The Succubus Gift, by B. R. Kingsolver, is a great debut, by a self-published author. It’s pretty flawless by the way of editing, which is very impressive. The writing is clean and concise.
The first chapter definitely hooked me. The reader is thrown into the world that Kingsolver creates. It’s a secret world, where telepaths exist. The telepaths are each bestowed with gifted abilities. Some have a few, while others have many of the 25 abilities. Brenna, the main character has all of the gifted abilities which is rare and a surprise to her. She hasn’t known any other telepaths, but in a twist of faith, meets another telepath who brings her to meet the others. We are introduced to this telepathic / super ability world fairly quickly which is a great hook for the reader. This happens fast, and the transition is seamless.
Kingsolver creates a comprehensive and imaginative, mythological world. Brenna must learn to master her gifts. The book is about her discovery of these abilities and accepting who she is, and how she fits into this new world. I was very interested to read how this would be explained, and I was not disappointed. Kingsolver weaves a solid story around telekinesis, a goddess and succubus theories. Aside from the succubus part, every other piece of the storyline and plot was fresh
Brenna is a likable character. I felt immediately empathetic towards her from the very start. She’s kind, tentative and emotionally wounded. Her transformation to an all powerful and knowledgeable telepath with abilities, is a gradual and well-rounded journey. In fact all of the characters are vibrant and interesting. Brenna has an aunt, who becomes a motherly figure to her, a loyal best friend and of course the token love interest. There is the quintessential Grandfather figure that is the leader of these gifted people, who is an endearing and believable character.
There is a lot of dialogue and some of it is drawn out. I found myself skipping over some parts, because I just wanted to get to the point. Information about the story was presented mostly through dialogue, and some of it didn’t flow well, enough for me to notice. The same goes for the pacing. Drawn out parts mixed with action, but something was a little off with the pacing. This is a minor flaw and did not impede my overall enjoyment of the book. There is also some smart and witty banter that is exchanged between characters.
While this is Urban Fantasy, there is a strong romantic and sexual element to the book. Nothing gritty, but instead it read fluffy and humorous at times. Imagine a woman just discovering how powerful her sexual projection can be, and then learning to hone and perfect the skill of a rare Succubus. It provided some funny and steamy scenes to say the least! Kingsolver provides a subplot mystery that gives the characters plenty of occasions to demonstrate their abilities and gifts. The romance is contrasted with some violent scenes in the last half of the book, that were graphic, but not offensive to me.
The Succubus Gift ended nicely with enough lure for me to read the sequel.
About the Blogger
I review Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance books with a focus all things werewolf. Based out of Ottawa, Canada