Review: Red-Headed Stepchild by Jaye Wells

Posted by Jessi (Geo) on January 26, 2012 | 0 Comments

Review: Red-Headed Stepchild by Jaye WellsRed-Headed Stepchild by Jaye Wells
Series: Sabina Kane #1
Published by Orbit (4.1.2009)
Genres: Adult, Urban Fantasy
Format: Paperback, 325 pages
Source: I own it
Buy on Amazon

3.5 Stars

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.

My thoughts

Kickass heroine, check. Sexy mage, check. Cat-demon minion, check. Finding a book that’s actually worth your time, priceless. Ha, sorry couldn’t resist :)

This book was a refreshing change from the last book I read (Dead Until Dark). It was fast paced and magical, and even had a little humor in it.

Sabina was pretty awesome. She was tough and sarcastic and didn’t take crap from anyone – sounds like my kind of protag! I found myself picturing Michelle Rodriguez in my head for Sabina:

Now, if only she had red hair. Hmm….

Ah yes, that’s better. Tee hee!
Anyway, where was I? Oh, speaking of red hair… I loved the story of Cain and his mark – all descendants of Cain and Lilith (i.e. vampires) have some shade of red hair, to signify Cain’s murder of Abel. Brilliant! And humans with red hair have a trace of vampire blood. Hmm, that explains the feisty attitudes!

Other than that small background, I had some trouble getting up to par with the background and politics of the vampire world. It was a bit confusing at first: Hekate Council, Black Covenant, Dominae – but I slowly picked up on the details as the book went on. A little slower on the apple thing, which you’ll get if you read it. Don’t want to give it away!

For the most part I liked the characters. Vinca is a very peppy nymph with the ability to see visions – when introduced to her, I couldn’t help but think of Alice from Twilight. And, since Alice is my favorite character in that series, naturally I liked Vinca instantly. It’s kind of hard not to like her. Giguhl (I was stuck between calling him ‘giggle’ or ‘jiggle’… I’m guessing ‘giggle’ because Sabine refers to him as Mr. Giggles at one point) was sorta the comic relief, a demon who becomes stuck in the form of a cat (so of course I loved him) and later a hairless cat, due to a certain mishap. When he first came about I thought the exchange seemed a bit outlandish, but I will admit Giguhl made me giggle. Ha, ha. :p
I particularly liked Adam. First of all, a mischievous and arrogant mage named Adam? Uh, Adam Black, anyone? Second, she describes him as ‘urban commando’ – white tank, low jeans, and brown boots – and he has sandy hair and full lips…uh, Channing Tatum, anyone?

(needing a glass of water after the search for that picture, my mouth is a bit dry….*fans self furiously*)

While this book didn’t exactly wow me and didn’t elicit any emotional reactions from me, it was a quick read and I enjoyed Sabina’s journey through the lies and deception…there were times when even I didn’t know who to believe. That, and the revelation at the end made me curious for more! I may be picking up book 2 very soon.


“Might I tempt you with some bloody good wine?”
At that point, I seriously considered leaving. All the kitsch and puns were about as charming as a poke in the eye.

“That was not a cat. It looked like a bald weasel or something.”

“That’s three against one, Sabina. Sucks to be you.” The cat grinned at me, which looked as odd as it sounds. Just for that, I silently vowed to hide all his catnip.

Plot: 3/5
Not really original, but still good.
Writing Style: 4/5
Characters: 3/5
I liked them, but in emotional moments I couldn’t really muster up much feeling.
World-building: 3/5
Pace: 4/5
Cover: 4/5
I love that the P and H make fangs. Plus I love the color red…love her hair!
Overall rating:  3.5/5 starfish
I couldn’t connect like I wanted to, but this book was still pretty sweet.
Jessi (Geo)

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