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.
I really enjoyed the first two books of the Succubus series, so I am glad to say that I enjoyed this one as well. Before reading my review however be forewarned that there are some definite spoilers in here so please proceed knowing you have been warned.The story began in The Succubus Gift and continued in Succubus Unleashed. In Succubus Rising, questions are answered and new mysteries are revealed.
I really love the characters, especially Brenna and Rebecca. I love watching their interactions and their friendship. One of the greatest underlying stories of the books is the stories of their friendship. I liked that this edition of the series really let Rebecca shine. Proving that, even though she IS Brenna’s ‘Shadow’, it doesn’t mean she was meant to live in it. I think this helped to really show that their friendship is one of equals. Brenna has also completely embraced her family and the succubus life style. She no longer has the moral issues that plagued her in previous books and is able to stand on her own without second guessing herself.
On that note I want to comment about the whole Succubus/Telepath life style. While Brenna has her ‘soul mate’, she is NOT monogamous. This is a very significant change from your typical ‘soul mate’ romance. But Kingsolver has really made the romance in their world work. I’m not saying that I would want an open relationship *shrug* not my thing. But Brenna’s love isn’t twisted or warped. What she feels for the ones she loves is pure and simple love. The sex that she has that isn’t love related, and more related to her job or to her powers, isn’t made to seem sluttish, it is just part of who she is and the author again is able to make it work. I never once feel that she is heartless or cruel, everything she does is because of her gifts or to benefit those she cares for and for that reason, at least I think, is why I don’t think I look at her any differently than I would heroines who only have sex with their chosen ones.
I will say that there are parts of the story that bothered me, and they weren’t sex related. The whole relationship between Rebecca and her mother is the issue. Considering how the clan has been portrayed up to this point in the stories I really wondered why her mom let her be raised and hurt as a child the way that she was. I would have thought that if her mom had known what was going on she would have stepped in with the full backing of the clan and rescued her long before she was found as a wilder.
Despite my issues with that I did really enjoy this one. There are so many possibilities opening up in Kingsolver’s world. I can’t wait to see how Rebecca and Brenna’s journey unfolds in future novels. Also, and I have to put this in, the first part of the book had me really cracking up. I literally forced my boyfriend to listen to me recap it to him. It was one of those ‘Oh my God’ perfect scenes. I say read the novel if only for the first scene alone. Again there is a list of the powers and their definitions at the end of the novel. I hope at one point in the future maybe a side book can be written to accompany the novels that explains all the powers and where exactly their names come from. Since most are obviously named after the clans where the gifts are most genetically prominent, but maybe something explaining who the first recorded users were?
I love this series. Overall I give it 5 out of 5 stars, and this book I give 5 out of 5 easy. I think that this novel can stand on its own even without reading the previous books, but I recommend reading them in order so you can truly appreciate how Brenna and Rebecca have grown and evolved from their humble roots.