Thursday, 8 April 2010

The Mage In Black by Jaye Wells

SPOILER WARNING!! Unavoidable BIG spoilers from the first book. No spoilers for this one.

"Things To Do:
1) Survive Magic 101
2) Bond with long-lost sister
3) Stay alive

Sabina Kane doesn't have the best track record when it comes to family. After all, her own grandmother wants her dead. But when Sabina meets her mage relatives in New York, at least they put the fun in dysfunctional. Though, bizarrely, everyone seems to think she's 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 back."

The Mage In Black is the second book in the Sabina Kane series. The first book, Red-headed Stepchild, was really good, with great characters and plot, despite a few slower moments of world building. One of the real high points of the book, was the humor. In particular where demon cat Giguhl was concerned. So I was really looking forward to this second book and learning more about the mage race.

It starts up quick with a lot of action, picking up just after the events of book 1. Sabina is thrown in to the Mage world, so different from the life she's known under the Dominae. She's confused, resentful and desperate for revenge. But quickly finds herself in trouble again, with new foes and old.

I really liked this book. It was fast paced, fun and had a good plot with some great twists and turns. Several threads from the previous book were picked up and explained further, giving a much better sense of the world Sabina lives in, as well as giving us a better look at Sabina herself as she struggles to find a place in this world that seems so new to her. The romantic subplot with Adam is fun and hot, but doesn't take away from the main plots. It actually adds to it very nicely. Giguhl is once again the real comedy relief from the life and death fight Sabina is constantly in. There is the introduction of several new characters in this book. I like that they're not all rolled out at once, but given more detail over time so they're not 2d but without dragging the story down with information.

However, despite the good characters and plot, I didn't find myself getting lost in this book. It was good, very good in places, but unlike a few I've read lately, I didn't feel that desperate need to finish it and I found I could put it down quite easily. Despite that though, I finished in within a few days. And it is a very good follow up to Red-headed Stepchild, just not a book about to become a favourite. Well worth reading but I really recommend reading the first book first, because this one would likely be pretty confusing otherwise. And for those who don't know, there is a short story in The Mammoth book of Vampire Romance 2 (otherwise known as Love Bites) which features Sabina and introduces Slade, who is featured quite heavily in this book. Not necessary to read it, but might give some insight in to Sabina's reactions/feelings towards him and his character on the whole. Will certainly be looking for the next book in this series, and it's one I'd recommend, just not a favourite for me. 7/10

1 comment:

Jessica said...

Great review Cem! I posted mine the other day too. I liked it as well. Gighul is the best! And Adam?! Ooooh there aren't even words!

I read the short story too and I think it does help to understand Sabina's feelings and reactions towards Slade. It makes things easier to understand too.

I know in another series, I missed the short story that started it all and felt a little lost, but realized it wasn't necessary to have read the SS but still, was confused at times. But then it was explained.

Anxiously waiting for The Reckoning, heard on the Pride you said it was good and read it in a day! Wow. Wish I had the time to do that still! I've done it before, sometimes it was extended to reading the last few chapters the next morning, but overall it's still a day... ;)