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. . .
To sum up my feelings about this book:
When I first started reading this, I thought, “Thank the good lord”, because reviewers whom I follow and adore all rated it highly. Also, I’ve been reading far too many YA-Contemporary/YA-PRs lately and this seemed like it would provide me with a much needed break. I thought it would clear my intellectual pallet of the sugar it’s been fed these past two weeks. Don’t get me wrong, sugar can be a good thing. Sometimes it’s just the pick-me-up I need. But too much of it can rot your teeth. And brain.
Unfortunately this book was less like a break for me and more like a trial. I can’t even tell you how proud I am that I didn’t rage-quit it, because on several occasions I had to restrain myself from committing the ultimate act of literary blasphemy and burning it. I had so many problems with it that it took me twice as long to read as it should have, because I kept pausing to scribble down angry notes before looking heavenward for patience and forcing myself to continue on.
The issues I have will probably sound like hate spam, and I apologize for that, because I really don’t want to offend anyone, but I feel like someone has to point these things out, so here goes…
The first question I asked myself was this: Does everyone hit on Georgina?
By the end of the book I had my answer: Jesus Rollerblading Christ, YES THEY DO.
The rest of this review is probably one big giant SPOILER and I’m too lazy to keep covering them up, so…
*WARNING: UNMARKED SPOILERS*
There is almost zero world building here. Within the first chapters you learn that vampire hunters are in the media, but do common citizens really know about them or the vampires they stalk? I have no frigging idea, Mead never elaborates. Which is a popular theme.
Georgina, the MC, is over a millennia old, yet she seems completely clueless about the preternatural part of the world she’s inhabited for the past thousand or so years. Did someone just tell her she was immortal one sunny day and she took it at face value, assuming nothing could kill her? I don’t know, it’s never explained (surprise!). I’m sorry, but who in her shoes wouldn’t make damn sure they knew everything about their altered existence? If you didn’t, you’d be TSTL, which she is IMHO. But lo and behold she’s still alive, so what the hell do I know?
No really, how can you be ‘close friends’ with vampires and not know that they can’t kill each other? Or that they can’t kill you? Oh, but don’t worry if you come across a really nasty vamp because you can just call up one of the “certain mortals” that are able to kill them. And not just with a stake to the heart, but it seems any blunt object will do. But make sure you definitely send a “certain mortal” to do the job because unfortunately the same weapons wielded by anyone else are ineffective. Would you like to know why that is?
SO WOULD I, GODDAMN IT!
Another question I have is how can someone live so long and still be so neurotic? You hate getting hit on all the time yet get pissed when people don’t throw themselves at you, you constantly second guess yourself and everyone around you, you can’t make up your mind and you let a thousand year old DEAD relationship dictate almost every move you make. Don’t you think in all that time you’d come to terms with yourself? Isn’t a thousand years about 950 years longer than it should take to get over heartbreak and your own stupidity? More to come on this later.
The first time I almost quit this book was when I got to the random swing lesson Georgina holds in the bookstore she works at after hours. And no, this is not the wife/husband swapping kind you might expect from a ‘morally corrupt’ succubus but the DANCING kind. The entire staff and even one of her vampire friends attend it. Really? Not one person was like “No thanks, I’m cool”? Of course not! Who could say no to Georgina? She’s irresistible!
This was the note in my reading journal regarding this:
“WHATTHEFUCKISGOINGON?! I feel like this book keeps getting hijacked by random bullshit filler scenes. Goodbye plot, goodbye world building, HELLO ZOOT SUITS!!!”
Here’s an example of the dialogue between ole Georgie and Roman, one of the love interestS (Anita? Is that you?), that took place during said dance lesson and will also serve to double as an example of why my eyes almost rolled out of my skull while reading this:
“Group date, huh?”
“For my safety. I’ve always found it best to keep a few dozen chaperones on hand.”
“You’ll need a few dozen more in that dress,” he warned in a low voice, those eyes molesting me from head to toe.
I flushed, taking a few steps away from him. “You’ll have to wait your turn, like everyone else.”
…did she just call herself a slut? She must have, because if this was supposed to be a dancing reference I missed it. Also, molesting? That’s the word you go with here? One with serious negative connotations? After you eye-humped him first, you bloody hypocrite?
To distract herself from this little tête-à-tête Georgie makes a sexual innuendo to the group gathered for the dance lesson about Doug not being able to last longer than five minutes during sex. You see, its okay for her to insinuate, but damn it, nobody else can! This is because there aren’t enough double standards in this book already.
Oh, and just in case you find yourself wondering who the hell Doug is, don’t worry, you don’t really need to know him, just that he—like many of the male characters in this book—was created for the sole purpose of constantly hitting on/ogling Georgina to constantly remind you of how irresistible she is. And really, you need that reminder, because otherwise you’ll realize that there is NOTHING sexy or redeeming about her character, spike your book on the ground with a muttered “Fuck this” and walk away to find solace in ice cream or vodka (or if you’re me, the two blended together with ice and a few other ingredients – yum!).
The single redeeming character in this book for me was Seth, another love interest. I liked him. He seemed to be the only male in the universe with some immunity to Georgina’s “charms”, at least in the beginning. I liked his social awkwardity (yes, that’s a real word…or at least it should be. Say it out loud a few times and tell me you don’t agree). Unlike other reviewers, I didn’t mind that he was a beta male, and I liked that he only seemed able to express his feelings through writing. But on second thought, maybe that was just the case with Georgina because her interactions with him sent so many mixed signals that he didn’t know how to talk to her in person. First you want to flirt with him, then you slam on the brakes and play ice-queen, then want to start talking again and get irritated when he doesn’t immediately fall all over you, but then when he finally asks you out, you shut him down again and are then disappointed when your refusal doesn’t seem to ruin his life. Oh, and then you cave and go out with him. This would be another example of the neurosis I spoke of earlier.
At this point I began to demand that she make up her fucking mind. She refused to do so and instead enthusiastically donned a tiara and a sash reading ‘Queen of Mixed Signals’.
Let’s continue along this theme. Warren, yet another love—sex—interest (Anita? It really IS you!) wants to sleep with her. Because she’s so irresistible remember?! She tells him no. He ignores her. They get steamy.
Now back to Roman. She grudgingly goes out with him. At the end of the date(s) they have this conversation:
Roman: “Go out with me again.”
Roman: “We had a great time tonight and we get along really well.”
Roman: “But I’m so charming and you’re really lonely.”
Georgie-Porgie: “Okay, fine, but only if you promise that we can have this same inane conversation next time too.”
Roman: “Oh, Georgina, you know I could never say no to you. You’re just so irresistible.”
Not only can she not make up her mind, she doesn’t know when to shut the hell up. She threatens people when she has zero fighting experience and allegedly abhors violence. I don’t mind some barking if you have the bite to back it up. She doesn’t. Like a Chihuahua, she’s weak, prone to cowering when really threatened, has a propensity for yapping, at best is capable of non-life threatening scratches and small puncture wounds, tires herself out quickly and could easily be vanquished with a well placed punt.
I’m not really sure what to say about the preternaturally themed plot other than it was weak, was dragged out in small snippets throughout the book, and ended quickly. I kept forgetting there was even a murder-mystery, because I was constantly distracted by all the other bullshit that took up the MAJORITY of this book. I think if you cut out Georgie-Porgie’s social life this would be thirty pages. Tops. This isn’t the only book I’ve read that fills space with personal drama, but for some reason this time around it irritated the shit out of me.
Speaking of her social life, for a book about a succubus this really lacked the sexiness I was expecting. Yes there was some sex, but I thought it was pretty uneventful. There was no build up, no slow ratcheting up of sexual tension. Maybe that’s why I’m so disappointed with it. I have literary blue balls.
Nope. I’m disappointed for more reasons than that. And offended. I almost quit for the second time after this brilliant revelation:
“In that moment, I suddenly understood the power women had over men. It was surprising and exhilarating. Never mind issues of property and politics; it was in the bedroom women ruled. With flesh and sheets and sweat.”
Welp, I guess I should just quit my job now, since the only real power I’ll ever have will come from between my legs. Vagina for the win! What a great message.
After that I started skimming, which is probably a good thing because otherwise this review would likely be a few thousand more lines of ranting.
In short I won’t be reading the next book, nor would I recommend this to anyone. Ever.