From rising star Stacia Kane comes the third novel in her dark and sexy Chess Putnam series, perfect for fans of Kim Harrison and Patricia Briggs.
Chess Putnam has a lot on her plate. Mangled human corpses have started to show up on the streets of Downside, and Chess’ bosses at the Church of Real Truth have ordered her to team up with the ultra-powerful Black Squad agency to crack the grisly case. Chess is under a binding spell that threatens death if she talks about the investigation, but the city’s most notorious crime boss—and Chess’ drug dealer—gets wind of her new assignment and insists on being kept informed. If that isn’t bad enough, a sinister street vendor appears to have information Chess needs. Only he’s not telling what he knows, or what it all has to do with the vast underground City of Eternity. Now Chess will have to navigate killer wraiths, First Elders, and a lot of seriously nasty magic—and the only man Chess can trust to help her through it all has every reason to want her dead.
©2010 Stacia Kane (P)2000 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
This is one of the most creative edge of the seat raw touching series I have ever read. Love the narrater she truly brings each character & scene alive
I like realistic books that stretch the truth and the laws of physics...and also emotionally resonant narration that doesn't suck.
Chapter 23 was freaking transcendent. I'm not going to spoil it for you, but wow. That's a well done chapter.
I'm really liking this author, even though she's probably not for the litra-choor conniseurs. Good genre fiction can be hard to find, and this series is pretty good! I mean it's not Shakespeare guys. It's a thrill and a pleasure though. Ive got to say, after reading some reviews, I can't understand how reviewers can say they "can't identify with" a functioning drug addict as a protagonist. Really, that's kind of what books are for, to help you identify with the kind of life you have never lived yourself. Most of us also "can't identify with" what battling cancer is like, but a book about it wouldn't prompt most people to name this as a shortcoming of the plot. I suspect that most, but not all of those comments are more about people expressing their distaste for drug abuse, or drug abusers. That sort of thing is always in style isn't it? Having some group to look down on? Some big evil to scorn, even when doing so is meaningless and irrational? Like when you're just reading about it in a fictional novel which utilizes said evil in a very realistic, thought provoking, and original way? Anyway, these stories are fast paced and very creative, but I think the way the relationships between its characters are written and their dysfunction are the best parts of it all. I love the way the author really breaks things between her characters, I mean really BREAKS things badly, then she takes you through the seemingly impossible task of putting things between them back together again in the most exhilarating ways, then bam! It all breaks apart again! Very fun series!
I'm a 30-something paranormal, mystery, and humor enthusiast. For me, the main character is the most important part of a book.
I LOVE the characterizations. I love hearing Bump and Terrible's language. I think that adds a lot to the experience.
Terrible. Always Terrible.
I do love Bumps voice though.
“Bump stood in the middle of the room, wrapped in a heavy fur coat, with a black silk top hatcovering his fuzzy head and unnecessary sunglasses hiding his pale face. He looked like the Abominable Snowpimp.”
― Stacia Kane, Unholy Ghosts
yep. all of it.
Devourer of all books fantasy
This is the third book in the Downside Ghosts series by Kane. I listened to this on audiobook and the audiobook was very well done. This was the strongest book in the series so far; I loved how we got to delve deeper into the workings of the Church of Truth.
When piles of body parts start showing up on street corners the Church wants Chess on the case. They pair Chess with a member of the Black Squad for the investigation and bind Chess to not talk about the investigation on penalty of death. The binding gets cumbersome when Chess’s drug dealer Bump wants to be kept informed of what’s going on. As secrets are revealed Chess doesn’t know who to trust; the one man she could trust wants her dead making things even more complex.
This was by far my favorite book in the series. The Church of Truth is finally facing off with the Lamaru in a more direct way. Chess is forced to deal with some truly nasty magic. The story focused more on Chess and her investigation with the Church than on her drug habits. Bump is present in the story, but played a very minor role. I enjoyed that there was less focus on Chess’s drug habits and dealer and more focus on her job with the Church.
Chess grows a lot as a character and is forced to finally face her feelings for Terrible. Chess is also working closely with a member of the Black Squad named Lauren. It was fascinating to watch Chess work in close proximity to another member of the Church. We usually see her working alone or with other Downsiders.
Lauren is an excellent new character. She definitely gives Chess a run for her money, she is strong, obnoxious, and really shakes things up. She was an excellent counterbalance to Chess and really added a lot of interest to the story.
Things come to a climax between Chess and Terrible (no pun intended....kind of). Both are forced to face their feelings towards each other. The scenes between these two are heartbreaking and tense, Kane really does a good job of jerking around the readers’ emotions. I was on the edge of my seat for these scenes and loved it.
There is quite a bit of action in this book as well. We get to see Chess doing magic under high stress and in combat situations. We also learn a lot more about how sending ghosts to the City works and how the Church works. We see a lot more magic then in previous books. This is a fascinating world and a unique and I still enjoy the settings.
I still have some problems with the characters. I just don’t like Chess and, while I understand why her live is so screwed up, I find her frustrating to read about. Terrible remains my favorite character of the bunch. I did enjoy that this book dealt more with Chess’s job than her addiction and hope future books keep that focus.
Overall the best book yet in this series. While I am not a fan of Chess as a character I have to admit that the scenes between her and Terrible are masterfully done. I do love this world and was excited to see that this book focused on the Church of Truth and Chess’s job there. We learn oodles more about the Church and also get to see some pretty sweet magic performed. I recommend this series to urban fantasy fans who like flawed characters and dark settings.
Stacia Kane is a strong writer who weaves strong story lines with original material. Even though this is a series, one never gets the feeling that the author is dragging out the material - she paces her stories nicely.
Even though this is clearly fantasy material. Her characters are real on an emotional level. Her ideas original and interesting.
Narration is highly subjective, but I think Bahni does a superb job bringing the story to life.
The protagonist is someone I am rooting for. She is a highly flawed individual. She clearly is a destructive personality patching her emotional wounds with drugs. I cannot really relate to this and yet I enjoyed listening to the book. It is a bit hard to deal with her bad choices, but she rings true.
must read: darynda jones, Karen moning, Ilona Andrews, kim harrison, gena showalter, Karen chance,patricia briggs,jeaniene frost ,L taylor,
i would definately recommend this series! start with book 1 unholy ghosts. this series is suspensful, dark, action packed unique fun!
there are many memorable parts, really love the complicated relationship that heats up and the battle.
she is a terrific narrator! she really brings the characters to life, the slang flows off her tongue easily and you can always tell the differnece between the characters.
there is a lot of drug use in this series and the main character often has negative self dialouge. there are times where it can bring tears to your eyes but then she pulls herself up and fights, in more ways than one. she is definately changing over the series, i wish i had discovered this series long ago, but am so happy i can listen to one right after the other instead of waiting months for the next one to come out. i am downloading 4 right now! give these books a try!
Bahni Turpin sucks you into the story with her voice, gives the Downside characters a great accent and overall is a great story teller.
The love story in this book actually made me cry at one point. It has been building up from the first two books, the intensity ever increasing. I finished the second book yesterday (I think), and just had to start on this one right away - it was such a cliff hanger at the end and I had to know if she ended up happy - or as happy as Chess could ever be. Also, Chess' selfdestructive actions have made me want to bang her head in a wall quite a few times.
A great series. I love the concept of the ghosts and the Church, and I like the quotes from different Church books at the beginning of each chapter.If you haven't read the first two books in the series, you must do so. Don't miss out on this action-thriller world.
I am a huge fan of this series and of the reader Bahni Turpin. The books require someone who is able to move back and forth between many different types of language and dialect and keep the flow and rhythm of the dialogue smooth. Ms Turpin does this with ease. The books are dark and tough and they move fast. Characters are flawed and yet still extremely sympathetic in my opinion. I'm looking forward to more Downside books from Ms. Kane read by Ms. Turpin.
Great narration. I like to list this first as it can make or break a story.
Took some getting use too, to start with, due to the street slang and the drug addiction (which I can't relate too). But I have now become caught up in the series. Just finished the 4 book and can't wait for book 5. Best to follow series in order if possible.
I really enjoy it when readers with similar reading interests list their favourite authors and series. It really helps me find new authors too follow. Mine are Charlaine Harris, Jeaniene Frost, Jennifer Estep, Faith Hunter, Molly Harper, Ilona Andrews, Kresley Cole, Deborah Harkness, Nalini Singh, Coreene Callahan, Stacia Kane, Kelly Medding and Sherrilyn Kenyon.
My last review on this series was glowing and I'll be the first to say that the author and narrator together is excellent. That said I won't be purchasing anymore of this series unless I see reviews stating that the main character improves. The main character in this story has little character growth and an addiction that is spinning out of control. Instead of confronting the problem the author glorifies it by weaving a story where drugs use eventually saves the day and how a character can function relatively well in a larger society. (Example: because she was a junkie she was saved from a normally killing dose of downers; anytime she needs a boost uppers are the answer). While this is a work of fiction its over 13hrs of audio fiction any teen can get their hands on. Kinda sad really.
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