Author: Stacia Kane
Published: March 27th, 2012
Summary: 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 (From Goodreads.com)
Gritty and rough, the world of Downside isn't one many people would want to step into. It's a world torn a part by ghosts, drugs and greed. The Church is the ruling base behind everything and it is also the only thing that stands between the murdering ghosts and the public at large.
Chess, a debunker for the Church, slangly called a church witch is one of the people in the Church's employ. With magical tattoos that help to protect and warn her of the ghosts that could come out and kill at any moment, Chess's main goal in life is to rid the world of the souls plaguing her city and send them to their place of rest - a place she hopes to never go.
I don't know about you, but I know I've been waiting on bended knee for this fourth book in the series. After the gripping ending of City of Ghosts, I was extremely happy with the course of the series, but with Chess as the heroine, you are never sure if you're going to end up happy or in the gutter wasted off your ass on the latest bump. I think this above all makes the story so amazingly fun. I may be a masochist, but I find it highly intriguing that I never know where the plot is going to take me due to Chess's addictions.
Not only is Chess a highly entertaining character, but she is her own worst enemy. Yeah, we'd like to believe it's actually the ghosts she's trying to send to the Holy City, but let's be honest, Chess is a screwed up soul. She's hopelessly addicted to any kind of drug, Cepts, Pandas, speed, you name it, Chess will take it. I'm sure a doped-up heroine isn't everyone's candy bag, but for me, Chess represents something truly inventive and real.
Up to this point, Downside Ghosts has been a thrill ride. Stacia Kane knows how to knock us down and pick us up and I must say, she doesn't disappoint us in Sacrificial Magic. With Chess's ability to piss of everyone, including those she cares for the most, and her ability to rationalize herself into situations, she has decidedly taken the cake on self deprecation. She tries, oh she tries, but it never ceases to keep my heart pounding and my body jumping. With all the terror and fear she must push herself through on a daily basis, sometimes it's a wonder she's made it as far as she has.
With Sacrificial Magic, we see a new terror, a new kind of pain. The latest crimes have spurred a series of murders, people offed all around the city. Revenge or random? We never really know because lurking around every bend and every alley is death and ruin and we can only hope that Chess can find her way through the slime. With are rock solid Terrible in tow, Chess will suffer through a myriad of emotions and in the end, possibly lose herself to it all.
This death defying novel of addiction, murder, imbalance and what really is important in a world gone to shit, Stacia Kane hits home with Sacrifical Magic. She never ceases to twist our hearts, step on them, scare the hell out of us and the turn around and grin. It's this that keeps us on our toes and makes us love her as much as we want to curse her. I give Sacrificial Magic 4.5/5 stars and recommend it to fans of the series and those who enjoy Adult fiction, ghosts and horror.
This book is for mature audiences as it contains mature themes and voices.