Monday, 4 May 2009

Review: Red-Headed Stepchild by Jaye Wells

Red-Headed Stepchild by Jaye WellsRed-Headed Stepchild by Jaye Wells - Half-vampire, half-mage Sabina Kane is an assassin for the Dominae, the three women who rule over vampires. The result of a forbidden love affair, Sabina always tries to impress her grandmother Lavinia, the Alpha of the Dominae, who constantly reminds her of the circumstances of her birth. When the Dominae set Sabina the assignment of infiltrating into a cult trying to reunite all the dark races - vampires, mages, and fae - spy on the leader, and eventually kill them, Sabina gets a lot more than she bargained for. She's stalked by a mage, ends up with a demon for a room mate, and finds out some family secrets. The more involved she gets, the more dangerous things get, and she has to decide just who's side she's on.

This book is absolutely amazing! I loved every second of it. The inner struggle Sabina goes through to try and impress her grandmother, yet meeting disapproval at every turn for something she has no control over is difficult to read. It's awful that someone would be on the end of such prejudice from a member of their own family, and I kept willing Sabina to stand up to her grandmother, but as Alpha of the Dominae, she treats her with the respect that comes with her position.

The story has twists and turns you don't expect, and various love interests, unsure of who she should trust and go for. You're kept guessing about the "cult" right until the last minute, trying to work out whether it's legit or not. The characters are just fantastic. Sabina is strong and vulnerable all at the same time, and her interaction with the other characters are so entertaining. You've got to love Vinca, the nymph, with her overly friendly and enthusiastic little girl nature, and Adam, the mysterious mage who always turns up, challenging all Sabina knows. And then there's Giguhl, the demon sent to kill her, who ends up being an unwanted pet. He is just hilarious! Seriously, he might just be my favourite character throughout the whole book! And I just have to share one of the funny moments with you:
Page 42

"Is that all you bought?"
His eyes shot to the left. "Um."
I clenched my teeth. "What else?"
"A Super Mega Juicer," he said quickly. "But, Sabina, seriously that juicer is a miracle machine."
"I'm a vampire, Giguhl. The only liquids I drink are blood or alcohol. I don't do juice."
"You might want to consider a little roughage in your diet. According to the commercial, an increase in fiber will help you be more regular."
Red-Headed Stepchild is really an awesome book, and I can't tell you how much I am looking forward to the next book, The Mage in Black.

Thank you to Orbit for a review copy.

Published: 2009
Publisher: Orbit
Buy from Amazon US
Jaye Wells' Website

Other reviews of Red-Headed Stepchild:
Fantasy Dreamers Ramblings
Wagging the Fox
Look at that Book
Undercover Book Lover
Beyond Books

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