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Saturday, April 21, 2012
Book Review: The Thirteenth Sacrifice by Debbie Viguie
Author: Debbie Viguie
Series: Witch Hunt, book 1
Source: From publisher for review
Buy it here:
For more information visit Debbie Viguie's website
Samantha Ryan is a cop who investigates the murder of a young college student. She discovers that the victim was sacrificed using a symbol that comes from her past. She was born into an evil coven of witches, and now it looks like someone has resurrected her old coven. It is up to her to go under cover and find out what is going on, and put a stop to it before the witches raise a greater evil.
The story is easy to slide into, and went by pretty fast. Samantha spends the first part of the novel with her partner Ed. They find clues linking the murder to the coven, and along the way Samantha struggles with her dark past. Like most mystery/thriller stories—the heroine is a cop and/or detective. When it is clear that Samantha has to go undercover she struggles with the decision at first, but gives in. She vowed never to use magic again when she was adopted as a young woman, and turned Christian. Going undercover means she will have to use her powers again. Her internal struggle with what she was, and is forced to do is emotionally taxing. When she goes undercover, magic becomes a huge part of the story. Magic powers fly around with ease. She also meets a guy, Anthony, who she feels an instant bond with. There is a side romantic plot going on, but it isn’t the focus of the story, and felt a little off base.
Samantha is easy to like. She wants to take down the killers. While she can be judgmental at times she is morally sound when it comes to the big picture. Her nearly instant connection with Anthony I let slide since she was a witch, and he has a connection with her past. Anthony, I had serious doubts about. Some of his actions don’t seem organic, and the way he was there constantly to catch Samantha when she fell was a little annoying. At the end I had a ‘Samantha against the world,’ vibe. I didn’t dig it as much as I should.
The mystery/thriller story line was nice. There is a twist ending that I didn’t see coming. The pacing is also done very well. There is always a reason to flip the page, and I found the use of magic pretty neat. I wondered more than once why some humans were born with the ability to manipulate energy, and others are not. The witches reminded me of the Jedi and Sith (Star Wars reference). Where the story fell for me was in the characters. Samantha feels like the most organic character, but the story is also told from her perspective. The other characters around her didn’t feel organic. They were place holders that motivated, or demotivated Samantha to get her to point A to point B.
The Thirteenth Sacrifice as a first installment left just enough unanswered questions for me to want the next book. It isn’t an earth shattering story, but felt more like a run-of-the-mill mystery. The action is well done, and the plot as a whole is exciting. I would recommend it to someone who was into thriller/mysteries with a paranormal twist.