Monday, 31 October 2011

Review: Incubus by Carol Goodman

Fairwick Chronicles #1
Carol Goodman
Ebury Press
Publication date: 1st Oct 2011
Guest review by Pauline

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...

Callie McFay is a best selling author who, despite a life plan of living in New York with her long term boyfriend, decides to accept a teaching position at Fairwick College, a small town outside New York.  Callie's parents, who had been archaeologists with an interest in ancient Celtic customs, had been killed in a plane crash when Callie was a teenager, and she had lived with her distant and yet dutiful grandmother.  While living with her grandmother, Callie experiences dreams where a shadowy man would appear at the foot of her bed and when she awoke the room would smell of honeysuckle and salt.

When she moves to Fairwick, Callie lodges at a guest house run by a friend of the College Dean, but is quickly drawn to an adjacent Victorian house, Honeysuckle House which appears to be unoccupied.  Callie eventually buys the house and in her first night there encounters her shadowy man from her teenage dreams who "delights" Callie in ways she can barely comprehend.  Callie is consumed by this figure and her devotion signals the end of her previous life and love in New York.  As the story unfolds Callie is taken to a whole new world and understanding of the world around her.

I was really surprised by how captivating this book was. The story itself was gripping  in parts with the developing storyline well thought out and the characters all very well developed.  The descriptive text helped the reader appreciate the every detail of the surroundings in Fairwick and the people were so well articulated that I could almost picture them - even when the storyline went a bit Harry Potter momentarily! The layers of the story are unfolded to reveal the history of the House which Callie buys and the complex, inter-connected web that is her life and the people from her past and her present.

I would recommend the book as one which will absorb and compel you to finish it.  Although the ending was not an entire surprise I was so exhausted that I didn't mind one bit!

Guest reviewer Pauline lives in Glasgow with her husband and two sons.  As a typical busy working mum she don't get much time to be a serious reader, and therefore hasn't a preferred genre, but instead uses reading as a way to unwind before bedtime.  However having reached the ripe old age of Forty she was keen to try new types of books and was more than happy to provide some guest reviews for My keeper shelf.

Pauline and Lesley actually work together and are often found mid afternoon raiding the chocolate machine at work, having cups of tea and swearing loudly in a random manner.  


  1. Great review Pauline, first of many reviews (if I have anything to do with it!)

  2. I loved the review i loved this book too when i read it now for more reviewing

  3. Oh I was very curious about this one. With this title it could only be interesting ! I'm glad you liked it, great review

  4. Oh, this really sounds intriguing. :) Thank you for sharing this with us.


  5. I hadn't heard of this book before, but now I want it. I love stories that draw pictures with words.

    Thanks for the review!


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