Thursday, August 16, 2012

Audiobook Review - Sacrificial Magic (Downside Ghosts, Book 4) by Stacia Kane (3/5 stars)

Reading Level: Adult
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Size: 416 pages
Publisher: Del Rey
Release Date: March 27, 2012
ISBN: 978-0345527509
Stand Alone or Series: 4th book in the Downside Ghosts series
Source: Gift
Rating: 3/5 stars

This was the fourth book in the Downside Ghosts series by Kane. I haven’t been a huge fan of this series, but I got books 4 and 5 as eGalleys to review through NetGalley(dot)com so I keep reading the series. If you liked books one and two this book is very similar to those ones.

Chess is given a case from the Church of Truth to investigate a haunting at a school in Downside..which just happens to be in enemy gang territory. Around the same time Bump, Chess’s drug dealer, wants Chess to check out a grisly murder that seems to be some sort of ritual killing. Chess will need all her wits (and drugs) to figure who are doing the black summonings and why.

I didn’t think this book was as good as the third book, City of Ghosts. This book returns to the story structure used in books 1 and 2: Chess gets a case from the Church and Bump wants something looked into; it just so happens that the two things are related. Maybe it’s because I am reading these so close together, but the stories seem a bit formulaic to me with no storyline (outside of the Chess/Terrible romance) that really flows from novel to novel. I really wish that this story had dealt more with the Church again because I find that a lot more interesting than these miscellaneous Downside disasters.

Chess does grow a little as a character, but she still keeps making a lot of the same mistakes. There are so many times she does incredibly stupid things, I was kind of hoping at points that Terrible would dump her.

If there is anything that does flow well and change from book to book it is the relationship between Terrible and Chess. There are some incredibly intense emotional scenes between the two that are very gripping. Although I do get tired of how flawed these characters are and at how they keep making the same mistakes over and over.

The world continues to be the same gritty post-apocalyptic world we’ve had in previous book. Chess continues to pill pop like crazy and somehow manages to not get killed.

Honestly I am just tired of these books right now. I don’t like that characters and the stories from book to book are very similar. I am going to take a break for a while and then decide if I will read Chasing Magic or no at a later date.

Overall an okay book in this series. If you loved the first two books in this series I think you will love this one; they are structured very much the same way. Chess is the same pill-popping somewhat functioning church witch she’s been in previous books, she makes a lot of the same stupid mistakes. There are some excellent scenes between her and Terrible, but aside from that there wasn’t a ton here I loved. Recommended to those who have really been enjoying this series. I would also recommend giving the first book a read if you are a fan of gritty urban fantasy; the first book is a very good example of the rest of the series.

This book goes towards the following reading challenges:
- Dystopia Reading Challenge
- Horror and Urban Fantasy Challenge
- 150+ Books Reading Challenge

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