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Review: Unholy Ghosts by Stacia Kane

Unholy Ghosts (Downside Ghosts #1) by Stacia Kane
Urban Fantasy, Alternate History, Magic
Mass Market Paperback $7.99 (352 pages, DEL REY)
Ebook $7.99

Audiobook $19.95
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.

Author Site: staciakane.com

Just had a tough time of it... (3 stars)

As the blurb serves to give a good impression of the plot and the protagonist let me just jump to my thoughts on UNHOLY GHOSTS.

I finally picked up UNHOLY GHOSTS to read after having it on my TBR list for ages. After finishing the latest Annabelle Lee book from Stacey Jay (I believe she and Kane are critique partners but don't quote me on that) I thought I was still in the mood for a drug problem addled urban fantasy heroine. Unfortunately, I found that with the world building the way it was there was no one really to buffer Chess' dislikable traits. Everyone is Chess' world is either bad news or suspected bad news. It's a tough world to mentally flesh out and I was definitely left confused on multiple occasions.

In spite of a hard to swallow heroine and a world building set that can be confusing I did eventually find one thing that kept me reading. Terrible, Bump's enforcer, reminded me a bit of Marv from Sin City, sort of scary and yet magnetic. In all honesty if it hadn't been for Terrible I'd have given up at the halfway marker. I couldn't help but find him an enigma in the genre and I liked that a lot. You just don't see the 'ugly' guy being the hero type much.

Ultimately, there's a reason the Downside Ghosts series has a cult following and it's got to be that there's just nothing in the genre that's quite like it. Kane's writing style is tight and never strays into overly thick world building dumps, giving Chess a strong narrative voice that's sure to work well for UF genre fans who like a tough heroine. I'll definitely read more of this series, this one just turned out to be a hard sell for me personally.

Other Reviews:
All Things Urban Fantasy
Larissa's Bookish Life
Reading Between the Wines Book Club

Notes: Purchased by me.

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