Review: Sacrificial Magic by Stacia Kane

12 May

Sacrificial Magic by Stacia Kane
Random House/Del Rey (March 27, 2012)
Mass Market: $7.99; ebook: $7.99
ISBN: 9780345527509
Excerpt

Favorite Lines: “I chose you,” she managed, choking out the words in a strangled, warbly sounding whisper. “I chose you, I chose you all but I chose you, I love you soo much and I chose you–” (p.300, e-galley)

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 is hands down my favorite book in Stacia Kane’s Downside Ghost series. It hits so many emotional buttons while managing to keep the action flowing that I couldn’t put it down. Once again Chess is battling her inner demons and questioning her worth when she is dragged into what may be the beginning of a possible gang war. On one side is her lover, the other side a former lover.

There are so many layers to Sacrificial Magic. A deep look into Chess and Terrible’s (one of my favorite urban fantasy men) relationship is taken. We get to see some of Chess’s childhood where an understanding into her inability to trust can be gleaned. New characters are introduced and the plot just continues to get deeper and darker.

Through moments where I wanted to smack Chess and pages where I cried and wiped snot on my sleeve, I fell further into Kane’s Downside world. It’s no place I’d ever want to visit in reality, but the pain and the hope of Chess possibly finding salvation hold me in thrall. There is more to the Downside world than a drugged out, damaged heroine.

Each book revolves around some type of mystery that Chess needs to solve. Sacrificial Magic is no different. In it, mysteries set in different sections of Chess’s world become entangled threatening to expose some of her secrets. For example, she needs to debunk a haunted school set in her ex-lover’s gang territory, solve a murder in her current lover’s gang territory and discover what befell a former Church debunker.

I do not recommend readers beginning the series with this book. This series is progressive. Each books builds upon the events of previous books and I can’t wait to get my hands on Chasing Magic (book 5) which is due to be released in June 2012.

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