Book Review -- Red-Headed Stepchild

Title:  Red-Headed Stepchild
Author:  Jaye Wells
Pages:  Paperback 325
Genre:  Urban fantasy
Published:  2009
Opening Lines:  "Digging graves is hell on a manicure, but I was taught good vampires clean up after every meal.  So I ignored the chipped onyx polish."

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

"Her latest mission is uncomfortably complex and threatens the fragile peace between the vampires and mage races.  As Sabina scrambles to figure out which side she's on, she uncovers a tangled political web, and some unexpected new talents.  Any of these things could be worryingly life changing, but together they could be fatal . . ."

~Jacket copy


Thoughts:  Every time I picked up this book, it sounded as though it could be a good read.  However, for some reason or the other, I ended up putting in back on the shelf.  And, let me tell you, I am happy I finally convinced myself to buy it with my Christmas money!

The story follows Sabina Kane, half vampire/half vampire assassin working for one of the largest vampire groups around.  However, even though she is good at her job and her grandmother is 1/3 of the ruling body, she still feels the pinch of being an abomination.  In order to win the approval of her grandmother, she takes on a seemingly impossible case: infiltrate a rival upstart, determine the identity of his mole, and assassinate him.  However, being a half vampire/half demon, it seems impossible.  And here starts the crazy adventure of political intrigue and an unknown quest to find her identity.

First off, I enjoyed that Wells didn't take the typical, clique vampire approach. Granted, that being said, she did know of take the vampire origin (being from Cain) from Masquerade.  Either way, I loved the concept of the vampires being the children of Cain and Lilith.  In addition, making all of the vampires have red hair due to Cain's mark was brilliant!  I also liked the animosity between the vampires and other races.  It was interesting to see how the vampires views themselves as a superior race.  I know that part has been done before, but her approach felt different.

I absolutely loved the banter between Sabina and Giguhl!  Many times, I had to read large sections to my husband!  It was just awesome and hilarious!  Something about a demon being a hairless cat is priceless!  Along with that, all of her supporting characters were well fleshed out without taking the main focus off of Sabina.

One of my hangups with the book was the editing.  Many times I had to stop and reread an entire section multiple times.  Some of them could be a simple case of typos; however, it ended up pulling me completely out of the book.  And, at some level, that is almost unforgivable.  Her editor needed and editor.  Unfortunately, those mistakes keeps the book from a 5 skull rating. 

Aside from the major drawback, the book was well written, very well paced, and fun!  I tore through this book in a matter of days and picked up the second one.  If you're looking for a good urban fantasy, this one might be right up your alley! 

Rating:
Currently: Coyote Blue by Christopher Moore
Current Pages:
6187
Current Progress:

17/50 books


Sinn

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    "If you’re a freak like me, Wave your flag! If you’re a freak like me, Get off your ass! It’s our time now, To let it all hang out!" I am a recovering English major, closet bibliophile, breve addicted, zombie lover with a rockabilly and heavy metal fetish.