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Sacrificial Magic by Stacia Kane

Sacrificial Magic (edition 2012)

by Stacia Kane

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2464246,727 (4.04)8
Title:Sacrificial Magic
Authors:Stacia Kane
Info:Del Rey Books (2012), Mass Market Paperback, 408 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:read 2012, fantasy

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Sacrificial Magic by Stacia Kane



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This series has become an addiction for me. Chess is a completely broken heroine who almost gets on ones nerves at times with her severe, disabling insecurity, yet you can't help but love her, from her sarcastic inner monologue, her drug-addicted head, to her fully obsessed heart in her relationships. She is starting that slight character change that is inevitable in a series - a character must change someway, for better or worse, or it becomes stale.

She has no end in sight mentally about drug addiction, though, and instead the drugs are taking their toll more and more, especially in one good scare scene. Terrible is more concerned than before, and there are changes in this book about their relationship (big ones) which will be fascinating to read about in the following story.

The plot for Chasing Magic almost reminded me of zombies! The folks of Downside are mindless half the time on drugs anyway, but in this case it's notched up big-time when magic makes a play. Chess again is recruited by Bump to make things all well again, and Terrible still struggles with the after effects of the psychopomp and illegal steps Chess had to take which saved his life.

Personally this one is quite sad as Elder Griffin withdraws with Chess after she reveals the truth, and this affects the character pretty badly. I'm curious if they will make up in the future or if he will always stay distant and withdrawn. I'm even more curious if anyone in the church will ever notice her drug addiction! Also, will Chess ever see something bad about the church she so respects, opening her eyes to the possibilities of what some of the poor people in the area are saying is the truth instead?

The romance aspect of this series has become very intense, especially for an urban fantasy. There's still some hot steamy sex but it's mainly interrupted and kept short when it occurs. I was especially touched by the sweet ending with the roof! Violence is here as usual but again more as an after-effect while Chess explores crime scenes and tries to prevent them. The mystery isn't a deep one, but the suspense (especially at the ending) is strong. The villain is another worthy one for the books; they are always totally dark and demented.

Lex takes a turn in the hearts of some readers in this one. He's still the same as ever but in his new position has to take steps against a beloved character, Terrible, which may turn some against him, Chess included. I feel less and less from her in regard to Lex on a romantic basis and hope that triangle is firmly buried now that it's been played. I do dig their friendship, though, and am curious how that will eventually play itself out as the two drug lords are battling due to their territories.

It's completely yummy how Kane is able to dish out a book that's both action-filled with a rich, detailed plot while keeping it heart-clenching on a relationship level as well.The third book is still my favorite of the series, but this new release is a close runner-up. Highly recommended :) Now just having to wait for the next one's release! The fourth and fifth followed each other quickly enough, so hoping the same for the sixth.
( )
  ErinPaperbackstash | Jun 14, 2016 |
Omg Chessiebomb, what are you doing, stop, stop, stop. I'd normally say take a chill pill and relax but dang girl you already took them all. It broke my heart to see you open your mouth and spew all that poison out. if I could have I would have taped you shut and sat on you for a while. geesh talk about self destruction. Way to go on taking Terrible in the car, at least that shut you up ! Please in the future when in doubt, shut it, shut it fast, and open your effing eyes.
Terrible darling, you are such a sex on stick kinds guy and so much more. You handled things with more patience then I would have expected. Lex, Blue, drugged and crazed girlfriend, rival gang violence, ghostly nastyness, and heartbreak, phew that's a lot of trouble. I worry for you and what that sigil on your chest is going to bring. I hope Chess gets it together in time to save you. Lex is a sneaky one watch him. Oh and I love that line of hair too. [wink]

Great gods this was a good book. I had the tissues out and ate way too much chocolate while dealing with all the intensity. If I didn't love Terrible before after this book I couldn't stop myself. he and Chess really had some issues and damage to dig through. It was nasty and painful. It was written so well I felt like I should turn away and give them privacy at several points. The feelings so raw and bleeding flowed off the pages and did the happiness and pure joy.

If you have not read the other books in the series, do. Yes, there is drug abuse, physical abuse and horrible deaths. Look past these into the heart of the book and you can't help falling in love with these characters and their world. ( )
  TheYodamom | Jan 29, 2016 |
The Good: Terrible thoroughly proves why he should be everyone's favorite romantic partner. His love for Chess seems to know no bounds. The action and mystery in this book are awesome. Stacia Kane writes the way I think and I love that. Certain quotes speak to me in a way that makes me want to embroider them on a pillow, or at least paint them on a mug or something since I'm not the decorative pillow type.

The Bad: I've said it before in reviews of this series, but it needs to be repeated. Readers DO NOT need to know every single detail of everyday actions. We don't read about every time someone in a book urinates and we definitely don't need to read about every single time Chess takes drugs. Mentioning it 20 or more times in the course of a single day is overkill. We get it, she's an addict. It's a basic body function to her at this point. Telling us every time she procures drugs, every time she takes drugs and every time she thinks about taking drugs is THE most boring thing imaginable. It's not reinforcing the idea that she's an addict. 4 books in, we know the extent her addiction effects her life. Now it's just filler and annoying. It makes it extremely hard to get into the book and often pulls me right out of the action. Seriously, enough is enough. If it isn't effecting the plot in some way, it should be edited out. ( )
  TequilaReader | Jan 2, 2016 |
Nothing prepares you for Stacia Kane's writing. One of the best urban fantasy series, Downside Ghosts grabs you from the first sentence, and does not let go until the very end. Even then relief is questionable.

It's heart-wrenching, so very gritty and full of characters who literally jump from the page. Chess herself and her lover Terrible, they are both very difficult, prickly and morally questionable main characters.

Terrible is a thug who maims, beats up and kills people for his mafia boss. However he's got history, he's got heart and he truly feels deeply for Chess.

Chess is a Church witch and ghosts debunker, but she is also a very damaged soul and a full time junkie. She literally can not function without this or that pill for every occassion. This addiction, and her horrible past both hangs over her like Damocle's sword and doesn't let her live and feel in full.

Stacia Kane made a huge gamble with Chess's character, and I think it truly paid off. We all feel for this girl, we really want her to sort her sh*t out, we want her to keep living. Chess's head is a very dark, messed up place and she seems to be always on the edge between life and giving up living, and all we want for her is to be happy.

Plotwise the series is impeccable, but what spices everything up is Chess-Terrible-Lex dynamics.

Chess and Terrible is all about gut-wrenching, raw emotions, awkward conversations, sobs, blinding pain and just as blinding happiness... Lex has a completely different feel to him as Chess's ex-lover and son of a Chinese drug lord on the opposite crime turf. Lex is cunning, warm and flirty. If Terrible is a lion, Lex is a fox (Macchiavelli's references aside).

The book picks up a very fast pace from the beginning and does not slow down at all. Like all Stacia's books it's very creepy, full of gore and horrors, hauntings, magic and horrible acts of violence that only us people are capable of.

If you are a fan of horror, urban fantasy and ghosts this series is a MUST READ. I pretty much guarantee that you'd love it from the very first book. ( )
  kara-karina | Nov 20, 2015 |
This one made me nervous for Chess. The book ending the way it did and Chess being in the middle of that situation...things are not going to end well. I have to say, so far, this has been my least favorite book. While I did get to see a side of Chess I hadn't before I think that some of the plot line was just predictable and too easy solved quickly. Like someone could have done "this" and it would have been over as opposed to the run around the book did.

I love Chess and I love Terrible and I can't wait to see what the next book has in store for them. ( )
  rosetyper9 | Nov 12, 2015 |
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When Chess Putnam is ordered by an infamous crime bosswho also happens to be her drug dealerto 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: Chesss boyfriend, Terrible, doesnt trust her, and Lex, the son of a rival crime lord, is trying to reignite the sparks between him and Chess. Plus theres the little matter of Chesss 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 deadand if Chess doesnt 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 shes not going to emerge from its depths without making the ultimate sacrifice.… (more)

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