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.
©2009 Jaye Wells (P)2010 Tantor
Red Headed Stepchild is the first book in the Sabina Kane series. I pretty bored with this book for at least the first half of it. I’m not sure if it’s due to the narrator (since it was an audiobook) or due to it being the first book in the series and all the world building or just because I didn’t like it.
Sabina Kane is half vampire, half Mage. She was the product of a forbidden love and the daughter of vampire royalty and mage royalty. Sabina has been raised by her vampire family and was an assassin. Although she is an assassin, the book wasn’t written or shown her to be a badass. Yes, there were parts where she fought and killed but she didn’t exude a fierce fighter or warrior to me. There were some other traits that I love that being funny and sarcastic, but her funniness was really cheesy at times. It was as if she was trying too hard to be funny.
Her “family” and I say that loosely kept her hidden away and she didn’t know a lot of the other races. As the book goes on we begin to learn about them. There are vampires, mages, fairies, demons and nymphs just to name a few as well as half breeds. The world doesn’t know that all of these races exist but they are all on the verge of war. Domina and Hecate council especially (not sure if I’m spelling those right since it was an audiobook).
A demon comes after Sabina and becomes an unlikely ally, his name is Giguhl. He is a demon that can shape shift into a cat. Weird, yes! Adam Lazarus is a Mage that is seeking to find Sabina and teach her about her magic and Mage/Hecate side. He’s a hottie of course. Clovis is the “enemy” that is her new assignment from the Domina. Clovis is causing problems and must be dealt with.
The book moved a little faster and got more interesting about the halfway point. There were more twists, turns and revelations. Sabina learns her true history, not just her vampire side. She stands up to her evil grandmother, THANK GOD, and seems to be moving in the right direction now. I’m willing to give the next book a try and see if it gets a little better.
I thought I would take a chance on this book since it was in one of my favorite genres. I didn't necessarily have high expectations, but thought it was worth checking out. I am so glad I did!!!! Within the first few minutes, I was completely hooked and didn't want to stop listening. I love kick-butt female characters and Sabina Kane fits that description perfectly. The author did a great job of giving the character depth and keeping me emotionally invested in what Sabina was going through. There are lots of other characters you love to hate and can't wait till they get what they deserve. There is a little brewing romance, but it is not the main focus.
If you are a fan of Laurell K. Hamilton's Anita Blake series, then I think you would really like this book. It has a lot of the elements I love from that series, minus the pervasive and overly long sex scenes. It totally sticks to a real plot.
The performance was great and I bought the second book before I even finished the first because I knew I would want to continue the story. If the subsequent books are even half as good as this one, this series has a bright future!
Not Jaye Wells.
Don't let this book put you off of Urban Fantasy if you did not like it. I have read a lot of books in the genre and I can tell you this one is exceptionally bad.
This narrator also does the Chicagoland Vampire series, which I have also bought through Audible in the past. The worst thing about her performance is that she mispronounces a lot of words, which is incredibly annoying to me. She also has an overly melodramatic style of reading, which is off-putting to me.
Throughout the book there are countless inconsistencies in character and plot. Neither are well thought out or developed, making it impossible to understand the characters motivations, stay interested in the plot, or suspend disbelief. It seemed as if the author was just making things up as she went along, heedless of previous events in the book.
I struggle to understand how this book gets such good reviews from so many people. I was extremely disappointed since the premise of the characters and story has such potential. I pride myself on finishing the books I start reading even if they are not favorites. Finishing this book definitely put me to the test.
To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream; not only plan, but also believe.
Sabina is a flawed heroine, seeking approval and love from the only relative that she knows, her cold, powerful grandmother.
Never questioning her grandmother she carried out her job as assassin unquestionably, until.....she was ordered to kill her friend. Fed lies, (after all a child believes a parent) that her friend had betrayed her grandmother she does the deed. However, the killing never set well with her, showing a crack in her fake, cold facade, sets up what happens in the story. By story's end she is physically battling with her grandmother, and learns that she has other relatives. Her growth, (she actually has friends that she never had before) show that she is redeemable. All in all a good read/listen, and sets the story for the continuation in the next book, where she goes to meet her mage relatives.
I loved how she just really kicked ass.
When she decides to meet her family.
Without giving anything away, it was her time spent in NYC.
This was a great series. I definitely recommend it.
I actually liked this one quite a bit. It kept my attention and had me listening straight through. It ranks up there in my library.
I have to be honest... Giguhl just made it for me. He was just the right amount of comedy.
I really like Cynthia Holloway. I liked her in Chicagoland Vampires as well so she was a comfort to hear.
A big lie is often more plausible than the truth.
All around good listen.
It's urban fantasy. Meaning that unless an urban fantasy book is just plain stupid or boring I'm going to enjoy giving it a try. Red-Headed Stepchild wasn't the best fantasy book ever written but was entertaining enough I didn't regret buying it. Sometimes this is enough of an endorsement to get me hooked on a series, sometimes not. In this one, let me say, I would buy the next book in the series if it were on sale but wouldn't ever think about paying the full price for it.
Most interesting was a new twist to how vampires came to be. Least was that the plot was pretty predictable. I called almost every move the main character was about to make long before she made it.
Not that bad.
I think I smirked a few times when listening to it but I did not laugh out loud. As far as crying while listening to it, no, I never came close.
You could do worse.
If your grandmother does not love you because you share a bloodline, why bust your butt for 50 years for her approval? How is it you approach everyone with your kick ass attitude and deadly blades but you grovel at your grandmother's feet? Your grandmother shows more affection to her nemesis than you and the grabber???everyone knows that your grandmother is a grand monster except you. But you are smart and savvy?
I might but I would have to read it myself. The narrator was terrible. I just couldn't listen to her voice. It was so cheesy like listening to a radio announcer.
Not the audio version
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