Succubus Dreams
by Richelle Mead, fantasy (2008)
Kensington, $15.00, ISBN 978-0-7582-1643-4


Ooh, I am such an evil person, because while I know some people are completely heartbroken by the end of Succubus Dreams, I am doing a happy dance. I can't say more, given that the reason I am so happy is a big spoiler where the story is concerned. Let me just say that this is something that has to happen and frankly, I can only go, "Good for her!" It takes real guts to do what Ms Mead did in this story. To be honest, I sort of knew it could happen the moment Ms Mead introduced the secondary character that would bring about that big tumultuous upheaval in Georgina Kincaid's life, but I never expected Ms Mead to have the guts to actually go ahead with the plan.

Oh yes, the story. If you have read the author's previous Succubus books - and you should before starting on this one, as this is book three in the series - you will know that the story revolves around Georgina Kincaid, an emo succubus whose loves and heartbreaks often attract the wrong people. In this one, Georgina is experiencing disconcertingly pleasant dreams of her having a normal life, only to wake up from each dream feeling depleted of her life force. What is going on here? A cabal of angels, led by Carter, show up in town on a hush-hush mission. Meanwhile, Georgina is starting to realize that Seth, her human boyfriend, may not be as happy with their platonic "no sex, because that will drain years from Seth's life" love story as she tries to make herself believe.

This is the third book in the series, and this is the third version of Georgina that I've read. Maybe it's just me, but it does seem like Ms Mead changes Georgina into a different person from book to book. Here, our succubus is a very bitchy and negative person. I suppose one can say that having all those weird dreams while pretending to believe that a happy long-term relationship with Seth will work can drive any woman up the wall, so it is understandable that the poor dear acts as if someone has dipped her entire underwear collection in poison ivy extract. That doesn't make Georgina an easy heroine to follow, though. I can only snort and roll up my eyes at one point in the story when she accuses another character of being too negative. Ms Mead is aware of Georgina's condition, however, although that doesn't mean much, given that Georgina acts like a self-absorbed whiny bitch throughout the whole book.

But perhaps that is part of the grand plan, as arguably Georgina is the main villain in this story. She has wrapped herself up in some kind of perverse cocoon of righteous martyrdom, to the point that she treats many people around her in this story like crap because she is so bent on playing the wounded heroine. She gets an apprentice succubus here, for example, and she spends pretty much the entire story treating Tawny the way the most popular girl in school would treat the fattest girl in school. As a result, when Ms Mead rips apart Georgina's cocoon, I can only feel a measure of satisfaction because I'm so petty that way. And yet, at the same time, my heart breaks a little for Georgina even if a big part of me believes that she deserves every bit of the pain she gets for being a complete bitch towards everyone but those she has admitted into her personal cool clique.

And oh boy, Ms Mead really rips Georgina's world apart here. Turns her inside out, breaks her heart into a million pieces and happily stamps on each piece, actually. This is the story where Georgina is forced to grow up. I have to say, Ms Mead does the whole emotional turmoil in Georgina so well, I find myself relishing every word in this story. The dream subplot isn't much, really, with the grand revelation pretty much coming out of the blue to make me scratch my head, but that subplot is merely one of the many catalysts that bring about the events in this story that will change poor Georgina's life significantly. The entire story is a most entertaining drama that demonstrates how well Ms Mead can play with my emotions like a violin if she puts her mind to it.

As for poor Seth, once again he is the most boring guy in the story. This time around, I think I like that enigmatic Dante so much more than Seth. But can we bring back Roman? He's really hot in that demented/sexy way.

Succubus Dreams is not an easy book to review because it's hard for me to describe in words how this book puts me through a rollercoaster ride of emotions. I do enjoy reading this book, however, and I especially love how the author is making some big changes in the series, changes that I feel are going in the right direction. I can't wait to find out what happens next.

Rating: 85


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