Saturday, 24 September 2011

Review: Incubus by Carol Goodman (Fairwick Chronicles #1)

Publisher - Ebury Press
Publication Date - 21st July 2011
Paperback - 480 pages
Genre - Paranormal Romance

Source - Received from publisher for review

Rating - 2 out of 5: It was ok!

Book Info - Dr. Callie McFay travels to the small college town of Fairwick in New York State for a job interview. Despite it being her second choice she finds herself talked into accepting a job offer from the Folklore Department to teach a class on demons and vampires. She also finds herself drawn to an old house in the woods where Gothic novelist Dahlia LaMotte used to live and buys it on a whim, despite the seeming reluctance of the estate agent to sell it to her.

But on the night of her job interview, she had a very vivid erotic dream about a man made out of shadows and moonlight, and this dream becomes a regular occurrence when she moves into her new home. Callie starts to feel like a heroine in one of the gothic novels she teaches as slowly it dawns on her that things at the college – and in her home – are not what they seem. She learns that her house is supposed to be haunted by LaMotte’s former lover and her new – and rather strange – colleagues tell her an unfamiliar fairy tale about an incubus-demon with a human past who was enchanted by a fairy queen…

My Thoughts - I must admit to having mixed feelings about Incubus. There were some aspects that I really enjoyed but at the same time there were several things that I struggled with. But I will cover the positives first...

Incubus is set in a small town called Fairwick that is home to many types of supernatural creatures. There are incubi, succubi, fairies (including a fairy queen!), witches, vampires and pretty much any other type of creature you could name. The residents of Fairwick all know about the eclectic mix of people living there but most of the students studying at the University are unaware of this. I really enjoyed reading about all of these characters and about their interactions with each other and with the humans that are unaware of their existence.

Apart from characterisation, the author's other main strength is her descriptions of people and places. She uses such vivid descriptions that it is easy to imagine exactly what Callie is seeing and you can imagine yourself there with her. This makes it easy to lose yourself within the pages of this novel.

Now onto the not-so-positive things. I found myself getting quite frustrated with Callie during the first part of the book. She has published a book called 'Sex Lives of the Demon Lovers' and is considered an expert about incubi in gothic literature. However, when she first starts being visited by an incubus herself, Callie has no idea what was going on. I just couldn't see any benefit of her being an expert if it wasn't going to give her some kind of edge when trying to solve the mystery.

The other major flaw for me was that I found the story very predictable. There was not a single plot twist that I had not already guessed at from about the halfway point of the book. This really affected my enjoyment of the book as I did not feel the drive and suspense that will usually drag me into a story and propel me towards the end.

Summary - Incubus is a fairly enjoyable novel that does have a few flaws. However, it sets the scene nicely for the rest of the series and, with the way the end of the book opens up nicely for a sequel, I will still be revisiting the residents of Fairwick when book two is released.

Other books in the series:
1. Incubus
2. The Water Witch

Other reviews of this book:
Blog Critics / Fantasy Book Review / Love Vampires / Novelicious / One More Page
(If you would like your review of Incubus included here, please leave a link in the comments and I will be sure to add it)


trailsofthepen said...

Hmm, that's quite a character oversight though. I sometimes encounter that when watching some direct-to-cable movies. I hope in the continuing series, some explanation will surface. I enjoyed reading your review. :D

Chrissie (Once Upon a Series) said...

Thanks trailsofthepen :)

I really hope that Callie's area of expertise will come in more helpful in the next book. It certainly wasn't utilised to the best of its abilities in this one!

trailsofthepen said...

I realize how long my blog screen name, it's Raine. Will have to look out for tutorials on siggies. ;D It's a place for speculation all right why her knowledge wasn't used in the book. Will keep a look out for your next review. :D.

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