Thursday, October 7, 2010

Review: City of Ghosts (Downside Ghosts #3) by Stacia Kane

Synopsis (via Goodreads):

Chess Putnam has a lot on her plate. Mangled human corpses have started to show up on the streets of Downside, and Chess’s 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’s 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—all while coping with some not-so-small issues of her own. And the only man Chess can trust to help her through it all has every reason to want her dead.
My Thoughts:  Oh, Chess.  Oh, screwed-up, completely unable to do the right thing in a relationship Chess.  You broke my heart at the end of Unholy Magic when you realized what you could lose with your foolish choices and buckets of lies.  You broke Terrible's heart when you lied to yourself.  And I just won't stand for that.

I'll admit that I spent a lot of this book giving Chess the stink eye.  Of course, Terrible was being kinda hard-headed with the not listening, but then he had been betrayed in the most fundamental manner.  And who did I side with?  Terrible, of course, because even big, meaty enforcers for drug lords have soft hearts.  Okay, that might not be true all the time, but I don't think Terrible was out of line by seeing what Chess did as a betrayal.

You know, you'd think by my reviews that the entire book was about nothing but relationships.  That is not true. There's plenty of other stuff.  There's dark magic and mutants and double-crossing and fires and ghosts.  Chess has a lot of close calls that end up injuring her one way or another.  She has to find a way to serve the Church while helping those in the Downside who everyone else looks past.

I was very satisfied with how this book progressed the overall arc. Chess is still questioning and fighting against everything.  Even in the face of the vaunted Black Squad, she questions.  She's not willing to stop looking just because someone tells her that it's "not their case".  And maybe that's what makes you root for Chess.  She might try to dull her memories with whatever drugs she can get her hands on, but she still fights.

I am absolutely in love with this entire series.  It captures you from the first words and it claws into your brain and won't let you go.

Stacia Kane's Megan Chase series is another outstanding series I'd recommend without reservation.  check it out!

Review: Unholy Ghosts (Downside Ghosts #1)
Review: Unholy Magic (Downside Ghosts #2)
More books by Stacia Kane

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