- Mass Market Paperback: 352 pages
- Publisher: Del Rey (May 25 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0345515579
- ISBN-13: 978-0345515575
- Product Dimensions: 10.5 x 2.3 x 17.5 cm
- Shipping Weight: 136 g
- Average Customer Review: 5 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #605,057 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Unholy Ghosts Mass Market Paperback – May 25 2010
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“Simply the best book I’ve read this year.”—Caitlin Kitteridge
“The ultimate bible of badassery . . . a black diamond of an urban fantasy.”
—Ann Aguirre, national bestselling author of Blue Diablo and Doubleblind
“Gripping . . . vivid characters and a wonderful sense of pace . . . I was enthralled.”—Charlaine Harris
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 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. She lives outside Atlanta with her husband and their two little girls.See all Product description
Top customer reviews
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This is one of the worth it ones, as long as you don't need the saccharine sweetness of beautiful protagonists and a slight ridiculousness to your dialogue. This series is dark, gritty and has a great romantic twist with a very atypical male lead. And you still end up rooting for the couple.
Having read all the books to date, the only thing that irks me off as a reader is the clumsiness of the protagonist being used as a plot device too often. Say we're at a critical juncture, the character has to throw some dirt somewhere, and boom - she inevitably misses/doesn't have enough/is unprepared and the situation becomes EVEN MORE PERILOUS. It's an obvious and annoying plot device that the author/editor should put a stop to. If your job is say, to throw dirt with regularity, and you suck this badly at it, you should maybe find a sandbox and practice or something.
Minor quips aside though, the world is dark, the characters have genuine struggles, the dialogue is fine, character development is decent, and the plot is usually relatively interesting. The books have enough staying power to stay with me when they're done, and for chick-lit that's no small feat.
The characters including the MC are gritty. It gives edge to the story. My only complaint is the MC being constantly high on drugs. After a bit I found it more annoying than anything. If you don't mind this then you will most likely love Unholy Ghosts.
I enjoy dark, fast-paced, urban fantasy stories, and this one has all the ingredients I like:
1) a very powerful independent witch, who happens to be an unforgiving heroine, full of flaws, a junkie and with great tattoos! 2) a world full of chaos: where ghosts and magic coexist 3) fun musical references from bands I like, such as Misfits 4) mysterious antagonists who create a mess of things 5) dark -and hard to not root for- male counterparts.
Cesaria... I love her name, too bad her nickname is Chess, but okay, It has a nice sound as well. She has serious issues, she is a witch who works for the Church, the institution that took over controlling 'peace' after ghosts decided to take over. She has this addiction problem that makes her in debt with a drug-pimp lord. She must work for him in order to pay her debt on a dangerous job, where she is the only one capable of finding a solution.
We read this story through her POV, and oh my... what a ride. She really needs to find some soul solace soon. I found that her life is headed towards a straight one way train collision, and this is only the beginning. It's what I liked about this book. You can't expect her life to turn around and make amends very quickly. No, this book shows you that because her life is so messed up, many many things need to happen in order to have her think and act differently. I know it's fantasy, but the way Chess is developed makes her very human, battling with all this stuff that makes us unique.
The world that Kane created is very interesting. Ghosts have been banished, but some escape (or hide out) and haunt and hurt people. Chess' job as a Debunker is to get rid of them -- to send them back where they should be. Reality for the people of Downside is quite grim. There is no religion as proof of an afterlife has become a scientific fact. The Church (Chess' employer) rules and pays anyone for the inconvenience of being haunted. Chess must try to disprove their claims. If anyone is caught fabricating a ghost story just to get paid, they are punished -- and Chess is rewarded.
This is not a fluffy, cutesy bunny rabbits running through a field of yellow buttercup flowers kind of book. This is a raw, gritty and dark story set in an equally raw and gritty setting. It is no way a paranormal romance title -- it's a real urban fantasy tale. You do get a smidgen of romantic tension, but overall the story is about Chess, her mission and her addiction.
Chess is one of the most complex characters that I have read in a while. She is a drug addict. At first, I wondered how that would play out and affect her persona -- and my opinion of her. It didn't take long before I noticed that her drug dependence added a vulnerability to her. I like that the 'high' aspect of Chess is not played up. This book is not a pro-drug ad, nor is it an anti-drug ad. But the drugs do play an important role in the story. They are part of Chess and her life. They affect her reactions to the situations she is faced with -- both good and bad. They show how she has trouble dealing with her life without having a crutch and make you wonder all the more about her and what brought this dependence on. Therefore, you keep reading. Chess is strong and brave, but very human. She feels scared and alone. She has trouble relating to people and forming relationships. I think that is why her relationship with Terrible is so captivating.
Terrible is another interesting character. He is not an attractive man; therefore he is not your typical hero. He is Chess' drug dealers' strong arm. But he helps Chess along her mission and proves to be invaluable to her and her job. He is a good person and a good guy to have on your side. He may even be a good friend for Chess. Now if only she would let him in... Lex, a competing drug lord's something (we're not too sure) is a compelling character too. The 'street' dialogue took a little getting used to, but it quickly became an easy reference as to what side of the tracks the characters come from. After a while, it even made me smile.
Overall, the story was gripping and hard to put down. The second half of the book was really exciting. The last few chapters were a real rush and impossible to put down. "Unholy Ghosts" is an impressive start to a series that holds great potential. I'm looking forward to reading more about Chess and Terrible in the next book "Unholy Magic".
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