Release Date: May 25, 2012
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
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. 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!
I have been seeing this series in the blogosphere and after a group of fellow bloggers named their group in honor of one of the characters, The Terrible Girls, I had to know who or what Terrible was and the down low on this series.
And thus began my journey to the Downside.
I can't help but be a fan of Stacia Kane's writing. It's girly but graphic, the imagery she threw in made me cringe several times and. I. Absolutely. Loved. It! Kane is not overly descriptive but it has the right combination of adjectives to give your imagination a mean sucker punch which will result to visualizations in high definition. The names are catchy and her jargon has a retro/modern feel to it, think pin-up girls, Cadillacs and mom & pop diners. At least that's the vibe I got based on Chess' haircut and Terrible's fondness for bowling shirts.
As a follower of Urban Fantasy I have read a variety of books and honestly one can only read a certain amount of vampire, werewolf, witches and ghosts before it all start to blend together. But I must say that as far as UNHOLY GHOSTS is concerned, the concept feels original. Sure the main character is a witch working for the Church but the elements that make up Kane's world is unique which explains why this series has a cult following.
"Terrible," she managed. "You know how to use this thing?"
"Oh, aye," he said. "You gonna let me show you?"
As for the characters, there's always something alluring about damaged people because they often manage to give us readers one hell of a good time. Bad judgment, bad decisions and their love affair with danger is intoxicating one can't help but live vicariously through them. Cesaria "Chess" Putnam is a perfect example of this and I can't help but root for this chain smoking, pin-up Suicide Girl looks, with her tattoos and black-dyed Bettie Page haircut. She's a functioning addict who'd rather spend her money on Nips and Cepts than on food but this weakness made her captivating to me. She is a heroine when the need arises but it doesn't mean that she's invulnerable to the price of courage and exorcising all those crazy ghosts swirling around. Her nonconforming characteristics makes her interesting because she blurs the lines of good and evil which adds an element of excitement to the story.
He was, after all, just her type: handsome, arrogant, and totally self-centered,
as bad for her as her Cepts and just as appealing.
Terrible. A great name that he sure lived up to but I still haven't decided how I feel about this guy. He's aloof which makes me want to pursue him and find out what his deal is. He's handsome, his features arresting and his presence commands attention. His tattooed and scarred six foot five body combined with his persona screams PROCEED WITH CAUTION in neon lights but like a moth to a flame, you just have to get close to him and see what's beneath the glare. He kept me guessing most of the time because I kept on second guessing his motives and I keep expecting him to screw up and fail Chess. He is everything I would avoid in real life but oh so perfect on paper.
UNHOLY GHOSTS is one of the best books I've read this year. Needless to say Stacia Kane gained another fan in me and I am looking forward to the next book in the series.