Book Review: Succubus Rising by B.R. Kingsolver

cover600Title: Succubus Rising (The Telepathic Clans #3)
Author: B.R. Kingsolver
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy
Age Group: Adult (18+)
Rating: 3 stars
Purchase: Goodreads, Amazon

The Goddess has plans for Brenna and Rebecca, and the Goddess has a wicked sense of humor.

Rebecca Healy is a true wilder, growing up with no contact or knowledge of other telepaths. Discovered by a Clan member on the streets of San Francisco, she felt like she’d hit the jackpot. Finally, she knew what she was, or at least she thought she did.

When Brenna O’Donnell, long-lost heir of the O’Donnell Clan, and the strongest telepath in history, is returned to her family, she and Rebecca form a tight bond. Brenna has it all, looks, money, power, and men falling all over her.

Rebecca isn’t jealous, but it would be nice to find someone who would really love her and stick around in the morning. She’s intrigued by a handsome South American general, but of course, he has his sights set on Brenna. Carlos de Vargas wants more than love. His Clan has its back to the wall, and they hope for an alliance with O’Donnell. An alliance that would lead to war.

The story began in The Succubus Gift and continued in Succubus Unleashed. In Succubus Rising, questions are answered and new mysteries are revealed.

I’m not a fan of succubi. Every time I read a story based on succubi, I want to like it, but in the end, I never really do. It’s like, they’re just over the top. I’m not again some displays of sexuality, and I can live with a ménage thing, or even more than that, but succubi just never know when to quit. The reason why I started reading Succubus Rising was because a) I wanted to give them another chance and b) from the synopsis, the story seemed to have a great plot. At the end of the ride, I can safely conclude I’m still not the world’s biggest succubus fan, but Succubus Rising had enough plot and storyline to keep me entertained for the three-something hours it took me to read this book.

First of all, this is the third book in a series, and I should’ve started with book one and two, but things caught up with me, and well, I started with this one. It wasn’t that difficult to follow. Toughest parts were the vast array of characters. Some of them were probably recurring from the first books, but since I didn’t read them, I had no clue who they were. It wasn’t really an issue though, so if you want to read this one without reading the first two, it works as well.

The world B.R. Kingsolver has built around the characters is pretty impressive. The author displays a vast array of world-building skills and imagination. I enjoyed getting to know the world of the succubi, Protectors, telepaths, and their Goddess, and the gifts the Goddess bestows upon them. The novel also talks a bit about politics, and how the succubi run a law firm and lobbyist firm and deal with influencing politicians and such, and I thought this was really interesting materials; good stuff. It brought the imaginative, magical world in contact with our real day-to-day world, making it less further away and less difficult to imagine.

The downside? Main character Brenna. I hated her so much that if I had a bazooka, I’d probably shoot at her. And it’s not just Brenna. I disliked all of the succubi, simply because it’s all they are. Succubi. They seduce men (and women) like it’s a sport, without ever taking into account what happens to their victims when they’re under their succubus curse. They flaunt their sexuality in an almost gross way. And while it wasn’t as bad here as in some other books, it still made me cringe. But even with the succubus part aside, what really threw me about Brenna was her Mary Sue – personality. Brenna is just perfect. All guys want her, all girls dream to be her. Even if she screws up, like killing a politician by having sex with him, she gets off with a slap on the wrist. Everyone dones on her and loves her like she’s a special cookie with a flavor you only come across once in a lifetime. Color me unimpressed.

But then there’s Rebecca. I loved Rebecca. The only thing I disliked about her was how she couldn’t see Brenna wasn’t worth her time or friendship, but that aside she was perfect. Human. Or maybe not human, but she acted like an actual human being, a person with feelings and emotions, and most importantly, flaws. She wasn’t little Miss Perfect, and that made her a lot more interesting. I’m glad she got the screen time she got, but in my opinion, more about Rebecca and less about Brenna would’ve been an excellent option.

The writing is okay. The pacing is pretty solid, although it dragged a little at the start. The secondary characters didn’t really get a lot of personality traits, except maybe Carlos. I didn’t really mind though, there were so many different secondary characters I had trouble keeping track of them as is.

All in all, Succubus Rising was an okay read. For someone who dislikes succubi, I didn’t mind it that much, but it didn’t make me change my opinion about the female sex-demons either. I loved the world building and everything related to Rebecca, everything related to Brenna made me cringe. If you’re a fan of succubi and books related to them, give this book a shot; it’s one of the better ones out there.


  1. I haven’t read Succubus Rising yet, but I am going to, I’ve read the other two books, The Succubus Gift and Succubus Unleashed, and personally I think that some of the things you don’t really like about Succubuses are actually addressed in the first two books, particularly the first one, where Brenna is trying to come to terms with what she is. (There is a review of The Succubus Gift on my blog
    Also, as you liked the world building, and Rebecca, I think you might like the stand alone novel that B R Kingsolver wrote about the same universe, Broken Dolls, the main character is quite similar to Rebecca, and there are only a few moments where there are succubuses involved. Just think you might like it 🙂 (There is also a review of Broken Dolls on my blog)

Speak Your Mind