Published by Dial on November 14, 2013
Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult
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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.
You’d think a story about a secret voodoo society set in New Orleans would be the perfect back drop for diversity, but alas, it lacks depth. I feel like I’ve just read a story with cardboard cut out characters following a predictable, uninteresting plot that never hits a climax.
I wanted so much more out of This Wicked Game, more about the Voodoo, religious intent or more about magic and its ingredients. Even more about the amazing world of New Orleans would have done. Voodoo is a fanatical religion with African roots, but in the Wicked Game, all you get are white characters with no back story. Would it have killed to have a bit of diversity in a place that is filled with it, instead of making it the same old story superimposed over a Voodoo background?
The book was mainly focused on a loose mystery behind what the deadly ingredient was being used for and then foiling their plans, but the culprits were easily found out and there was no surprise whatsoever. I always have a problem with unbelievable plots where the teenagers don’t involve their parents in dangerous threats.
Usually I’d cheer at YA stories that aren’t centered on the romance, but Claire and Xander getting together before the events of the book was a convenient way to skip any development on that end. Now I know why most YA books tend to lean towards the romance, because at least that’s something, right?
Now let’s talk about Claire. She’s your typical boring protagonist who doesn’t think before she acts. After meeting Eugenia, a threatening character who wants to purchase a deadly, rare ingredient used for curses, what does she do? She breaks into her home to find more information with her boyfriend. She continues doing stupid things throughout the book, and I felt no connection to her whatsoever.
That being said, the writing was really succinct and action-oriented, easily read. There was a lot of telling instead of showing, with Claire and her friends talking it out and coming to conclusions about the Voodoo enemy.
This Wicked Game was a book that lacks depth all the way through. There is absolutely no diversity when it comes to the Voodoo Society in New Orleans, a place that is filled with a rich culture and history. The characters are flat and boring, and the plot even more so. It had so much more potential, which is disappointing, really.
I keep on getting this book confused with Wicked Games by Sean Olin, what is with two YA books with really similar titles being released around the same time?
Rating: 1 out of 5