Succubus Shadows
by Richelle Mead, fantasy (2010)
Kensington, 15.00, ISBN 978-0-7582-3200-7


I reserve the right to change my mind when the next book comes out, but for now, I believe that Succubus Shadows will be the last Georgina Kincaid book that I will buy. I don't like the direction of the story taken by the author in this book, and indeed, Georgina Kincaid's antics here leave me feeling really cheated. Considering how I actually enjoyed the last book, Succubus Heat, this reaction of mine to this book can seem pretty extreme, but let me explain. Of course, this means there will be major spoilers all over this review. I'm sorry but I can't avoid this if I want to explain why I feel so negatively about this book.

This is the fifth book in Richelle Mead's Succubus series, and this book also reveals that the heroine in the author's beautiful short story Brush Strokes is Georgina. The plot however is pretty thin in this book as everything is part of the plot to get Georgina and Seth back together. Yes, they are back together by the last page, but I'll get into that later.

Georgina Kincaid is distracted from her favorite past time - mooning over Seth and sighing over her sad, sad existence - when another succubus, Simone, shows up in town. Her boss Jerome suspects that Simone may be snooping for Jerome's weaknesses on behalf of a rival, and he asks Ramon, his son, to snoop on Simone in return. When Ramon reports that Simone has her sights set on both Carter and Seth, Georgina sees red. Meanwhile, Georgina starts experiencing weird feelings and even gaps in her memories (for example, she realizes in the middle of an action that she has somehow performed that action without remembering anything leading up to that point, sort of like waking up after sleepwalking, if I am making sense here). That's pretty much it for the plot.

In truth, the story is actually one long angst-fest about Georgina and Seth. Perhaps fan of this couple will appreciate this story better, but even so, I suspect that some of them would wince at how Maddie discovers that Georgina has run and slept with Seth almost immediately after Seth broke up with Maddie (right after she had made all the wedding preparations!) from reading the papers. If that isn't cold enough, after Maddie has confronted Georgie and fled with the shreds of her dignity pulled closely around her, Georgina runs off to have sex with Seth once more. This isn't romantic, this is just plain cold, people. Ouch.

When I finish this story, I can only wonder what the author has planned for the rest of this series, because this one instantly negated any character development in the previous two books. Georgina and Seth are back again, and this time around, they learn... what? Yes, yes, they love each other so much that they don't care whose hearts they trample along the way - but I find such an epiphany more depressing than anything else.

When I first encounter Georgina Kincaid in Succubus Blues, she was a tragic heroine worth rooting for. But as the series progresses, Georgina becomes the good guy only in her own delusion - she is very haughty, she is insufferably rude and cold to anyone outside her cool kid clique, and she can be very selfish as well. Even Jerome is aware of this, as he remarks at least twice that Seth is not his most important concern in this world, contrary to what Georgina may believe. And now, she is a home-wrecking creature who pays lip service to remorse as she happily shags Seth. Both Seth and Georgina in this book make me wonder what have happened to their old selves. How had they become this... cruel and self-absorbed?

If you have read my reviews of the previous books in this series, you will know that I had always managed to find something to like even if a book in the series frustrated me so. Succubus Shadows, however, just leaves me feeling cheated of a good story and frustrated over what the main characters have become. They have become the very kind of people that I am not fond of - hypocrites who say one thing and do another. Perhaps in the months to come, I will feel less negative about this book and who knows, maybe I will even buy the next book by the time it comes out. But for now, I just don't like what Georgina has become and I wish the author has killed off Seth a few books back so that he and Georgina won't keep bringing out the worst in each other.

Rating: 60


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