Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Red-Headed Stepchild by Jaye Wells

Title: Red-Headed Stepchild
Author: Jaye Wells
Narrator: Cynthia Holloway
Series: Sabina Kane #1
Publisher: Tantor Audio
Length: 8 hours and 53 minutes
Format: audiobook

Description from Goodreads:

 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:

      Sabina Kane is an assassin for the vampire Dominae. Her grandmother is the alpha Domina, but Sabina doesn't get special treatment. No, she brings nothing but shame to her family name being half-vampire and half-mage. She is constantly trying to find her place in vampire society, forget her mage half, and finally gain acceptance from her grandmother. She is being sent on the ultimate mission and her hopes are that she will finally be accepted. This mission will have her questioning her beliefs, her lack of morals, and ultimately who and what she is.
      Urban fantasy is one of my favorite genres, but one so often hard to find the perfect book in. Jaye Wells has written an amazing beginning to a series that is sure to become one of my favorites. Sabina is one of those characters that I love to read about. She is smart, sexy, strong, deadly, and is somewhat lacking in the moral department. It's hard to find a heroine like that. One of the best things about her is that from the beginning to the end of the book Sabina displays a great deal of growth. Helping Sabina on her journey is Gighoul. Despite how much I love Sabina, Gighoul is definitely the star of the show for me. He had me constantly laughing and wishing I had a hairless demon cat! Last, but not least, is Lavenia the Domina and Sabina's grandmother. This woman is pure evil! Get ready to be introduced to a woman you will love to hate. She rules the vampires with a wicked iron fist and has hammered into Sabina's mind that she is a disgrace because of her mixed heritage. Add into that other evil deeds we learn about throughout the book and you have the makings of one heinous villainess.
      When talking about Red-Headed Stepchild you can't skip over the world building that Jaye Wells has done. She has managed to bring a fresh new take on the vampire/mage/faerie story. One of the most interesting and intriguing aspects is how these creatures are tied into the Bible. I really enjoyed the lore behind this world. Another aspect of the book is that Ms. Wells stayed true to the story being an urban fantasy and didn't make it about romance. I'm not saying there isn't any, if fact there is the perfect amount, but I was pleasantly surprised that this book didn't turn into a romance novel like so many books do. There isn't that much I would change about Red-Headed Stepchild. The only thing is that at first I was a smidge lost, because I didn't know what some of the terms like Domina, Dominae, mansy/cy, and the religious aspect, but I was soon clued in. Lastly, this is an audiobook review and the narrator must be talked about. Cynthia Holloway is without a doubt my favorite narrator. She lends the perfect sarcasm and strength to the character of Sabina. As for the rest of the voices, which range from: a faerie, to demon, to mages are individual and develop their own personalities with the help of her voice. I give this book a 4 1/2 STAR rating.

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