City Of Ghosts – Stacia Kane

September 25, 2010 § Leave a comment


  • Mass Market Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Del Rey (July 27, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345515595
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345515599
  • Goodreads.com synopsis: IT’S A THIN LINE BETWEEN ALIVE AND UNDEAD.

    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. 


  • Not surprising, another 5 star rating from me for the 3rd book in this series. This is exactly what I’m looking for everytime I open a book by an author new to me, a story that grabs me and holds my attention, makes me laugh, cry, get angry, etc. The funny thing is, I don’t always like the main character, Chess. She really makes some awful choices. But at the same time, her character is so believable and her story so compelling that I can’t help but to root for her through all the ups and downs.


I can’t say I love the world that Stacia Kane has created with this series. Actually, its a pretty scary place but again, very believable. The Church of Truth continues to fascinate me. Chess looks at the Church as a safe haven and something she can rely on but it strikes me as something a lot more sinister. I have so many questions about the Church Of Truth and hope some of them are answered in future books in this series.

This third book City of Ghosts finds Chess working with a member of the Church’s Black Squad to look into another organization that has tried repeatedly in the past to seize control of the Church and is now active again. There is also some resolution to the Chess/Lex/Terrible love triangle.

This story is another powerful fast paced look at Downside, really an edge-of-your-seat read from start to finish. I can’t sing Stacia Kane’s praises enough and absolutely cannot wait to read more from her!

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Unholy Magic – Stacia Kane

September 25, 2010 § Leave a comment


  • Mass Market Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Del Rey (July 6, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345515587
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345515582
  • Goodreads.com synopsis: ENEMIES DON’T NEED TO BE ALIVE TO BE DEADLY.

    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.


  • This series is amazing. Unholy Magic finds Chess still struggling with addiction as well as overcoming her past. Its made very clear in this book how her drug use causes her no end of problems in her life. There is a powerful scene where she goes through a horrific withdrawal, also her addiction leads to her being blackmailed and used by various people for their own benefit. I love that Kane makes her characters so realistic and believable. 

Through all the personal issues and stuggles with her relationships, there is a fast paced plot as well as a closer look at the Church of Truth. Personally, I find it horrifying that the church is able to not only punish people in life but also in the afterlife. Just the thought of fallible human beings being able to punish people after death is a scary concept. 
The plot was great.  For the Church, Chess is working on a reported haunting for a movie star family, and for Bump and Slobag, she is looking into a string of prostitute murders. This book was action packed and hard to put down. I can’t wait to see how the series continues. 
Stacia Kane has certainly found a place as one of my all time favorite authors with this series.

Unholy Ghosts – Stacia Kane

September 25, 2010 § Leave a comment

  • Mass Market Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Del Rey; Original edition (May 25, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345515579
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345515575
  • Goodreads.com synopsis: THE DEPARTED HAVE ARRIVED.

    The world is not the way it was. The dead have risen, and the living are under attack. The powerful Church of Real Truth, in charge since the government fell, has sworn to reimburse citizens being harassed by the deceased. Enter Chess Putnam, a fully tattooed witch and freewheeling ghost hunter. She’s got a real talent for banishing the wicked dead. But Chess is keeping a dark secret: She owes a lot of money to a murderous drug lord named Bump, who wants immediate payback in the form of a dangerous job that involves black magic, human sacrifice, a nefarious demonic creature, and enough wicked energy to wipe out a city of souls. Toss in lust for a rival gang leader and a dangerous attraction to Bump’s ruthless enforcer, and Chess begins to wonder if the rush is really worth it. Hell, yeah.




Wow, this was even better than what I was expecting. Chess works for the Church of Truth as a debunker, which means she investigates peoples claims of hauntings and either exorcises the ghost or proves it to be a false claim. 
Chess’ character is very interesting, she uses drugs to block out the memories of a very traumatizing childhood as well as some of the horrors she has to face from her job each day. I thought she was very realistic in the way she had a hard time trusting people, isolated herself, stayed away from meaningful relationships, and found it hard to make friends. Even her drug use makes sense considering her background, I hope through the rest of the series, I get to see her grow even more and overcome that addiction. 
The Church of Truth was fascinating too and we get to find out how exactly this church came to be, and as the story progresses, we learn some of the rules and expectations for this society under the rule of this Church. 
I loved all of the characters in this story, so many of them stand out to me. Of course Terrible, the drug dealer Bump’s hired thug, who is a mixture of scary, damaged, and endearing.
Bump himself who I mentally picture as a 60’s pimp with permed hair, big hat, and fur coat. Bump is selfish, overconfident, and demanding, but apparently has a soft side as well. The downside street slang is great on the audio.
I can’t wait to finish the rest of this series, I hope it continues with the same fast paced action as well as telling us more about some of the characters that we didn’t get a lot of back story on.

Neil Gaiman – The Graveyard Book

September 25, 2010 § 1 Comment

Goodreads.com synopsis:After the grisly murder of his entire family, a toddler wanders into a graveyard where the ghosts and other supernatural residents agree to raise him as one of their own.

  • Reading level: Ages 9-12
  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; 1st ed edition (September 30, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060530928
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060530921



The Graveyard Book was like a darker combination of Harry Potter and the Jungle Book. A coming of age story where a small boy Nobody Owens finds himself orphaned and being raised by a graveyard full of ghosts and 1 possible vampire (this is never really made clear) while being hunted by an assassin with a keen sense of smell. I was not a big fan of the way the book was written, meaning each chapter was in itself a short story that followed the same general timeline. Also, I wished he would have spent more time with the ghosts themselves, I would have liked to have learned more about each of them. Overall though, I loved the story and can’t wait to dive into another of Gaiman’s books

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