March 27, 2014

REVIEW: Unholy Magic (Downside Ghosts #2)

Unholy Magic (Downside Ghosts #2), by Stacia Kane
Published July 6, 2010
Del Rey
audiobook, purchased
adult urban fantasy
To Buy: Amazon * Barnes & Noble

Rating:  5 STARS

(From Goodreads)
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 haunting's 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.

OMG. This series. I really enjoyed the first book, Unholy Ghosts. More than I thought I would. But, it was the second book, Unholy Magic, that solidified me as a certified fangirl of the Downside Ghosts series. The beyond complicated relationship between Chess and Terrible laced together with an incredibly weird and twisted mystery made for a book that was completely unresistable.

Prostitutes are being mutilated, and Bump has Chess and Terrible looking into it. Meanwhile, Chess is looking into a supposed haunting at a famous actor's house. Only, things start going wrong at every turn. The prostitutes keep dying, the house really might be haunted by the spirit of a murderous ghost, and Chess' time of burning candles at both ends when it comes to Lex and Terrible is about to blow up in her face.

Chess continues to be an enigmatic heroine. Her drug use doesn't appear to be tapering off. In fact, if anything, it seems to be getting worse. Her success at solving complicated and dangerous jobs has sent more high-profile - and high-stress - cases her way. She is falling more and more in love with Terrible, which scares the poo out of her. And Lex is giving her free pills. All of which serve as evidence that her pill-popping is not going to stop anytime soon. 

Chess is a study of the imperfect heroine. It seems that, in books, heroes and heroines are very "good." They're strong, confident, beautiful, intelligent and well-liked. They sometimes make bad choices, but things always have a way of working out in the end. Chess is like the anti-heroine. Although intelligent and pretty, Chess is not strong or confident or well-liked. She hates herself and where she comes from. She suffered horrible abuse as a child which seriously messed with her head. She doesn't think she's capable of love or being loved. She second guesses all her choices and she usually takes the easy way out in order to not face the truth, especially if she thinks the truth will be particularly hard to face. 

Chess has cornered the market on making mistakes. Particularly when it comes to the men in her life. Whenever she starts having real feelings for Terrible, she runs right into the arms of Lex because he is safe and she feels nothing for him. It's a temporary balm, but all of it comes crashing down around her and she eventually has to face up to all of her actions and feelings. 

The mysteries in Unholy Magic are seriously messed up. I've got two words for you - GHOST WHORES. Seriously - if those two words don't make you want to run right out and read this book right now, I don't know what will. It's an intricate plot with lots of twists and turns, many of which I didn't see coming from a mile away. It was awesome! Although dark and twisted, I thoroughly enjoyed trying to figure out who did what and how the two separate cases were tied together as they seem to be in this series. 

Terrible is just the most awesome guy ever. He's scary and formidable and uneducated. He's scarred and unattractive by most people's standards. Yet, it's so easy to see that he cares deeply and fiercely for the people he considers important. We learn more about him and his past and it just goes further toward proving this fact. 

Once again, I listened to the audio version, and once again I'm so glad I did. Narrator Bahni Turpi does an amazing job with the Downside lingo. I enjoy her interpretation of the books so much, I intend to continue with the books in the series in their audio format. I enjoy them so much - I can't wait to get in my car every day to go to work. 

1 comment:

Krista said...

Lol, I completely forgot about the ghost whores :)