s been so wicked that Seattle’s ├╝ber-demon Jerome, decides to “outsource” Georgina to a rival—and have her spy for him in the process.
Being exiled to the frozen north—okay, Vancouver—and leaving Seth in the cozy clutches of his new girlfriend is unpleasant enough. Then Jerome is kidnapped, and all immortals under his control mysteriously lose their powers. One bright spot: with her life-sucking ability gone, there’s nothing to keep Georgina from getting down and dirty with Seth—nothing apart from his girlfriend that is. Now, as the supernatural population starts turning on itself, a newly mortal Georgina must rescue her boss and figure out who’s been playing them—or all hell will break loose…

Overall Rating: 4/5

I can't even begin to describe how much I love this series. I love how Mead is able to humanize these immortal "monsters" and make them completely relate-able. And I love how hell is characterized as a bureaucracy that functions through contracts and paperwork (if anything is hell -- it's bureaucracy!). I have enjoyed all three previous books, but there seemed to be more to Succubus Heat, which I really liked.

Now that the world is established and the reader knows most of the rules governing Hell, the demons, the lesser immortals, and the angels, Mead is able to delve into stronger character and plot development. That's not to say that it hasn't been good previously, but in Succubus Heat, the characters really start to grow and change. The internal conflicts are becoming tenser with Georgina and Seth broken up. Georgina never seemed much of an immortal to me before; she cared too much about the world and the people around her. In this book, we get to see a bit of her darker immortal side. She starts acting more like a succubus and less like a human. And, surprisingly, we get to see a darker side to Seth, which was a refreshing change. I'm all for a guy with strong morals, but hanging around all those vampires and demons had to do something to him, right?

The plot, while fast-paced and interesting, was a little predictable. I was able to guess one major player in Jerome's disappearance right away, so the resolution to that conflict wasn't as surprising as it could have been. Despite that, I couldn't put this book down. Mead is so good at sucking the reader in and making us care about her characters that the plot is kind of secondary at this point. I do feel something larger building up, though, and I can't wait to see what all of it is leading to. (Yes, that's vague, but I don't want to give spoilers!)

The writing, as always with Richelle Mead, is fantastic. Amid all damned souls, horrible situations, and working for hell, Georgina is still able to crack witty jokes and have hope for the future. She also makes some amazing insights in life that are at once funny and depressing.

This is one urban fantasy/paranormal romance that you need to be reading! I can't wait to get my hands on the rest of the series.

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