Succubus Revealed (Georgia Kincaid Book 6)
As with all popular genres, what works, what is successful, tends to become a trend. It’s no different with urban fantasy, which, sometimes, follows familiar formulas: a gorgeous, sarcastic, young supernatural Buffy-esque heroine fighting the good fight and snogging various supernatural creatures along the way. Often, with urban fantasy, the focus is on relationships and the uniqueness of the world the main character exists in, rather than plot. As a fan of the genre, the monotony of “trend” can be disappointing. But, sometimes, you come across a great series that breaks the mold. They push past the common, the expected, and focus on a great, intricate plot and the development of the strong characters involved in the novel. For me, such was the case of Richelle Mead’s Georgina Kincaid series.
I discovered Georgina Kincaid about a year ago when I’d read far too many urban fantasy novels about vampires and werewolves and gun, knife or magic wielding Buffy wannabe characters that seemed incapable of staying out of predictable trouble. With Georgina, Mead has created characters that transcend the expected and a plot that has overlapped and developed throughout six well written novels.
Georgina is a succubus who only wants to live her life and forget the sins of her past. It’s that past, in fact, that led her into her immortal life- a deal with the ‘devil’ that allowed those she hurt to forget she ever existed. Initially, everything was fine. Her past shifted from her memory in sporadic spurts until, over the decades, certain men would come her way and make her remember that she wasn’t worthy enough to be loved. And, of course, those relationships would ultimately end in disaster.
In the series finale, Succubus Revealed, we learn that all that heartbreak, all those lost loves and the hardship Georgina has endured, was manufactured by those who wanted to keep her from true happiness (and keep her soul bound to Hell).
The novel begins when Georgina has found some modicum of happiness with her mortal boyfriend Seth Mortensen. Past novels explored their fight toward normality and the sacrifices they made in an effort to be together. But, in Succubus Revealed, those efforts are threatened when Georgina learns she’s been abruptly transferred to Las Vegas, hours away from her friends and the man she loves. But it is the deeper, far more sinister threat conspiring to keep Georgina and Seth’s souls bound for Hell, that carries the greatest threat and reveals the depths of betrayal.
Mead is a master at developing characters that are unexpected and willing to challenge their own safety for what is right. And yes, that means even the most nefarious of supernatural creatures value friendship and love above what is easy and convenient. We experience the heartache and struggle that Georgina endured, but also those individuals who care deeply about her and who are willing to put aside their obligations and sacrifice their lives in order secure her salvation.
In many novels, particularly urban fantasy novels, ease of the expected can be contrived, perhaps predictable. But, what I found most intriguing about Mead’s series is the thematic import of forgiveness and redemption. Georgina is a character that has run so far from her past, from the evils she’s visited upon others, that for her, deliverance is impossible. She has convinced herself that love is unattainable and what will become of her is something she will never be able to reconcile. But, she learns that it those friendships, the love she has for others and the sacrifices she’s made that redeems her, that ultimately saves her from an eternity of suffering. Georgina discovers that forgiveness is possible, that despite her failings, she can be happy and that even the worst of circumstances is never is truly impossible.
Above all, with the end of Georgina’s journey, Mead has demonstrated the power of sacrifice and how love surpasses time, how it can truly transform even the very lost. Georgina finds that no one is beyond hope and that when we are willing to forgive ourselves, true freedom is born.