This book had been sitting on my 'to be readí pile for a little while before I got round to it. Iím generally not a fan of witch books, partly to do with some residual discomfort about witches due to my Christian upbringing but mostly because I tend to find witch books annoying.
The reader is rarely made aware of the totality of the witchís powers, so they can often get out of a difficulty with a well-placed spell or incantation--a plot cop-out, in my opinion. One of the endorsements of The Thirteenth Sacrifice--indeed, the top endorsement on the first page--says ďone of the... scariest books Iíve ever read,Ē which actually didnít encourage me either (Iím not in to scary books).
So, all in all, The Thirteenth Sacrifice isnít the sort of book Iíd pick for myself (I was sent it for review). But if I hadnít read it, I would have missed a really good story with strong plotting, interesting characters and more.
Samantha Ryan is a former witch, now a Christian cop trying to forget her early years when she was part of a witch coven, before they were all killed and she was rescued. Her job as a cop is going as normal when she finds herself pulled into some kind of witch coven situation and has to go undercover. She had renounced all her witchcraft ways but has to reconnect with that side of her character--and with the seductiveness of the power--in order to infiltrate the coven, work out what they are doing, and (hopefully) prevent it.
Thereís loads to like about this book. Samantha is a great character, and we learn of the struggles within herself against the bad side of her power
(although I also found her surprisingly detached about the many witches who die at her hands). The cast of supporting characters is also
strong, and we see many of them struggle to deal with their knowledge of Samanthaís past.
A love interest is introduced but not fully developed; I assume that carries on in further books in this series. The central plot, the mystery element,
is very well done, and I couldnít guess at what was happening.
All in all, this is a very enjoyable supernatural thriller, a cut above a lot of the witch stories out there. As for Samanthaís powers getting her out of various difficult situations, she herself has blocked from her mind what her powers can do, so we are learning along with her.
That, for this reader at least, works really well.