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Green-Eyed Demon

Sabina Kane, Book #3

Author: Jaye Wells

Format: galley (available for purchase as mass-market paperback and audio book)

Publisher: Orbit Books

Release Date: 2/22/2011

Length: 299 Pages

Acquired: via the publisher

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Publisher’s summary:

The clock is ticking for Sabina Kane. Her sister has been kidnapped by her grandmother, the Dark Races are on the brink of war, and a mysterious order is manipulating everyone behind the scenes.

Working on information provided by an unlikely ally, Sabina and her trusty sidekicks–a sexy mage named Adam Lazarus and Giguhl, a Mischief demon–head to New Orleans to begin the hunt for her sister. Once there, they must contend with belligerent werewolves, magic-wielding vampires and–perhaps most frightening of all–humans.

But as much as Sabina is focused on surviving the present, the past won’t be ignored. Before she can save those she cares about most, she must save herself from the ghosts of her past.

 

My thoughts:

I enjoyed this book much better than The Mage In Black! Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed that book, too… but this one had more going for it. The team is on unfamiliar ground in N’Awlins and it’s always fun to put characters in a new situation. We inevitably meet some new characters, some of whom ingratiate themselves with the reader rather quickly and who I didn’t have a problem trusting, which is saying something. Lastly, we have a mission, which is two-fold: rescue Maisie and then find and kill the evil grandmother. I’ve rather been looking forward to that since reading book #1, so I’m happy that it’s now become a priority!

So, the book opens with Team Awesome back in Los Angeles, preparing to kidnap one of the Dominae, which are essentially the three head vamps. Not Lavinia, Sabina’s grandmother and the Alpha Domina, but the weaker of the three. The kidnapping doesn’t quite go as planned but they grab their captive and flash on over to deliver her to the Faery Queen in hopes that an alliance can be made as well as to take instruction from Orpheus, the mage leader.

Finally, Sabina, Adam and Giguhl end up in New Orleans to hunt for Maisie in order to rescue her, as well as Lavinia in order to kill her. Enter Zenobia, voodoo shop owner and friend of Rhea, and Zen’s assistant Brooks. I liked both of these characters immediately and found them both to be strong additions to the story. They were also infinitely helpful to the Team as well as colorful and fun to read. We also meet a few other new faces when Zen sends Sabina to a butcher shop to find a blood source and to a local drag club to find an information source.

Things are rather frustrating for Sabina as she feels that she’s constantly on the defensive once in New Orleans. Lavinia finds her right away and with dismay, Sabina realizes that her grandmother has fed on a particular kidnapped mage’s blood and therefore can do magic. Not only does this seem unfair to me, it seems a bit far-fetched. Lavinia can flash herself about after having fed on a mage blood but Sabina, who trained for weeks with Rhea can only do her Cyclops-esque pew-pew trick to incinerate people? No lessons on healing or flashing herself about all bad-ass like the other mages can do? Yet her grandmother can do such things after having a Maisie snack? Hmmm…

So yeah, Sabina’s at a disadvantage from the get-go. Still, she carries on and blunders about a bit, anxious to both find her sister and avoid the affections of Adam. At every turn, it seems that their enemy is one step ahead of them and that reacting is all the Team is capable of doing.

Enter another new face, recreant mage and lead singer of rock band Necrospank 5000, Erron Zorn. His introduction is hilarious and really, I can’t do it justice here so I won’t even try. Suffice to say that he lends the team a hand and then later on, gives them some much-needed intel, info-dump style. I like this character a lot, though we don’t see much of him, sadly.

I had a hard time putting this book down… or putting my laptop down, rather… and was anxious to get back to it and find out what was going to happen, already! I was happy with the way Wells handled Sabina’s growing up thing, it didn’t feel forced and it didn’t feel fake. It felt just right and though she still had a few temper issues and thinking she could handle things on her own issues, she’s matured as a character and it’s good to see.

Had Sabina still been going on with her knee-jerk reactions from the first two books, there would have been much eye-rolling as I read. But she didn’t and there wasn’t. I feel that the pace of the story was good and there was enough humor to give me the occasional chuckle but not so much as to lessen the seriousness of the mission and the emotion of the story as the characters, namely Sabina, realized what was important to them and what they were willing to do to preserve it.

Bottom line, if you enjoy urban fantasy with punchy characters, I definitely recommend this series. Check the books out at Amazon.com, Audible.com or your fave local or internet book store.


Fave quotes:

‘I’ll give the faeries this: They know how to rock some landscaping.’

“Bael’s balls, can we get outta here already? This alley smells like Satan’s asshole.” ~Giguhl

“…did your cat just talk smack to me?” ~Brooks

‘Hollywood had been getting vampires wrong for decades-don’t get me started on the soulless undead thing… or the godsdamned sparkling.’

“We must never speak of this again.” ~Adam

‘I imagined the list in my head: 1. Perform voodoo ritual on evil owl. 2. Find out who sold us out to the anachronistic Caste vampires. 3. Make amends with lesbian werewolf. 4. Rescue twin. 5. Murder grandmother.’

‘Couldn’t blame him for his fear – no one ever expects zombies.’



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The Mage In Black

Sabina Kane, Book #2

Author: Jaye Wells

Format: paperback

Publisher: Orbit

Length: 340 pages (incl. Green-Eyed Demon excerpt)

Release Date: April, 2010

Acquired: purchased from BN.com

 

 

 

The back cover blurb:

Sabina Kane doesn’t have the best track record when it comes to family. After all, her own grandmother, leader of the vampire race, wants her dead. So when she arrives in New York to meet her mage relatives, the reunion puts the fun in dysfunctional.

Not only is mage culture completely bizarre, but everyone seems to think she’s some kind of “Chosen” who’ll unite the dark races. Sabina doesn’t care who chose her, she’s not into destiny.

But the mages aren’t Sabina’s only problem. In New York’s Black Light district, she has run-ins with fighting demons, hostile werewolves and an opportunistic old flame.

Sabina thought she’d take a bite out of the Big Apple, but it looks like it wants to bite her back.

 

My thoughts, which may include some minor spoilers:

The Mage In Black is the second book in Jaye Wells’ Sabina Kane series. I first picked up book #1, Red-Headed Stepchild at the suggestion of my dear friend over at Waiting For Fairies, and I’m happy that I did. I enjoyed it immensely, burned through it in a few reading sessions and then to my chagrin, neglected to pick up book #2 when it was published last year. I have remedied that gross oversight in my reading repertoire however, and  so without further ado…

The story opens just days after the ending of Red-Headed Stepchild and Sabina and Adam are on their way to New York City so that Sabina can join the mages and meet her twin sister. Giguhl is, of course, along for the ride and provides much comic relief throughout the story. Vampire assassins start the first chapter off with a bang and we get to see a pretty good fight scene which really sets the pace of the story right out of the gate.

I did hit a slow spot right around the middle of the book, as Sabina started learning to use her magic, but it didn’t last long and I got through the rest of the book in a couple of sittings. A couple of nit-picks (just because I’m fond of nit-picking!) and then I’ll move on to what I liked about the story.

Rhea cussing really left a bad taste in my mouth because she struck me as being more refined and respectable than that. Sabina has a potty mouth but that’s kind of expected in a trained assassin, especially when she started off as an enforcer and has  mingled with the dregs of society and done her share of some serious ass-kicking. But Rhea cussing just rang sour with me and it didn’t seem to fit.

Also, I pegged the baddie right off the bat and I was actually kind of disappointed at the reveal, although the fact that said baddie was dense enough to have been so badly duped made me feel kind of sorry for her.

Next, the way Sabina’s powers manifested kind of made me giggle and I couldn’t help but think, “Cyclops?!”

Finally, I just could not get used to Sabina referring to everyone in her mind as the “male” or the “female”. I don’t recall being annoyed by that in RHS so either it wasn’t an issue for me during that read or the use wasn’t as prevalent. Whatever the case, there were times when the term “woman” was used and so I wasn’t clear on why it was used in a couple of instances when “female” was used most of the time.

Like I said… just nit-picking! On to non-nit-picky stuff!

I was involved in a discussion recently regarding pointless sex in books and this book was one that was mentioned. Having knowledge of the act but not the events surrounding it at the time of the discussion, I waited to see if Sabina’s tryst with Slade was indeed pointless. While wishing she hadn’t done it, for the sake of a possible relationship with Adam, I do understand why she did it.

She felt rejected by the vampires as well as the mages and at that moment, she felt a kinship with Slade. She needed comfort after her disgust at the way she had killed Hawthorne and after being reminded of that horror during her fight with Tiny, she needed something to make her feel good. At least, that’s how I looked at it and while it might not have been the smartest decision for her to make at that moment, it did make sense to me. I was glad at the way Slade helped her out at the mage compound and especially that they parted on good terms.

Demon Fight Club? *chuckle* Awesome. Silly and cheesy, perhaps… but hilarious. Also, cool to see Giguhl kick some ass of his own! AND get the girl. You go, G!

Since mentioning the chuckle I got out of Sabina shooting lasers from her eyes, I ought to mention how the mages circled during the vamp battle, joined their magic and blasted it outward to kick some major vamp ass. That… was very cool.

I have to admit that I spent the entire book worried that Maisie was going to betray Sabina. What? Why no, I’m not suspicious of people in the least, why do you ask? Trust issues? What do you mean, I have trust issues?!

Yes… I fully expected her to be a baddie. No… I’m still not fully convinced that she’s not. We’ll see what Green-Eyed Demon holds in store in that regard. I’ll be reading a galley of it next but I feel the need to add that when I turned the final page of this book and discovered that it was the end, I was glad that I hadn’t picked it up last year because I totally had a “NOOOOOO!” moment that it was over. As it is, I can start GED right… now. *smug* I’ll let you know what I think in a couple of days.

Fave quotes:

“Why is it forked?”

“I waved my hands in the air and shook my head, as if trying to shake off the crazy.”

“Adam, this is Slade. He’s an old friend. Slade, this is Adam. He’s my-”  “I’m her new friend.”

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