Saturday, 22 October 2011

Unholy Ghosts by Stacia Kane

Title: Unholy Ghosts
Author: Stacia Kane
Publisher: Harper Voyager
ISBN: 978-0-00-73528-14
Pages: 346
Series: Downside Ghosts #1
Type: Adult Urban Fantasy
Source: Library

Chess Putnam is a Church witch who investigates claims of hauntings, debunking most and exorcising the few real ghosts she finds. Being haunted gets you compensation from the Church so Chess is kept busy but now her drug habit has caused her a problem. Her dealer wants Chess's debt paid in full by clearing a ghost from his property which sounds simple enough. Until of course Chess investigates and discovers this is no ordinary ghost...and that others don't want the property cleared.

This is the first book in the Downside Ghosts series and is a bit darker than the urban fantasy books I usually read. The author has created an amazingly complex world full of hidden depths and the reader is dropped straight in with no info dumping. It is based on the premise that in October 1997 Haunting Week saw ghosts rise from their graves all over the world and seek vengence on the living. By the end of the week, only a third of the previous population remained alive and the Church of Real Truth had stepped in to take control.

The plot is well developed with lots of twists and turns, but I figured several twists out quite early on which dented my enjoyment a bit. I was a bit thrown by the way some of the characters in the book speak, for example "Right. You not there they miss you, aye?". It's a bit hard to follow, especially when someone talks for a while so it distracts a bit from the storyline.

I liked Chess as a character which surprised me as she is a drug addict and spends a lot of time thinking about where her next fix is coming from. Regardless of this she does manage to kick some serious butt and it's nice to have a break from the standard goodie-two-shoes heroines. Terrible, the enforcer for Chess's dealer, is brilliant and without him Chess would have screwed up a lot more.

All in all, this was a good read and I'll probably pick up a copy of the next book Unholy Magic.

Plot: 8/10
Characters: 9/10
Ending: 9/10
Enjoyment: 8/10
Cover: 10/10

Overall: 44/50

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