Unholy Magic Mass Market Paperback – Jul 6 2010
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"Gripping... Vivid characters, superior world-building and a wonderful sense of pace... I was enthralled." "The world-building is unexpected and complex, the characters are alive, and the protagonist Chess is a treasure." "The characters are complex and indelible, the plot is fascinating, and I can hardly wait for another book..." (all) Charlaine Harris 'I'm so excited about this book - I LOVED it! I haven't read an Urban Fantasy this good in quite a while. ' bookchickcity.com --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
About the Author
Stacia Kane has been a phone psychic, a customer service representative, a bartender, and a movie theater usher, and she thinks that writing is more fun than all of them combined. She wears a lot of black, still makes great cocktails, likes to play music loud in the car, and thinks that Die Hard is one of the greatest movies ever made. She believes in dragons and the divine right of kings, and is a fervent Ricardian. Stacia Kane lives outside Atlanta with her husband and their two little girls.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
In Unholy Magic Chess is still very much addicted to drugs and still associating with both her regular drug dealer's main muscle Terrible, as well a rival drug lord Lex. She lives a dangerous, chaotic life with no clear indication that things will settle down anytime soon. A good deal of her chaos is self imposed but such is the nature of the life of a drug addict. However in Unholy Magic, things get a bit more personal. We get a glimpse into Chess's tragic background and a better understanding of they reasons she abuses drugs. Chess uses the drugs and both creates and allows chaos in her life as a way of coping--or perhaps not--with things that are just too big to handle. Chess has really grown on me as a heroine which is actually quite surprising to me since there were several times in this book where I literally wanted to wring her neck. She is a mess and makes bad decisions left and right. But on the other hand her basic moral core is solid and underneath it all she is quite vulnerable.
Chess is not the only character that has grown on me. I liked Terrible in Unholy Ghosts but I'm going to put myself out there and say I've moved on to loving him after reading Unholy Magic. We get to know a lot more about Terrible and although his reality is danger and violence, somehow after pealing back his layers and getting to look a little deeper it's easier to sympathize and understand who he is. He still had a moment or two that made me say, "Oh no he didn't!" but Terrible wouldn't be Terrible unless he actually did. (I'm still firmly supporting team Terrible)
When it comes to mystery and suspense, Stacia Kane writes with gusto. She is a master of surprises and she simply does not hold back, pushing the boundaries with every turn of the page. This book will make you shiver, shudder, cringe and wince but at the same time, you'll find yourself caring deeply for characters that are far from perfect and who's redemption seems questionable at times.
Stacia Kane has written an amazing, spine tingling novel in Unholy Magic, taking me by surprise by surpassing even the brilliance of it's predecessor Unholy Ghosts.
Prostitutes are being killed on Downside streets, and Bump, drug dealer/pimp, decides that this is Chess's responsibility as a church witch and addict. After following Terrible to the crime scenes, Chess comes to believe ghosts and sex magic are involved. Slobag, a rival drug dealer, is having similar problems, and Chess finds herself caught between two drug dealers and their top flunkies who just happen to be her love interests. Though "love" might not be the right word.
Lex and Terrible are still in the picture. Still attractive, unpleasant, and a very bad idea. They also happen to be two of my favourite leading men. Chess starts thinking about the ethics of sleeping with a man who also happens to be giving her free drugs and things with Terrible become more intense. The slightly dank romance is there, but it never crosses into the gooey land of paranormal romance.
The writing is good, the characters sympathetic without being nice, and the dialogue believable. I'd like to have seen the world more fleshed out, and more church politics in the book. I still can't decipher the drug slang (cepts, nips, oozers?) and I can't work out if I'm suppose to. But Chess, who is pretty much a walking, talking, disaster zone, makes up for any literary slips. She's a competent witch, trying really hard to be tough. But she makes one brilliant mistake after another--rattling on the bathroom floor of her church appointed subject, falling into bed with people she probably shouldn't, just so she doesn't have to spend a night home alone. Every mistake is made with the perfect levels of oblivion and self-reflection; it hits angsty notes, but never crosses into melodramatic territory.
MAJOR PRO: Totally in agreement with a previous reviewer. This series is 100% addictive and I'm currently thanking a nonfactual and untrue God for the awesome publishing deal that means I don't have to wait too long for CITY OF GHOSTS.
MAJOR CON: At the moment, the ebook is unavailable in certain areas. Like mine. Boo.
This book is a wonderful number two to the series. Stacia Kane, once again does not disappoint here. I got drawn into Chess's cases and life. This book was just as intense or more so than Unholy Ghosts. The cases, both of them, hit close to home once again to Chess - actually closer than she would like. Chess is stuck between the feud of her close friends boss and her local drug dealer, and the man who has been giving her free drugs and who she shares a night with once in a while. I watched as Chess's life which seems to work so well for her, comes apart at the seams. Then Chess realizes what she wants and tries to fix everything to get it.
The characters are a great love in this book. The way we get to see more dynamics from them - history, reactions, and intimacy with each other. We got more insight on our lovable bouncer, Terrible. We get to see a softer side and the more dangerous side (that many others in the book see) of Terrible.
The story line... just keeps going. The pacing is quick and keeps you turning the pages. The different cases Chess works on kept me going to see what would happen and where the cases would lead. And the trauma in Chess's life just adds the flare to the story. All full of action, suspense, and even a caring between the characters.