Succubus Dreams by Richelle Mead
Series: Georgina Kincaid #3
Published by Bantam Books
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Source: Purchased myself
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Some days, a girl just can't catch a break ... especially when the girl in question is Georgina Kincaid, a shape-shifting succubus who gets her energy from seducing men. First there's her relationship with gorgeous bestselling writer Seth Mortensen, which is unsatisfying on a number of levels. It's not just that they can't have sex in case Georgina inadvertently kills him (generally a turn-off for most guys). Lately, even spending time together is a challenge. Seth's obsessed with finishing his latest novel, and Georgina's under demonic orders to mentor the new (and surprisingly inept) succubus on the block.
Then there are the dreams. Someone, or something, is preying on Georgina at night, draining her energy, and supplying eerie visions of her future. Georgina seeks answers from Dante, a dream interpreter with ties to the underworld, but his flirtatious charm only leaves her more confused-especially as the situation with Seth reaches crisis point. Now Georgina faces a double challenge-rein in her out-of-control love life, and go toe-to-toe with an enemy capable of wreaking serious havoc among mankind. Otherwise, Georgina, and the entire mortal world, may never sleep easy again.
Thoughts: SPOILER ALERT I tried writing this review without spoilers but I just really, really need to vent. So, if you haven’t read Succubus Dreams, stop now if you don’t want to be spoiled!
Succubus Dreams ruined any faith I’ve ever had in the Y chromosome. I mean, yes, Georgina isn’t perfect and I sure as hell wouldn’t date her… but Seth was supposed to be the love of her life. He and Georgina were supposed to have this epic romance… instead Seth just tossed it aside without really working at it. While, yes, he made some attempts to speak with Georgina, he never really pushed the issue. Hell, Georgie was willing to make compromises but Seth? No, Seth just stabbed her in the heart. That, my friends, is something no one should be capable of doing.
So fine, he wants to end it. Okay then. But do it without cheating on Georgie with one of her best friends! Dammit. I don’t care if you think that that is the only way to let her down, because it really really shouldn’t be something you should be able to sleep with. Honestly Seth, with boyfriends like you, who needs villainous imps? *stabs*
*breathes* So clearly I am not over this. Even though I knew, before reading the book, that Seth would end up dating whats-her-face, I really didn’t expect it to play out like this. Bastard.
END of spoilers!
Anyhow, despite the above, I did enjoy this book. Georgina starts to make some real growth. She tries to think her emotions through and she seems to be gaining greater understanding of the whole Heaven/Hell debacle. Mead also does a fantastic job foreshadowing upcoming plot lines. While I can’t see where she is going yet, I am really looking forward to seeing how she deals with what she’s already set up.
As usual, every appearance of Carter-the-angel was a joy. I love his character, and I love how Mead has gradually built his role in Georgie’s life. I also really enjoyed the book’s core plot – it gave the novel a Big Bad while also dealing with a bunch of personal issues for the characters.
My only complaint would have to be the R-rated scenes. Ok, yes, this is a book about a sex-demon but… ick. I know these scenes are key to understanding Georgina and her role in the whole good-versus-evil fight but they were just too unsavoury for me.
However, Succubus Dreams established one thing for certain: this series is not about sex. Hell, it’s not even about Georgie’s relationship with Seth. It is about so much more than that – it’s about Georgina and her guilt; it’s about the boundaries between heaven and hell; it’s about the nature and torture that is existence. And that? That’s what is making me stick it out despite the spoilery rant. My hope is that the next book will be even better.
Bottom line? A heart-wrenching installment to a brilliant series. Richelle Mead delivers.
OK, so I am one of those
fans. One of the fans who picked up the A Song of Fire and Ice
series after watching the HBO series based on the books, Game of Thrones
(hereafter known as HBO!GoT). Yep, I’m one of those.
And so instead of giving you your standard “OMG, this book is amazing” review (this book has been out for 15 years, there are a lot of them out there), I am doing something absolutely dreadful instead… I am comparing the show with the book!
Horrified? I know – but I’m dastardly that way.
Be warned, there are significant spoilers ahead! If you have either read the book or seen the show, you’ll be fine. If you’ve done neither, then just get to it already!
Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin
HBO!GoT / Librarything /Goodreads
Show Summary: You win or you die.
Book Summary: Long ago, in a time forgotten, a preternatural event threw the seasons out of balance. The cold is returning, and in the frozen wastes to the north of Winterfell, sinister forces are massing beyond the kingdom’s protective wall. To the south, the King’s powers are failing, and his enemies are emerging from the shadows of the throne. At the center of the conflict lie the Starks of Winterfell, a family as harsh and unyielding as the frozen land they were born to. Now Lord Eddard Stark is reluctantly summoned to serve as the King’s new Hand, an appointment that threatens to sunder not only his family but also the kingdom itself.
Three things a HBO!GoT fan should know before starting the book:
- You will love it, because it is pretty much exactly the same as the show: I was stunned by how closely HBO stuck to the novels. I knew that all of the main plot elements had been included, but it is so much more than that. I’d say about 90% of the dialogue that is in the show is also in the book.
- All of the main characters are about 10 years younger in the novel. Yup, that’s right. A Game of Thrones is a lot more risque than its HBO counterpart. Dany is only 13 when her brother hands her off to the Dothraki. While it works in the book and is historically realistic, I really don’t think I could have watched that.
- The book is over 1000 pages long. I don’t want you to be put off by that, but it’s the truth. I don’t want anyone to think that A Game of Thrones is a short read – it’s not. It really really is not!
Three things I preferred the HBO interpretation of:
- Catelyn Stark. I had genuinely liked Catelyn in HBO!GoT. She wasn’t my favourite character, but she clearly had Stark qualities to her that made me warm to her. She didn’t sit to the sidelines, but neither did she try to jump in the driver’s seat. But book!Catelyn I very nearly loathe. How can I put it in a way fans will understand… there’s just not much of the North in that woman. She treats Jon 100 times worse than she does on the show, not to mention her inability to understand honour, justice and those other fantastic Stark qualities.
- The scenery. While I realise television has the clear advantage in this field, I found myself missing the beautiful landscapes and the gorgeous castles. George R.R. Martin isn’t all that big on descriptive writing about scenery, so while some places were extremely well described (the Wall and the Dothraki plains, for example), others had almost no description at all (King’s Landing).
- The Lannisters. HBO!GoT gives the Lannisters a bit more context – they aren’t necessarily my favourite group of people (*strangles Joffery*) but there were times when I genuinely felt for Cersei and Jamie. But in the books? They are the very definition of evil. Evil. Evil. Evil. And while I am certainly Team Stark, I would have liked to have seen a bit more Lannister in the book.
Three things I loved from the book which didn’t really translate onto the screen:
- Bran and the three-eyed crow. While HBO!GoT really did try to bring these scenes to life on the screen, they really didn’t make much sense. Mostly because, in the book, the crow actually speaks to Bran. And the truth of the matter is that talking animals never really work on TV.
- Jon Snow. While I certainly liked Jon in the television show, he did seem rather whiney. If anything, the younger novel version of him seemed much more adult than the actual adult that played him!
- How genuinely sweet Joffery was to Sansa. Even though Joffery is the anti-christ, there were times in the book when he seemed to actually like Sansa… none of that came through in HBO!GoT. It’s a real shame since it makes Sansa’s obsession with the evil blonde twit understandable.
One thing I really wish the show had included:
- How utterly unimportant Theon Grey is to Robb Stark. HBO!GoT turns Theon into Robb’s best friend and, considering how loathsome I find him, I was pleasantly surprised to see that this was not the case in the books. Maybe their relationship develops further in the later novels, but in A Game of Thrones they are most certainly not BFFs. *shakes fist*
Succubus Blues by Richelle Mead
Bottom line? There is a reason this book has so many fans: it’s brilliant. Go forth and purchase.
Series: Georgina Kincaid #1
Published by Kensington Publishing Corp. on August 1st 2010
Genres: Urban Fantasy
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Also in this series: Succubus Dreams
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. Her boss is a middle-management demon with a thing for John Cusack movies. Her immortal best friends haven't stopped teasing her about the time she shape-shifted into the Demon Goddess getup complete with whip and wings. And she can't have a decent date without sucking away part of the guy's life. 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...
Thoughts: Before I started Succubus Blues I had thought the following had to be true:
- Books with a sex-demon lead would never turn out to be about love.
- A succubus could never be
- I could never relate to a character that deals with sex casually.
Needless to say, Richelle Mead proved me wrong. Succubus Blues is nothing like the book I thought it would be. It’s hysterical and heart-breaking, filled with a thousand shades of ethical grey, and stars one of the most complex heroines I’ve ever read. Georgina is far from perfect – she can be superficial and self-serving. But she has so much potential for growth. Even after 400+ years on the planet, she still has a lot to learn.
Mead has also created one of my favourite love-interests ever in Seth. He’s your average best-selling novelist: introverted, smart, and extremely wity on paper. I never expected to fall so quickly for this beta-hero, but everything about him had me clutching my heart. The secondary characters in this book are stellar – complex characters who stride a blurred line between good and evil. Every single one of them I wanted to read more about – especially the angel Carter and his demon!BFF Jerome.
Demon BFF? I told you, seriously blurred lines.
Alas, this book didn’t get a higher rating from me because of one very unfortunate character *cough* Roman *cough* who I just couldn’t like – no matter how suave. And Georgina liking him made me want to shake her (and the book) in despair.
Bottom line? Succubus Blues is brilliant. Sitting firmly on the line between PNR and UF – it had me laughing, crying and occasionally disturbed by the paranormal evil. Everything you could want in a book!
Remember Me? by Sophie Kinsella
Published by Bantam Books, Dial
Source: Purchased myself
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When twenty-eight-year-old Lexi Smart wakes up in a London hospital, she’s in for a big surprise. Her teeth are perfect. Her body is toned. Her handbag is Vuitton. Having survived a car accident—in a Mercedes no less—Lexi has lost a big chunk of her memory, three years to be exact, and she’s about to find out just how much things have changed.
Somehow Lexi went from a twenty-five-year-old working girl to a corporate big shot with a sleek new loft, a personal assistant, a carb-free diet, and a set of glamorous new friends. And who is this gorgeous husband—who also happens to be a multimillionaire? With her mind still stuck three years in reverse, Lexi greets this brave new world determined to be the person she…well, seems to be. That is, until an adorably disheveled architect drops the biggest bombshell of all.
Suddenly Lexi is scrambling to catch her balance. Her new life, it turns out, comes complete with secrets, schemes, and intrigue. How on earth did all this happen? Will she ever remember? And what will happen when she does?
Rec for people who love: Page turners with a good laugh!
Thoughts: This was the first so-called “chick lit” book I have ever read. To be honest, I have always been somewhat skeptical about their quality. But after listening to an interview that Barnes and Noble did with Sophie Kinsella, I had to read something of hers. She was witty, intelligent and extremely British. So stumbling upon her book in a charity shop the same day seemed like fate. However, the summary left a lot to love.
It took about a hundred pages for me to really start liking the book. The main character, Lexi, at first seems painfully typical – the get-pissed-and-pull girl I went to school with. But I quickly realized there was a lot more to her than that, and she turned out to be a funny, bright and fiercely loyal lady.
I read the book in two sittings, which is highly unusual for me, even when I love a book. But I couldn’t help but trying to will Lexi into realizing her new life is not really hers. As if the faster I read, the sooner she would realize.
It is really easy from my point of view, of course, but Sophie Kinsella goes about the realization in a way that stays true to character. Things go from horribly awkward, to just down right horrible for Lexi (I actually cried at one point, which was extremely odd considering no one had died). Just as I was about to call my own life as miserable as Lexi’s…. Kinsella turns the mood around to brightly comic in a half page. It was genius – and it completely turned around my view about the genre.
I am not saying it is literary genius, but it was one hell of a story. Kinsella can spin a tale extremely well, and just because it happens to be a tale about a young, single woman is kinda irrelevant. If you are a fan of chick-lit, I am pretty sure you already have this on your TBR pile. But if you, like me, tend to shy away from anything with a cartoon twentysomething on the cover… well… reconsider. Kinsella spun together a story for pure escapism, and I for one plan to buy more of her tales!