Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Review: Sacrifical Magic by Stacia Kane

PhotobucketSacrificial Magic
Book 4 in the Downside series
Author: Stacia Kane
Publisher: Del Ray
Release date: 3/27/12
Author's website: Link
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.
In book 4 of the series Chess Putnam has her hands full as she tries to solve several things at the same time all while dealing with her growing relationship with Terrible.  Things are always gritty in Downside and Chess ends up right in the thick of things trying to figure it all out.  Her relationship with Terrible is brand new and it was pure agony waiting for this book after reading book 3 because I just couldn't wait to see how it would be. But with all relationships there is the good and the bad, and trust is needed to strengthen it.  Chess's trust is questioned when she begins hanging around her ex Lex who is also a rival of Terrible's.  There is one scene in particular that felt was really well written, so well in fact that I felt as if I was a fly on the wall and seeing it all myself.  It started off normal and then turned raw.  So good in fact that it ranks high on the Downside scenes that I love which include the infamous tunnel and bathroom scenes. 

When the series started out I thought that Chess was a different type of heroine because of her flaws. They made her interesting in that she was completely different in what I was used to reading. But now I have to say I'm disappointed with Chess in this book because of her decision making. She admits that she's done things in the past that have always ended badly, yet she still continues to do so.  Now I know that no one is perfect and I know that everyone makes mistakes, but it's important to learn from those mistakes.  Chess doesn't seem to learn and knows this, but keeps on making decisions that lead to problems with her life and her relationship with Terrible.  Some of this can be contributed to the low self esteem that she seems to have.  Chess shares her thoughts and feelings about herself in this book. It's so sad that she feels as if she is nothing or no one.  That her past has shaped her into the woman that she has become and that her drug use makes her a nobody.  It takes Terrible words and his love to make her truly understand that she means something.  Regardless of how or what she feels, she means something to him, and that moves her.  She channels this love and uses it at a time when she needs it most.

I'm giving Sacrificial Magic a rating of:

The thing that I enjoy most this series is that it's different from most that I read. It's dirty, gritty, real.  Downside is a place that I would never want to live and I can only imagine how difficult it must be to live there.  These characters must do what they must to survive and cope with all that is around them.  I just want Chess to make better decisions and realize that she is special and that she matters.  I know that her drug use is a big part of the series and while I know that she uses it to cope with her everyday life, it's scary.  I want to see some growth for her character and hope that the important decision that she makes at the end of this book will do just that.


  1. I really liked this one, mainly because it was so dark. However, I agree with your points about the drug use, and would love to see more personal growth from her.

  2. Great review. I loved that in the end, she finally HOPEFULLY "gets it" by making the decisions she does to BE with T and also have friends. I loved the new addition of Lex's sister!!!