June 11, 2012

Rabid Reads: "Silver-Tongued Devil" by Jaye Wells

Silver-Tongued Devil (Sabina Kane #4)
by Jaye Wells
Orbit Books (2012)
405 pages
ISBN-13: 9780356500074

The first three books in the Sabina Kane series (Red-Headed Stepchild, The Mage in Black, and Green-Eyed Demon) wound up being an exciting trilogy, but the series as a whole is set out as five books--what is that, a quintology? Anyway, with two more books in the series, I had an idea of what the big showdown was going to look like, but no idea how it would be get there.

So, at the end of Green-Eyed Demon, Sabina Kane and her Scooby-Doo gang rescued Maisie (Sabina's prophetic twin sister), from the clutches of their grandmother and queen of the vampires, Lavinia. They saved the day, killed the evil queen, stopped the dastardly Cain from being resurrected. And although walking away scarred and bloodied, they did walk away.

Now, back in New York City, there's talk of a lasting peace between vampires and mages, Sabina and Adam are in full swing romantically, and nearly everything is peachy keen. Maisie, however, is suffering psychological trauma due to the torture she suffered at the hands of her grandmother. She can't sleep without nightmares involving the nefarious Cain who is still lurking in the background, and she's emotionally frayed to the point where she has become a recluse.

Throw in a new string of murders that threaten to rekindle the war between vamps and mages, and Sabina has her hands full. She also has a bit of competition in the form of the new vampire queen's personal guard, Alexis, who is every bit as bad-ass and quick-tempered as Sabina.

For me, the book felt like the kick-off to a brand new storyline, like a season premiere to a beloved TV show. Granted, readers would have a helluva time figuring out what's going on and why without reading the preceding novels. That's all fine by me, as I love the Sabina Kane character and have a cushy seat on the bandwagon. I just wish Silver-Tongued Demon didn't take so long to kick into high gear.

The first half of the book, while setting the stakes for how the rest of the series would go, also felt bogged down by a lot of soap opera caliber drama between the established characters. Sabina's still keeping her one-night stand with Slade a secret from Adam, Giguhl is going through his own drama with Pussy Willow over the ordeals they went through in New Orleans, and Mac and Georgia the werewolf/vampire lesbian couple are in town and bringing a whole truckload of drama with their relationship. All that would have been fine if spaced out over the whole book, but it all seemed to come to a head at the same time and hit a ridiculous peak. And, honestly, distracted me from what I found the much more compelling mystery of who was committing the murders and trying to sabotage the peace treaty.

A slow start to the book had the lifesaver of a great ending, albeit a bit cliffhanger-ish with its lead in to the final book, but doesn't end without leaving all the bases covered. I'm definitely excited to read the last book in the series, Blue-Blood Vamp, but oddly disappointed Silver-Tongued Devil didn't have a more potent kickoff.

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