This review contains minor spoilers for Red-Headed Stepchild and Mage in Black.
You know that family member everyone has, the sociopathic vampire grandmother who will manipulate and kill everything that stands in her way? No? Well then you might not relate completely to the smart-mouthed, vicious and oh-so-badass Sabina Kane. She has the unlucky (or lucky, if you happen to be clinically insane) heritage that makes her half-mage and half-vampire—this in a world on the brink of an all out war, where prejudice reigns between the differing breeds.
Then Sabina finds out she has a twin sister that her aforementioned grandmother has recently kidnapped. There also happens to be an organization manipulating everyone behind the scenes. A mischievous demon, a mage, a shaman and a drag queen are thrown in and topped with a serving of werewolves, making this a rather hectic book.
Not original at surface value but with some redeeming details
While the series doesn’t exactly play the original card with its basic worldbuilding, since all the supernatural creatures are straight out of folklore and have been done to death (get it?), the details are still rather enjoyable. The red hair of a vampire and the lore of Lilith and Cain, the whole applewood stakes and the smell of copper that exudes from every vampiric pore—details like these make the series far more enjoyable and immersive than sticking with the most basic idea of a vampire or any other supernatural for that matter. With each book, Wells reveals more supernatural creatures and practitioners to keep the characters and the readers on their literary toes.
A fun but predictable plot
The story itself is good, if a tad predictable. As with the first two books, there is a new primary city where the story takes place. New Orleans is a city that oozes a sort of magic of its own, Wells’ prose making the city feel alive. It’s a predictable tale where Sabina chases after clues to save her sister and defeat her evil grandmother Lavina with the clock ticking down.
Interesting characters with some great dialogue
Sabina herself grows as a character throughout the books. She has had immense trust issues, having lived a rather non-vanilla lifestyle. The whole ruthless assassin persona still pervades her general character but she is starting to love people and create actual bonds. While the books are short and not that demanding, it is still somewhat rewarding to see a character grow.
The supporting cast of the Sabina Kane series is quite well written. From Gighul, the absurdly funny mischief demon, to Adam Lazarus, the mage and romantic interest of Sabina, the characters come off as affable at times and determined at others. The characters aren’t all that varied but are well-written and the dialogue is certainly worth your time.
Why should you read this book?
All in all, Green-Eyed Demon is a great read for when you have an empty day or two. It’s short, fast and rather fun but doesn’t move far out of its comfort zone. The characters are fun and the fight scenes well-written.