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Red-Headed Stepchild

(Sabina Kane #1)

3.70  ·  Rating details ·  16,441 ratings  ·  1,142 reviews
In a world where being of mixed-blood is a major liability, Sabina Kane has the only profession fit for an outcast: assassin. But, her latest mission threatens the fragile peace between the vampire and mage races and Sabina must scramble to figure out which side she's on. She's never brought her work home with her -- -until now.

This time, it's personal.
Mass Market Paperback, 325 pages
Published April 1st 2009 by Orbit
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✘✘ Sarah ✘✘ (former Nefarious Breeder of Murderous Crustaceans)
😼 And The Cat Steals The Show Buddy Read with my MacHalo Freaks 😼


If found, please call the Murderous Crustaceans Hotline (1-800-We-Swim-To-Slaughter) urgently, and ask for Fleet Admiral DaShrimp, my go-to-decapod for highly sensitive issues such as this one.

💰 Reward for returning said reviewing mojo 💰
VIP access to my Harem for one night. I kid you not. But hey, don't get overexcited, it's for one night only. And NO, entrance to the high-security area where my most priz
*** 3.44 ***

A buddy read with the Urban Fantasy maniacs at the MacHalo group!

I was almost afraid to start this series because the reviews I read were very discouraging. I am not exactly sure why... I understand it is neither too original, nor extraordinary, but the book has a charm that is undeniable. I had a hard time connecting with Sabina, the main character, in the beginning. However, as the story developed, I got used to the flippened way this Half mage-half vampire girl spoke to everyone
UniquelyMoi ~ BlithelyBookish

Red-Headed Stepchild is the first book in the Sabina Kane series. We’re introduced to, of course, Sabina Kane, who is half mage, half vampire. We’re also introduced to a hilarious demon named Giguhl, a nymph named Vinca and a hot mage named Adam.

This is my first read by author Jaye Wells, and I enjoyed it. There were some very funny moments, and I have to be honest here and say that I think Giguhl, who spent a good part of this story as a bald cat, is probably my favorite character of the book
Jeann (Happy Indulgence)
Red Headed Stepchild is about a half mage, half vampire assassin called Sabina Kane. She's been sent into the enemy's base to infiltrate their secrets and perform an assasination that gets complicated, as she finds out more about the people and her own birth.

At the very start of the book, there was a part that revealed that every vampire is a red head. The ones with darker mahogany hair are older and more powerful, while the ones with lighter auburn hair are newborns. I found this reference to b
3.5 I really enjoyed this book!

I absolutely love a badass female assassin who isn't actually a bleeding heart. I mean, I've read so many books where the assassin/sucubus/badass/mage/whatever is actually a good guy but he/she has no choice and boo hoo! Finally someone who not only accepts her job but actually likes it! I mean, c'mon, you kill people for a living! Don't tell me you cry at night after you killed 15 people that day!
So I was damn glad to see that Sabina is one of the good ones!

I lov
Erin *Proud Book Hoarder*

“By now, I should have learned that luck, if she was a lady, was a mean-spirited bitch with a grudge against me.”

Red-Headed Stepchild’s blurb drew me in with its intriguing sounding storyline, and of course the fact that I completely heart Urban Fantasy series and always hunt for more to add to my growing obsession collection. The story line promises a mix and blend of mages and vampires, so think of uber magic and an intricate world with a set-up system. Unfortunately the beginning book wa
Julie (jjmachshev)
Mar 31, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2009-reads
"Red-Headed Stepchild" is a debut fantasy novel from Jaye Wells with a good dose of sexual tension. As a debut novel there was quite a bit of world-building and scene setting, but the story still moved along at a rapid pace with not too much lag time. The heroine is a kick-butt assassin who becomes torn between her two worlds as the novel progresses.

Sabrina is the product of a forbidden union between a vamp and a mage. Her mother died not long after her birth and she was brought up by her Grand
Jan 12, 2011 rated it it was ok
First off just let me say that I truly wanted to like this book. I really did! I was in love with the cover, the description of the summary, and even though I had seen many mixed reviews about the book, it sounded like a story that I could really enjoy.

Before I start ranting about all the aspects of the book that I didn't like, let me begin with what I did like.

I really enjoyed the author's take on vampires. Having already done some research of my own, I was already aware of the legend of Lilith
Missy Ann
Jun 11, 2009 rated it did not like it
A 4 star average? Really?

First of all unforgivable errors in the time line.

Sabina was a worthless character. She's supposedly 53 years old. Yet she has the emotional maturity of a 15 year old. Are vampires emotionally retarded? Her relationships were shallow and fraught with logical errors. And don't get me started on the demon/cat. Unoriginal, uninteresting, unfunny, unnecessary. And I really liked how all of a sudden she understood the basics of spell casting.

It was written like a bad actio
Dino-Jess ✮ The Book Eating Dinosaur ✮
Pretty sure I read this wrong, but I got to 40% and IDGAF about anything that is happening.

I'm returning it to the library.

Sorry for giving up on this you lovely MacHalo Peeps!
Carolyn  Storer
'Red-Headed Stepchild' was such a fab read! It's the first in the 'Sabina Kane' series and what a fantastic start. I was pulled into Sabina's life from the get-go and I liked her immediately.

Sabina Kane is an assassin, which means she's one tough cookie. She fights hard and enjoys it, but to do this she has to sacrifice her personal life and do the bidding of her grandmother, the head of the Dominae, to the point that she will kill even her friends. She's also a 'half-blood' - half vampire and h
Dec 11, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Sabina's a half-breed vamp with a little bit of the magixes in her! An assassin with a near impossible task and a secret history worthy of the best of Jerry Springer, Vamp edition! While it's not a comedy per se, there are tons of laugh out loud moments and Sabina's as engaging an urban fantasy heroine as I've read in years.

Ps. Loved me some Giguhl, Sabina's demon sidekick. I could read a whole spin-off of Mr. Giggles!

I read this book so fast even when I tried to pace myself. I absolutely love Sabina. I think she may very well be my second favourite heroine. I feel like I understand her so well. Her personality is quite cold in the beginning because that's how she was raised by her grandmother. But soon, she realizes that those who she thought were on her side are not. In RHSC picking a side is a lot more difficult than you think.

I also have to mention Giguhl and Adam and Vinca. Giguhl is a hilarious demon w
Anzu The Great Destroyer
Review from ZombieHazard

Digging graves is hell on a manicure

How can’t you love a book that starts like this?

Red-Headed Stepchild is one hell of a book. It’s fast-paced (I’m a sucked for fast-paced books), the heroine is wicked cool and the story freakin’ awesome! Since this was a group read and I was the only one who loved it this much I guess my review will be totally subjective. My mood was perfect for it so I got lucky, I guess.

First of all I shall pick on the cover! Cool lady, love t
Maja (The Nocturnal Library)
I can't seem to find a decent UF book these days. Either I've read all the good ones, or I'm simply tired of the genre altogether. If it's the former, I'm in deep trouble and I have to wait for next installments of all the series I'm already attached to. If it's the latter, I'm in even deeper trouble since I don't seem to enjoy much else.
But let's get back to the reason I'm this depressed. I’ve long ago promised myself that I’ll never start paying attention to the language of these books (or an
I’m always fascinated by the many variations of vampires out there in the literature. In Red-Headed Stepchild, vampires are descendants of an illicit union between Cain and Lilith. Most people are familiar with Cain, but let’s take a few minutes to talk about Lilith, who is one scary lady in the folklore. Lilith was known as a night demon. When infants died in their sleep, Lilith was to blame. She appears in a lot of the literature written at the time of the Bible. When Jaye Wells used Lilith as ...more
Nenia ✨️ Socially Awkward Trash Panda ✨️ Campbell
All of the books on the series are on sale for $1.99 ea right now!!!

Mistress   ~ ♠ Mistral's Kiss ♠ ~ (Mist)
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lanie (Lanies Book Thoughts)
Oct 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Sabina is an outcast in her world. She doesn't belong to either side of her blood line, she's an unwanted woman with a special set of gifts that tends to get her into trouble. This girls a hardass with a heart, even though she likes to deny it. Her latest assignment might just be her undoing though.
Red-Headed Stepchild is my go to Urban Fantasy read. This book is gritty with a female lead that really lives on the edge of her society. When people see Sabina Kane they either run, laugh or attack.
Bell Curran
Full disclosure: I couldn't finish it. I forced myself to read to page 100 and then decided I would rather do just about anything than read this book. I took it to the playground to read while the kids were on the flying fox, and at one point I decided it was more interesting to stare at the sky than read this book.

Half of the problem was the writing: It was clunky in a way that seemed designed to appeal to a tween audience (e.g. when the eponymous narrator informs the reader that all vampires h
Dec 18, 2009 rated it did not like it
I read a lot of the genre so I am fairly cognizant of what I like and what works from the perspective of a reader. Now it might be that I started this immediately after finishing a Karen Chance novel but I found myself unable to continue this story till the end. I don't want to be totally mean because this is her first book and the writing itself isn't horrible. What totally annoyed me were her characters.

Sabina is supposed to be some hot shot vampire assassin; she has powers which set her apart
Really a 3.5, but definately not a 4. It has all of the right urban fantasy elements, almost a checklist. Tough chick, tough decisions, wacky friends, hot guy she starts out hating but starts to fall for, betrayal, etc. But I jus didn't have the zip or energy it needs to be a 4. I like Sabina and the story, I am looking forward to the next book, but... I do like her different take on vamps, mages, elves and demons. She uses the tried and true Lilith myth, but in a new way. The supporting charact ...more
Sabina Kane has always been an outcast thanks to her mixed blood heritage, as a half-vampire/half-mage she is seen by most as an abomination. Abandoned by the mage side of her family as a baby she was raised by her grandmother, a member of the Dominae (the ruling council of the vampires). Sabina has never been able to fully live up to her grandmother's expectations of her, and the vampires are able to find fault in pretty much everything she does but they are the only family she has ever known a ...more
Alex ☣ Deranged KittyCat ☣

Ok, so... I didn't like this book. I didn't hate it, I just didn't like it. I felt Red-Headed Stepchild was all over the place and everything was confusing. From the hair color of the different races to Sabina's constant shift with her emotions.

Sabina's hair color is red and black, but no hair dye can alter it (because of the whole mark of Cain thing). Ok, then why didn't she dye her black strands red so she won't feel so self-aware all the time because of her mixed heritage? That means that mag
DarkHeart "Vehngeance"
A wonderful debut novel to a promising new series. I really enjoyed the characters of Sabina, Adam, and Vinca. Throw a hairless demon cat into the mix and you're set for an exciting adventure. I look forward to reading more about Sabina as she uncovers the secrets of her identity. ...more
Aug 23, 2013 rated it did not like it
I really liked Jaye Wells' Prospero's War, at least the first 2 books.
So I was hoping to find another UF favorite but so far a bust and this was no different. We have a 53 year-old 1/2 vampire assassin who reads like a 17 yo. I can see this appealing to YA/NA fans. I'm not one of them. The only thing missing was the triangle love interest. It is hard to like a book where you completely dislike the main character.
Here's my reasonings
1. She is still seeking her mother's approval (Grandmother in th
Francesca the Fierce (Under the Covers Book Blog)
Sabina is half vampire, half mage. She's been brought up by her vampire grandmother, after her mother died, thinking that her mage family didn't want her. She is an assassin for the Dominae, which is the vampire ruling body, headed by her grandmother. But on her latest assignment, all her beliefs about the people she loves and calls her own, and what she knows about her past, is all going to be put to the test and challenged.

And since I usually try not to give too much away with my review, all I
Nov 06, 2011 rated it really liked it
I'm surprised by all the so-so reviews I've read about this book, because I LOVED it. I'm not a huge fan of assassin heroes or heroines, because the assassin tends to be overly confident and just brag too much that it annoys me. Sabina was pretty badass, with enough vulnerability and a desire to belong, that made her realistic and not eye-roll worthy. It also had enough family drama, hot men and evil intentions to keep the book going.

Sabina Kane is an assassin, because in her world she didn't qu
Aug 02, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Red-Headed Stepchild is the first installment in the Sabrina Kane series by Jane Wells.
Let me start off by saying I loved this book. I heard so many good things, and was hoping it lived up to the expectations I had, and I'm happy to say it did. I'm a new fan of Jane Wells and I will be following her writing from now on! Red-Headed Stepchild was an awesome debut to the beginning of a new trilogy.(Wells says there might be more surprises or stories with the character Sabrina beside the trilogy,
Suzanne (Under the Covers Book blog)
Sabina Kane is an assassin for the Dominae, the governing body for the vampires, ruled over by her Grandmother. As a half vampire and half mage she is somewhat of an outcast amongst the vampires, as all mage and vampire relations are strictly forbidden on pain of death, however, she has been raised under their dogma and is fiercely loyal to her Grandmother and the Dominae. But things start to unravel as Sabina is sent to do an undercover mission to infiltrate a cult and to assassinate their lead ...more
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Jaye Wells is a former magazine editor whose award-winning speculative fiction novels have hit several bestseller lists. She holds an MFA in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University, and is a sought-after speaker on the craft of writing. When she’s not writing or teaching, she loves to travel to exotic locales, experiment in her kitchen like a mad scientist, and try things that scare her ...more

Other books in the series

Sabina Kane (5 books)
  • The Mage in Black (Sabina Kane, #2)
  • Green-Eyed Demon (Sabina Kane, #3)
  • Silver-Tongued Devil (Sabina Kane, #4)
  • Blue-Blooded Vamp (Sabina Kane, #5)

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“I walked to the door where Clovis waited. When I looked up, he was staring at Adam. A quick glance backward confirmed Adam was returning his stare. Freaking males, I thought, they couldn’t be more obvious about their territorial dispute if they’d both peed on me.” 78 likes
“Sure. What's the worst that could happen."
Twenty minutes later, we had our answer. "I can't frecking believe this."
I cringed. "I'm so sorry."
"I'm bald!" Giguhl continued. "I look like a freak."
"It's not that bad," I said. But it was. Oh, my lord was it bad. I'd never seen an uglier cat in my entire life.”
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