Review of SUCCUBUS IN THE CITY, by Nina Harper

Almost two years ago, I wrote a short story about a succubus (which, by the way, I’ll soon be building into a full length novel—more details to come). Since I hadn’t read much fiction on the fascinating creatures, I took a perusal of good ole Amazon and found Succubus in the City, by Nina Harper. 

Though the style, context, and plot is far different from where I’m headed with my tale, I enjoyed Nina Harper’s take. Succubus in the City is actually the first book in a trilogy and follows the life—or rather, part of the long life—of Lily, a succubus living in New York. Spoiled as one of Satan’s chosen, Lily has a day job as an accessories editor for a fashion magazine, and a night job as a sex demon who delivers male souls to Hell. The book is a light, fun, and entertaining read, merging elements of Sex and the City, The Devil Wears Prada, and also the classic tale of the demon spawn that is a succubus—except this particular succubus wants to find love. Lily, it seems, can’t catch a break with men, since certain details of her demon contract put a damper on her dating life.

If this sounds hilarious, then you’ve caught the general feel of the book. It’s one part fashion, one part fantasy, one part romance, and two parts comedic sass. I couldn’t help but giggle at Lily’s plights, while also appreciating the gal-pal power that Harper weaves throughout the story. Lily’s closest friends are Eros, the Demi-Goddess of Sex; Desi, the Demon of Desire; and Sybil, the Demon of Greed. Together they make a sort of Spawn and the City quad, each of them exhibiting the classic Miranda, Samantha, Charlotte, and Carrie traits that a SATC audience member will most certainly recognize.

It’s definitely not a deep book by any stretch of the imagination, and the plot is perhaps spread a little too thin since it’s part of a trilogy (I myself probably won’t make it through all three). Nonetheless, it is a fun, quick read. Something I really enjoyed was Harper’s attention to the fashion detail both at Lily’s job and in her own clothing; the author has some experience with these pieces having been in the fashion industry herself, and it showed. I’m not sure that these details would appeal to a broad audience, but I appreciated them.

For many years, my favorite books were those you could find on the shelves of a grocery store checkout stand—the paperback bestsellers that boasted suspenseful, smutty plots filled with sex, crime, and some sort of female protagonist who usually fell in love with the wrong man. (Erica Spindler, by the way, is one of my favorite authors in this style.) Though Succubus in the City lacked the crime and thriller elements I favor, it did have that silly, over-the-top raunch drama that I can appreciate in my reading.

I’ll give it three stars. I like a little fluff sometimes, so this one did the trick.


About Eva Rieder

Eva Rieder is a speculative and contemporary/mainstream fiction author. By day, she masquerades as a high school Math and English teacher. Though she adores teaching and her students very much, when Eva returns home she reglues her fingertips to the keyboard to pursue her alter ego’s destiny. She currently lives and writes in Northern California with her two keyboard-savvy cats. View all posts by Eva Rieder

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