Review of Incubus – Book 1 of The Fairwick Chronicles by Carol Goodman

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incubusBeing shallow and easily led, book covers really matter to me… And this one is wonderful – with an intriguing one-liner – This is where all stories start, on the edge of a dark wood. But is scooping up a book on the flimsiest of reasons a solid foundation for a really entertaining read?

Ever since moving to Fairwick to take up a teaching post at the local college, Callie has been having vivid, erotic dreams about a man made out of moonlight and shadows. Dreams she begins to fear as well as anticipate… I’m not relaying the rest of the back cover blurb as it reveals too much of the plot.

Firstly – for those of you with youngsters interested in reading your stuff – be aware that this is an erotically charged book, as her dream lover is interested in more than just gazing into her eyes… There are a number of bedroom scenes which, while not overly graphic by modern standards, are fairly steamy and brooding sensuality pervades the atmosphere of the book. However the appearance of her dream lover causes complications – one of them being that she is engaged to someone else. There are also some disturbing consequences to her dream lover’s attentions…

It won’t be a huge shock, I’m sure, if I disclose that things aren’t all they initially seem in the seemingly quiet, peaceful town of Fairwick. Callie is a well-rounded and appealing protagonist – and her acceptance of the situation when everything starts to go spooky and supernatural around her is well handled. I could believe that someone with her background and belief system would easily fall into accepting the situation without too many quibbles – which isn’t always the case when otherworldly inhabitants visit a primary world setting – I get a tad irritated at the speed with which many protagonists accept a supernatural character bouncing into their lives. I also enjoyed the cast of supporting characters, which Goodman depicts through the filter of the first person narrative.

Some reviewers have been unhappy at the pace of the book – but I enjoyed the sense of claustrophobia and growing unease that Goodman took time to build, which gives the climax extra punch. The ending is entirely satisfactory with a couple of disclosures I didn’t see coming – and one I did… While it ties everything up, I believe that this is the first in a series and that Water Witch and Dark Possession are now available. Will I be hunting them down? Oh yes – if only to discover if my hunch about Callie’s dream lover is correct… This dark-edged tale definitely lodges in the head.
8/10

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