Monday, August 16, 2010

City of Ghosts

****** Oh hell, let's give it more ****

urban fantasy

City of Ghosts is the third book of the Downside Series by Stacia Kane. In this novel, Chess has a huge mystery to solve and is paired with a member of the Black Squad, an elite section of the Church's investigative section. While she is dealing with this member, who is arrogant and hard for Chess to work with, Chess is also dealing with her broken heart of extreme feelings of guilt and low self-esteem. She has less respect for herself, and is using even more drugs. Because her drug dealer is in charge of part of her life, she gets thrown together with Terrible even though he doesn't want to be near her, and being around him is breaking her heart. This book was great, and you might need a few tissues.

The writing is good, the story was great, the heartbreak heartbreaking, and the choices Chess makes are hard. You can just see her in a kind of freefall with her life. Nothing is going right for her, and she is in danger, with even less protection at times than she had before.

Chess is investigating what seems to be serial kills, body parts have been left here and there - but as usual with Chess, nothing is as simple as it first seems. There are quite a few twists in City of Ghosts. A strange looking little girl tries to steal something from her purse, a strange new vendor of magic potions shows up in the Downside Market place, even church members are being killed.

Even with all life seemingly against her, Chess still makes her self go through daily life, she still goes to work, she still tries to work out what's happening with the ghosts, and she still tries to just survive.

Even though there isn't much of Lex featured in this novel, he does have a part here. Most of the novel focuses on Terrible - along with the disastrous mystery and killing that Chess is trying to solve.

This is an amazing book and when I finished it, I was already missing reading it. I recommend it for the fresh twist on the urban fantasy female character. Chess isn't perfect, not by a long shot. She's very vulnerable and yet doesn't behave in the typical lash out at everyone way that some characters do in other book.

I love the fresh new twist in urban fantasy that Stacia Kane gives us with this character and series. Ghosts, a drug addicted main character that is functioning in her own little world, trying to keep her drug use a secret and trying to stay isolated from people even while she is falling in love and breaking her own heart as well as other's.
On a more personal level, I'm am glad to see a character like Chess Putnam. I think most likely it'll also mean a lot to many other women out there who have led less than stellar lives. There's a lot of people who have been through a lot, made some poor choices and still manage to work, raise families, love children and family and make as good a go at things as they can. Life is full of people like that. We might not all be fighting ghosts and demons - but there are lots of other hurdles that many face. Some need crutches - some need crutches forever and never come out of it, and some need these crutches temporarily and go on with our lives. Not everything is black and white in the world, and there are many levels of existing, and a lot of us do the best we can with what we have. We don't always make the best choices, but a lot of us pick ourselves up, hopefully learn something along the way, and try our damnednest to make as good a life as we can. I'm not sure if I'm expressing my thoughts clearly enough. What matters in the end, I think is how well you love your self, your family and how much you TRY to do what you can do.
Anyway, I have thoroughly enjoyed reading this series so far, and I hope to see more about Chess, Terrible, Lex and others in the Downside.
Other books in the series
Other series by Stacia Kane
Personal Demons (Megan Chase #1)
Demon Inside (Megan Chase #2)
Demon Possessed (Megan Chase#3)
Stacia Kane has also written quite a few erotic fiction novels under the name December Quinn (sound familiar to anyone? I remember seeing the name before, but didn't know about the connection until Stacia had written Personal Demons). Her alter ego's books are still available, though December Quinn is at the moment in retirement.
Reading Challenges

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