The Green-Eyed Demon (Sabina Kane #3)

The Green-Eyed DemonBy Jaye Wells

Publisher: Orbit
Publication Date: March 1, 2011
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Source: Netgalley

Things to do:
1. Rescue sister.
2. Murder grandmother.
3. Don’t upset the voodoo priestess.
The clock is ticking for Sabina Kane. Her sister has been kidnapped by her grandmother, the Dark Races are on the brink of war, and a mysterious order is manipulating everyone behind the scenes.
Working on information provided by an unlikely ally, Sabina and her trusty sidekicks–a sexy mage named Adam Lazarus and Giguhl, a Mischief demon–head to New Orleans to begin the hunt for her sister. Once there, they must contend with belligerent werewolves, magic-wielding vampires and–perhaps most frightening of all–humans.
But as much as Sabina is focused on surviving the present, the past won’t be ignored. Before she can save those she cares about most, she must save herself from the ghosts of her past.

Goodreads Summary

This is the third in the Sabina Kane series, following Red-Headed Stepchild and The Mage in Black about the half-mage, half-vampire.  I’m really having mixed feelings about the series – while the characters have gotten much more interesting and the story here was more action-packed, layered and it seemed like Wells was having more fun writing it than the other two, it was also a bit confusing and I really wonder where she’s going.  There are going to be some necessary spoilers from the first two books included in my review, but I’ll keep them as minimal as possible. This isn’t really a series you can pick up from book three or even book two, you have to go back and pick it up from the start.

In the wake of the Vampire attack on the Mage compound in New York and the kidnapping of her twin sister Maisie, Sabina, Adam and Giguhl deliver one of the three vampire Dominae, Tanith, to Queen Maeve of the Faeries as both a peace offering from the vampires in an effort to hold off war between the dark forces and a way to help find Maisie.  Maeve orders Sabina, Adam and Giguhl to New Orleans to find the Caste of Nod and Domina Lavina – Sabina’s grandmother, who kidnapped Maisie to take revenge against Sabina – and kill her, no matter what.  Lavina and the Caste plan on ambushing them with the help of something very big and most likely undefeatable.

Sabina is everything I loved from the first two books and more.  It’s probably a little perverse of me, but I like it that gets itchy when she can’t kill things once in a while, or at least bash some heads in.  She’s come a long way from Red-Headed Stepchild though, when she beat the snot out of Adam for ambushing her with the news that she had a sister.  She’s willing to think about whether or not she wants to hunt down Lavina because of her own desire for personal revenge or because she loves Maisie.  She still wants to murder the bitch – she just spends a little time trying to figure out why.  Her relationship with Adam finally makes some progress too as she actually can see her own mortality – and his.

Giguhl might as well have his own offshoot series – he’s become more of a sidekick to Sabina and frankly, more entertaining and interesting than Adam (I know, bite my tongue).  Whether he’s in his hairless cat form – complete with sweater and fuzzy boots – or in demon form with forked you-know-what, he’s both hilarious and kickass.  There’s a scene when Sabina and Adam go out without him and when they come back, he’s sitting on the couch with their cross-dressing roommate and he wants to have a conversation about his feelings.  In the middle of all the drama, he wanted to have a Dr. Phil moment – it was the funniest thing and classic Giguhl.  He became very attached to one of the characters in this book – the cross-dresser, who turned out to be a changeling – so I wonder if she’ll be in the next book.

While I appreciate the fairly intricate world-building that’s been going on in the three books, it’s also a little frustrating.  There’s a lot to keep straight – Maisie and Sabina have both been having visions that are supposed to be pretty meaningful and are to be kept track of.  It looks like the Queen of Faeries is going to be the head honcho now, so at least that’ll be easy to remember, but there’s still the Mage Council, the Mage Oracle (Maisie) the various Mage guard/guilds, the werewolf packs that we already know of, the remaining vampire groups that now are disorganized, the remaining Domina Persephone (it was never explained where she was)…taking a deep breath.

Sabina is still trying to master her Chthulu magic, which is a blend of white and dark magic and still somewhat unexplained to her (and the reader).  There are various prophecies floating around to keep track of and a lot of talk about Lilith and Cain – the biblical ones, who it turns out, were also the original vampires.  It just seems like too much and I don’t know how many different forks you need to throw in the road.

My Summary: In the span of three books, Sabina has matured into a complex, compelling UF heroine worth following.  The secondary characters and relationships are just as interesting, although a couple of them come close to taking over once in a while.  This story has a lot of humor and a looser feel to it than the previous books – the climax was a little abrupt and a little too emotionally chain-yanking for my taste but this was still a hugely important book in the series.

My Rating: B

Barbara

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