In June I am going to be reading series books – books from different series. Some of them are the first in a series and others are volumes released as the series progresses. All the books are novels and I have tried to choose a variety of genres although it appears that many of those in my June pile are crime/suspense novels.
The first book is Red-headed Stepchild by Jaye Wells and it is a fantasy novel set in our world but where witches, demons, vampires, faeries and so on are real. This is the first book in the series and thus it faces the usual challenge of establishing this world and its rules as well as introducing us to the characters.
Sabrina is an assassin and fixer for the vampire council. She is actually the product of a relationship between a vampire and a witch but she has lived all her life as a vampire after her witch family disowned her. She tries to do what she can to be accepted in vampire culture but she has always been a bit of an outsider. She is a strong character but a bit of a loner.
Sabrina is tasked with infiltrating a witch cultlike group by pretending to be disaffected by the vampires. She then needs to assassinate its leader. It turns out not to be as easy as that and things which Sabrina believes to be true are actually lies. People are also trying to start a war between the various paranormal groups. Sabrina has to navigate her way between different groups and also explore her own beliefs. She learns to like and work with very different people, from other races.
This is a good, solid novel in a series. The author introduces as much background as she needs to enable the reader to make sense of what is going on but she doesn’t overdo it. Sabrina is a strong character but with a fatal flaw which is that she wants to be accepted so much she is prepared to do things out of obedience that she may not do if she thought more clearly about them. Other characters are introduced, there is a mystery white owl, a stalker, and there is a prophecy which may fit Sabrina. None of this is particularly original but the book is well written and fast-paced. It finishes satisfactorily for now but leaving lots of plot points to be picked up in the next book of the series – I have purchased that already so that I can continue to read about Sabrina.