Saturday, April 21, 2012

Review:The Thirteenth Sacrifice

The Thirteenth Sacrifice (Witch Hunt - Book 1) by Debbie Viguie

Publication Date: April 3, 2012
Publisher: Penguin USA
Genre: Supernatural Thriller
Pages: Paperback, 368pp.
ISBN-13: 978-0451236364
ISBN: 045123636X

(Received for an honest review from Signet)

Debbie Viguie on the WEB: webpage, blog, Twitter, Facebook

Excerpt from The Thirteen Sacrifice courtesy of Amazon's Inside Look Feature.


She stared down in terror at the breaks in the circle. The circle kept her safe; the circle protected her from what was outside--but only if it was unbroken.

Samantha Ryan is plagued by nightmarish memories of magic and fear... of strange chants and blood spilled. Because Samantha Ryan grew up in a coven that was seduced by power and greed.

With a cross around her neck and a detective's shield in her pocket, Samantha has tried hard to put her horrific childhood behind her. But as the last in a long line of ruthless witches, she should know that such talismans are no match for the power of a coven that's gone bad.  And when young women start dying, only Samantha knows what the archaic symbol carved into their flesh means: The witches have returned to Salem.

Now Samantha is going undercover-- into a town obsessed with black magic, into her past, and into the dark, newly awakened heart of evil...


Debbie Viguie's latest novel, The Thirteenth Sacrifice combines several genres to produce a well written book that harkens back to the Salem Witch trials. Readers who enjoy a good mystery, with historical undertones will enjoy this book. Horror readers who love books that creep them out will enjoy this book. Thriller and mystery readers will find this book full of enjoyable police procedures and suspenseful moments. The combination of all of these ideas in one book is nothing short of amazing!

The Thirteenth Sacrifice is a book that defies labels and genre boundaries. Debbie Viguie weaves a tale that can't be placed in any one category with elements from several areas making this one a heart-stopping read. It will have readers on the edge of their seats. It will have them hiding under the covers and looking around corners. It will give them the heebie-geebies but they won't be able to put it down. 

The tension that Viguie creates is enough to make your hair stand up. There is a bit of horror and a bit of gore. This isn't one for the faint of heart. Viguie shows the true ruthlessness of her witches and asks the reader to sit back and take it. Her no-nonsense style and dark, gripping realism are hard to beat in this epic thriller. I thought she did a masterful job of bringing the ideas of power and greed into finite focus. Viguie's witches are pure evil and nothing stands in their way. Except Samantha Ryan.

Samantha was a good heroine. There were parts of her that I really liked and other parts that showed the idea that you might take the witch out of her environment but you never really take the witch out of the girl. She suffered a traumatic childhood which she has fought hard to live down, to suppress, to forget about. But magic is like a drug. It's addictive and once you've had a taste you can't go back. When women start dying in her neck of the woods, she may be the only hope for figuring out who the killers are and what they really want. Salem's witches are back...

Samantha's moral struggle with herself is a main part of the book. I liked the overall idea, the plot was amazing and there were moments of greatness with her character. But there were also those niggling moments when we see a side to her personality that makes you cringe. She knows where she stands, what she can do and sometimes she doesn't hesitate to sacrifice some of her humanity in order to bring about the circumstances she wants. That's the mark of good character development. The author makes you like the main character, but she makes you hesitate too. Very well done!

I loved the whole historical referencing to the Salem Witch Trials and that time period. It's one that has always given me the creeps and Debbie Viguie certainly knew what she was doing when wrote this book. She evokes the same haunting vibe in this novel that I often got when reading the historical accounts of the time. This is a riveting book that will keep readers glued to pages even though they kind of don't want to be. They want to put it down 'cause it's scary but they just have to know what happens next. It's one of those!

The one issue that I kind of had with the book was probably just a quirk of my own. I believe in independent women who can take care of themselves and make the most of any situation, but I also believe in the need for connection and heritage. This is book about women. The good witches are women, the bad witches are women. It's full of women and that can be a good thing, but it also lends back to a time when men assumed that women could not handle power or responsibility. Some of the women in this book were not up to the challenge and I felt like instead of empowering women is could give off the same ideas from long ago. Women are not equipped to handle things the way men are. Ugh! Just a pet peeve of mine I suppose.

This book was very light on the romance and heavy on the thriller side of things. I liked the fact that Viguie gives Samantha a potential love interest, but she also sets up the idea of conflict or something that could stand in the way of their happiness. If he really knew what she was, would he still love her? It's a good start to a new series that will probably scare the socks off of most readers, but if you can handle, it's a killer read in more ways than one!

The Thirteenth Sacrifice is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.

I'm giving this one 4 out of 5 apples from my book bag!

Debbie Viguié 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, Shrödinger.