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Unholy Ghosts (Downside Ghosts) Mass Market Paperback – May 25, 2010
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“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
Top Customer Reviews
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.
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 it...in 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. The second Chess Putnam book, Unholy Magic comes out on July 6, 2010, and then City of Ghosts just three weeks later on July 27th.
Sexual Content: References to sex. References to rape. References to molestation. A scene of sensuality. A semi graphic sex scene.
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Just had to put that disclaimer out there so you can understand where my mindset...Read more