The Scarlet Corset

  • Tweet Promiscuity

    Error: Twitter did not respond. Please wait a few minutes and refresh this page.

  • Wanderer

    Error: Twitter did not respond. Please wait a few minutes and refresh this page.

  • Reader

    Error: Twitter did not respond. Please wait a few minutes and refresh this page.

Red-headed Stepchild by Jaye Wells

Posted by Mistress on April 30, 2009

Saw this book for the first time, strewn on a table at Barnes & Noble. Above loomed a “If You liked Twilight” sign. The tweens must have went apeshit, cause everything was awry. So while fixing the books into neat little piles (yes, I’m one of those, lmao) this book caught my eye.

I ooohed as expected at the eye catching cover; then spun it around like a cheap date to check out the goods. The Blurb was impressive, lots of interesting conflict potential, not frilly, and brief. So like any bookslut worth her salt, I brought it home to join my harem.

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 vampire and mage races. As Sabina 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 fatal…

Vampires are the living decedents of Lilith and Cain (as oppose to being the evil undead), and as a result all vampires are gingers. Sabina is a mixblood assassin for the Dominae, the counsel her Grandmother heads which rules the Vamps with an iron fist. You’re thinking sweet deal right? Mixed abilities, Nana looking out for you & getting to kill things. Well that ain’t the case.

Sabina has a complete disconnect from her mage heritage and is just as racist as the average vampire. Why? Well, Vamps and Mages loathe each other, like the opposing street dance crews. While her Grandmother did raise her after the death of her parents, she did so in the apathetic commanding way she does everything; so no warm fuzzies. On the up side she does get to kill things, but any hesitation, refusal, or questioning their choice will render her equally dead.

So despite her prolific vamp bloodline and her pest control contribution; she’s never fully been accepted among the Vampire community and will continue to suffer for the sins of her parents. All that leaves us, a Bad Ass killer with epic little girl issues; determined to prove herself worthy, no matter the cost. Which drives her to accept a dangerous mission infiltrating a cult that is threatning the Dominae’s power base. It’s all very Anita Blake meets alias. Nothing is as it seems and everyone has ulterior motives; survival will require rexamining: who she is? Who she’s fighting with? and what she’s fighting for?

Sabina’s a funny, lethal, and flawed heroine; just how I like em. The world building was decent, but there were occasional gaps.
For Example Sabina sleeps in the day and wakes at night, but no mention is made of how vamps react to sunlight. Are her sleeping habits just cultural or would she sizzle like bacon at noon? Though I realize even if there are sleep patterns/sunlight rules that it probably wont to apply to her; I still would have appreciated the clarity.( Readers: if I missed where this revalation, please shed some light, I promise not to bitch.)

The colorful cast of side characters were amusing, as was the dialogue. Sabina’s issues give credibility to some of her actions, more than it detracts in a whiny sense. I even like the sidekick she acquires, but the jump from foes to friends was too instantaneous for my tastes. My other grumble is, Sabina was agreeable to illogical degrees when dealing with the enemy. I get that she needed to infiltrate the rival organization, but c’mon. Any assassin that you approach with a vague job offer, that agrees to be led somewhere unknown to meet, by your henchmen… blindfolded and disarmed…is either retarded and isn’t worth hiring or ding ding ding is a enemy mole, lol. what about accepting a job without any discussion of payment or whats expected of you? I assume hunting vampires would take umpteenth cognitive reasoning and awareness skills, so why is Sabina in many aspects so naive?

“Digging graves is hell on a manicure, but I was taught good vampires clean up after every meal.” With a darkly amusing opening line like that, I anticipated a thrilling ride. Did the positives outweigh the flaws? Do I look forward to the next novel? Will I pimp it to the legion Urban Fantasy fans? Yes, yes, and yes. Despite the hiccups, Red-headed Stepchild is a fun fast paced read & a damn fine addition to the genre. Congrats Mz. Wells, you’ve done good.

Final Grade:

Is everything I hoped it would be but not a pinch more. Better than average, hit the spot like a tall drink on a hot summer’s day and is in no way a stale retelling. But didn’t dazzle me with shiny unique or transcendent content. A smidgen formulaic but doesn’t detract from maximum entertainment value.


Around The Net:


Love Vampires
4.5/5 Stars

Reading with Monie 5/5 Stars

Darque Reviews – “Well-written with easy to visualize detail, Read-Headed Stepchild is a fantastic opening to this trilogy and should be at the top of every urban fantasy reader’s wish list.”

Trollitc – “The novel’s not groundbreaking or high literature (but then, that’s probably a good thing as so much high literature tends to be unfathomable and unentertaining) and people who aren’t fans of the genre are not likely to enjoy it especially, but it is a good solid example of urban fantasy/horror, a pleasant read with promises of better stories to follow”

SFF World – “In summary, this is not a bad debut novel. I get the impression the author had a lot of fun writing it. It reads fairly smoothly. It’s not deep, nor particularly significant, but then it doesn’t try to be. Unlike some, it’s not explicit vampire porn (though there are insinuations to sex), nor is it pretentiously ponderous either”

Fantasy Book Critic – “Even though Jaye Wells’ “Red-Headed Stepchild” doesn’t really distinguish itself from other urban fantasy/paranormal romance novels—aside from the vampires—the book is fast-paced, charming and fun. Add it all up and “Red-Headed Stepchild” is a book that I expect will do quite well…”

Persephone Reads – “If you enjoy urban fantasy that feels fully realized – even if it’s not laid out at your feet in the first outing – you’ll definitely enjoy this book. And if you like swift action, serious sexual tension, and a solid dose of intrigue you’ll like it even more.”

Fantasy Literature 3.5 /5 “I will read the sequel to Red-Headed Stepchild. Not because there’s anything really original about this book or its characters, but because Wells makes the well-worn exciting and sometimes that’s enough to make a book worth reading. Wells knows how to take you for a ride.”

Advertisements

2 Responses to “Red-headed Stepchild by Jaye Wells”

  1. First said

    Thanks for the review, minus the major spoilers, my friend. You rock!

  2. Mistress said

    Yay you liked it, tried to make sure the spoiler cleavage was minimal. Looking forward to to your take.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

 
%d bloggers like this: