Sacrifice the Wicked (Dark Mission #4)
by Karina Cooper
Parker Adams has always done what’s expected of her . . . until a double agent with nothing to lose ignites a passion she doesn't dare give in to.
Mission Agent Simon Wells is everything Parker Adams has been trained to fight: manipulator, murderer, spy… witch. But for her, what makes Simon most dangerous is his mesmerizing sexual magnetism, powerful enough to tempt even the famed ice queen of the Mission. Though she knows better, each encounter with the deceptive agent leaves her craving more.
Simon isn't a man to let go of what’s his, and his pursuit forces Parker, a woman he can’t get out from under his skin, to make a stand that could destroy her. If they can work together, they might survive the politics that have enslaved their devastated world—or fall victim to the pitfalls of desperation, bone-deep mistrust, and a hunger that threatens to consume them.
I began this series on a whim when I found the first book at a used bookstore, and have been keeping up. This was another intriguing installment in the series for sure. Set in post-apocalyptic Seattle, after a huge worldwide catastrophe has left most settlements cut off from each other and a large gap in the classes, the world is not a friendly place for witches. The church blames witches for the disasters that have befallen the world and the masses have turned against any and all forms of magic in fear of something like this happening again.
Parker is the new leader of the enforcement arm of the church-the Mission, the group that is actively hunting and disposing of these hated individuals. She suspects witches are beginning to eat away at the foundation of her Mission, and is confronted with the proof in the form of Agent Simon Wells. Both a Witch and a Mission agent, he is riding the rim between his assignments and his peers, all while trying to protect himself and save his own life from ending in a terrifying and extremely explosive fashion.
Together they are faced with their own mortality and morality as they race to stop a modern day Dr. Mengele who is causing the deaths of hundreds of "subjects", i.e. witches. Faced with the truth of the organization and the love of a good man, who just happens to also be a witch, Parker must decide if she is willing to give it all up to save her lover and prevent the coming destruction or all she had ever believed in.
The heat between these two is palpable and has been from their interaction at the end of the last story. They are thrown together in some very unique circumstances and Parker comes to realize early on that trusting him might well be a mistake, but it is really her only choice. The action throughout the story is well written, without taking anything away from the overall romance of the story and adding detail to the plotline instead of just being action for action’s sake. As secrets are slowly uncovered Parker and Simon come to realize that, though they are on opposite sides of certain issues, they need to work together to save their own lives, and protects the innocents on both sides of the equation.
There are some interesting points from both a scientific and a magical standpoint, but sometimes the overlap between the two viewpoints can leave the reader a bit confused as to whether it’s magic or science really causing the problems. I look forward to finding out more about the genetics and the supernatural of Cooper’s version of witchcraft and how deep her imagination on those subjects really goes.
With the return of several favorite characters and lots of action and suspense this installment of the story was definitely worth the read, though I did feel there were a lot of loose ends. Can't wait to read the next in the series to see if some of those are all nicely tied up.