06 April 2012

Review: Sacrificial Magic by Stacia Kane

Author: Stacia Kane
Title: Sacrificial Magic
Series: Downside Ghosts #4
Pages: 403
Source: Owned

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.

Chess and Terrible, now that they have admitted their love for each other, are in a relationship. Chess knows that Terrible loves her, but given the events of the previous books, she's walking around feeling like this relationship is hanging over her head like the Sword of Damocles, waiting to crash upon her should she make the tiniest mistake. Amid all of that, she has a new case from the church, which is tied to the ritual murders going on in both Slobag and Bump's sides of town.

Wow. My thoughts are kinda jumbled right now. I truly enjoyed the story. I liked seeing Chess work. One of my favorite scenes was where she looked down her nose at the officious people by the school. She doesn't play and can give as good as she gets :).

Most of the book was like watching a learning curve for Chess; you can see her character growing, becoming empowered. She learns very slowly to accept a friendship offered (Beulah), and to choose her friends (Lex) - for herself, and not because it suits Terrible or no. Seeing her like that felt so good her drug use didn't overshadow everything for me like it does in the previous books. She's still a junkie, but it's now no longer the center of her life - she has Terrible, other things and people are beginning to creep in.

There is not much to say for Terrible except that he is BEYOND AWESOME and that I am not entirely sure Chess deserves him. I truly like Chess but I want to beat her up sometimes because she hurts Terrible and that is in no way acceptable, for any reason :)

The final scenes in the book, from the climax to the resolution, are so heartfelt and beautiful.

In the end, I loved the story, but I am very, very, very ready for Chess to begin to actually take charge of her life. I like Chess and I am glad she is beginning to envision a new life for herself, a better life. However I feel a lot of the epiphanies she came to are long overdue, especially given her life's trajectory. I'm trying to say - it's not as if her life has only been bad, compared with say Terrible's life - she's had tremendous good too: she's educated, she has a steady job, has been around more than just Downside and crime, more than just screwed up people around her; she's found love and a new reason to live. She's had time to let it all sink in. It shoulda sunk in long before then. The curve for her has been too slow, is what I'm tryina say. But now that realization has come, I am very ready for her to stop regressing, build some self-esteem, stop waiting for the other shoe to drop for every little thing, stop hurting Terrible because she is afraid of getting hurt first, get off the damn drugs! I am ready for it all to happen. Much as I love the series and Terrible, I am not sure I will continue reading if she doesn't at least begin doing that.

So I guess Chasing Magic might be a game-changer for me.

1. Unholy Ghosts - 3/5
2. Unholy Magic - 4/5
3. City of Ghosts - 4.5/5


  1. I loved Chasing Magic, so I hope you'll like it, too! I never had problems with her taking long to realize all this stuff. Mostly because.. well, because I can relate to her and am like "No.. It really takes that long." even though I suppose that's me trying to make up excuses for myself as well and using her as a placeholder in those cases. XD

    Anyway, great review!

    1. I see your point, Patty. And you're right. But I so badly wnat Chess to get her affairs in order!!


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