May 10, 2012

Review: Unholy Ghosts by Stacia Kane

Series: Downside Ghosts 1
Format: Digital
Excerpt here
Release Date: May 25, 2012
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
The world is not the way it was. The dead have risen, and the living are under attack. The powerful Church of Real Truth, in charge since the government fell, has sworn to reimburse citizens being harassed by the deceased. Enter Chess Putnam, a fully tattooed witch and freewheeling ghost hunter. She’s got a real talent for banishing the wicked dead. But Chess is keeping a dark secret: She owes a lot of money to a murderous drug lord named Bump, who wants immediate payback in the form of a dangerous job that involves black magic, human sacrifice, a nefarious demonic creature, and enough wicked energy to wipe out a city of souls. Toss in lust for a rival gang leader and a dangerous attraction to Bump’s ruthless enforcer, and Chess begins to wonder if the rush is really worth it. Hell, yeah!
I have been seeing this series in the blogosphere and after a group of fellow bloggers named their group in honor of one of the characters, The Terrible Girls,  I had to know who or what Terrible was and the down low on this series.

And thus began my journey to the Downside.

I can't help but be a fan of Stacia Kane's writing. It's girly but graphic, the imagery she threw in made me cringe several times and. I. Absolutely. Loved. It! Kane is not overly descriptive but it has the right combination of adjectives to give your imagination a mean sucker punch which will result to visualizations in high definition. The names are catchy and her jargon has a retro/modern feel to it, think pin-up girls, Cadillacs and mom & pop diners. At least that's the vibe I got based on Chess' haircut and Terrible's fondness for bowling shirts. 

As a follower of Urban Fantasy I have read a variety of books and honestly one can only read a certain amount of vampire, werewolf, witches and ghosts before it all start to blend together. But I must say that as far as UNHOLY GHOSTS is concerned, the concept feels original. Sure the main character is a witch working for the Church but the elements that make up Kane's world is unique which explains why this series has a cult following. 
"Terrible," she managed. "You know how to use this thing?"

"Oh, aye," he said. "You gonna let me show you?"
As for the characters, there's always something alluring about damaged people because they often manage to give us readers one hell of a good time. Bad judgment, bad decisions and their love affair with danger is intoxicating one can't help but live vicariously through them. Cesaria "Chess" Putnam is a perfect example of this and I can't help but root for this chain smoking, pin-up Suicide Girl looks, with her tattoos and black-dyed Bettie Page haircut. She's a functioning addict who'd rather spend her money on Nips and Cepts than on food but this weakness made her captivating to me. She is a heroine when the need arises but it doesn't mean that she's invulnerable to the price of courage and exorcising all those crazy ghosts swirling around. Her nonconforming characteristics makes her interesting because she blurs the lines of good and evil which adds an element of excitement to the story.
He was, after all, just her type: handsome, arrogant, and totally self-centered, 

as bad for her as her Cepts and just as appealing.
Terrible. A great name that he sure lived up to but I still haven't decided how I feel about this guy. He's aloof which makes me want to pursue him and find out what his deal is. He's handsome, his features arresting and his presence commands attention. His tattooed and scarred six foot five body combined with his persona screams PROCEED WITH CAUTION in neon lights but like a moth to a flame, you just have to get close to him and see what's beneath the glare. He kept me guessing most of the time because I kept on second guessing his motives and I keep expecting him to screw up and fail Chess. He is everything I would avoid in real life but oh so perfect on paper. 

UNHOLY GHOSTS is one of the best books I've read this year. Needless to say Stacia Kane gained another fan in me and I am looking forward to the next book in the series.


  1. EEEK! So glad you read this. No worries on your feelings about Terrible! I'm sure you're going to go gaga over him like the rest of us by the time you read a few more books into this series :)

    Great review!!

  2. Hi Braine :)

    Yay!! I'm happy you loved this!!! This is my favorite UF! :) You and Cimmaron are already a Terrible Girl. Have you girls ever looked at the title of my blog roll that your on?? Well next time your on my page look:)

  3. Thanks Jamie! One can't pass up the chance not knowing who Terrible is, the name itself is both an invitation and a warning.

    Vain - thanks for inducting us hahahaha! You girls are enablers! What is reality when you have fiction? Lol

    Thanks for stopping by ladies.

  4. Bought this book this week too. Can't wait to get a jump on this series. I wanna be a Terrible girl but first I must read Night Huntress and get to Chapter 32 that folks had mentioned on DLS.

  5. I have always said Chess is my all time fave female lead. She is awesome, damaged, selfless. You have to keep reading...Terrible is a very unique character, I love him. He will really grow on you and get under your skin. I started Sacrificial Magic, a couple weeks back , just got to find the time:D I interview Stacia as I just had to . She writes so well. This is one of my fave UF series. I stumbled across them at library I think 2010 I read them?? without checking.I knew nothing or heard nothing about them...and I fell in love with the characters.

    So happy you are on board:D


  6. Stacia Kane!! She's another one of those authors that everyone seems to love books by but I haven't gotten around to yet -- you just reminded me that SK is on that list too! :) I love how you described it as "girly but graphic." I don't think I've ever heard anyone use that phrase before and it made me laugh & want to read this book just to find out what that's like! x) But my favourite thing is how the guy is named Terrible. That's just too awesome for words :')

    Really awesome review, Braine! Definitely got to remember to start this series soon! ;) <3

  7. Great review! This has been on my to-read forever, but I've been seeing mixed reviews. I'll definitely be giving it a chance though!

    Angie @ Pinkindle Reads & Reviews

  8. "Everything I'd avoid in real life but oh so perfect on paper" I think that sentence sums up the appeal of many of our book boyfriends!

    To be honest, I didn't know about this book but I think I really need to check it out now. I love broken heroes, and your review has convinced me that this story is the kind I'd probably love.

    Besides, who doesn't want to read a novel about a guy named Terrible? :)

    1. Chuck Wendig, an author that we follow, RT a good quote. He said, and I'm paraphrasing, that readers appreciate world building but it is with their characters that we fall inlove with. I'm still not sure if I'll fall for Terrible but he sure did pique my interest. :)


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