Saturday, January 11, 2014

This Wicked Game

Title: This Wicked Game
Author: Michelle Zink
Number of Pages: 350
Date Read: 1/11/14
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Voodoo, Mystery

Synopsis (Found on

Claire Kincaid’s family has been in business for over fifty years.

The voodoo business.

Part of the International Guild of High Priests and Priestesses, a secret society that have practiced voodoo for generations, the Kincaid’s run an underground supply house for authentic voodoo supplies. Claire plays along, filling orders for powders, oils and other bizarre ingredients in the family store, but she has a secret.

She doesn’t believe.

Struggling to reconcile her modern sensibilities with a completely unscientific craft based on suspicion, Claire can’t wait to escape New Orleans and voodoo when she goes to college, a desire that creates almost constant conflict in her secret affair with Xander Toussaint, son of the Guild’s powerful founding family.

But when a mysterious customer places an order for a deadly ingredient, Claire begins to realize that there’s more to voodoo and the families that make up the Guild than meets the eye.

Including her own.

As she bands together with the other firstborns of the Guild, she comes face to face with a deadly enemy and the disbelief that may very well kill her.

My Review:

This book was good. It falls into the voodoo genre and I liked it. I'm not sure how it compares to other voodoo books as this is the only one I've read but for me, it was good. 

It was interesting to see the author's views and spins on the voodoo culture. I myself know very little about it except that there is chanting, spells and priests. The feeling that I've always gotten from voodoo is that it is powerful and "you don't mess with that s***!". I guess also from myths and pop culture, I've always viewed voodoo as something to use when you want to hurt other people and want curse them. I was surprised to see that voodoo uses spell for other things like protection and for good as well. I guess I watched to many movies. To me, at least in this book which I am not sure how accurate it is and what liberties the author has taken with the practice, voodoo almost seems like something witches and wiccans practice, with all the spells, herbs, incense and ingredients. I must say that reading this book also makes me want to learn more about voodoo so I think a non-fiction book must be read soon so I can learn more.

I liked the plot of the book, which mainly is that Claire is part of a guild of voodoo practitioners and her family is one of the families in power. The guild bans dark/black magic which causes the some terrible consequences for some people. Years layer, said people are back to get revenge on the guild and their first borns (of which Claire, Xander, Sasha and Allegra are apart of). Of course Claire and her friends are the ones to stop whatever the people are planning. 

Claire is the main character. She's ok. She's a good character but shes not my favorite. She is a non believer in voodoo which I find extremely ironic since her family is one of the families in power in the guild, she works in her family owned voodoo supply store and she is a descendant from the Voodoo Queen, Marie Leveau, who was either one of or the most powerful voodoo priestess in the world. Anyway I have to say Claire is persistent in finding out what is going on and she is also daring, preferring to do the dirty work instead of having others do it for her. One can almost say that she puts herself in danger for no reason. However I like her daring and spunkiness. I didn't really like the way she was with Xander in regards to keeping their relationship a secret. He wanted to tell his parents and she wanted to keep it a secret but her reasons for keeping it a secret weren't good ones, to me anyway. I also didn't appreciate how she reacted to how much he worried about her, especially after the dreams he had. Also I felt it was rude and selfish of her to keep the topic of voodoo off limits. Xander was always nervous about bringing something that had to do with voodoo around her because she would shut it down. Just because she didn't believe in it doesn't mean she can't talk about it, especially with the person she loves who believes. I also wasn't to keen on the ending where after all her denying of her belief in voodoo, does Claire feels her power all of a sudden and knows how to use her power to stop the villains as well as chant in french when she doesn't speak it at all. The use of "I don't know how but I knew what to do" was not a good enough reason for her to suddenly be the one with the most power. She had more power than her fellow firstborns without ever having to work for it and hone it like the others. I just think that's wrong. 

Xander was a nice guy and I liked him. He really loves Claire and shows it in many ways; in his gestures, how he worries and how he protects her. Its sweet. I just think he needed to ease up on the overprotectiveness but with Claire being daring I guess he is justified. 

I really liked Allegra who is a first born. She is spunky and tells it like it is. I completely agree with her on how she views the leaders of the guild. She is a true psychic who gets visions and knows when things are going to happen. She is friendly, outgoing and not afraid to speak her mind, no matter who is there. I also really liked Eddie, who is an intelligent man who helps the firstborns with their problem. He's nice guy who is also not afraid to say what's on his mind. 

Max was scary and I wanted to slap the bejesus out of Eugenia. I hated the way Herve was rough with Claire and if I was in her position I would of clocked him in the face. The parents of these wild teens are of course no where to be found. I find it highly unrealistic that these parents who are the leaders of the guild would sit back idly and do absolutely nothing when facing a threat that involves harming their child. These parents wouldn't even talk about the threat to their children with each other, instead deciding to sweep it under the rug and pretend that everything was ok. They ban the use of dark/black magic and wouldn't even use it to save their children which I think is absurd. If my child was being threatened I would use anything and everything I could to save them no matter what. Instead the teens are the ones who take matters into their own hands and decided to save themselves. Its like the teens are the parents and the parents need to be taken care of. However the teens are to blame as well because they find out how dangerous the villains are and they find all this information about them and do they take it to their parents? Of course not. They decided to face this huge powerful evil by themselves and keep their parents in the dark. Its like these kids have a death wish. That seems to be the trend in YA books, that the parents are no where to be found and the teens have to do everything alone. I guess I just would like to see more books where the parents are more involved and fight along side their children.

I have to say that I really liked the last couple of chapters, where the bad guys are confronted. It was cool how the author did the scene and how the teens fought back against the bad guys. You get a sense of how powerful these kids really are.

I also like the romance because it was subtle. It was there but it didn't take over the plot. There was no insta love and the characters came into the story already dating and in love for a year. The plot was more concerned with the actual storyline instead of the romance. I would like to see more books with a romance like this one where the characters are already in a relationship and together they figure out whatever's going on. Its more realistic than the whole insta love and the whole making out and stuff while trying to battle the bad guys. 

All in all a good read that I liked and was entertained with. 


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