I blame the recent, brain-addling flu I had for my purchase of Succubus Dreams. That and the dearth of simple-carbohydrate books I could devour with Twilight, Harry Potter, Sookie Stackhouse, and Vampire Academy having come to an end with no films/series in reasonable sight.
And really, who isn’t fascinated by the word ‘succubus’, which is both sharp and soft in pronunciation and simultaneously predatory and sexy in meaning?
Even if my brain was fried when I ordered it, it wasn’t by the time I read Succubus Dreams. And by goodness this book is bad. I’m not very good at determining what predates what, but I’m pretty sure that Richelle Mead’s succubus series predates her Vampire Academy one.
I ordered this book because I figured that even some of Mead’s earlier works were guaranteed to be better than not having any of her works to read at all. I know, I know, but my Vampire Academy withdrawals are just. so. bad.
Not having done my research, I unwittingly lobbed myself into the middle of this series, which features Georgina Kincaid, a succubus owned by hell whose main task for all eternity is to sleep with men and suck out their souls/power by doing so. Cue eye-rolling snickers now.
Of course, she can’t sleep with her human boyfriend because she doesn’t want to ruin him or shorten his life. Cue more eye rolling and contemptuous snickers.
The book’s actually as bad as it sounds, with the level of ridiculousness amped to the max. It opens with Georgina sleeping with a guy, and basically has her sleeping with guys left, right, and centre. I’m not a prude, but (and I know writing that just about immediately contradicts the fact—sort of like saying ‘I’m not a racist, but…’ does) I was kind of surprised at just how much sex or how many sexual references this book offhandedly contained. That in itself is not a bad thing, but without a really strong storyline to link it together, it’s just a bound book that contains a lot of sex scenes.
Truthfully, when I wasn’t worrying about people seeing and judging me by the book’s cover on public transport, reading Succubus Dreams made me feel like I was catching a glimpse of Mead’s writing future. The strong, sassy female lead and the witty one-liners were beginning to take shape, and there were moments when I thought Georgina was Vampire Academy’s lead character Rose by another, unpolished, not-yet-fully-formed name.
That’s completely understandable and actually kind of a relief—it’s nice to know that Mead’s writing genius has taken some honing and that she doesn’t get her storylines and skill via a direct line to muse-laden heaven. And I will admit that although I hated Succubus Dreams, I didn’t hate it enough not to finish it and I even fairly avidly read the teaser chapter of the next instalment of the series.
That said, I can’t quite bring myself to recommend it, unless you’re either as desperate in your Vampire Academy withdrawals as I am or up for some serious scoffing. Me? I haven’t yet ordered the other succubus books, but no matter how bad they are, I’ll never say that I never will.