I had no expectations going into this book. At first I thought the reader sounded a little young for the main character but then realized that she ne..Show More »eded the vocal range for all the other characters. This is a very dark, very gritty urban fantasy series. The basic set up is that in 1997 all the dead's spirits rose and started killing people...lots of people...almost all the people. The few practitioners of magic in the world eventually managed to prove themselves as true witches and banished the ghosts to the City of Ghosts under ground and a whole new post-apocalyptic world began. The main character, Cesaria Putnam is a Church Witch who debunks false hauntings. She's also a functioning drug addict. She's a powerful witch but ultimately as a drug addict hiding her addiction she's vulnerable to anyone who decides to blackmail her. The story is basically a mystery in an unexpected world with some wonderfully colorful and sometimes very cruel characters. I found the world building to be fantastic and the depiction of the life of a functioning drug addict was pretty harsh and exceedingly accurate. I personally fell in love with these characters (a stand out is Terrible, the local drug dealer's enforcer who is a whole lot more than he seems at first) and quite specifically the whole Downside patois and vibe. I have to say the reader for this audio book absolutely knocked it out of the park. I honestly don't know if I would have found the books (I have actually listened to all that are available now...BRILLIANT) as affecting if I hadn't been listening to Bahni Turpin's interpretation of the various characters. Really stellar work.
Stacia Kane has transformed this critic into a fan
I’m pleased to say, that after three installments, I FINALLY understand what all the fuss over this series is about! Chess and I got off to a rocky st..Show More »art in the beginning but my ratings of Kane’s books have been steadily climbing which brings me to this 5 star review of City of Ghosts. There’s no shortage of action in this novel with its super-charged plot, magical machinations and relationship drama; truthfully, by the end I felt dizzy. This installment packs one heck of a punch and left me grinning from ear-to-ear!
The main story arc, as usual, revolves around a Church investigation but this one is unlike any Chess has ever worked before. She has to team-up with Lauren, a coworker who also just so happens to be the Grand Elder’s daughter. So, not only is the pressure on but Putnam doesn’t exactly play well with others. The complications don’t end there; Chess must take a blood oath of secrecy which puts her in a precarious situation with Downside’s drug lords. Needless to say, the plot keeps you on your toes because you’re constantly decoding magical rules, unearthing layer upon layer of bad guys and crossing your fingers that Putnam gets “them” before “they” get her. You’ll spend most of this book feeling both horrified and hypnotized which proves to be a weird yet surprisingly satisfying combination.
I liked that Chess’ drug use is less prevalent in this novel than in previous installments. I actually thought of her as a heroine for the first time in this series. A few of her less desirable personality traits are strangely beginning to endear her to me thanks to Kane finally revealing more about her character. Chess will never be the perfect protagonist but that’s also part of her charm. Urban Fantasy is full of beautiful people with strong morals so it’s refreshing to encounter one that’s so… un-hero like. I find it ironic that her drug addiction has actually saved her life a couple of times now too. I’m starting to think that being a junkie might actually be a vital survival tool in Downside!
After their fallout in the previous book, Terrible can’t stand to be near Chess but he can’t seem to resist her either. It’s an impossible situation that’s bound to have an explosive outcome. Their love for one another takes a somewhat violent turn but the end result was better than I could ever have hoped for! Not only is City of Ghosts the best installment yet but it’s also the one that made me fall in love with Terrible. Bahni Turpin continues to shine as the narrator of this series; she consistently nails the Downside lingo and handles Chess’ ever-changing moods like a seasoned pro. This is another prime example of a book being better in audio.
Stacia Kane has transformed this critic into a fan. Her gift for combining the most unlikely of elements is oddly compelling and makes for a truly unique Urban Fantasy experience.
When you finished a 13+ hrs audiobook in 24 hrs, it can only mean one thing, " impossible to put down" Bahni Turpin is awesome!! And paired with ..Show More »the amazing writing style of Stacia Kane, it's just absolute magic! With some heart wrenching moments we get one more mystery solved, all while we get to ride inside the messed up little head of our unconventional, some times irritating, but always entertaining Chess Putnam. Another terrific entry to this dark, somber yet exciting and always engrossing Urban Fantasy series.
Stacia Kane can do no wrong in my book. Man this series just grabs you by the balls and will not let go! This review will be hard to write without spo..Show More »ilers; that’s for sure. (The only reason Chasing Magic didn't get a the full 5 stars is that I felt like Chess back peddled some in her relationship with Terrible and I feel like they are solid and she should be over some of her self destructive ways. So I have high hopes that we will see a new an improve Chess in the next book.)
Terrible equals awesomeness. He is the best male character I’ve read since Karen Marie Moning’s Barrons. He is exactly what Chess needs in her life. He is strong but can also be sweet and kind but Chess is the only one that gets to see that side of him. These two complete each other (yes that is the most freaking cheesy thing to say about these two but it’s the Truth. And Truth is Fact and Fact is Truth. Dig!)
I’ve send it before and I’ll say it again; I have a love/hate relationship with Chess. And in Chasing Magic I wanted to freaking killer her in one part. (Those that have read it know what part I’m talking about) All I could think was that botch better not hurt Terrible again. But Chess pulls her head out of her sorry ass just in time and I loved Terrible’s reaction to the guilt he saw on her face. That scene with them two is in second place with the bathroom scene from an earlier book for hotness.
We get to see Chess and Terrible out of their element when she brings him to Elder Griffin’s wedding. And I could have died at Terrible's answer to Griffin's husband's question as to if Terrible and Chess were going to get married....
I think that Chess has done some growing and realizes that she can no longer sit on the fence about some things in her personal life. I just hope that her small growth stays with her and that we see more personal growth in the future from her. DO NOT BACK PEDDLE.
Ok let’s move away from the personal side before I spoil you guys…
This time around Chess and Terrible are dealing with people in Downside going crazy and dyeing from speed that some new dealers are selling on the street. The speed is special in the fact that it has magic mixed in with it. All kinds of bad and bloody crap goes down because of this new “designer” drug. Chess and Terrible find themselves up against an angry mob of “zombies”.
And in the middle of them trying to figure out who is behind it, they have to deal with Lex. See he has big plans now that he is in charge of the other side of town. He got plans, big plans. Like trying to get Terrible to work for him or kill him if he says no. I am so done with Lex.
Also Terrible is still having problems with the sigil that Chess put on him a few books back that saved his life. In true Chess fashion all her bad choices are coming back to bite her and everyone around in her in the ass.
If you are a Urban Fantasy fan and you have not started this series you need to do so NOW! Great writing, great characters, just LOVE LOVE LOVE this series. I pre-ordered Chasing Magic while I was reading the FREE ARC from Netgalley because I know this is a series I will re-read so many times. Honestly, I own this series in ebook and audio book and I enjoy it in both formats. And once Chasing Magic is out in audio I will be paying it again!