Today's post is on 'Red-Headed Stepchild' by Jaye Wells. It is the first in the Sabina Kane series which is five volumes long. It is published by Orbit which is am imprint of Hachette Book Group, Inc. It is 328 pages long not including extras like the author interview and a preview of the next book Mage in Black. The intended reader is female but anyone who likes urban fantasy should enjoy this story. There be Spoilers Ahead.
Sabina Kane is a half-breed. She is half vampire and half mage. Mages are not just humans with magic powers but a different species from humans like vampires, fearies and demons. All are children of Lilith. Sabina has been raised by her grandmother who is the leader of the vampire society called the Dominae. Because she is a half-breed only job is open to her and that is assassin. Sabina is good at her job but it is a job for outcasts. The novel starts with Sabina burying a body that she just fed from when a friend came to her. She has been told to kill her friend because he is a traitor to the Dominae. She does it in spite of her doubts. Then her grandmother, who Sabina is totally loyal to, asks her to get close to a half-vampire half-demon who is undermining her power. Sabina is unhappy but loyalty to the Dominae is everything to Sabina. In addition to everything else she has had some strange things happening to her lately. First she has been seeing a white owl with red eyes following her. Then a mage, Adam Lazarus, just happens to be around like in the vampire club then again when is she attacked from by some thugs. The mage says that he has been sent from that from of her family who want to get to know her. Sabina does not believe him because her grandmother told her that the mage half disowned her at birth. But Adam swears that they did not know she was alive until recently. Sabina pushes him off because she has to stop the bad guy from destroying all that matters to her. Then things get complicated.
I did like this book. It is easy to read, the dialogue is believable but I have some problems. My problems are not with the writing style or word choice but with some of the characterization. As the reader we are to think that Sabina is smart but she does some dumb things in the book. Like when Adam threatens Sabina. She is refusing to have any more magic lessons so he says that if she does not he will go to the mage leaders and tell them about what is really going on. That would mean war between the mages and vampires which would cause war which would cause the deaths of hundreds of people on boths sides and that is not even the innocent people who would die in the crossfire. I would have called him on that and I would have told him what I think about that kind of blackmail. But she does not do that, she gives into it with little trouble. That makes her a little weak to me but I am willing to trust the author to see where this series goes.
My rating is 3 dead vamps and 1/2 pint of blood. I get nothing for my review and I bought this book with my own money.