This Wicked Game

( 2 )


For fans of Maggie Stiefvater and Holly Black comes a dark mystery set in a secret New Orleans voodoo society.

Claire Kincaid would love to be normal. But as a descendant of Marie Laveau, the most powerful voodoo queen in history, that’s just not possible. Even worse, Claire’s lack of interest in the craft makes her an outsider in her community, putting her secret romance with the voodoo Guild leader’s son at odds. But when mysterious strangers start requesting black market ...

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This Wicked Game

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For fans of Maggie Stiefvater and Holly Black comes a dark mystery set in a secret New Orleans voodoo society.

Claire Kincaid would love to be normal. But as a descendant of Marie Laveau, the most powerful voodoo queen in history, that’s just not possible. Even worse, Claire’s lack of interest in the craft makes her an outsider in her community, putting her secret romance with the voodoo Guild leader’s son at odds. But when mysterious strangers start requesting black market items from local voodoo shops, including the one her family owns, Claire decides to investigate. With the help of some unlikely allies and her gorgeous boyfriend, Claire must uncover the dark truths her family has kept hidden from her and unravel a dangerous plot that threatens to destroy every member of the Guild, including her family and the boy she loves.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Voodoo New Orleans is the real star of Zink’s (A Temptation of Angels) would-be thriller—a somewhat Disneyfied New Orleans without Katrina, crime, or poverty, but lush with gardens, formal balls, and ancient guilds, of which Claire Kincaid is part. She’s a descendant of the infamous Marie Leveau, but Claire thinks voodoo is a scam. She hates working in her family business, purveying voodoo paraphernalia (ordered through wholesale supply for a select clientele), and can’t wait to turn 18 and get to college. It’s hard to connect with Claire—she has no serious enemies, her boyfriend is gorgeous and attentive, and her biggest issue seems to be hiding their relationship, which she thinks is necessary because... well, just because. It’s almost a relief when sinister stalkers show up, with nefarious intent not only toward Claire but her whole generation of Guild inheritors. The plot is slow to gather momentum, and readers may secretly hope Xander dumps his voodoo princess for a more appreciative girl, but at least there’s New Orleans. Ages 12–up. Agent: Steven Malk, Writers House. (Nov.)
Voya Reviews, April 2014 (Vol. 36, No. 1) - Erin E. Forson
Even though Claire Kincaid is a descendent of the notorious New Orleans voodoo queen Marie Laveau, she has no real interest in practicing the craft. Yet when strangers begin requesting ingredients known for their sinister properties from her parent’s voodoo shop, Claire becomes suspicious. With the help of other firstborns from eight historically powerful “Guild” families, Claire uncovers a plot that threatens to destroy them all. Zink skillfully merges the mystique of old-world New Orleans with Claire’s present-day city—where a secretive network of families keeps the art of voodoo alive. This legendary setting provides a heavy tension and romance that is amplified by the secretive relationship between Claire and Alexandre Toussaint, another Guild firstborn. Claire loves Alex but insists on secrecy; she knows that Alex’s family will find her wanting since she does not practice the craft, something she avoids largely because she believes that, despite her lineage, she has no real inherent power. But when a group of rogue voodoo practitioners seeks to work the deadly “Cold Spell” and Guild elders refuse to take a stand, the torch must pass to Claire’s generation. Readers will root for the firstborns and for Claire as she discovers that she may be the key to saving the Guild, and they will relate to her feelings of inadequacy as she fights to garner enough self-confidence to overcome her doubts. Those who avoid historical works but are fans of paranormal mystery with some historical references, like Garcia and Stohl’s The Caster Chronicles, will enjoy Zink’s latest offering. Reviewer: Erin E. Forson; Ages 11 to 18.
School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up—Claire Kincaid, 17, resents working in her family's voodoo supply shop. She has always eschewed her heritage-she's a descendant of Marie Leveau, a famed voodoo priestess in New Orleans. Claire finally turns to magic for answers once a series of break-ins threatens her friends, all firstborn children of prominent voodoo families. The action takes place in the weeks before the Priestesses' Ball, an exclusive promlike gathering. This post-Katrina mystery uncovers family secrets that have been festering for a generation. Fearing their parents' disapproval, Claire wants to keep her relationship with Xander, the son of prominent Guild leaders, secret. They arrange a series of break-ins of their own to discover what the mysterious woman purchasing dangerous magical items from their voodoo shops and exiled Guild member "Crazy Eddie" have been hiding. Using information obtained while in a dream state, and aided by some incredibly lucky coincidences, Claire ends up fighting off a ring of black-magic users who want to use her charmed blood for evil. Teens looking for mystery with a hint of the paranormal will enjoy this fast-paced story.—Madigan McGillicuddy, Atlanta-Fulton Public Library, Atlanta, GA
Kirkus Reviews
With this foray into secret voodoo societies and forbidden spells, Zink delivers an enjoyable, fast-paced ride perfect for lovers of the paranormal thriller. Seventeen-year-old Claire Kincaid doesn't believe in voodoo. Not that unusual a stance, really, unless you are a direct descendant of Marie Leveau and the only daughter of one of the most powerful couples in an underground New Orleans voodoo guild. But when a mysterious stranger walks into the Kincaid store in search of panther's blood--an ingredient used only to kill--a series of events begins to unfold that will challenge everything Claire thinks she knows about voodoo, the Guild and her own latent abilities. Exhibiting characteristically teenage frustration with their parents, who reign stolidly over Guild affairs, Claire, her boyfriend, Xander, and some other Guild firstborns take the investigation into their own hands. They find an ally in ex-member Crazy Eddie and together delve into the darker side of voodoo in order to defeat those out to destroy the Guild in retribution for past injuries. The plot is suspenseful, the characters are sympathetic if not fully rounded, and the fictional subculture comes alive through detailed descriptions of the New Orleans setting, particularly the Garden District. Fans of the paranormal, sure to be spellbound by this tale of revenge and teen rebellion, will hope Zink conjures up a sequel. (Paranormal thriller. 12-16)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780803737747
  • Publisher: Dial
  • Publication date: 11/14/2013
  • Pages: 368
  • Sales rank: 304,126
  • Age range: 13 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.60 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 1.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Michelle Zink

Michelle Zink is a mother of four living in Pine Bush, New York. Before turning to YA books, she was an executive at a marketing firm and then an antiques dealer. She is the author of the Prophecy of the Sisters trilogy and A Temptation of Angels.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 2 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 18, 2013

    Claire Kincaid has never believed. Growing up in New Orleans,

    Claire Kincaid has never believed.

    Growing up in New Orleans, she has been surrounded by voodoo all of her life. What’s more, she is the great granddaughter of Marie Laveau, the most powerful voodoo priestess in history. As if that wasn’t enough, her parents hold high ranking positions in the Guild, the body of power in the voodoo community.

    Still she doesn’t believe. Claire has always believed in what she can see and touch, what is explainable. She has never had any patience for voodoo magic and hexes. However, something happens to change her mind and put her in danger.

    A woman comes to her shop looking for a black listed substance. They are not the only shop to be visited, though, and this puts everyone on high alert. When several of the shops are broken into and whispers of the Cold Blood spell start circulating, Clare knows something has to be done.

    She joins forces with Sasha and Allegra and her boyfriend Xander and they must fight magic with magic, if they have a hope of surviving. Clare must fight an unfamiliar magic, whether she believes or not, if they have any hope of surviving...

    I absolutely loved every page of this book! Michelle Zink always writes an amazing story with characters you will grow to love, but there are things that stand out in This Wicked Game that help the book stand out.

    It’s the first of Zink’s novels to be held in modern times. Her previous four novels have all involved places and times from the past. Though This Wicked Game doesn’t have the flowery Victorian dialogue, the book doesn’t suffer from this.

    Far from it. There’s something that makes the story in This Wicked Game more frightening and more real having it told in modern times and modern language. It also features Voodoo, something at once instantly fascinating and alluring. Zink does a magnificent job bring voodoo and New Orleans to life. It’s as if we’re right there with Claire, fighting alongside her.

    The other thing that works so well for This Wicked Game is a dark mystery of the novel. Her other books have featured a paranormal mystery of sorts, but this is the first time Zink has delved into full on mystery and it works so well for the novel. There are fantasy elements within the book, but they don’t over power it. The mystery is all consuming and you will want to read to the very end to find out what happens.

    Claire is another reason why this novel succeeds. She makes a believable progression from non-belief to believer though out the book and every emotion she goes through is pitch perfect. Her transition is so well done, so well crafted, that by the time Claire believes, we will too.

    Zink has outdone herself with This Wicked Game. It involves mystery, suspense, secrets from the past, betrayals and young love. It has everything you could want in a novel.

    I can’t wait to read it all over again.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 25, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

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