Jaye Wells reveals more about her next series

Author Jaye Wells has announced the title of the first book in her next series: DIRTY MAGIC. She says the Prospero’s War series will focus “on an ambitious cop, named Kate Prospero, whose goal is to rid the streets of the covens that sell addictive dirty magic. “

Jaye Wells also announced there will be two more Sabina Kane stories in novella form.

You can go congratulate her, or beg her for more details at her blog post.

The Jaye Wells Methadone List

No new details have been released about the new forthcoming series by Jaye Wells, except that it’s called Dirty Magic and to “imagine The Wire with Wizards”. We can assume this means to expect an urban setting, maybe a police detective, and lots of magic.

So if you’re missing the Sabina Kane series, here’s a list of a few titles to help get you through the withdrawal:

The Sweet Scent of Blood by Suzanne McLeod

Genevieve Taylor is a sidhe – one of the noble fae – and she’s unusual even in a London where celebrity vampires, eccentric goblins and scheming lesser fae mix freely with humanity…

Genny is a rising star at Spellcrackers.com, where she finds the “M” in magic – which can mean anything from mischief to malice to murder. The spellcrackers are run by the Witch Council, whose ancient tenets prohibit any contact with vampires. And that’s just fine with Genny, who wants as little to do with the bloodsuckers as possible.

But when a sinfully sexy vamp is accused of killing his lover, an old debt forces Genny to help prove his innocence, risking her job, her safety – and the exposure of her own dark secrets. Genny soon realizes that she and her client are both unwitting pawns in a centuries-old power struggle. And it’s not just her own neck at stake but the lives of all of London’s supernatural beings.

The Better Part of Darkness by Kelly Gay

Atlanta: it’s the promised city for the off-worlders, foreigners from the alternate dimensions of heaven-like Elysia and hell-like Charbydon. Some bring good works and miracles. And some bring unimaginable evil….

Charlie Madigan is a divorced mother of one, and a kick-ass cop trained to take down the toughest human and off-world criminals. She’s recently returned from the dead after a brutal attack, an unexplained revival that has left her plagued by ruthless nightmares and random outbursts of strength that make doing her job for Atlanta P.D.’s Integration Task Force even harder. Since the Revelation, the criminal element in Underground Atlanta has grown, leaving Charlie and her partner Hank to keep the chaos to a dull roar. But now an insidious new danger is descending on her city with terrifying speed, threatening innocent lives: a deadly, off-world narcotic known as ash. Charlie is determined to uncover the source of ash before it targets another victim — but can she protect those she loves from a force more powerful than heaven and hell combined?

Bitten & Smitten by Michelle Rowen

Dear Mom,

I might be a wee bit late for Cousin Mary’s wedding. It’s been a tough week. Turns out, my blind date from hell was literally from hell. Guy bit me. Next thing I know, I’m being chased all over the city by vampire hunters. And did I mention that I got fired, too?

Bright side– I met a man. Thierry de Bennicoeur. How great is that name? Anyway, he’s sexy, six hundred years old, and a tad suicidal, but no one’s perfect, right? And we have a deal– he’s gonna show me the ropes of the vampire world, and I’m supposed to help him end his existence. Or maybe I’ll just try to convince him life is worth living– no small challenge with the mostly immortal, let me tell you. I’ll admit it’s a complicated relationship. But with my luck, I just might have a date for that wedding after all.

Hugs and kisses,
Sarah

The Stubborn Dead by Natasha Hoar

Rachel Miller thought her next job was a run-of-the-mill haunting. As a member of the Order of Rescue Mediums it’s her duty to release trapped spirits from the earthly realm. But when called to client Sylvia Elkeles’s house, she finds a wraith who doesn’t act like he should.

The Order considers the wraith an extreme threat and Rachel may be forced to use a barbaric ritual to free him—a ritual that comes with a heavy personal price. If she fails to humanely release the wraith, she’ll have her supernatural abilities bound.

When Janus Ostara—local supernatural mob boss—shows up demanding her attention, and Sylvia keeps secrets that may place Rachel in mortal danger, she doesn’t need her abilities to know something darkly sinister is at play.

Between uncovering Sylvia’s disturbing motives, and avoiding Janus, Rachel has enough on her hands without dealing with a wraith who may not realize he’s supposed to be dead…

20,000 words

Blooded: A Jessica Cain Novella by Amanda Carlson

Jessica McClain was born the only female in an all male race. The only problem is-she’s no wolf. Called a curse, a witch and the Daughter of Evil by the superstitious wolves, Jessica decides to fight for her freedom, at age nineteen, the only way she can-in the ring.
When she’s brutally attacked right after her fight, is it enough to finally earn her freedom off Compound, or will she be forced to endure the hatred even longer . . .
Word Count 19,400

Spider’s Bite by Jennifer Estep

They call me the Spider. I’m the most feared assassin in the South — when I’m not busy at the Pork Pit cooking up the best barbecue in Ashland. As a Stone elemental, I can hear everything from the whispers of the gravel beneath my feet to the vibrations of the soaring Appalachian Mountains above me. My Ice magic also comes in handy for making the occasional knife. But I don’t use my powers on the job unless I absolutely have to. Call it professional pride.

Now that a ruthless Air elemental has double-crossed me and killed my handler, I’m out for revenge. And I’ll exterminate anyone who gets in my way — good or bad. I may look hot, but I’m still one of the bad guys. Which is why I’m in trouble, since irresistibly rugged Detective Donovan Caine has agreed to help me. The last thing this coldhearted killer needs when I’m battling a magic more powerful than my own is a sexy distraction…especially when Donovan wants me dead just as much as the enemy.

[Review] BLUE-BLOODED VAMP by Jaye Wells

BLUE-BLOODED VAMP is the fifth and final book in the Sabina Kane series, in this celebration of Jaye Wells’s exciting debut series.

Cover Copy: The epic conclusion to the amazing Sabina Kane urban fantasy series.

Sabina Kane is on the hunt. Her prey: Cain, the father of the vampire race and the one who murdered her family and her friends. Unfortunately, Cain is hunting Sabina, too. The one man who holds the key to defeating Cain is, of course, Abel. A mage with secrets to spare and, hopefully, the power to match it. Unfortunately, for Sabina, he’s in Rome and may not want to be found.

Sabina sets out for Italy with her friends, Giguhl and Adam Lazarus, to track down the only man who can get her the revenge she hungers for. But will he help her or oppose her? And just who is Abel, really? Worst of all, when Sabina figures out the goddess Lilith has a plan for her-she realizes this trip is getting deadlier by the minute.

As they say: when in Rome-SURVIVE.

My Thoughts: The final installment of the Sabina Kane series finds our favourite mage-vampire fighting her toughest enemy yet. Cain. He’s on the loose and after Sabina. Her only hope is to find the mage named Abel and get Cain contained again without having to be his personal tour guide in the afterworld, Irkalla, so he can retrieve Lilith from her demon husband.

Things get complicated when the god Asclepius calls in the favor Sabina owes him and demands she kill the vampire called Nyx. As if that wasn’t enough, Abel turns out to be Sabina’s long lost father and Nyx  is practically his right hand. Talk about awkward: “Gee, Dad. Nice to meet you. I’m just going to kill your vampire friend now.” This makes for some great tension.

In terms of plotting and characters, this is Jaye Wells’s best book. I am having a problem with the pattern of “discuss the plan, carry out the plan, debrief after the plan”. The discussions are a lot of talking head scenes, heavy on the info dumping. The scenes carrying out the plan go by much too quickly. Heavy on action and tension, these are some of the shortest scenes. Then there’s the post-action discussion to bring all the characters up to speed and share differing views of what just happened. This means we’re getting the same scene three times. What should be thrilling ride is dragging.

Pet peeves from the Sabina Kane series: 1) sentences starting with “Besides”. Always used with explanations and jusifications regardless of the character. This can make all the characters sound the same. 2) the phrase “that makes sense”. For all the same reasons as #1.

Things I’m going to miss about the Sabina Kane series: 1) Giguhl. At one point the demon mentions to Sabina they don’t hang like they used to, and he was missing it. I was missing it, too. I’m glad they got a few more scenes together.

2) Adam. Loved Sabina’s “mancy”. The hot mage always knew the right thing to say and do, and never stepped on Sabina’s toes. He looked out for her when she needed it and the rest of the time let her fend for herself. Love that. I do miss his verbal sparring with Sabina, but he turned out to be a good companion for the magepire.

3) The quippy dialogue. The humour. (I hope these will still be present in Jaye Wells’s next series.)

So long, Sabina Kane. I’ll miss you.

Rating: A-
Series: Sabina Kane
Publisher: Orbit Books, 2012
Acquired: NetGalley via Publisher

Get it– Amazon | Goodreads | Kobo | Sony | Chapters/Indigo

[Review] SILVER-TONGUED DEVIL by Jaye Wells

Cover Copy: Now that the threat of war has passed, Sabina Kane is ready to focus on the future. Her relationship with Adam Lazarus is getting stronger and she’s helping her sister, Maisie, overcome the trauma of her captivity in New Orleans. Even Giguhl is managing to stay out of trouble. Sabina wants to feel hopeful about the future, but part of her doesn’t believe that peace is possible.

Her suspicions are confirmed when a string of sadistic murders threatens to stall treaty negotiations between the mages and the vampires. Sabina pitches in to find the killer, but her investigation soon leads her down dark paths that have her questioning everyone she thought she could trust. And the closer she gets to the killer, the more Sabina begins to suspect this is one foe she may not be able to kill.

My Thoughts: SILVER TONGUED-DEVIL is the fourth book in the Sabina Kane series, in this celebration of Jaye Wells’s exciting debut series.

Sabina Kane, half-mage half-vampire, has returned to New York, home of the mages, with her entourage, including Adam her hot mage boyfriend, Giguhl the demon side-kick and a few others.

The story opens with a wonderful intriguing scene of a crime scene in Central Park. Sabina sticks around as a rubber-necker, but then realizes the killer has to be a vampire. Soon, she and Adam are working together to find the killer.

Unfortunately this plot line ends with the culmination of the first act. I was disappointed when all the leads dried up and Adam and Sabina are called off the case. I also thought it strange they would just go along with it, unconcerned the killer was still out there. I think this decision was supposed to be more intriguing than I found it.

From here, the story kind of falls apart with distractions: the werewolf and vampire lesbians who have to come out to the werewolf Alpha; the appearance of an over-indulgent mage rocker; the dark races roller derby; and a bad reaction on the part of Adam to learning about Sabina’s one-night stand with Slade. I mean, it happened before Sabina and Adam were a couple. What’s his problem?

I have to say I’m disappointed with Sabina as a character. I’d hoped by this book to see her in action as an assissin, but she’s anything but. When I think of assissins, I picture someone sneaky, calculating, observent, and goal-oriented. Sabina is a reluctant assissin at best. She doesn’t want to get involved, she lets other people make all the decisions, and she never seems to be working towards a goal. These traits in her frustrate me. I’m finding the other characters around her to be more colourful and interesting. (I mean, really, roller derby as a subplot when there’s a killer on the loose?)

Minor characters being more interesting than the main character is generally a bad sign for a book and especially for a series, however, there are a few things here that save the series from being tossed at a wall: the writing itself is excellent, the world-building is fresh, and the fight scenes are great.

Sabina needs to be in the driver’s seat.  The decisions need to be her own; she shouldn’t be pushed into doing things, and when she’s pushed she needs to make bad choices that have consequences. For example, when it’s time to drug her sister Maisie because she hasn’t been sleeping, Sabina is told by the mage Rhea that she needs to accompany Maisie into the land of dreams. Sabina refuses because it’s dangerous. Instead, she chooses to bind herself to a god. (Um, like that’s *less* dangerous?) I think this scene would have been a hell of a lot better if Sabina had wanted to go the dream land, but was told not to because it’s dangerous. Then she should have stubbornly did it anyway. Once there, she should have run into trouble, and needed to barter her way out of the dream land by binding herself to the god. Same events, just rearranged for higher stakes and putting Sabina in a place where she has to make some tougher decisions.

Despite all this, I am looking forward to BLUE-BLOODED VAMP, the last in the series, and I have to say, I will miss these characters. Despite the problems, these characters are funny, charming and fun to “hang” with.

Rating: C+
Series: Sabina Kane
Publisher: Orbit Books
Acquired: Purchase

Get it– Amazon | Chapters/Indigo|Goodreads | Kobo | Sony

[Review] GREEN-EYED DEMON by Jaye Wells

Cover Copy: 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 heads to New Orleans to begin the hunt for her sister.

Once there, she must contend with belligerent werewolves, magic-weilding vampires, and– perhaps most frightening of all– humans.

But as much as Sabina is focused on surviving the present, the past can’t be ignored. Before she can save those she cares about most, she must save herself from the ghosts of her past.

My Thoughts: GREEN-EYED DEMON is the third book in Jaye Wells’s Sabina Kane series, and we are celebrating the series this week, coinciding with the release of the last book of the series.

Sabina Kane, half-mage half-vampire, is looking for her twin sister, Maisie. Their evil grandmother Lavinia, leader of the vampires, has taken Maisie and intends to use her for some nefarious purpose. It’s up to Sabina to track them down and save her sister.

So, yes. This time there is a plot. If you gave up on the Sabina Kane series because of THE MAGE IN BLACK, hie thee to a book seller and get back into this series. GREEN-EYED DEMON pays off for all the planting in THE MAGE IN BLACK.

Sabina quickly tracks Lavinia to New Orleans, but then has to pinpoint their location in order to save Maisie. We learn more about the secret society, the Caste of Nod, and we get a walking tour of New Orleans. (Just as an aside, I’d like to mention Jaye Wells does her research, and does it well, but sometimes the stories seem to dwell a little too long on the research. It’s not quite, but almost at the point of “I’ve done my research and now, dear reader, now you will pay” that I’ve seen in historical novels. I’d like to see the research integrated more tightly into the story, that is, to see only what is essential, rather than have these tour stops between plot points.)

Given that Sabina is a half-vampire, New Orleans as a location seemed kind of derivative. We had additional characters in a faery drag queen and a voodoo priestess. But I think these characters would have seemed more original if put in a different location. I liked the butcher as a source of blood for Sabina. He was an interesting character, a little too friendly, though. Borderline creepy.

New Orleans does present some new opportunities for Sabina to try out her mage skills. Her first spell in a cemetary goes all wrong and she winds up raising a zombie. This isn’t anything new for urban fantasy, nor for New Orleans, but I liked how this situation was tied to Sabina’s magic. I’m a little disappointed that Sabina got her first zombie raising so wrong, but then at the end, she “intuitively” knew how to do it right. I would have liked to have seen her undertake more training in between.

The romance between Sabina and Adam was developed over GREEN-EYED DEMON, and yay! They finally get together. The lead up to this was not as steamy as it could have been, but it felt natural. Sabina is not a very sensual character, she’s far too practical, so it makes sense that her relationships are more practical in nature. I also like that Adam is not an alpha male, and that he’s not too beta, either. He complements Sabina in a lot of ways, and I especially love the scenes where they are fighting side-by-side.

GREEN-EYED DEMON tightly wraps up all the threads from the first two books, and does this very well, and yet, I know there are two more books in this series, so I’m curious to see what happens next for Sabina Kane.

Rating: A-
Series: Sabina Kane
Publisher: Orbit Books
Acquired: Purchase

Get it– Amazon | Chapters/Indigo | Goodreads | Kobo | Sony

[Review] THE MAGE IN BLACK by Jaye Wells

THE MAGE IN BLACK is book # 2 in the Sabina Kane series, in this week of celebrating Jaye Wells’s exciting debut series.

Cover Copy: 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 back.

My Thoughts: At the end of book 1 (RED-HEADED STEPCHILD) Sabina Kane, half-vampire half-mage, has just pissed off her grandmother/boss/head of the vampires, Lavinia, and learned she has a twin sister, who’s been living with the mages all her life. Now, needing allies, a job, and a place to live, Sabina leaves Los Angeles (vampire territory) for New York (home to mages and others) to spend some time getting to know this new sister.

Sabina inadvertently “poaches” in werewolf territory and ends up having to fight the Alpha to pay the blood debt. This fight results in her demon signing up for the demon MMA and in Sabina reuniting with an old flame. For some reason, attempts on Sabina’s life ensue.

This is where the story fell apart for me. Sabina doesn’t really want anything. She presumably wants to spend time with her sister, but when roadblocks pop up, Sabina lets them stand there and finds something else to do. I also have to think that as wants/motivations go, this is not a very strong one. This story needed some mystery or quest to carry the book from start to finish in addition to all the complications already present in the story. It’s not quite enough to wonder who is trying to kill Sabina (I saw the culprit coming a mile away), especially when Sabina is not actively trying to find the culprit herself. She’s leaving that up to the mages. This felt out of character for her.

I would have liked for Sabina to spend more time with Maisie. I felt like I was supposed to care about Maisie more, but ultimately I didn’t know her well enough to care.

I also kind of wanted the love triangle to be stronger. It felt forced to me. I guess I felt that Sabina had barely explored a relationship with Adam before she was falling back into the arms of Slade for a one-night stand. Plus, the events that lead to Sabina having alone time with Slade while Adam was “conveniently” on a mission out of town felt contrived.

Despite all this, there are some great fight scenes, the demons were very entertaining, and we learn an awful lot about mage culture and magic systems. As always, Jaye Wells’s has a wonderful sense of humour. If Jaye Wells wrote a cereal box, I would read it just for her fabulous humour.

Definitely looking forward to GREEN-EYED DEMON.

Rating: B
Series: Sabina Kane series
Publisher: Orbit Books
Acquired: Purchase

Get it — Amazon | Chapters/Indigo | Goodreads | Kobo | Sony