Awesome!Once again I wasn’t sure whether I wanted to smack Chess or hug her. Sacrificial Magic took me on a fast paced, action-packed emotional ride. I could not put this book down.Why was this book so wonderful? First of all, Stacia Kane is a genius. Her excellent world building and well-crafted story had phenomenal character development. The reader becomes emotionally invested to these charactersLet’s take Chess, for example. Chess is one of those characters that could have everything going for her, if only she cleaned up her act. Being a pill-popping addict not only defines her, it seems to allow her access to the Downside world. Her flaws make her realistic; her damaged sense of self becomes central to the story. So, do you take that kind of character and clean her up, or do you let her run loose and see where she ends up? Chess runs loose, complete with her flaws and inner demons. Part of what makes her character so interesting is her inner dialogue. An abused child lost in the shuffle of the foster system with some pedophilic foster parents, Chess has self-medicated herself for years. She hates herself and has many self-destructive impulses. She has difficulty accepting her moments of happiness and doesn’t feel that she is worthy of a relationship. In short, she is truly messed up. Yet she is also a character of contradictions. Despite her addiction, Chess is very good at her job. Her moments of clarity make her shine. She continues to astound me, especially her deductive reasoning. Chess is on the ball with her Church duties. I did notice that for a junkie, Chess has gotten very paranoid about germs. No discussion of any book in this series can be complete without talking about Terrible. What makes the reader swoon at the very mention of his name? Terrible is a gentle giant around Chess, but he is definitely not a doormat. He has expectations and he demands respect. Terrible is a large man, not very good looking. He has a heart of gold and he is devoted to Chess. And when he calls her “Chessiebomb”…I swoon.There’s so much to love about the Downside Ghosts series. Dark urban fantasy readers should enjoy this series. Sacrificial Magic is the best book in the series so far…. Stacia Kane is interviewed on Badass Book Reviews hereReview posted on Badass Book ReviewsThank you to Netgalley and Random House Books for a review copy of this book.