Aug 18, 2010

Posted by in Reviews | 2 Comments

Review: City of Ghosts by Stacia Kane (Downside Ghosts #3)

Urban Fantasy
July 27 2010
Mass Market Paperback
416 pages
Del Rey

Kick Ass Chick – Chess Putnam

From Goodreads

“Chess Putnam has a lot on her plate. Mangled human corpses have started to show up on the streets of Downside, and Chess’s bosses at the Church of Real Truth have ordered her to team up with the ultra-powerful Black Squad agency to crack the grisly case.

Chess is under a binding spell that threatens death if she talks about the investigation, but the city’s most notorious crime boss—and Chess’s drug dealer—gets wind of her new assignment and insists on being kept informed. If that isn’t bad enough, a sinister street vendor appears to have information Chess needs. Only he’s not telling what he knows, or what it all has to do with the vast underground City of Eternity.

Now Chess will have to navigate killer wraiths, First Elders, and a lot of seriously nasty magic—all while coping with some not-so-small issues of her own. And the only man Chess can trust to help her through it all has every reason to want her dead.”

There are two words that describe this book perfectly:  ‘Nonstop action!’  Other suitable options include:  ‘super book!’, ‘whoa Nelly!’ or ‘holy cow this book is going to be the death of me because I can’t go to sleep yet because I haven’t finished it and I must, must, MUST know what is going to happen next because holy cow this book is one hell of a ride!!!’.  Yes, I am aware that that is a few more than a couple of words, but they really do describe how I was feeling while I was reading.  Stacia Kane hardly gives you a minute to catch your breath before the next wave of jaw dropping action or gut wrenching suspense or heart breaking confrontation hits!  Simply put, this book is fantastic from beginning to end.

“City of Ghosts” is the third chapter in Stacia Kane’s ‘Downside Ghosts’ series.  If you’ve read the first two books and thought they were really good, just wait until you pick this one up.  Actually, you may want to find a sitter for the kids and book time off work because once you open up the cover and feel that crispness break in your hands, you are not going to want to put it down.  Yup.  It’s that good.  I really do suggest that you read these books in order.  You really won’t feel the right amount of love for them unless you do.

Chess is an awesome character.  There are so many layers to her, she’s wonderful to read.  She’s always felt alone and mostly unwanted, but she feels it even more in this installment.   She understands that she chose the wrong path in the previous books and is just trying her hardest to rectify things.  For most of the book, she feels as though she’s drowning.  She feels as though it’s too late and that she’s lost the one person who has ever truly meant anything to her.  She turns to her favorite coping method of illegal substances, but even they seem to do little to appease her and her constant remorse.  She feels she’s lost him for good.

Of course, I am talking about Terrible.  *sigh* When you read these books, you feel strongly towards this character.  You know he’s tough and mean and not really someone you should want to get to know, but you can’t help yourself.  While speaking to someone about it and how I was having trouble labeling my feelings for Terrible, she helped me put a title to it.  She called it “Terrible Love”.  Perfect tag for it and for him.  Chess and Terrible have a bit of a misunderstanding in the last book.   Okay, who am I kidding?  They had a huge falling-out!  Chess was caught in an act that Terrible has perceived as a betrayal on her part.  Here he has trusted her and Chess threw it back at him.  That’s not entirely the case, but Chess understand where his feelings come from and she takes full responsibility.  Terrible is pissed.  His anger just jumps off the page.  When he and Chess are forced to work together for a time, the tension between them is palpable.  The scenes between the two of them are extremely well written.   My heart was in knots for the duration of this book, let me tell you!

Stacia’s ‘Downside Ghosts’ books always have a sort of ‘who dunnit’ aspect to the plot and in that respect, this one is no different.  What is different is the level of action.  The level of action and the level of guts and grime.  This one is pretty graphic.  But it’s not just put there to make you say ‘Ew!’  It’s all part of the ‘wtf’ that is this story.  And I mean that in the very best way.  All of the things that make this series so atypical, the fact that it’s dark and gritty and raw, are still all here.  But this time around, it’s set at a whole other level.  This book will for sure be on my favorites of 2010 list.

This series just gets better and better.  To get the most out of the series, you really should read the books in order.  We were lucky to get three great books from this series for three months in a row.  Unfortunately, we now have to wait until *gulp* Fall 2011!  Well, at least I’ll be able to catch up on my sleep by then…

5 stars

Shiver worthy quote

“Oh yes.  Terrible’s eyes narrowed; he gave Chess the kind of look most people reserved for ax murderers.  Ax murderers who killed children.  And kittens.”

Giggle worthy quotes

“The words were out of her mouth before she could stop herself with something ridiculous like common sense or dignity.  ‘Okay.  I’ll try.’”

  1. Nice review. This has been my favorite in the series so far. Chessiebomb *sigh*

  2. FV – Ah, Chessiebomb… *sigh too*

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Interview with Stacia Kane plus Giveaway | Yummy Men and Kick Ass Chicks - [...] books or Stacia herself: Click on the title to read my review of Unholy Ghosts, Unholy Magic and City…

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