Thursday, April 12, 2012

April's review of "Sacrificial Magic" by Stacia Kane

Sacrificial Magic (Downside Ghosts #4) by Stacia Kane
Publication Date: March 27th 2012
Publisher: Del Rey
Number of pages: 416
Format: Paperback
Buy: Amazon | Barnes and Noble 

When Chess Putnam is ordered by an infamous crime boss—who also happens to be her drug dealer—to use her powers as a witch to solve a grisly murder involving dark magic, she knows she must rise to the challenge. Adding to the intensity: Chess’s boyfriend, Terrible, doesn’t trust her, and Lex, the son of a rival crime lord, is trying to reignite the sparks between him and Chess.

Plus there’s the little matter of Chess’s real job as a ghost hunter for the Church of Real Truth, investigating reports of a haunting at a school in the heart of Downside. Someone seems to be taking a crash course in summoning the dead—and if Chess doesn’t watch her back, she may soon be joining their ranks.
As Chess is drawn into a shadowy world of twisted secrets and dark violence, it soon becomes clear that she’s not going to emerge from its depths without making the ultimate sacrifice.

 Sacrificial Magic picks up about a month or so after City of Ghosts left off. Chess and Terrible are finally together. But it's a far cry from happy ever after. Bump, Chess drug dealer and Terrible's employer, is the only one who knows about their relationship. Terrible insists they keep it a secret to protect Chess from his enemies. Chess is sure Terrible doesn't trust her and she doesn't blame him. 

Chess's new case is a haunting at a high school that lands her right in the middle of Slobag's territory. And the original debunker on the case went crazy and ran away.  Not to mention that someone is doing sacrificial killings and burning down Bump's building. With Slogbag as the number one suspect, Chess uses her friendship with his son, Lex to try to get information. With a few attempts on her life, for the first time Chess is unsure if she can make it out of this case alive.

It's so hard trying not to spoil the book. Honestly I'm surprised I fell in love with this series. It's very dark and Chess is usually someone I don't tend to root for. We are never formally given her back story, but throughout the series we are given snippets of her past. Being a child in the foster care program she was always bounced around, and never landed with a good family, being raped and abused. She grew up thinking she was worthless and no one could ever love her. Only escaping because her tests for the Church were high. To ease her pain she has turn to drugs. Chess if a full on junkie always needing a fix and has no plans to quit. The only good things in her life are her pills, Terrible, and her supervisor, Elder Griffin. 

In this book we see Chess's insincerities full blown.  At one point I wanted to slap her. I would of figured that Chess would of turned her back on Lex completely. But instead still keeps his friendship. We also meet Lex's sister, Blue. Which I'm surprised and wonder why she doesn't speak Downside speak. And it also seems like that Chess is slowly forming a friendship with her. Which I think Chess really could use a female friend. We also learn that Elder Griffin is getting married and his partner is a guy. Which that took me by surprise. Not that I'm against same sex marriage, but there was no surprise reaction from Chess. Which makes me think that it's common in this world. Going into the fourth book we know enough about the world, but not everything. Which is another thing I love about this series. 

This series is slowly turning into one of my favorites. It's not for everyone, only those who can handle dark series. And the Downside speak can be hard to understand at first. 


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