Review: ‘The Mage In Black’ by Jaye Wells

The Mage In Black

Sabina Kane, Book #2

Author: Jaye Wells

Format: paperback

Publisher: Orbit

Length: 340 pages (incl. Green-Eyed Demon excerpt)

Release Date: April, 2010

Acquired: purchased from




The back cover blurb:

Sabina Kane doesn’t have the best track record when it comes to family. After all, her own grandmother, leader of the vampire race, wants her dead. So when she arrives in New York to meet her mage relatives, the reunion puts the fun in dysfunctional.

Not only is mage culture completely bizarre, but everyone seems to think she’s some 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 her back.


My thoughts, which may include some minor spoilers:

The Mage In Black is the second book in Jaye Wells’ Sabina Kane series. I first picked up book #1, Red-Headed Stepchild at the suggestion of my dear friend over at Waiting For Fairies, and I’m happy that I did. I enjoyed it immensely, burned through it in a few reading sessions and then to my chagrin, neglected to pick up book #2 when it was published last year. I have remedied that gross oversight in my reading repertoire however, and  so without further ado…

The story opens just days after the ending of Red-Headed Stepchild and Sabina and Adam are on their way to New York City so that Sabina can join the mages and meet her twin sister. Giguhl is, of course, along for the ride and provides much comic relief throughout the story. Vampire assassins start the first chapter off with a bang and we get to see a pretty good fight scene which really sets the pace of the story right out of the gate.

I did hit a slow spot right around the middle of the book, as Sabina started learning to use her magic, but it didn’t last long and I got through the rest of the book in a couple of sittings. A couple of nit-picks (just because I’m fond of nit-picking!) and then I’ll move on to what I liked about the story.

Rhea cussing really left a bad taste in my mouth because she struck me as being more refined and respectable than that. Sabina has a potty mouth but that’s kind of expected in a trained assassin, especially when she started off as an enforcer and has  mingled with the dregs of society and done her share of some serious ass-kicking. But Rhea cussing just rang sour with me and it didn’t seem to fit.

Also, I pegged the baddie right off the bat and I was actually kind of disappointed at the reveal, although the fact that said baddie was dense enough to have been so badly duped made me feel kind of sorry for her.

Next, the way Sabina’s powers manifested kind of made me giggle and I couldn’t help but think, “Cyclops?!”

Finally, I just could not get used to Sabina referring to everyone in her mind as the “male” or the “female”. I don’t recall being annoyed by that in RHS so either it wasn’t an issue for me during that read or the use wasn’t as prevalent. Whatever the case, there were times when the term “woman” was used and so I wasn’t clear on why it was used in a couple of instances when “female” was used most of the time.

Like I said… just nit-picking! On to non-nit-picky stuff!

I was involved in a discussion recently regarding pointless sex in books and this book was one that was mentioned. Having knowledge of the act but not the events surrounding it at the time of the discussion, I waited to see if Sabina’s tryst with Slade was indeed pointless. While wishing she hadn’t done it, for the sake of a possible relationship with Adam, I do understand why she did it.

She felt rejected by the vampires as well as the mages and at that moment, she felt a kinship with Slade. She needed comfort after her disgust at the way she had killed Hawthorne and after being reminded of that horror during her fight with Tiny, she needed something to make her feel good. At least, that’s how I looked at it and while it might not have been the smartest decision for her to make at that moment, it did make sense to me. I was glad at the way Slade helped her out at the mage compound and especially that they parted on good terms.

Demon Fight Club? *chuckle* Awesome. Silly and cheesy, perhaps… but hilarious. Also, cool to see Giguhl kick some ass of his own! AND get the girl. You go, G!

Since mentioning the chuckle I got out of Sabina shooting lasers from her eyes, I ought to mention how the mages circled during the vamp battle, joined their magic and blasted it outward to kick some major vamp ass. That… was very cool.

I have to admit that I spent the entire book worried that Maisie was going to betray Sabina. What? Why no, I’m not suspicious of people in the least, why do you ask? Trust issues? What do you mean, I have trust issues?!

Yes… I fully expected her to be a baddie. No… I’m still not fully convinced that she’s not. We’ll see what Green-Eyed Demon holds in store in that regard. I’ll be reading a galley of it next but I feel the need to add that when I turned the final page of this book and discovered that it was the end, I was glad that I hadn’t picked it up last year because I totally had a “NOOOOOO!” moment that it was over. As it is, I can start GED right… now. *smug* I’ll let you know what I think in a couple of days.

Fave quotes:

“Why is it forked?”

“I waved my hands in the air and shook my head, as if trying to shake off the crazy.”

“Adam, this is Slade. He’s an old friend. Slade, this is Adam. He’s my-”  “I’m her new friend.”

Grace me with your thoughts, my lovelies!

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