Book 1 in Downside Ghostsseries
Publisher: Del Ray
Date published: May 2010
Mass Market Paperback
Reviewed by Dawn
Obtained by Publisher
The world as we know it is gone and a new church is in control after the government fell. The dead are walking the earth, tormenting the living and it’s up to ghost hunters to keep the civilians safe from them. Chess Putnam is one of those ghost hunters and a talented one as well. But Chess is keeping a dark secret-she owes a lot of money to a notorious drug lord and when he calls her debt in, it’s either do the job he wants or wind up dead. Chess has her hands full and to complicate things, she is lusting after two very different yet dangerous men as well. Hang on tight, for it’s about to get bumpy for Chess as she tries to stay alive and well in the newest voice in Urban Fantasy.
I want to first say I love Stacia Kane’s books and have always enjoyed them to the fullest but UNHOLY GHOSTS was a struggle for me, sad to say. I just couldn’t get into it at all. Plus the heroine Chess rubbed me the wrong way while reading it. She felt one dimensional to me and didn’t get me to feel for her at all. All I wanted to do was slap her silly, especially as it felt like she was popping pills left and right, getting higher than a kite, which didn’t appeal to me at all. The secondary characters felt flat as well. The drug lord, Bump, was annoying and I flipped quickly through his scenes and the names of the characters were just ridiculous. The only thing that saved this was Ms. Kane’s writing & storyline premise. It was tight and the storyline premise was wonderfully inventive but fell far from the mark. Otherwise it was well written and inventive but it missed something for me.
Meet Chess Putnam, a ghost hunter and one with a talent in banishing the wicked dead. She is also in debt to a local drug dealer named Bump and when he immediately calls in her debt, she wonders if she will live to see the day end. But Bump has an offer for her-take care of his ghost problem and her debt with him is wiped clean. Chess doesn’t want to take the job but in order to have the life she loves; she will deal with black magic, human sacrifice, demons and other uglies just to get Bump off her tail. Add in her lusting for a rival drug lord and an attraction to Bump’s enforcer, Chess is about to find her calm life about to go into chaos. I had a few problems with Chess-one she is a drug addict, which really annoyed me no end & two-She also felt one-dimensional, with no emotions other than feeling high. I was very unsympathetic toward Chess and though there were moments you saw her true personality shine, it got lost within a haze of the drugs Chess kept popping throughout the book. The secondary characters didn’t feel believable and even though the world Ms. Kane created is intriguing, it wasn’t able to keep my interest after awhile.
Ms. Kane is a wonderfully talented author and though I didn’t really enjoy UNHOLY GHOSTS, it doesn’t mean others won’t. If you enjoy a different view in the urban fantasy genre, then grab UNHOLY GHOSTS. I am not sure I will be reading the next two books in the series though I will be reading this author’s other books in her backlist.
This is an objective review and not an endorsement of this book.