Monday, July 12, 2010

Review "Unholy Magic"

Title: Unholy Magic (Downside Ghosts, #2)
Author: Stacia Kane
Genre: Dark Urban Fantasy
Published: June 22nd 2010 by Del Rey


For Chess Putnam, finding herself near-fatally poisoned by a con psychic and then stopping a murderous ghost is just another day on the job. As an agent of the Church of Real Truth, Chess must expose those looking to profit from the world’s unpleasant little poltergeist problem—humans filing false claims of hauntings—all while staving off any undead who really are looking for a kill. But Chess has been extra busy these days, coping with a new “celebrity” assignment while trying on her own time to help some desperate prostitutes.

Someone’s taking out the hookers of Downside in the most gruesome way, and Chess is sure the rumors that it’s the work of a ghost are way off base. But proving herself right means walking in the path of a maniac, not to mention standing between the two men in her life just as they—along with their ruthless employers—are moving closer to a catastrophic showdown. Someone is dealing in murder, sex, and the supernatural, and once again Chess finds herself right in the crossfire.

"Something told her this was not going to end well. But then, things so rarely did."

*This is the second book in an ongoing series, This review might contain possible spoilers referring to the first book!*

Unholy Magic is dark, brilliant, intoxicating, sexy, saddening and shocking. Did I mention brilliant?

I´ve read and loved the first in series, Unholy Ghosts and was eagerly waiting for the second book. I practically dropped everything when I finally received it, started reading and couldn´t stop. I condemn addiction to illegal substances, but books aren´t illegal and an addtiction to it isn´t bad, right?

The quote mentioned above is from the very first page, but somehow it seems fitting for the whole book. The story picks up a short while after the events of the firat book. Soon, Chess gets a new job from the church and finds herself just as quickly entangled once again in Bump´s, Lex´s and Terrible´s affairs as dead hooker turn up all around the City. And it´s only getting worse from there on.
Even though the story is very fast paced, Stacia Kane takes the time to share more background info about the world and the characters. More shocking and unsettling bits about Chess´s childhood cast a new light on her character and make her actions plausible and engage sympathy for her.
There were more than just a few scenes that were very unsettling and emotional instense for me for different reasons. The scene where Chess stays over night at the Pyle´s, Terrible collecting debts from a guy called Nestor, Chess´s and Terrible´s litte road trip, the scene on the rooftop (this one left me speechless) and finally, the events at the graveyard... Okay, everyone includes Terrible. In real life, meeting him would probalby scare me to death, still seing him do all the things he does in his book only makes me like him even more. Maybe besides the debt collecting scene. This just made me cringe. I love how Terrible and Chess share all these emotional and powerful moments. No need to mention that my love for Lex hasn´t grown in this book either. It´s not easy to make a "good" character likeable, but to create a character who is from a rational point of view basically a criminal, yet you still can´t help yourself but to like him really shows what an incredibly skilled and amazing author Stacia Kane is.

In my review of "Unholy Ghosts", I´ve already said how well-written the characters are, how gripping the worldbuilding is and how the book as a total is nearly perfection. The same stands so very true for "Unholy Magic".

When I finally finished it sometime around 2 a.m. this night, I was upset. The story will do that to you, it stays with you even after you´ve finished reading it. And that´s what makes a great book for me. The wait for "City of Ghosts", the next book in the series will kill me. I know it.

Unholy Magic is one of the most impressive books I´ve ever read. it´s dark and desperate but has also its tender moments. It sucks you right into its cruel, disenchanted world and makes you root for characters who are broken but somehow, underneath it all still have a heart.

I would give 6 points to Unholy Magic, if I could, but unfortunatly, 5 is the highest I can.

Go and check out Stacia´s homepage where you can read deleted scens from her other books and other fun stuff!

And don´t forget that the release of "City of Ghosts" is on July 27th!


Midnyte Reader said...

Oooh this sounds intriguing. I'm going to have to get the first one.

Melissa (My words and pages) said...

Yeah I am in need of City of Ghosts. I am just glad these books are being released so close together. I had to stay up late last night to finish the book as well. I will work on the review here in a day or two... when I recover some sleep. :) Great review!