Thursday, October 7, 2010

Review: Unholy Magic (Downside Ghosts #2) by Stacia Kane

Synopsis (via Goodreads):
ENEMIES DON’T NEED TO BE ALIVE TO BE DEADLY.

For Chess Putnam, finding herself near-fatally poisoned by a con psychic and then stopping a murderous ghost is just another day on the job. As an agent of the Church of Real Truth, Chess must expose those looking to profit from the world’s unpleasant little poltergeist problem—humans filing false claims of hauntings—all while staving off any undead who really are looking for a kill. 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—along with their ruthless employers—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.
My Thoughts:  Don't worry, guys, I'm still fully obsessed.  I know everyone was worried.  I still love Terrible.  I still love how filthy/awesome/bad the Downside is.  I still think I'd die pretty gruesomely if I ended up there.  Yep, definitely still obsessed.

So, in my review for Unholy Ghosts I talked about how alive the Downside world felt.  I think a large part of it is the speech patterns Stacia Kane gave her inhabitants.  Where Chess and the other Church employees talk in a more educated manner, those who live and breathe in the Downside have a convoluted way of talking that draws you into and makes you listen.
"Cryin Man ain't let she scream," someone told her.  "Nobody hear nothing."
I don't know about you but I can hear that in my head as they speak.  It's just one more aspect of Downside that makes it so wonderfully gritty.

Now, I'm not saying it was easy to fall into deciphering the speech. It wasn't a snap. I had to go back and re-read sometimes to get the full idea of what was being said.  But.  But it didn't detract from the story at all.  Like I said, it made it feel more real.

And now onto my favorite current subject- Terrible.  Oh, Terrible, how my heart broke for you in this book.  I wanted to wrap my fingers around a few necks and give them a good shake for you.  The layers beneath his gruff exterior are being exposed and it's hard to watch this big, proud man bare himself like that.  It's hard but, my god, it makes for some intense reading.

Chess is still Chess, moving through her life with a steady supplies of pills and a big, empty hole inside her that's afraid of being filled up.  She makes really bad choices and there were a couple of points in the book where I thought "She's totally hosed. There's no way she's going to get out of this."  Yet, being Chess, she does.  It might not be pretty.  It might cause more problems somewhere down the line, but she finds a way to save her ass.  One way or another.

Once again, I can't recommend this series enough.  It's been a long time since I became so enthralled by a book that I stayed up until two in the morning because there was no ever-loving way I was going to stop reading until I had finished.

Absolute love.

More books by Stacia Kane

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