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.My Thoughts: It's been a while since I lost myself in the Downside and, man alive, I had forgotten how very much I love how dark it is. The shadowy alleys, the broken buildings, the heartache and pain that lives in the streets... Stacia Kane knocked me over and beat me down and I loved every second of it.
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 is her usual messed up self. She's happy for the first time in a long time and in typical Chess fashion she's waiting for her happiness to collapse down on her like a house of cards. There are times when the choices she makes have you clutching your head in horror. Really, Chess, how many times are you going to put yourself in compromising positions with the son of your man's sworn enemy? Even if nothing happens when you two hang out, things are going to end up blowing up in your face. Sometimes literally. You'd think she'd learn that after a while. But she's Chess and she doesn't always think clearly where her personal life is concerned.
I'm going to put this right out in the open... Chess and Terrible have a rocky road in front of them. She has a lot of baggage from her abusive childhood to deal with and she makes a lot of mistakes when it comes to her relationship with him. As an enforcer and badass, Terrible has to be careful showing weakness among the masses. He and Chess have to keep their relationship under wraps so that nobody gets the bright idea of hurting her to hurt him. It's tangled and complicated and hard to read sometimes but, my god, it's so worth it.
The case Chess is working on this time around is gruesome and bloody (as they all seem to be) and there's a huge shift in the power dynamic of Downside at the end of the book that looks like it could cause untold problems for Chess and crew in the future. I am afeared. Hold me. Chasing Magic can't get here soon enough!
Oh, and a shout out to the REAL Chelsea Mueller, who is not nearly as crazy as her fictional counterpart and who dresses MUCH better.
Other books in this series
The Brave Tale of Maddie Carver
Book 1: Unholy Ghosts
Book 2: Unholy Magic
Book 3: City of Ghosts
More books by Stacia Kane
Reading challenges: Ebook Challenge
Sacrificial Magic was provided for review by Del Rey through NetGalley.