Science Fiction and Fantasy Association of New Zealand

Red Headed Stepchild Red Headed Stepchild
by Jaye Wells

Supplied for review by Hachette New Zealand

Reviewed By: Jan Butterworth

Digging grave is hell on a manicure, but I was taught good vampires clean up after every meal. With an opening line like that, I was confident of a good story and found this an excellent read. As well as having built a new take on the genre, hilarious comedic elements are mixed in with a desperate race to find out who the bad guys are. If you enjoy urban fantasy, this is a must read! I’m looking forward to the next in the series.

This is a world where there is a fragile peace between vampires and mages, being of mixed blood is a real liability, and Sabina Kane finds it hard to fit in. The only role that the vampire society offers half bloods is as an assassin, and the fact that Sabina is one doesn’t exactly help her make friends. Her grandmother is the leader of the ruling vampires and sends Sabina on a mission to infiltrate a rival vampire cult and assassinate the leader. She acquires a demon cat and finds a sexy stalker who’s also a mage, as she starts untangling the messy political web around her orders, while trying to avoid starting a war between the vampires and mages.

Jaye Wells has created a unique world, where all vampires as descended from Lilith and have red hair – the shades differ according to age, the darker the red the older the vampire. There’s also a demon cat – her stalker summoned a demon to kill her but he was unsuccessful and became stuck on this realm, bonded to Sabina. He took a cat form but an attempt to spell him home failed (mainly because Sabina had no idea what she was doing and translated the spell from the wrong language) and he became trapped in a cat form – a hairless cat form.

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