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Unholy Ghosts (Downside Ghosts) Mass Market Paperback – May 25, 2010

179 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In this dark futuristic urban fantasy series launch, Kane (Demon Possessed) blurs the boundaries between the living and the dead. Chess Putnam works for the world-ruling Church of Real Truth, debunking false claims of hauntings and banishing the occasional real ghost. When a powerful drug dealer calls on her services to erase her debt to him, Chess finds herself investigating an abandoned airfield, a horrible human sacrifice, an ominous apparition, and a conspiracy against the church itself. Making matters worse are her persistent drug habit, a cursed unhealing wound, and her fondness for extremely dangerous men. What starts out as a promising concept soon deteriorates into a murky mess of ambiguous characters and grim dangers. Chess is too broken to be sympathetic and too stoned to be coherent, and though it's atmospheric and well written, her story simply lacks heart. (June)
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"Fans of urban fantasy will find themselves sleep-deprived after they start this new series. It's that hard to put exciting world you'll want to escape into again and again." --Romantic Times magazine (June 2010 Reviewer Top Pick)

“Simply the best book I’ve read this year.”—Caitlin Kitteridge

“The ultimate bible of badassery . . . a black diamond of an urban fantasy.”
—Ann Aguirre, national bestselling author of Blue Diablo and Doubleblind

“Gripping . . . vivid characters and a wonderful sense of pace . . . I was enthralled.”—Charlaine Harris

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Product Details

  • Series: Downside Ghosts (Book 1)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Del Rey; 1st edition (May 25, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345515579
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345515575
  • Product Dimensions: 4.1 x 0.9 x 6.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (179 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #223,652 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Stacia Kane has been a phone psychic, a customer service representative, a bartender, and a movie theatre usher. Writing is more fun than all of them combined. She wears a lot of black, still makes great cocktails, likes to play music loud in the car, and thinks Die Hard is one of the greatest movies ever made. She believes in dragons and the divine right of kings, and is a fervent Ricardian. She lives outside Atlanta with her husband their two little girls.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

47 of 50 people found the following review helpful By SusiSunshine on June 1, 2010
Format: Mass Market Paperback
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.
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70 of 81 people found the following review helpful By Becky Thomas on July 15, 2012
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
This UF has many of the predictable elements you expect to see in this crowded genre. You have magic, you have ghosts, you have a female character at the helm and if she doesn't succeed the world will end. All and all nothing we haven't seen before. What is different about this book is a couple of thing that we don't usually see and I don't think it was for the better. The main character is a serious drug addict, and she has no wish to change that. She has her reasons of course; she had a horrible childhood... She does her job mainly so she can pay off her current drug debts and like you expect from a drug addict she's sloppy at it.

The love interests that have not been fully developed are between two different thugs that are enforcers for two different drug suppliers/pimps and they also love their jobs. Some poeple seem to think Terrible's behavior is sweet at times but really, if he was ordered to beat her up or kill her he would. He loves hurting people and this just doesn't make him someone you can get into as a romantic heart throb. The other interest Lex she met because he'd kidnapped her to threaten her, really does that sound like a great catch or what... I guess it's nice she can get part of her drugs from Lex for free now since she did what they forced her to do.

Chess our main drug addict works for the Church of Truth that is the theocracy of this altered Earth timeline. This is an organization that the author tries write as ruling with an iron fist but fails to do because of the nature of the various characters who all lead lives most people would support jailing them for. The Lumara is supposed to be the bad organization working to over throw the church. The Lumara doesn't really inspire any sort of fear or anger.
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful By AJ VINE VOICE on June 18, 2010
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I had serious reservations about UNHOLY GHOSTS after I learned that the main character was a junkie. I feared she would be such a pathetic do-absolutely-anything-for-my-next-high kind of character that she would be completely unlikeable. I was wrong on both accounts.

Had the man in front of her not already been dead, Chess probably would have tried to kill him. Damned ghosts. A year and a half she'd gone without having to deal with one--the best Debunking record in the Church. -Opening from UNHOLY GHOSTS

Yes, ghost hunter/witch Chess Putnam has a serious drug problem that only escalates throughout UNHOLY GHOSTS, but pathetic is the last thing I'd call her. Jaded, broken, determined, and relentless, but never pathetic. And if I had to live in the desolate slum of Downside, ruled over by a totalitarian non-religious Church government full of beings who can literally rip the soul from your body, I'd probably escape to drugs too.

And I have to say the romance elements caught me (and Chess) totally by surprise. I didn't expect anything sweet in a world like this and yet that's exactly how I'd describe a violent, junkie kind of way. I mean how does a drug lord's thug named Terrible endear himself so much that I was rooting for him by the end of the book? I don't know but there it is. I'm definitely eager to see what happens between them in Unholy Magic.

Any series that is described as "a cross between Ghostbusters and Escape From New York" is going to get my attention, big time. Of course that also means said series is going to have a lot to live up to. And in one of the wonderfully rare cases, UNHOLY GHOSTS does exactly that. It's cool and twisted, just the way I like my urban fantasy.
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