Thursday, May 31, 2012

Stacia Kane - Sacrificial Magic

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.

Comment: This is the 4th book in the Downside Ghosts by the author. Once again we return to the world where ghosts are evil and can come back to terrorize the living. And of course, to our protagonist, without self esteem and a drug addict. In this new book, Chess has a new case to work and at the same time her drug dealer requests her help to deal with a little problem of black magic and obviously she can't say no.

The storyline is very interesting. The author writes in a fluid way and it's intriguing how the little clues get in the middle and sometimes we only notice them because of other clues and it's very good to understand where the story is leading. The case is interesting and like always, it's not a random occurrence that the other case Chess has to deal with for Bump is connected to her Church case. She just has to find a way not to mix them.
I never find an issue with the way the author works and solves the cases Chess has and it's fascinating to see every step until it's everything is there for the reader to understand the whys and the hows.

Now...about Chess herself... In this story she has a love life..well, a loving and more stable one...but she keeps thinking when will be the day her boyfriend - sort of - tells her he's done. Some people might think this is nuts because love is strong, we have to trust the other person, etc... but this isn't easy for someone with a low or non existing self esteem. When we convinced ourselves no one can really understand us or that there's no reason for others to like us or even that we feel impostors in this world and everyone else will see us for what we are not, then...
I have to confess I understand Chess's thoughts. I understand her reasons to be an addict. I don't think she took the best decision when she turned to drugs but in this book we see it wasn't as easy as we might think and we have even more little tidbits about the why. She has an horrible childhood and youth. Horrible. But sometimes we don't have to be treated badly to not like ourselves. Sometimes we just are.

Chess also has options to make in this book about herself. I don't think of her as weak anymore after her choice. In a "normal" world thinks aren't like this but there are many people out there who aren't confident and who don't feel worthy even if rationally they know they are. So, I love chess as a protagonist because she personifies all of those who can't be what they deserve because it's not that easy, or that simple to just change. It takes time and sometimes it's too hard even to try.
I hope she redeems herself in the future. I really do because I'd like to see her happy, to feel loved and worthy at last. I just hope she accepts it for real when it does.
So, this book, in terms of emotions and feelings is awesome because in real life people have problems and I like seeing a heroine who doesn't become perfect just because she is in love - like Chess is - but has a lot to work on before admitting she needs help and she deserves to have it.
The title is very appropriate too, in my opinion. I recommend this series to everyone who can accept a protagonist who doesn't love herself that much...

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