Second Look: THIS WICKED GAME by Michelle Zink


Title: This Wicked Game

Author: Michelle Zink

Published: 2013

Age: Young Adult

Genre: Urban Fantasy (modern voodoo)

What It’s About:  Claire doesn’t believe voodoo is real…even though she’s a direct descendant of infamous voodoo priestess, Marie Leveau.  (And her parents are practicers.)  She’s forced to re-evaluate her beliefs when a string of break-ins at the homes of Guild members make it obvious the first borns are being targeted for a dark ritual.  Claire, along with her secret boyfriend Xander, and her best friend, and an unlikely companion, begins to search for who’s responsible and how to stop them.

In the end, Claire must decide if she believes enough to summon the loas to save her friends.

Thoughts:  Zink is a great storyteller and the story she tells here is fluid and engaging.  Claire is so relatable because she doesn’t necessarily believe what her parents and friends so fiercely believe in (voodoo, in this case).  There’s also a love story mixed in for the romantics in us — almost a Romeo & Juliet sort (without the killing themselves).  Xander is from the most powerful family in New Orleans and Claire’s mother is more of an outcast than anything.

I loved Xander because he was the classic hero — he wanted so badly to save Claire, but she’s so independent that she pushes him away a little when he does this.

I was a little disappointed at the lack of “classic” voodoo elements.  Zink’s version was more of a happy view.  And Marie was painted very positively.  I would have liked more realistic elements (midnight bonfires, chickens with their heads cut off) and that version of New Orleans.  (Maybe a little too much AMERICAN HORROR STORY: COVEN?)  Also, voodoo is painted as a “good” religion and the characters as wanting to use it to fight evil.  Really, it was more paganistic to me, than what I’m familiar with.  (Anyone can tell me I’m wrong, if I am, though!)

Rating: 8/10 stars.

Don’t forget, Michelle Zink is a YA Fest 2015 attendee!


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