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Succubus Heat
Richelle Mead
Bantam Books, 509 pages

Succubus Heat
Richelle Mead
Originally from Michigan, Richelle Mead now lives in Seattle, Washington where she writes full-time. Before becoming a writer, she considered a few different career paths. She received a liberal arts degree from the University of Michigan, an MA in Comparative Religion from Western Michigan University, and a Master in Teaching (Middle & High School English) degree from the University of Washington. In the end, she decided writing was the way for her but believes all of her education prepared her for it.

Richelle Mead Website
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Past Feature Reviews
A review by Sandra Scholes

One of several novels in the Succubus series concerning Georgina Kinkaid, Succubus Blues, Succubus Nights, and Succubus Dreams, Succubus Heat is set in modern day Seattle. Richelle Mead has made a novel full of humorous one-liners, mystery, romance and horror and her ability to weave an effortless tale is evident. She introduces us to her main character Georgina, a succubus in need of counselling after breaking up with her boyfriend Seth, a human novelist, and seeking solace in another man's company. She made the great mistake of sleeping with her councillor, a man of lesser morals than her, him being a married man. As if that is not enough to contend with, suddenly her demon lord Jerome decides to have another woman as his spy then, for no apparent reason, he becomes the victim of a kidnapping. This has a devastating effect on Georgina as she, along with her own kind, lose their immortal powers, rendering them useless. Georgina thinks there is a plot to eradicate her kind, yet she is unsure who would do such a thing.

Early in the novel, it is not evident who might have a grudge against the succubae and incubi, though surprisingly those who might be suspect, make the reading rather complex at first. The way the story is written from Georgina's point of view can give only her perception of others and how she is treated by her friends and associates. Of those she works with, she has close relationships to Hugo, a legal assistant, who just happens to be an imp who buys souls for his master and Peter and Cody who are both vampires by origin and live by their own set of rules. She hates that her kind are labelled as lesser immortals while angels and demons are considered higher immortals, can change shape and have immense power by divine right. For a character who was once immortal, she is moody, brash and broody about her present circumstances, pining over her former boyfriend, and the fact that Dante, one of her new squeezes, does not measure up in matters of sex or love.

She feels she has been dealt a rough hand thus far and one would think she might do most anything to get back to the way things were. Her actions in this book show she still has some human emotions even though she tries to hide them in her guise as a succubus. Jerome sends her to Vancouver to keep a watchful eye on The Army of Darkness, a rogue cult that has been set up there. She is unhappy that he has decided to offload her to such a deserted place.

Her leaving should have been a clean break but before she leaves, she sees Seth again and they start to chat and finds herself slowly being drawn toward him again, even though he has a new lover. The two of them are supposed to be together as they are so compatible, yet the events that happened before that broke them apart and also broke her heart in the process. The hang-up she has with Seth is his kindness, gentleness and likeabilty with whom she felt comfortable even if they didn't have a physical relationship. To put it mildly, if she had done so he would have been dead, sucked dry by her succubus self.

Her other problem is Dante, a dark magician and current boyfriend who is a pretty bad sort all round and who, for some strange reason, does not get on with her other friends. The physical relationship she has with him is nothing in comparison to the way she felt around Seth and mourns the time he found someone else. She constantly struggles with her succubus heritage and sleeping around with many men satisfied her base needs at first, but once she has sampled a human male such as Seth, she in some ways feels she cannot go back to those who are as dark as she is. Becoming a succubus from selling her soul into hell's service, she is like a vampire in that she has to take the life essence of men or women during sex. And the more pure they are the more life-force she is prone to take, so she feels safe with Seth and unfulfilled with Dante.

There is plenty of mystery and the unknown in Succubus Heat. It is not surprising that it is part of a series of novels based on the same character. It is an engaging horror thriller with more than just the normal essence on the genre, it comments on the characters's real lives and what they have to go through every day on being anything but normal people.

Copyright © 2009 Sandra Scholes

Interesting times can always be found around Sandra Scholes, especially when she is reading and commenting on her growing collection of manga. Bleach being one of her favourites. Her work can be seen at Active Anime and FantasyBookReview online.

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