I received this book from the publisher for review.
THE DEPARTED HAVE ARRIVED.
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.
Consequently, there are many false claims of hauntings from those hoping to profit. Enter Chess Putnam, a fully-tattooed witch, freewheeling Debunker, and ghost hunter. She’s got a real talent for nailing human liars and banishing the wicked dead. But she’s keeping a dark secret from the Church: a little drug problem that’s landed her in hot and dangerous water.
Chess owes a lot of money to a murderous drug lord named Bump. And Bump wants immediate payback. All Chess has to do is dispatch a very nasty species of undead from an old airport. But the job involves black magic, human sacrifice, a nefarious demonic creature, and crossing swords with 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 wanted this book for quite some time now. I read Stacia’s Megan Chase books last summer and I knew the moment I finished book 2, Demon Inside, I wanted the Downside books. Stacia’s writing is so captivating I knew she could make me read anything, or nearly anything.
Unholy Ghosts is a really dark urban fantasy and I was a bit unsettled at the start. I like UF most of the times but I don’t like these overly dark and brooding books because I always feel down after finishing them. It was totally different in this case. Yes, Unholy Ghosts is a dark book but it worked around my prejudices and sneaked into my heart.
In 1997 the whole world changed. Earth was overrun with ghosts and nearly didn’t survive this attack. They were saved by the Church of Truth but they are paying for that now. The old religions died and the new and only one is a religion without believe, there is only Fact and Truth. It is a hopeless world because there is no place left for hope without something to believe in. Their new religion is based on the Truth and they practice it every day with magical rites like banishing and warding spells. Most of the magic is only allowed for church employees and one of those is our heroine Chess Putnam.
Chess is a broken woman with many flaws, one of them being a drug addict of the worst kind. I would have never thought that I could feel much for this type of heroine but again Ms. Kane proved me wrong. Chess had a rough life- she can’t remember her parents and was brought up by the social system of her time. You can imagine that this was not a lovely experience. She lived though hell more times than anyone on earth should and she is still here. She is strong in her own way even if she is weak concerning the drugs.
Chess lives in the Downside, a district of Triumph city and probably the worst part, too. It’s full of pimps,drug dealers and aggressive gangs. I was highly confused with the way these people spoke at first but after reading a few pages I got a hold of the slang and finally understood what they meant. That could be a problem with me being a German and English only being a secondary language for me. I never heard English slang in real life but nevertheless I got it, probably a bit later than most of the other readers though. It’s one of these things that makes this book special to me: the voices of the characters and the way they speak are so individual you know immediately who speaks.
One other character I just have to mention is Terrible. He’s the hired muscle of one of the drug lords and he is one kind of character I would have never thought I could like. At first he seems to be not much more than a bulk of muscle-mass who knows how to crush your bones but nothing more. But over time you a get a glimpse into his mind and life and I was captivated. I admit: I’m a total Terrible fan girl now and I really want to see more of him in the next books.
I loved how throughout Ms. Kane build her world. At the start of each chapter we get a few lines out of the “common” literature of that time, be at an expert of a religious book or out of a life guide. These snippets made the world so much more real for me and I savored each one of them.
The pace of the book was wonderful and the story gripped me ASAP and didn’t let me go till the last word. I loved how Ms. Kane shows us that looks are deceiving and we should never judge a person just with taking one glance at him or her. A highly recommended read not only for Urban Fantasy lovers, but for anyone who likes a good story.
I give Unholy Ghosts 4,5 out of 5 bookies.
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