Friday, 6 January 2017

Chuckles Retro Reads #7: Red Headed Stepchild by Jaye Wells

In a world where being of mixed blood is a major liability, Sabina Kane 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.

Sabina's latest mission is uncomfortably complex and threatens the fragile peace between the vampire and mage races. As she 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 lethal.

My Review: 
Sabina Kane is an assassin who is half vampire half mage, earning the disapproval of her Grandmother, the head of the Dominae vampires and Sabina's boss. Her latest assignment is to go as a spy to the enemy camp led by the evil Clovis who is trying to unite the other races against the vampires. But life is complicated when the Mage community contact Sabina to try to convince her that her place is with them and not the vampires who look down on her. Who is the real enemy: Clovis, her Grandmother's vampires or the Mage?

Sabina is tough and sassy like your typical UF heroine. She is constantly trying to prove herself to her family and gain their approval but they are bigoted against her tainted bloodline. It doesn't stop them using her considerable talents to their benefit which Sabina resents, as she is never forgiven for not being pure vampire. However, the distrust between vampires and mages is getting worse and war could be coming, leaving Sabina in a wilderness and wondering which side she is on. Her new task is to kill Clovis, who is uniting unhappy supernaturals from all sides to destroy the vampires. As a halfbreed, Sabina could get closer to Clovis than anyone.

Then there are the Mages, led by Adam, who wants Sabina as an ally and is willing to teach her about her mage side and the truth about what is really happening, not just the version of the vampires. Sabina is about to discover a few harsh things about her family but will it help her to choose a side? For the first time, she has friends but can she trust them? One is a demon assassin called Giguhl who became addicted to the Shopping Channel before she accidently turned him into a hairless cat, and the other is scatty nymph Vinca. I liked these side characters as much as the snarky heroine and I liked the friendship that developed with them all.

The book has plenty of action to keep you interested. The dialogue is clever, her snarky attitude is entertaining and her character evolves nicely throughout the book. There is really wonderful humour in the form of Giguhl and Vinca as well as a decent paced urban fantasy plot. For those who like a bit of romance, there is potential for Adam and Sabina in this series. This book had everything for me-action, humour, potential romance and I'm so looking forward to reading book two when time allows.

Read April 2011.
star rating photo: 5 Star Rating 5stars.jpg


  1. This sounds like all kinds of fun. And that's a wicked cover and clever title!

    1. I enjoyed the mixture of action and humour. The demon being turned into a hairless cat was very funny!

  2. Her books are fun! I've never read this one, but I really enjoyed her Prospero's War series...wish she would write more books for it, but it's probably the publisher's say.

    ~Mogsy @ BiblioSanctum

    1. I haven't read the Prospero series yet but I have the first few and the covers are gorgeous! I'm looking forward to trying it but want to read the whole of this series first. Publishers are spoilsports! I hate it when they cut a good series short.