The Mage in Black by Jaye Wells {Amanda’s Review}

Posted 6 March, 2013 by Amanda / 16 Comments

The Mage in Black by Jaye Wells {Amanda’s Review}The Mage in Black by Jaye Wells
Series: Sabina Kane #2
Also in this series: Red-Headed Stepchild
Genres: Fantasy, Horror, Urban
Pages: 352
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchased

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.

“No, wait. Just one more chapter.”

Thoughts on The Mage in Black

Sabina is back! Back in black! Okay. That was lame of me for going there. I’m sorry. I was a little hesitant going into this book because…it’s the second book. Second books freak me out a little: they’re the realization (or failure) of the potential in the first book. Given that I loved Red-Headed Stepchild, I wanted The Mage in Black to be just as good. And is was. I stayed up until 1am to finish it because I couldn’t put it down. My only complaint about The Mage in Black is that Sabina’s old flame was a bit too opportunistic for me. Make of that what you will.

Sabina’s world changes considerably with book 2 as she’s thrust into the mage world. She finds herself overwhelmed with new experiences: meeting her sister, learning magic, having to abide by rules. And she struggles. She struggles a lot. And I liked that who Sabina is continues to change throughout this book. She has FEELINGS. She keeps trying to run away from them, but…she can’t. I liked how uncomfortable she was. Her world got all shaken up and now she’s trying to figure out where she belongs. Good stuff.

And it wouldn’t be a review without mention of Giguhl. No lie, Giguhl ranks up on my list of sidekicks right under Oberon from the Iron Druid Chronicles. His snark and well-timed observations are classic. Plus, he’s a demon who often gets stuck in a hairless cat form. And we get to know him a little better. And he’s fun. “Why is it forked?” may have been my favorite line in this book. Of course, Giguhl is not the only character in this book worthy of mention. I had a certain fondness for Adam, his aunt–Rhea–and Maisie.

The Mage in Black was a worthy follow-up to Red-Headed Stepchild. The next book in the series is going on my wishlist ASAP, because Jaye Wells didn’t exactly leave Sabina in a good place. Shit’s going down. THINGS are HAPPENING, people. And I want to know what happens next.



Filed under: ESR: 8, Review: Amanda, Urban Fantasy, ,


16 Responses to “The Mage in Black by Jaye Wells {Amanda’s Review}”

  1. It was a great second book. I loved how her growth was kind of subtle but you still saw it happen & that she stayed true to herself. I liked that her & Adamwerent really thrown into crisis, just a little separation to make the heart grow fonder.

    The Big G is the bomb! A demon with feelings.

  2. Mr. Giggles, FTW! I’m really enjoying this series, too. Sabina’s a great character — different than what I first expected but I really like her. Plus, there’s nothing like a demon in the body of a hairless cat.

  3. I remember liking book 1 in this series. I’ll have to keep my eye out for book 2. And 3 apparently. Because SHIT’S GOING DOWN!

    That was kinda exciting to write. It’ll be a new catchphrase. “SHIT’S GOING DOWN on Sunday when I go shopping at Target!”

    • lolololol. Um. Yes. I didn’t even realize that, but yes. I like the symmetry. Believe it or not, I did originally try to keep the general layout of the header. It just… felt better this way. And thanks for sending me my header files. I managed to break apart a few pieces and keep it very similar to the original (which I still love).

  4. A side-kick better than Oberon?! Can it be possible!? *runs to Kindle*
    Not sure if you’ve read the Black Wings series by Christina Henry, but Agent of Death Madeline Black’s side-kick is a popcorn/pancake/chocoholic gargoyle named Beezle, talk about awesome one-liners!
    And who can forget Bob from The Dresden Files?!

    And O.O THANK YOU for mentioning my fan-club on DeviantART! *tight hug!*
    Linking to the post on my next group blog! :D

    • Welllll…. I think Oberon still gets my top stop. I am a dog person, after all. But Giguhl is pretty darn awesome, too.

      I think I’ve read the first book in the Black Wings series, but, um, I don’t remember anything? *shamed face* Might have to fix that.

      You’re welcome! I shared it on my Facebook page, too, so hopefully it got lots of love. :)

  5. Second books in a series always make me nervous too Amanda! They have the ability to either cement the series as a favorite, or crush all our dreams of the series being one. THE STRESS OF IT ALL AMANDA! I can hardly take it sometimes. So glad this sequel wasn’t a dream-crusher:) I think I need to meet Giguhl, and do I even want to know what’s forked? Yes, yes I do.

  6. I totally agree with you about second books. They make me so nervous because so many of them have let me down in the past. Glad to hear you enjoyed this one though, even if it seems to have a kind of cliffhanger ending. I need to check this series out! Great review :-)

    • Yes! I’ve had second books disappoint me too, and it takes away your enjoyment of the series and, depending on how awful it is, from the first book as well.

      The kind of cliffhanger ending is okay because I know I can get my hands on the next book right away. No waiting involved! Always a win with me.