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Red-Headed Stepchild (Sabina Kane, Book 1)…

Red-Headed Stepchild (Sabina Kane, Book 1) (edition 2009)

by Jaye Wells

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6724714,252 (3.86)5
Title:Red-Headed Stepchild (Sabina Kane, Book 1)
Authors:Jaye Wells
Info:Orbit (2009), Mass Market Paperback, 352 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:vampire, fae, demons, mage, magic

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Red-Headed Stepchild by Jaye Wells


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Showing 1-5 of 46 (next | show all)
For a first novel Red-Headed Stepchild impressed me. The mythology of the creation of vampires was inspired as was the appearance of a demon cat! I sympathised with Sabina's situation and was pleased with the way her world was explained. I look forward to reading how Sabina handles meeting her sister and dealing with her mage heritage in The Mage in Black.
( )
  Cynical_Ames | Sep 23, 2014 |
Actually 2.5 stars & it gained the half star in the last quarter of the book, though. It's a neat world, but the character is just too ignorant for a 53 year old. If she'd been in her late teens or early 20's, it would have flown much better. As it is, we have a 53 year old with all the attitudes & angst of a late teen. similar life experience. She's supposed to be a trained assassin, yet is completely ignorant of the basics of other supernatural races - she had to be for the story to work & that's what didn't work for me.

The heroine does have a fun, flip attitude. It's a fun quick read & I'm holding out hope that the next book [b:The Mage in Black|6929202|The Mage in Black (Sabina Kane, #2)|Jaye Wells|http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51EeOd9c0yL._SL75_.jpg|6622221], the second of the Sabina Kane novels, will be better. So many of the problems with this book were in the forced setup, teaching us about the world due to the ignorance of our heroine.

The characters weren't a fully formed as I would have liked, but weren't bad. Pretty standard & the plot was quite predictable. If the world hadn't been fairly unique, it would have suffered for this a lot more. All in all, it wasn't a waste of time, but the next book isn't something I'm going to rush out to buy. ( )
  jimmaclachlan | Aug 18, 2014 |
Originally on my blog.

Cover Talk: Badass woman? Check. Red hair? Check. Weapon? Check. Seriously. If a book cover has just one of those things, I am sold. This book cover has it all. I may or may not have developed a girl crush on her.

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

Why I Read It: As if that first line weren’t enough, I have been wanting to read a new UF series and I have had my eyes on this one for a while. When I found The Book Nympho’s Sabina Kane Read-a-long I signed up right away.

Characters: Sabina is tough, sarcastic, and quite funny. She is not one to let others get in her way and is always trying to overcompensate for her mixed heritage. Being half vampire and half mage is not only frowned upon, but the consequences of fraternizing with the enemy is deadly.

Giguhl, AKA, Mr. Giggles, is my favorite! Sent to test Sabina, his plan to kill her doesn’t work. So he’s stuck with her. And oh my word, I love this demon so much. Ordering on home shopping networks, shape shifting into a cat, then a hairless cat. Love this guy. Demon, rather.

Adam the “sexy hexy”. I feel like I don’t need to say anything else, but I’m not shallow and will not only talk about how attractive this guy is. He is also an incredibly powerful mage and is determined to help Sabina embrace her mage side.

Clovis is half-vampire, half-demon and is hellbent on taking over the magical/supernatural world. And I’ll be damned if he is not the most charming thing ever. Ugh. Why? Why are the bad guys so charming?

Plot/World-building: I cannot tell you how much I am digging this world. Vampire, mages, fairies, demons are just a few of my favorite things. Throw in a badass heroine and my life is complete. There are so many societies, rules, conspiracies, and secret organizations in this one book alone. I cannot wait to read the rest of the series and find out more.

The best part of this book is how often I found myself laughing. When reading the synopsis, I didn’t really expect that to be the case. The humor and sarcasm reminds me very much of Kevin Hearne’s Iron Druid series that I’ve also been reading. I just love when the hero is an inch from death and they can still make a sarcastic remark, all while bleeding profusely. It’s wonderful.

The ending definitely has me wanting to read the next book very soon. I absolutely cannot wait to see where Sabina will go and what she and her friends will do next.

Final Thoughts: I really enjoyed this book. Badassery, sarcasm, grit, humor, and sexy time. I really couldn’t ask for more. I am so ready to read the next book in the series. ( )
  Ashley_McElyea | Dec 15, 2013 |
I really enjoyed this series. I think the characters where great. I can't wait to see how the story moves forward. ( )
  mlsimmons | Sep 20, 2013 |
Sabina Kane is half vampire and half mage, in a world that looks down upon mixed blood beings. Her vampire half is readily obvious, because like her mother and her grandmother, she has red hair. It's obvious to those that see her that she is still very young, and in fact a scant 53 years old by the fact that hair isn't very dark yet. Sabina is an assassin, having been declined other roles due to her mixed heritage. Sabina was raised by her grandmother (because both of her parents are dead) to distrust and limit her contact with all other groupings of supernatural beings.

Sabina is fiercely loyal to her grandmother, even killing a dear friend when told to, because it was assumed that he betrayed vampires. She is strong, capable and desperate to prove her worth to her grandmother and so when she is sent to kill Clovis Trakiya, a being who is half demon and half vampire, who is attempting to supplant the Dominae (read: vampire leadership) she jumps at the opportunity.

The mission does not go as Sabina planned. It begins to go awry when a demon stakes her and she does not die, thanks to her mage blood. Giguhl becomes stuck in the human realm and is forced to mascaraed as a cat. Adam the mage who has been following her becomes her love interest and ends up being the one to introduce Sabina to her mage heritage, causing her to question everything that she knows as true.

Red-Headed Step Child is not a unique story in many ways. As I mentioned above, once again we have a protagonist with dead parents. I don't understand why urban fantasy writers are so determined to give their protagonists a tragic past. At times the plot is a touch predictable but it is saved from being just another run of the mill urban fantasy books by the humour. The relationship between Giguhl in cat form and Sabina is touching and hilarious. How can anyone not love a talking kitty with a ton of attitude? There were times when I laughed out loud.

There is one GLBT character in this story; Ewan is a bar owner and a gossip. Wells tries to redeem this by suggesting that Ewan trades in information, but it still amounts to one of the most common tropes aimed at gay men. At the beginning it seemed that Ewan would have a large role in the story and so I was disappointed, while not shocked, that he ended up being murdered by the Dominae. Having the sole gay character die to prove just how evil and unfeeling the Dominae die is jut another example of how disposable gay people have become in this genre. Just like many writers Wells has added a gay character for the purposes of inclusion, and then followed it up with a shitty portrayal.

Read More ( )
  FangsfortheFantasy | Sep 20, 2013 |
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Digging graves is hell on a manicure, but I was taught good vampires clean up after every meal.
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Book description
In a world where being of mixed-blood is a major liability, Sabina has the only profession fit for an outcast: assassin. However, she's never brought her work home with her---until now. This time, it's personal.
Her latest mission threatens the fragile peace between the vampire and mage races. As Sabina scrambles to figure out which side she's on, she uncovers secrets that will change the course of her life forever.

1) Infiltrate rival vampire cult and assassinate learer

2) Get rid of demon houseguest

3) Ditch 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 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...

Sabina Kane: She's down, but she's not out.
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In a world where being of mixed-blood is a major liability, half-mage, half-vampire Sabina Kane is an assassin. Her latest mission threatens the fragile peace between the vampire and mage races, and Sabina must figure out which side she's on.

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Average: (3.86)
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