June 18, 2012

Rabid Reads: "Blue-Blooded Vamp" by Jaye Wells

Blue-Blooded Vamp (Sabina Kane #5)
by Jaye Wells
Orbit (2012)
352 pages
ISBN 0748129979
ISBN13: 9780748129973

I'm not used to finishing a book series, so this book was a little bit of a milestone for me. Aside from the Harry Potter novels, I've never slogged my way through more than a trilogy. It helps when the protagonist of the series is an ass-kicking vampire like Sabina Kane. I'll take her over a toe-headed wizard any day.

Blue-Blooded Vamp picks up almost immediately after the end of the fourth book, Silver-Tongued Devil (you can read my review here),in the wake of Sabina's sister's murder at the hands of Cain. Sabina wants revenge against Cain--yes, the cursed brother of Abel--and it turns out Cain is on the hunt for Sabina, too. Sabina has been able to defeat her malevolent grandmother, killing the dominae of the vampire world, but Cain is still out to use her as a way of resurrecting Lilith. And that's bad news for everyone.

While Sabina has amassed quite a few allies in the previous four books, things get boiled down to the original two sidekicks of sorts: her demonic minion, Giguhl, and her mage lover, Adam. The three of them head for New Orleans in order to find a way to get at Cain, tying up some loose ends along the way, and then it's off to a brand new location for the series. Italy. There she has to join forces with the elusive Abel--no, not that Abel--and find out how to finally kill Cain without suffering the fabled consequences. Given the iconic American locales in the series, like New York City, Los Angeles, and New Orleans, Italy was a bit of a curveball. It works well though, giving an added sense of history and significance.

Jaye adds smatterings of backstory for those silly enough to read this book without having read the others in the series, and I suppose it would be enough to keep an uninitiated reader up to speed, but to really appreciate the big finale of a series like this, you really need to be caught up with what has happened so far. Part of the reason comes in the form of cameo appearances from characters that popped up here and there in previous books. In fact, Blue-Blooded Vamp is almost like a yearbook of sorts for the series, as much as it is the capper.

There wasn't a great deal of lingering on the Italian setting, and I didn't really feel immersed in that, but Italy is really just a throughway for Sabina and the others to meet the all-important Abel and go on her final quest to defeat Cain. Abel, by the way, isn't the biblical Abel, but a man who is the sworn enemy of Cain and adopted the name in his own quest to bring the original murderer down.

The middle of the book feels like it is running in circles for a bit, despite the relentless action, due in part because of a brand new revelation concerning Sabina's past that rears up. And for a little while I was wondering if Sabina was more concerned with drudging up old skeletons than dealing with the big bad she had swore revenge on. All in all, however, the book provided enough excitement and twists to keep me entertained the whole way through, and I thought it was a very good end to one of my favorite urban fantasy characters.

I'm not sure what Jaye Wells is cooking up for her next project, but if she can present a hero half as fun to read as Sabina Kane, then I'm on board.


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