Sunday, October 31, 2010

Book Review: Red-Headed Stepchild

Red-Headed Stepchild

By:  Jaye Wells

Publisher:  Orbit

Publish Date:  April 1, 2010

Format:  Paperback, 325 pgs - pocketbook size

Genre:  Urban Fantasy

Series:  1st in Sabina Kane Novels

Recommendation:  Yes!! If you like sassy sarcastic humor and action with mystery and love all rolled into one.

Book Synopsis:
Things To Do:
1)  Infiltrate rival vampire cult and assassinate leader
2) Get rid of demon houseguest
3) Ditch the hot mage stalker
4) Betray family

In a world where being of mixed blood is a major liability, Sabina doesn't really fit in.  And being an assassin - the only profession fit for an outcast - doesn't help matters.  But she's never brought her work home.  Until now.

Her latest mission is uncomfortably complex, and threatens the fragile peace between the vampire and mage races.  As Sabina scrambles to figure out which side she's on, she uncovers a tangled political web, some nasty facts about her family and some unexpected new talents.  Any of these things could be worryingly life-changing, but together, they could be fatal...

First Sentence:
Digging graves is hell on a manicure, but I was taught good vampires clean up after every meal.

My Review and Summary:
Sabina, a half-vampire half-mage assassin is meeting her long time friend and mentor David at the grave of her latest snack.  David doesn't know but he is Sabina's next job.  To eliminate him for the Dominae, as they told her he has turned to a growing and potential dangerous group to the vampire community.  To prevent this community from growing and potentially killing vampires Sabina finds her next mission is to become cast out by the Dominae and be taken in by Clovis, half vampire and half demon leader.  Sabina finds now herself a spy, which she feels she is no good at.  While Sabina is fighting for the vampire community that raised her, she learns many things about herself and the different races that open her eyes to different thoughts.  Will she remove the threat or create a bigger one in its place...

I enjoyed the world created by Jaye Wells here.  Half-vampires, -mage, -demon, or anything is not accepted in this magical world.  Particularly between of these three races.  They all are against each other, but have a truce to not bother each other as well.  But this truce is stretched with the political games played.  There is a separation of the races and cultures here.  You get to see the boundaries of them and what happens if they start to blur.  This story tells the main story at hand and leaves you with questions in the back of your mind yet to be answered on Sabina and a few other small pieces.  This is nicely done as you don't have to read further in the series, but you want to, to see what those pieces will lead to.

Part of what I enjoyed in the book where the characters.  Sabina is a wonderful main vampire character.  Even though you get the feel from her she was not completely accepted by the Vampire community, and more so her grandmother - the leader of the Dominae, she is strong.  She grows up independent and ars kicking strong.  Sabina is one to be put on a path and she sticks to it.  Sabina is sassy and determined.  You know she'll have a sarcastic remark for just about anything and look forward to it.  The dry sarcastic humor made me smile and really gave me a great feel for Sabina's character.  But the secondary characters help complement Sabina as they are very different from her.  And a potential love interest will catch your heart too.

The mystery of the mission is a great journey to go on with Sabina.  I enjoyed this book very much and would suggest to many Urban Fantasy readers to give it a try.  But, you have to love strong, bold, sassy and sarcastic characters.

I won this book from Fantasy Literature, which I had wanted for some time.  So thank you go my friends at Fantasy Literature. :)

This book qualifies for my Speculative Fiction Challenge hosted by Book Chick City.


Spinecraker said...

I'm so sad I missed this discussion. I hope I get to read it soon, since I do "love strong, bold, sassy and sarcastic characters". :)

robsad79 said...

I probably should get mine up....I totally forgot. Does that make me a bad person? lol.

Melissa (My words and pages) said...

Spinecraker - It's okay you missed it. :) We all can't do every chat all the time. I do hope you get to this book and enjoy it. :)

Robyn - Ha,ha. I have about 3 reviews I needed to get up. This one, Double Cross and one other. I think I'll get them all posted early this week. :) Nah, doesn't make you a bad person, just busy. :)

Simcha said...

I had started this book but didn't get too far into it. Though I can't remember anymore what it was that I didn't like about it. I do know that I don't like stories told from the perspective of a vampire because it's just too hard for me to related to such a character. This could have been part of the problem for me with this book.

Unknown said...

Everytime I see this cover I think I really want that book! Great review!

Melissa (Books and Things) said...

LOVE sarcastic characters. Have this one on my tbr. Can't wait!!

Melissa (My words and pages) said...

Simcha - Sorry you didn't enjoy the book when you tried it. Sabina is a strong vampire in the beginning of the book.

Cari - Thank you! And these covers are fun. Hope you get to enjoy the book. :)

Melissa - I think you might enjoy these books, or at least this one. Hope you do enjoy it when you get to it. :)