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Debbie's Spurts

Just an avid reader. Mostly SF/Fantasy, some hobbies, paranormal, urban fantasy and lighter, fluffier things.


Currently reading

Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat: Mastering the Elements of Good Cooking
Samin Nosrat, Wendy MacNaughton
Bring Me Their Hearts
Sara Wolf
House of Earth and Blood
Sarah J. Maas
A Selection of Designs inspired by Iznik & Delft Pottery in Cross Stitch: 16 stunning floral cross stitch designs
Durene Jones
Ain't Love a Witch?
Dakota Cassidy
Progress: 1 %
The Old Witcheroo
Dakota Cassidy
Gemina (The Illuminae Files)
Jay Kristoff, Amie Kaufman
Progress: 100 %
The Dragonbone Chair
Tad Williams
Progress: 14 %

Favorite Book Quotes

"Never interrupt your enemy while he is making a mistake"— Lois McMaster Bujold







Review of "Red-Headed Step-Child (Sabina Kane #1)" by Jaye Wells

Red-Headed Stepchild (Sabina Kane, #1) - Jaye Wells

This reader's personal opinion, ©2013, all rights reserved.* 


This one was seriously schizophrenic; could not make up its mind if humorous chicklit, blood and gore vampire thriller, cult squickiness, urban fantasy, rape culture (no one actually raped), mystery, gang violence or damsel in distress (about the only genre not really attempted, just hinted at, was romance or possibly even BDSM erotica). An intriguing world-building with an underlying plot-line of Lilith mythology and mysterious connection to heroine that in the end

was in no way revealed, resolved or went anywhere other than a few breadcrumbs presumably picked up by next books in series.

(show spoiler)



 "Heroine" was definitely kickass. I did not like her. Too casually but unevenly violent; not sure why kickass heroines riding motorcycles always have to ride while wearing stillettos. I did not like the unevenness of the book. Body count illustrates unevenness — one scene will be tongue in cheek one liners with goofy characters, another casually glossing over, then a scene with serial killer friendly super detailed; quick, efficient murders or fight scenes in with super drawn out detailed ones. Loner halfbreed outcast main character one minute then suddenly bff roomie. Several fae recently met die on her behalf in fight scene, one gets tearjerker mourning scene with everyone insisting be taken home to the fae family for proper rites with the MC completely bigoted against other races due to upbringing and feeding on them as prey by being half vampire suddenly moaning and mourning and being the one to escort.—WTF about the other two fae who equally sacrificed; I mean, sheesh, their bodies apparently left behind for site cleanup squads or trash pickup or something.


I know other reviewers and friends that thoroughly enjoyed the same oddball mix of things that I found unpleasant.


I had so much trouble getting into and persevered because book fit several ongoing challenges and strong friend recommendations who swear MC and series gets better. Doubt I'll pursue series any time soon; the Lilith plot-line and meeting the other race/family that's part of M.C.'s family tree intrigues me still but not enough to wade through another any time soon only to find out more books need to be published in series to forward that story arc.


The writing style (other than unevenness of the plot) was fine, no distracting copyediting issues. Author just needs to find a better balance for all the elements she tries to juggle into what is an interesting take on UF/worldbuilding.


Reading Progress comments:


At 84% — still a hot mess of murky family secrets, politics among the Clovis cult (increasingly icky), the vampires council (nasty), the mages council (murky), the fae (confusing and unexplained mix), etc.  


Somewhere in there is a glimpse of an intriguing Lillith plotline that could make it interesting for me.  But it's buried in casual violence, hokey sudden friendships, unlikeable characters (well, the nymph roommate is, despite being cardboard perky and cult brainwashed, at least pleasant and puppy-dog friendly).  


Ugh, after all the violence and creepy moments (like cult leader drugging initiates into sexual furor -- at 84% no sex acts but two heavy petting incidents so even that not exactly interesting), looks like might be shoehorning in some warm and fuzzy newfound family moments for the unwanted halfbreed's over-kool-aided with propaganda against other races self (another unpleasant aspect of world-building).  Writing still uneven and if i hadn't committed to reading four books this week, this would have been set aside until in mood for (and that only based on recommendations i trust that say series gets much better and Sabina more likable).


At 24% — why this is uneven for me is illustrated by these quotes within paragraphs of each other:


"I usually preferred to take the Pacific Coast Highway, but I didn't have time to spare for the scenic route."


"Of course, you were more likely to find a roach than a mint on your pillow at the rattrap Sleep Inn motel."


"I felt so good, I'd let the bum I fed from live."


"As I cruised, I had a nice view of both the Palace Rotunda, which sat across a lagoon, and the light of the Golden Gate Bridge in the distance."


boing-boing-boing from scenery and loyalty/sacred-duties to gross/seedy or violent stuff.  And just so very, very easy how all these immortal, powerful creatures just believe everything she says when trying to infiltrate the bad(?) guy organization.


At 20%:  Body count just mentioned in passing versus lots of violent details so liking it better. Headed into territory that gives me a whiff of Get Smart with Agent 99.  Still uneven for me; about the time I start liking the MC or the worldbuilding something implausible crops up.  


Status, Nov. 3:  Barely started (not even past the free sample I read a while back).  Already violent and already know heroine is "other."  


Inordinately proud of myself for sticking to a personal challenge to read enough of an already downloaded free sample to make a judgment call on book purchase before starting a new book.  (We'll see how long that resolution lasts.)


Sure I'll be finishing this first one.  Heard a lot of really good things about rest of series plus this one is for two challenges, Speed BINGO and the Clean out your Ereader Challenge.


Probably need to stop posting and get back to reading …*whip crack*

*©2013. All rights reserved except permission is granted to author or publisher to reprint/quote in whole or in part. Copyrightholder posted on booklikes, BookRabbit, The Reading Room and may have cross-posted to other book sites. Posting on any site does not grant that site permission to share with any third parties.


Ratings scale used in absence of a booklikes suggested rating scale:

★★★★★ = All Time Favorite 
★★★★½ = Extraordinary Book. Really Loved It.
★★★★☆ = Loved It.
★★★½☆ = Really Liked.
★★★☆☆ = Liked.
★★½☆☆ = Liked parts; parts only okay. Would read more by author.
★★☆☆☆ = Meh. Okay. 
★½☆☆☆ = Disliked but kept me reading in hopes would get better.
★☆☆☆☆ = Loathed It. Possibly DNF and a torturous read.
½☆☆☆☆ = So vile was a DNF or should have been. An "uploaded" word spew or collection that should not be dignified by calling itself a "published book." Author should take remedial classes for language written in until basic concepts like using sentences sink in. Is author even old enough to sign a publishing contract or do they need a legal guardian to sign for them? Cannot imagine anyone liking.


Source: http://donealrice.booklikes.com/post/682034/review-of-red-headed-step-child-sabina-kane-1-by-jaye-wells