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Sacrificial Magic (Downside Ghosts, #4)
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Archive: 2012 Buddy Reads > October buddy read - Sacrificial Magic by Stacia Kane

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Christine | 850 comments Jeann and I will be reading the fourth book in the Downside Ghosts series, Sacrificial Magic. Please feel free to join us is discussing this great series.

We will be starting on/around October 10.

Jeann (Happy Indulgence)  (happyindulgence) | 1151 comments Awesome, thank you for starting the thread Christine!

message 3: by Steph, Serious series addict (new) - rated it 5 stars

Steph (angel4492) | 29004 comments SUCH a good book! Enjoy, ladies!

Jeann (Happy Indulgence)  (happyindulgence) | 1151 comments What are we going to do when we reach the end of the latest book Christine?!

Christine | 850 comments Uumm....start the audiobook versions which I hear are awesome, too?

Jeann (Happy Indulgence)  (happyindulgence) | 1151 comments Ehh, not sure about that, audiobooks never took off for me!

Christine | 850 comments They're hit or miss for me and it seems to all depend on the narrator. There are some voices I just don't want to listen to for ten or more hours...

message 8: by Judithe, Soap Operas never end.... (new) - rated it 5 stars

Judithe | 6408 comments Me, too. I think half the issue is the getting the audiobook to a "portable" format...downloading, loading onto another machine...too many steps (so maybe I'm spoiled...)

Jeann (Happy Indulgence)  (happyindulgence) | 1151 comments Ah, I think the narrator plays a big part. I tried to listen to Scorpio Races but I couldn't get used to the British accent, it was just so far away from the voice I would use in my head while reading.

Christine | 850 comments I started with books on CD from the library that I would listen to in my car on my commute to work. The library also has a few books on these nifty little 'play away players' that are like mp3 players with a book on them. I recently joined audible and with their app I can download directly onto my iPhone when I'm somewhere with wi-fi. And I told my husband I didn't need an iPhone when he insisted on getting me one for my birthday. Silly me.

The right narrator can really make a book. When I read the first In Death book by J.D. Robb, I thought it was just okay. But then I listened to the audio version narrated by Susan Ericksen and loved it. She does a great job of giving different characters their own voices and is great with accents.

And some narrators grow on me over the course of a book. When I started the first Kate Daniels book on audio, I didn't like the narrator because her voice seemed to soft for Kate. By the end of the first book I like her and by the time I finished listening to all of the books I couldn't imagine another voice reading them.

Karen Christine wrote: "I started with books on CD from the library that I would listen to in my car on my commute to work. The library also has a few books on these nifty little 'play away players' that are like mp3 pla..."

Its easy to download audible books straight from to ipod or iphone and it also now has whisperlink with Kindle as well. Takes no time at all and is simple to do. For the Downside books, Bani Turpin does a great job with the unusual dialogue and slang and her voice just is Chess for me now. Same with Renee Raudman for Kate Daniels. Audiobooks are perfect for the treadmill - you won't want to stop!

Jeann (Happy Indulgence)  (happyindulgence) | 1151 comments Hey Christine, did you want to read Home (Downside Ghosts, #3.6) by Stacia Kane (3.6) or Finding Magic (Downside Ghosts, #0.5) by Stacia Kane (0.5) together too? Looks like Home is just a really short eBook.

Christine | 850 comments Sure. I was hoping to squeeze them in before Sacrificial Magic anyway. I did read the short The Brave Tale of Maddie Carver by Stacia Kane that's available for free on the auhor's website. It's all of 8 pages or so long.

Jeann (Happy Indulgence)  (happyindulgence) | 1151 comments Awesome, I just realised I have no buddy reads scheduled for next week, the first time in 3 months! So I can read them then if it fits in.

Christine | 850 comments I have two other buddy reads before Sacrificial Magic, but because Home and Finding Magic are short, I should be able to squeeze them in along side my other books.

Jeann (Happy Indulgence)  (happyindulgence) | 1151 comments Cool. I'll post comments here as I go :)

Christine | 850 comments I started Home this morning and should finish it later this morning. A day off of work, but the kids still have school! TBR pile, here I come!

Jeann (Happy Indulgence)  (happyindulgence) | 1151 comments Oops, I'm trying to finish a book I'm halfway through, then this, then my bingo book this week.

Christine | 850 comments I might be late starting Sacrificial Magic myself. I started a new book this afternoon tha I'll probably want to finish before starting something else.

Home was a nice, quick read. I don't think it took even an hour to read, but it was a nice glimpse of how Chess is feeling now that she's with Terrible. That girl is messed up. She is so happy and loves him so much, but still in part of her mind doesn't think she's worth his love. But they are awfully sweet together.

Jeann (Happy Indulgence)  (happyindulgence) | 1151 comments Ah, I've been looking forward to reading Home as a nice, sweet interlude between all the depressing things she gets herself into.

Samantha | 90 comments Christine wrote: "Uumm....start the audiobook versions which I hear are awesome, too?"

If anything, it would be interesting to hear Terrible speak.

Jeann (Happy Indulgence)  (happyindulgence) | 1151 comments I might actually end up picking this up later than I intended Christine. I picked a really big book - Shadow of Night (All Souls Trilogy, #2) by Deborah Harkness for my bingo read and I'm running behind. Hope that's alright!

Christine | 850 comments That's fine Jeann. I'm about halfway through Finding Magic and will likely be starting Sacrificial Magic this evening. I'm ready for my Chess and Terrible fix. But I'll post my thoughts as I go and we can chat whenever you get around to the book.

I really need to read A Discovery of Witches one of these days.

Jeann (Happy Indulgence)  (happyindulgence) | 1151 comments Sounds good Christine :) I liked Discovery of Witches but found it to be an adult, better written version of Twilight. I've heard really good things about the sequel though and it has interesting time travel sequences in it.

Christine | 850 comments I finished Finding Magic, but didn't get a chance to start Sacrificial Magic yet. Yesterday was our ten year anniversary and my husband insisted on spending the entire day together ending with an evening event at our kids' school and a late family dinner. So no reading for me yesterday. I should be able to start tonight.

Finding Magic was good and a nice glimpse into a young Chess.

Christine | 850 comments I've made it all of twenty pages into the book so far. Too many other things keeping me from reading.

Christine | 850 comments About ninety pages in. It looks like were back to the formula of the first two books where Chess has a case from the Church that is probably going to overlap with something she's working on for Bump. But I'm okay with that since the last two books had a different formula. I guess there are only so many ways to tie the two worlds together.

Poor Chess. She is so happy with Terrible, but at the same time she's convinced that it's only a matter of time before he realizes she's not what he wants and walks away. It will be interesting to see whether she ends up pushing him away because of that or whether he's able to get behind her defenses and finally make her understand he does see her for what she is and loves her for that. Time will tell....

Jeann (Happy Indulgence)  (happyindulgence) | 1151 comments Oh man I can't wait to pick this up! I'm about halfway through my current book at the moment. (damn this hefty hefter)

Christine | 850 comments I'm making very slow progress on this one. Life keeps getting in the way of reading so I'm only a little over 100 pages in. I'm hoping to make better progress today.

Lex makes an appearance in this one, so it should be interesting to see how Terrible reacts to her being even close to Lex. Oh, the emotional turmoil that is Chess' life.

Christine | 850 comments I'm about halfway through the book now. It's interesting in this one to see a little bit more of how Downsiders feel about the Church. Turns out there is quite a bit of suspicion and mistrust, especially on Slobag's side of town. At least now I'm not alone in my suspicions.

And, as usual, I find myself constantly thinking "Oh, Chess!" There is a new female character who, after some initial posturing, seems to try to reach out to Chess maybe in real friendship (remains to be seen) and Chess of course reacts suspiciously and ticks the other woman off. But I'm curious to see if this is the beginning of a new relationship for Chess, or if the woman is just playing a part for now.

Jeann (Happy Indulgence)  (happyindulgence) | 1151 comments Finally, finally finished my book and this is next.

Jeann (Happy Indulgence)  (happyindulgence) | 1151 comments Ok just reached chapter 3, page 23. And I'm already feeling Chess's sense of despair and self-loathing. *gets onto depression mode*

I wish she would just get over that thing with Lex, that was at least 2 books ago!

Christine | 850 comments Lex, Lex, Lex. Their interaction is interesting in this one. While trying to skirt around using one another and not share information, I think there is genuine fondness between them. But he's no Terrible.

Chess also has a very interesting exchange with Elder Griffin near the end that makes me wonder if he might not know or suspect about her addiction. Or at least suspects that she's never dealt with the trauma of her childhood in a healthy way.

Chess almost seemed to me to be spiraling out of control during this one, taking more and more pills and other drugs. In most of the others books she seemed to be a high-functioning addict, she knew just what combination of pills to take and how many how often to not seriously impair her work. But for a while in this one it really seems to get the better of her. But I think, hope, she made an emotional breakthrough near the end an I'll be curious to see what affect that has on her and her relationships.

Jeann (Happy Indulgence)  (happyindulgence) | 1151 comments Christine wrote: "About ninety pages in. It looks like were back to the formula of the first two books where Chess has a case from the Church that is probably going to overlap with something she's working on for Bu..."

I've reached about Chapter Ten now and what I love about this series is the mystery and how it's written so well. It's really engaging. I'm glad Terrible didn't get too jealous when he found out about Chess heading to Lex's place. Poor Chess, she does feel like he's just going to drop her at any time.

Christine | 850 comments Poor Chess is right. I had so many 'Poor Chess' moments in this one.

What do you think of Beulah?

Jeann (Happy Indulgence)  (happyindulgence) | 1151 comments She's cunning. It seems to me that Chess just doesn't do well with other women.

I'm about page 116 at the moment, and the anti-religion veins are really strong in this one. Maybe it's because they are talking about chinese people, and Chess was criticising how they worship ancestors and saying that the Church was superior.

It then got me thinking, that Chess is really devout and kind of close-minded. The other people were questioning, isn't it convenient how all of the sudden the ghosts want to attack humans? Isn't it convenient that the Church rises up above all of that? It just goes to show, that any sort of circumstantial religion is bound to be suspicious. Despite Chess's strong feelings towards it.

We were suspicious of the Church at the start and I think there was good reason for it, the more and more I think about it.

Christine | 850 comments When I read how the Downsiders feel about the Church I thought "Finally!" I knew someone had to be suspicious of the Church. It is pretty odd that ghosts have been around for millennia, but they wait until the 1990s to act out against humanity. The 90s weren't that bad!

And I noticed that some of the snippets at the beginning of each chapter shed a different light on the Church. The one that sticks out in my mind said something along the lines that murder is wrong not so much because of ending another's life but because you're taking authority that belongs to the Church. Wow.

I'm curious to see if Chess ever starts to doubt or if her own faith stands firm.

Jeann (Happy Indulgence)  (happyindulgence) | 1151 comments Ah yeah, I always wondered whether those snippets were meant to be relevant to the chapter ahead or whether they are just random. There's also another creepy one that says you give yourself to the Church first and then you can do your own things later.

This thing about Terrible not trusting Chess, I think it's all in her head. He's responded quite well so far, despite all the suspicions pointing at her and Lex kissing her. There's definitely some chemistry there but I'm so proud of Terrible for not doing anything *fingers crossed later chapters don't negate my thoughts*

message 39: by Jeann (Happy Indulgence) (last edited Oct 24, 2012 02:51PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jeann (Happy Indulgence)  (happyindulgence) | 1151 comments OK I'm on the home run now, nearly finished probably about page 273. Is Beulah seriously trying to poison Chess, or is that Aros (we just found out that he's probably the killer). I think all that contempt from Beulah was because she knew Chess was having relations with her brother and all of that.

When I read Chess going off at Terrible when she was high off her face, I read that as still all in her head. Terrible was hurt because she accused him of spying and all of that. I was all what are you doing woman!! Hope it gets resolved and glad she didn't sleep with Lex.

Christine | 850 comments Didn't that scene where she went off on Terrible just kill you? I kept willing her to just shut up and listen to what he's trying to say, but she was flying so high nothing could get through. She really values herself so little that she can't understand why someone would care about her and not want to have sex with her out of concern for her.

It really felt like Chess was spiraling out of control for a while in this one, taking more and more drugs. All the while she's convinced Terrible doesn't trust her, and in the end she hurt him because she didn't trust him and how he feels about her.

Beulah was a hard one to read. She started out rude and mean to Chess, and then she seemed to try to reach out in friendship. The whole time it was hard not to be suspicious that she was up to something. In the end, I think maybe she does really like Chess and there might be an actual friendship forming?

Can't wait until you get to the end....

Jeann (Happy Indulgence)  (happyindulgence) | 1151 comments Wow I just finished it and it was amazing! Just went back and read all of your comments.

About the scene with Terrible/drugs - I definitely think she's spiraling out of control with the drugs. She's taking them for just about any reason now, to take the edge of hauntings, help her talk to Elder Griffin, even to deal with Terrible. More and more people are starting to realise just how dependent she is on drugs. Lex, Terrible, Bump and Slobag already knew, but then Elder Griffin is definitely hinting at something there.

I wonder if she'll ever learn to live with herself without the drugs to help. It really killed me towards the end, where she could have been awesome Chess without the scars, the problems, the drug addiction and you just saw how happy and confident she could have been, and what sort of person she could be in a different life (also made me think of the other urban fantasy stereotypes at this stage). But instead, she remembered Terrible's love, and her friendship with Lex and Beulah and she chose that instead. It appears to have had some effect, she seemed a little less down on herself afterwards even though she was still hitting the drugs.

Beulah, I can see what you mean about her. We got off on the wrong foot with her, but in the end you can tell she's actually genuine towards Chess. Funny because at the start I pictured her as a dragon lady but towards the end maybe someone that could be a big sister to Chess.

Lex becoming the new Slobag is darned ruthless. Even though it was bad enough being involved with the two gang leader's right handed men, now they'll be at an all out war with each other. They seem to tip toe around each other because of Chess, but that probably wouldn't be a possibility now. It sort of made me sad, because Lex and Chess do have something special (but not love like Terrible).

Christine | 850 comments You'd think I'd be used the the emotional trauma that is this series, but she gets me with every book.

I'm keeping my fingers crossed that Chess has made a breakthrough, now that's she finally seems to understand that the big stumbling block in her relationships has been her own inability to trust others to not hurt her. And she's maybe finally willing to risk putting herself out there to give that trust. I so hope so. There was one scene where I think she took some pills and started to feel all warm and pleasant and made a comment about Terrible being the only other thing that could make her feel that good. I hope that's a sign that being with Terrible could maybe, possibly lead her to give up the drugs. Would she be the same Chess, would it be the same series without the drugs? If she's not going to ultimately overcome her addiction, then where is the series headed?

And the whole thing with Beulah and Lex now knowing about Terrible's fatal weakness when it comes to magic. I was just devastated when I read that scene. You're right that it's going to be outright war now between Lex and Bump/Terrible. Will Lex act on the knowledge he has? Or will his affection for Chess cause him to think twice about taking advantage of that weakness? Will Chess find a way to protect Terrible? If something were to happen to Terrible, I think it would be even worse than if the Church let her down. And I see a potential friendship with Beulah, but will that be possible when Downside falls into turf warfare? Man, where is the author going with all of this? Will Downside destroy itself in a turf war? Will they unite in their distrust of the Church? This has been such an atypical series so far that I just can't figure out where she's going with it.

Jeann (Happy Indulgence)  (happyindulgence) | 1151 comments Wow, you've really hit a nail on the head there Christine. There's so many places the author can go with this and you just don't know what you've got in store next. I love that complexity about it.

There was a comment that Chess made when she was Awesome Chess, something about "she saved the world and that would have been enough for the old Chess". In a previous book, we touched upon how if Chess didn't have such low self value, she probably wouldn't be so "All in" when it comes to banishing ghosts and putting herself on the line. It just shows that really, she's completely selfless which is possibly the only good thing about her past/drug addiction.

Christine | 850 comments That moment when she came back and just said "I chose you", that really got me. She could have gotten rid of all of her pain and anguish, but decided the relationships she has form with Terrible and Lex and Beulah were too important to her. I like to think that's a turning point for her. That maybe she can start moving forward and focusing on the positives in her life (outside I the Church). She's already been willing to put herself on the line for her job. How much further will she goes now that she has people to care about?

On to Chasing Magic? I don't think I can fit it in until later in the month or December.

message 45: by Jeann (Happy Indulgence) (last edited Oct 29, 2012 02:59PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jeann (Happy Indulgence)  (happyindulgence) | 1151 comments Yes that moment really was moving :) what a powerful scene. Of course, later in the month sounds good. Let me know when you set up the thread.

I'm just getting to Finding Magic/Home now. I'll let you know my thoughts. So far in Finding Magic, it's refreshing to meet Chess who isn't so far gone on the drugs.

Jeann (Happy Indulgence)  (happyindulgence) | 1151 comments Reading Finding Magic now, about halfway through. Chess really has a knack for this Church stuff doesn't she? (view spoiler)

Christine | 850 comments And isn't it interesting that when it comes to the City, I'm in total agreement with the drug addict? It's just creepy and there is something not right about it. How can anyone think that an eternity of nothing is a great thing?

Did you read Home yet? You actually get a little taste of how some ghosts feel about The City in that story. Plus you get to see a happy Chess and Terrible. Even though she's kind of freaking out about when he'll come to his senses and leave, they are still together and happy without conflict in Home.

Jeann (Happy Indulgence)  (happyindulgence) | 1151 comments Haven't read Home yet, but I'm planning to. It was kind of sad that Chess's drug abuse started from there, even though it helps her deal with it. I thought it would have started from her foster homes, but nope.

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