Sunday, April 1, 2012

[Archive] LITERAL ADDICTION's Review of The Thirteenth Sacrifice

Debbie Viguie is the New York Times Bestselling author of over a dozen novels including the Wicked series and the new Crusade series co-authored with Nancy Holder.  Much of Debbie’s writing has a dark edge to it, including her retold fairy tales, her latest being Violet Eyes, a retelling of The Princess and the Pea.  In addition to her epic dark fantasy work Debbie also writes thrillers including The Psalm 23 Mysteries and the upcoming Kiss trilogy.  When Debbie isn’t busy writing she enjoys spending time with her husband, Scott, visiting theme parks.  They live in Florida with their cat, Shr√∂dinger.

The Thirteenth Sacrifice, Book #1 of the Witch Hunt series
Author:  Debbie Viguie
Synopsis:  When young women start dying, Boston cop Samantha Ryan is the perfect person to investigate, for only she knows what the archais symbol carved into their flesh means. The last in a long line of ruthless witches, she grew up in a coven seduced by power and greed. And now she's sure that bad witches have returned to Salem. Reluctantly, Samantha goes undercover-into a town obsessed with black magic, into her terrifying past, and into the dark, newly awakened heart of evil.
Our Review [by Michelle L. Olson – LITERAL ADDICTION’s Pack Alpha]:
I was sent this book by the publisher to review.  When it arrived in the mail unexpected I wasn’t sure what to think until I read the synopsis on the back cover and was immediately interested.  I actually even bumped it up in my To Be Read queue (which is very unlike me) and settled in on a Saturday afternoon to see what it was all about.  In one sitting I had devoured the 368 pages and wanted more.  I was very glad I had taken a chance and went against my normal processes to read it.  It was an incredible story, and for a reader like me who thoroughly enjoys and seeks out meshing of sub-genres, this was truly an incredible find! 

Samantha is an amazing character.  She’s a strong, sassy, reinvented woman with a past she’s trying hard to forget and a promising path to the future.  When a serial killer goes on a rampage, as a Boston police officer, Samantha is naturally called in to investigate.  When she discovers that there’s a definite pattern to the killings, and recognizes the symbol that’s been carved into the victims’ necks, she knows that she needs to stop the people responsible no matter the fall out.  After struggling with the decision and deciding that she needs to ‘take one for the team’ so to speak and do what’s best for the greater good, she comes clean on a secret that she’s kept from almost everyone she currently associates with (and pays for it dearly in some cases) and embarks on a dangerous journey with the attitude – May the best witch win. 

Returning to Salem, her city of birth and the city that houses so many terrible childhood memories for her – several of which were so awful her mind repressed them as a coping mechanism – she reinvents herself yet again to be the adult product of the girl she was back then and begins her lie to try and draw out the bad guys (the bad guys being a new evil coven of witches who are dabbling in the darkest of the black arts and using Samantha’s previous family and coven as their stepping stone). 

While there, she meets Anthony.  Anthony is a young man running an Occult Museum and driven by the need to get vengeance on those who murdered his mother and avenge her death.  He and Samantha have instant chemistry, but seeing as she is exactly what he has sworn to hate and destroy, and he is a constant reminder of everything she wants to forget, it’s definitely not a match made in heaven.  Regardless, and despite the conflicts the two of them encounter along the way, they find a way to work together to try and bring down this rogue coven of evil witches and stop the murders.   

One of the things that appealed to me most about this book was that it wasn’t easy to classify.  It’s a murder mystery with urban fantasy, horror-thriller, and even a few paranormal romance aspects and that’s precisely why I fell in love with it.  It was dark and dangerous and incredibly thrilling with tons of action, more intrigue than I knew what to do with, surprises around every corner, and psychological and theological undertones that made me as a reader think, which just immersed me into the story even further. 

The Thirteenth Sacrifice was exactly my type of book and I am so incredibly happy that the Publisher decided to mail me a copy.  I absolutely cannot wait for the next book in the Witch Hunt series and I’m excited to check out more of Debbie’s work to see if the rest of her backlist is anything like this.  If it is, I may have just found myself a new author to add to my list of favorites.  As it stands, I definitely found a book to add to my “Best New Book Discoveries of the Year” list.

LITERAL ADDICTION gives The Thirteenth Sacrifice 5 Skulls and would recommend it to Dark Urban Fantasy, Urban Fantasy, Horror-Thriller, and even Murder-Mystery lovers if you don’t mind a bit of paranormal thrown in to your whoedoneit story.  This is definitely a book to check out!

The Thirteenth Sacrifice:

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