For freewheeling ghost hunter Chess Putnam, finding herself near-fatally poisoned by a con psychic and then stopping a murderous ghost is just another day on the job. An agent for the Church of Real Truth, she investigates claims of harassment by the undead. But Chess has been extra busy these days, coping with a new “celebrity” assignment while trying on her own time to help some desperate prostitutes. Someone’s taking out the hookers of Downside in the most gruesome way, and Chess is sure the rumors that it’s the work of a ghost are way off base. But proving herself right means walking in the path of a maniac, not to mention standing between the two men in her life just as they are moving closer to a catastrophic showdown. Someone is dealing in murder, sex, and the supernatural, and once again Chess finds herself right in the crossfire.
©2010 Stacia Kane (P)2010 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
“Unholy Ghosts is a wonderful, weird, wild tale filled with gritty magic, punk rock and macabre spirits. Kane’s world is dark, dangerous and haunted, populated by hustlers, junkies and exorcists…and you’ll never want to leave. Simply the best book I’ve read this year.” (Caitlin Kittredge, author of Street Magic)
I normally like to read paranormal romance, urban fantasy, erotica romance and YA with a paranormal theme.
YES. The characters and world are awesome. Narrator goes a great job of bring characters to life.
The sexual tension between these two are off the charts. And I love that they are one of those couples that doesn't get together in the first book. It keeps you hanging on to see if they will or won't make it. And you just know if they, do it will be explosive and life changing for the both of them.
“I figure you really wanted me you'd say. Like now, maybe, if you dig. I'll f-in carry you down your place on a run, you tell me aye, get you on your back afore the next word comes out your mouth. But you oughta have yourself certain, causen I ain't lookin for charity, an I ain't lettin you go after. Once...once ain't enough for me, dig?”
O.M.G. Just reading that quote again makes me what to re-listen to the book again. Terrible is such a great anti-hero. I was told by friends that he might replace Jericho Barrons (Fever series) on the top of my list. He is very close; he and Barrons might have to hang out at the top together for awhile.
Chess and Terrible
The WHOLE book!
Seriously, if you have not started this series get off your butt and do it! FAN-FREAKING-TASTIC.
For all you Urban Fantasy fans that has not started this series yet I highly recommend that you put down what you are reading and start this series TODAY.
I started with this book, thinking it was the first one, and was able to pick up on the back story without trouble - which says a lot for the writing. The narrator is fantastic. A number of the characters speak in a street slang dialect which I think would have been awkward to read in print, but the narrator's inflections made the dialect seem totally natural and understandable. The characters and world are complex and there is nothing in the way of a bright shiny happy ending - which I kind of love about it. I'm looking forward to the rest of the series.
I ordered the first book in this series,Unholy Ghosts a few days ago and LOVED it. I couldnt wait the 3 days for my credits to renew to order Unholy Magic so I just payed for it. It was worth it. Stacia Kane Knows how to write a complex character that is full of flaws that you'll still cheer for and care about. It was a great story too. Stacia Kane created a dirty urban world so well I have to believe that she had her fair share of time on the streets or at least the street fringe. The main character, Chess has a drug problem, the same one I spent 13 years in and she writes the mind, thoughts and deeds of an addict with brutal truth. It was hard for me to read some parts without crying or cringing over memories that mirrored what the main character was going through. Oh and the author really knows her punk rock. This series is going to be amazing. If you like Poppy Z. Brite you'll like this. There is finally some awesome urban fantasy to read again!
This book is so well written, especially when you consider it falls into the paranormal/ urban fantasy genre. It moves you to tears at points. the main character Chess is a flawed but none the less compelling protagonist. I can't wait for the next installment at the end of the month.
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 have listened to this story twice.
The main character has a drug addiction and a soft spot for bad boys. She's broken and fragile, yet strong and uncompromising.
Honestly, Bahni does a great job of bringing each character's uniqueness to life. Kudos, Bahni!
This series has been a real find and a total surprise. I purchased the first one after reading some amazing reviews but was unsure what to expect. The heroine is a drug addict?? However, Chess is such a vulnerable and complex character that the listener can't help but love her. She is insecure, brave, clever, and full of contradictions. She is a fascinating protagonist and gets more interesting with each installment. Stacia Kane's world is edgy and unique. At times it is genuinely scary and at others it is grim, yet there is still love and hope to be found. Terrible and Lex add to a wonderful cast of rich characters. The other great thing about this series is the magnificent performances by Bahni Turpin. I honestly think the best way to experience these books is to hear her read them. She is superb - probably the best narrator I have heard. The books come to life and the characters are voiced so well its impossible to think of them sounding any other way. If you're a fan of urban fantasy with an edge this series is one of the best. I bought the first one and was so captivated I purchased all the others and had them finished in a week. Then I started again!
Outstanding, emotional, challenging.
I'm not sure that this book really compares to other books I've read, it's very much its own style and tone.
When Chess saves Terrible, I could feel her terror and need.
I would say it made me gasp more than cry and this isn't a book that probably would or should make a person laugh.
This is such a great book, the reader is very good, has a very good diction and I understand clearly the characters intentions by her tone alone. I recommend this completely, together with the first book in the series Unholy Ghosts and the last City of Ghosts. I can't wait for the fourth book next year.
Devourer of all books fantasy
This is the second book in the Downside Ghost series by Kane. It was a decent book and I enjoyed listening to it. It expands some on the world we were introduced to in the first series.
I listened to this on audiobook and the audiobook was well done. I am still not crazy about the narrator, but she is growing on me. The narrator did an excellent job of distinguishing between the different characters voices and of conveying the mood or feeling of the dialogue.
Chess has been promoted in the Church for her work in the first book and in this book she is given her first really high profile case. She is supposed to debunk a haunting of a celebrity. As with the last book her drug habit gets in the way when she is coerced into working another case for her dealer Bump; hookers have been gruesomely killed and Bump wants Chess to figure out if a ghost is involved.
As with the first book in this series I enjoy the dark, gritty, and creative world that these stories take place in. We learn a bit more about ghosts and how they are summoned, we learn a bit more about the history of the Church of Truth as well. This book wasn’t as gruesome as the first one, but it still didn’t gloss over any of the yucky details.
I still have some trouble with these characters. I just don’t like any of them, they are all pretty much train-wrecks. That doesn’t mean they aren’t interesting to read about; reading about Chess as she tries to work and use her drugs is kind of like watching a train on the verge of crashing. It is kind of fascinating how she can balance all these things and mostly have it work out.
Things come to a head between Chess, Terrible, and Lex in this book. Terrible is still by far my favorite character in this series and I am interesting to see what happens between him and Chess. We get to learn a lot more about Terrible’s background and history in this book and it was very interesting.
This book was similar in structure to the first book in the series. Events that happen with Bump and seemingly unconnected events that happened with Chess’s job at the Church end up being closely related. I found this to be a bit formulaic and hope that future books don’t continue to repeat this pattern. It made the story somewhat predictable.
These books have all been fairly self-contained and I am hoping future books introduce some broader story that ties the books together.
Overall a decent addition to this series. I love this world, it is interesting and creative. I am not totally sold on the characters though. I thought this book was a bit too similar to the previous one in structure and hope future books are different. I am planning on reading book 3, City of Ghosts, then I will decide if I will continue on with this series. I would recommend this book to those who like gritty urban fantasy with flawed characters.
I am emotionally wrung out after Unholy Magic. I don't know how Stacia Kane does it, because seriously, the main characters are people you shouldn't like. The heroine, Chess, is a promiscuous drug addicted 'church witch', her friend 'Terrible' is an enforcer for her drug dealer and her boyfriend is a gangster in a rival gang - but Stacia draws you in and makes you care about, and sympathise with, the characters.
I don't want to spoil it for anyone who is following the series, so I'll just say that this book made me cry. Several times. We learn more about the characters and get an insight into why Chess is the way she is. Her inner monologue is sometimes so heartbreaking, it was hard to listen to - I just wanted to mother this fictional character and give her a big fat hug. We learn more about Lex and my favourite character, Terrible, completely steals the show. I LOVE the interaction between Chess and Terrible - they are both very broken, jaded, people, but there is something so innocent and sweet about them when they are together.
There was a good solid (not to metion creepy) plot but, for me, some truly phenomenal character development overshadowed it in this book and the interaction between Chess and Terrible is what is I am left mulling over after finishing it. Although some people will probably be turned off by the drug use, I think Stacia handles it really well and doesn't glamourise it at all. In fact, quite the opposite.
The narrator, Bahni Turpin, also deserves a mention for doing an excellent job.
Can't wait for the next one!
This book keeps you wanting more - I didn't want to stop listening. The Narration was excellent, the writing the same. All in all a really good listen.
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