[Audiobook Review] Red-Headed Stepchild by Jaye Wells

Fry's Reviews, Reviews 0 Comments 27th December, 2014

[Audiobook Review] Red-Headed Stepchild by Jaye WellsRed-headed Stepchild by Jaye Wells
Series: Sabina Kane #1
Published by Orbit on April 1st, 2009
Genres: Fantasy, Paranormal
Pages: 325
Source: Library
In a world where being of mixed-blood is a major liability, Sabina Kane has the only profession fit for an outcast: assassin. But, her latest mission threatens the fragile peace between the vampire and mage races and Sabina must scramble to figure out which side she's on. She's never brought her work home with her---until now.

This time, it's personal.

I don’t know if I’ve just been away from the urban fantasy/paranormal romance genre for too long, or if it was just long enough to detox. But, I really enjoyed this book. It had everything I could come to want in the genre. The heroine was sarcastic but not overburdening with snark. She kicked ass, but not too much ass. And she has just enough potential to go full on Mary Sue if no one keeps her in check.

The romance was a slow burn, and I liked that. I’m still not sure if they will or if they won’t. Not that it matters, I don’t ship much, but it was nice to see that our main character and her potential love interest didn’t immediately jump into bed and then lament about feelings for the rest of the book. They have a tentative friendship that could progress to something more, and similar to Sabina’s magic powers, it could possibly get out of hand if not culled or used properly.

Our side characters were a treat. We have Vinca, a bubbly nymph who although being utterly annoying, grew on both me and Sabina. There’s also Gighul, her whoops demon companion, whom she turned into a hairless cat by being absolutely awful at magic. To be fair, she hadn’t had any training.

The plot itself had enough twists and turns to keep me interested. Sabina is a half vampire, half mage, raised by her vampire family and used as their pawn in issues of assassinations. Sabina never really questioned her allegiance, always vying for the favor of her grandmother, who happened to be on the vampire’s ruling counsel. But, her current assignment was throwing new light onto everything she thought she new and was causing her to question her loyalty and her identity and her affiliations. It was all rather interesting to watch Sabina grow and change, and be utterly unsure of herself. She got things wrong and she screwed up and she still stalwartly continued towards her own moral compass and it was enlightening. There are so many heroines that waffle this way and that and don’t stay true to themselves.

Her love interest, Adam, is a mage sent to find her and teach her about magic and her mage family. Turns out Sabina has a twin sister whom was taken and raised by the mages. So this is a completely different can of worms that I’m sure they’ll deal with in later books, along with the issue of some sort of prophecy that they only keep hinting at. Anyway, I’m not entirely sure how to feel about his burgeoning erection. Like, he knows Sabina’s sister, and I don’t know if that’s weirdly coloring his emotions or not, identical twins and whatnot.

So the book was quite interesting. Kept my attention, kept me guessing. I didn’t have any idea how they were going to wrap it up. The lack of finality with the bad guy was a little upsetting. Maybe he’ll be back? I dunno. There was one thing about the plot that really bugged me. Gighul can be summoned for climaxes, but not for the funerals of his friends? Rude.

The narrator was pitch perfect. I wish she narrated more. It looks like she narrates the rest of the books and then some of the Cassie Palmer and Chicagoland Vampire Novels. I’ll have to look into her other offerings, because I really enjoyed her cadence and inflection.

Written by Fry


Probably in a dungeon somewhere. Game Master for the D’n’D actual play podcast Roll For Wenches .

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