Enjoyed this introduction to a particular world that isn't too different from reality-- that is to say, while there's some drastic shifts cultural, political and spiritual frameworks, people are still mostly people and there's isn't a ton of sci-fi created vocabulary or super-invented geography to keep up with.
I love the complicated nature of the protagonist. I like the variety of players in her world -- the professional side and the off-hours and in-the-neighborhood aspects of her life. And the story is not a predictable one. I was puzzling through along with Chess, not ahead of the story.
The story is suspenseful though it took me a little while to get the hang of the various factions of people Chess has to navigate. Great character names and Terrible is a favorite, no doubt.
Best narrator ever.
I like realistic books that stretch the truth and the laws of physics...and also emotionally resonant narration that doesn't suck.
This is truly what I think of as urban fantasy, because of the wry, gritty sense of humor and pressing sense of action it delivers. What I really admire in these books though, is the reality of a high functioning drug addict, how her mind works, why she lives that kind of life, how it harms her, but especially how it sometimes actually comes in handy. This is not an after school special on why drugs are bad and will ruin your life. There are two sides to every coin, and it takes courage to write about the less desirable side in today's market. Only complaint I cloud possibly have is the way her world building and mystery investigation get so intertwined that when the main character is finding clues and trying to figure things out, it's easy to get totally lost, since the strange magical elements of her world seem to be so innumerable. Its like she was making up lots of the rules and realities of this world as she went along. Just makes it easy to get confused is all. And maybe it felt a little tedious. Still, this story injects a little ugliness into a genre that is plagued by fluff. Ghost stories don't have to be for kids :)
I enjoyed listening to this book, although I did find Chesses drug use a little bit grating at times. There were times that she really should have stayed clear headed but didn't. I was just waiting for her to get clean or at least try! Maybe later in the series. Despite that, the book wouldn't have been nearly as good if she wasn't an addict. She's got street smarts but she still makes bad decisions. I like that she is vulnerable but can still hold her own. She needs help sometimes but isn't helpless.
I also liked the gradual buildup of Chess and Terribles friendship. Their relationship started off shakey but kind of blossomed into this, cool, dyfunctional friendship. I look forward to seeing what will become of these two.
The narraration was fantastic. I love how she gave that downside street vernacular life. The voices all sounded different from one another. Very well done.
I really like the world that Stacia Kane has built here. There are interesting political and philosophical considerations built inherently into the world here that add a depth not always seen in an urban fantasy novel.
Besides that the main character Chess is an interesting mixture of vulnerable and competent. She's smart, which I appreciate, but still makes mistakes.
I also appreciated that I was totally wrong about my predictions of the plot. I have read several urban fantasy mysteries that have completely failed to surprise me lately, and it was nice to be surprised again!
If you have ever read or listen to a story that has you talking to, laughing at, or shaking your head at the characters, then that story has engulfed you and pulled you into their world. And for me, that’s the best natural high a book reader can achieve. And seriously if you think about it, it’s the only reason to read a book. This is by far one of best series of urban fantasy that I have had the privilege of listening to.
Stacia Kane's delivered a spellbinding and very unique story. Scary at times, dangerous at times, over the top at times, however brought together through life trails, love and hope. The characters are well developed and very interesting.
Although at times, I thought Chess needed to rein in the insecure emotional drama, I can’t wait for the saga to continue.
Bahni Tupin brings each character to life with his/her own distinct personalities. Tupin is one of the best narrators on Audible.
I really like the way Bahni Turpin's narration brings Downside speak to life. She really shows Bumps greasy ways.
Technology, Mobile and Gaming enthusiast. Mischief and fun...
I was more intrigued by the cover than the premise of the book, yes, I'm a sucker for pretty girls... but the story is absolutely fabulous and the narrator is just wonderful, getting the tone and inflection spot on every time...
I absolutely love audible! I read constantly and there is nothing better than finding a new series to follow. I'm a syfy/fant kinda gal.
I really enjoyed the narration for this book. I really like Bahni Turpin. She has good voices for each characters.
I haven't listened to any other books by Ms. Kane.
The scene with Terrible when they are kissing and almost leave the bar together. Then she blows it by acting like a jerk. That was my favorite scene.
This book didn't hold any hope for me. The book itself was a decent story and a unique concept, but in this new world, there is no hope. No chance of a future or love. I felt that the characters were all very beaten down and lonely. It's a sad world filled with man's addictive personality and anger.
I will not be reading any other books in this series. Again, the story was good too dark for me to have the desire to continue.
The first time I read this book, I immediately wanted to tell people how amzing it was. The problem was that I didn't think it would have universal appeal due to a lead character who some may find unlikeable and who is a drug addict. Then there is the whole premise of the world being set in a setting where religion is turned on it's head --- while I found the Church of Truth to be interesting and the world that Kane has created to be both highly imaginative and original--- I know some folks might be uncomfortable with it.
The second and third time I read and/or listened to the story, I loved it more and more. I'm no longer timid about who I recommend this book/series to --- I think it will win everyone over in the end. This is definitely a Credit Worthy series. It might take some people a little bit of time to get used to the language (both Church speak and the Downside Slang) and a bit of time for some to fall in love with Chess (who is by all accounts a flawed character), but she'll win you over in the end.
THE NARRATION IS AMAZING!!!! Bahni Turpin - whose narration you might recognize from The Help - is TOP NOTCH. She really breathes life into the story by giving every character his/her unique voice. You can tell she's a trained actor because she isn't merely reading well-crafted words, she playing every part --- and skillfully.
If you are a fan of Urban Fantasy, you won't be sorry you picked up this refreshingly original series. And if you've already read this series, you will enjoy HEARING it performed.