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review 2019-11-06 02:59
Stacia Kane: City of Ghosts
City of Ghosts - Stacia Kane

You will want to read the first two books, Unholy Ghosts and Unholy Magic, in the series in order to understand the world that Chess lives in as well as Chess as a character.

Stacia Kane is back with the third book in her Downside Ghost series and mangled human corpses are just the beginning of Chess' problems:

Downside is known to be a touch part of the city, but when mangled corpses start to show up, that is something that the Church need to investigate. Chess is signed up to help the Black Squad but in order to do so she has to undergo a binding spell that will kill her if she breaks the terms of the spell. This makes investigating a little bit harder in downside when she cannot tell Bump and Terrible about the information that she needs. Plus Chess has to work with Black Squad Member (Elder's Daughter) Lauren, who is not too friendly with Chess and who thinks having Chess with her is a waste of time. But Chess is determined to do the best job that she can and everything is pointing to the City of Eternity and Chess needs to figure everything out before it is too late.

Sometimes by the third book the author has run out of ideas or is repeating something that has occurred before (think of how many trilogies are out there?). However, this series is amazing, each book is just as good as or better than the one before it. This book is non-stop action and even Chess' drug use takes a back seat to the story that Kane is presenting here. I mean Chess is still pill popping constantly but she does not have a withdrawal scene like she does in the previous book. Honestly, I am so impressed with her ability to hold it together most of the time it is crazy.

We get to see much more of Chess in action with her job than before, with the return of the Black Squad, where Chess tries to play nice but working with people is not really her thing. I don't know if it was the drugs and such that Chess takes but at times I found it hard to follow her thought process of how she gets from point A to point B but she gets there. There was a lot of twists and turns along the way and with the reintroduction to the luminary things go south pretty quick. I was glad that Kane decided to bring the Luminary back as they were an interesting society that was not fully explored in the first book.

And working with Terrible is not going to happen anytime soon as he is not only not talking to her but also ignoring her. It was hard to Chess try to reach out to Terrible and try to explain or say she is sorry and get nothing back, I realized just how invested I am in Chess.

I really enjoy the world that Kane has created and she is not afraid to push the boundaries of the readers imagination. Additionally, she is not afraid to add some darker elements and descriptions into her writing which I really enjoy, I mean why sugar coat things that should not be sugar coated. I'm looking forward to reading the next book in this series.

Enjoy!!!

If You Like This,
Check These Out Too:
http://j9books.blogspot.com/2012/03/jennifer-estep-spider-bite.html  http://j9books.blogspot.com/2018/06/a-j-eversley-watcher.html  https://j9books.blogspot.com/2019/03/kiersten-white-slayer.html



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review 2019-09-05 15:07
Stacia Kane: Unholy Magic
Unholy Magic - Stacia Kane

I read this book before Halloween Bingo started but I had it slated to come out before bingo started just didn’t have time. So everything after this will be Bingo focused . I’m already part way through my Ghost Stories pick

 

You will need to read the first book in this series Unholy Ghosts in order to understand Chess as a character, her relationships as well as the Church's rule in this world or BT (before truth).

Chess Putnam finds herself helping out the Black squad when she is poisoned, almost dies and that doesn't even count the murderous ghost wanting to kill her. Chess' next assignment should be a straightforward debunking of a celebrity's home but Chess' secret life threatens to get in the way. Prostitutes being killed in an extremely gruesome way in Downside and it's hurting more than Bump's profits. Someone is dealing in sex and the supernatural but that is just another day in Downside until murder is thrown in. It's not a turf war, even enemies are willing to work together to find who is responsible and all that responsibility is about to fall on to Chess.

Alright it was quite a few years ago that I read the first book in this series. I do not know why I did not pick up this book sooner. I re-read the review I wrote at the time and it was glowing, so really not sure, so with fresh eyes and opinions I started this series again and extremely happy that I did. This book was awesome. It had everything I wanted in an Urban Fantasy book; dark, gritty, magic, ghosts, a post apocalyptic feel to it and a great female lead who is not your norm. It had me glued to my seat to say the least.

Chess is a mess (sorry for the rhyme but she truly is). She is a drug addict that is mixed up with gangs, pimps and enforcers. She tries to hide all of this from the Church her employer and her "friends" at the church, as all these things will get her fired. On top of that to help pay her debts to Bump (the pimp) she uses her Church trained magic to help out with problems that are occurring in Downside. Chess is really hard on herself and most of this has to do with her childhood or lack there of. We get snippets of what Chess endured as a child and none of it was good until she was shown to have some talent for magic and could study at the Church. The church is her whole life but she risks it every day to keep her past demons at bay with her drug use.

I really appreciate that Kane does not shy away from Chess' drug use; her reasons for taking drugs, how often she gets high, all her money goes to it, her constant thought of how long she has before she comes down and what withdrawal symptoms that Chess experiences. All of these factors are not glossed over or downplayed in this book and I applaud Kane for not romanticizing Chess' drug use. Using the drugs is part of who Chess is in this series and while I hope she gets some help as I have grown attached to her as a character I do not think that she will.

I like that Kane has Chess focus on two different cases at once, as it forces Chess to choose sometimes between her habit and her work and also in both books I have read so far the cases are interesting. The Church case is a debunking one in which a celebrity claims to have a haunted house. While the case may have been a bit more straightforward and I was able to figure most of it out, it was still interesting (debunking in general is really interesting). The extremely interesting case is the one of the dead prostitutes that are occurring in downside, this also brings Lex and Terrible in close proximity of each other which Chess is trying to avoid at all costs. I was not able to figure out what was occurring in this case and lets say that Kane gets pretty creative with ghosts and magic for this one.

Kane has done a great job of re-piquing my interest with this series (like I said it was awhile ago when I read the first) and I find this book not only creative and refreshing as it combines ghosts and magic (I don't read enough ghosts books I think). I'm excited to pick up the next book in this series and one thing about waiting to so long to come back to this series is I don't have to wait :)

Enjoy!!!

If You Like This,
Check These Out Too:
http://j9books.blogspot.com/2019/08/holly-black-coldest-girl-in-coldtown.html    http://j9books.blogspot.com/2016/04/christopher-moore-dirty-job.html  http://j9books.blogspot.com/2018/10/mira-grant-into-drowning-deep.html
 
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review SPOILER ALERT! 2018-09-14 02:18
Makes for a great start
Unholy Ghosts - Stacia Kane

***Possible spoilers you’ve been warned***

 

I really enjoyed the world building in this book and wished there was a little more explanation about it. You do get snippets here and there on what happened with the world and why the Church came on top and in charge of the city. The setting is wonderful though. It’s dark, it’s gritty, it’s survival. It’s what you might see from a cyberpunk novel without the futuristic theme.

 

The plot itself is interesting thanks to the setting. It’s a nice blend of old and new. I say old because of the way the characters talk. It’s meant to be a form of street slang, but it also sounds a mixture of old english and modern. It’s interesting and fun to read (if you have a crush on Lex you’d like it). There is an element of mystery and I like the magic used. It’s a nice blend of using tattoos and actual spell components.

 

Chess is likable as a character. She’s hard working and is good at what she does, despite her faults and vices. The vices do play a big part on her behavior and takes a hold of her life. She still manages to soldier through her tasks and proves to be a fighter.

 

There is an aspect of a love triangle in the book although I’m not sure if it could be called that. I don’t see Terrible as a love interest at all, I see him more as a loyal friend and the muscle of the duo. Lex on the other hand - so swoon worthy if you’re into the bad boys. He’s self serving and most likely not a good thing for Chess but they both got this spark. Maybe it’s because of their backgrounds and they’re similar but they get along so well and Lex has this subtle charm about him (let’s not even compare him to Doyle)

 

This is a must read for urban fantasy fans. It’s got a bit of everything and Chess is such a great character to follow through the journey. Will definitely go onto the second book of the series.



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review 2016-10-02 02:23
Audiobook Review: Made For Sin by Stacia Kane
Made for Sin - Aiden Snow,Tantor Audio,Stacia Kane

My review and an extended sample of the audiobook are posted at Hotlistens.com.

 

I’ve been a huge fan of Stacia Kane for several years now. I started off reading her Megan Chase series and then really fell in love with her after starting theDownside Ghosts series (Downside is especially good on audio). It has been since since 2012 that I’ve gotten a full length book from Ms. Kane. Needless to say, I was pretty excited.

 

Made for Sin is a story that, of course, is set in Sin City itself, Las Vegas. The story is told by E. L. Speare (don’t ask him his first name), a PI with a dark side. He has a demon inside him. He must commit a sin everyday or the demon takes over, only to leave Speare waking up to carnage. It can be any of the mortal sins, but the bigger, the longer the demon will let him go before he has to commit the next sin. Shoplifting is one of the smaller sins we see him commit to pacify his demon.

 

When a body start to turn up with a piece missing, as in a whole arm taken from the shoulder, Speare is on the case to help look for what is going on. Then even more bodies with missing pieces start to turn up. There is also a demon sword involved. Speare decides the best place to start looking is for someone who just got their hands on the demon sword. He recruits a thief, in Ardeth Coyle, who also dealer in occult artifacts.

 

This was a good story. It has all the things you expect from a solid Urban Fantasy book. The world that Kane built in Vegas does it proud. Add in the magic and it is a solid location that any UF fan would enjoy. Speare is a great tortured hero, who is working hard to be “good”. Ardeth is a solid heroine who isn’t trying nearly as hard to be good. The suspense and action are all there. All in all, this is a solid story. That being said, I didn’t love it as much as I expected to. I think this book might have suffered from “too high of expectations” and “over anticipation”. As much as I loved Kane’s first two series, I think I expected this one to blow me out of the water and it just didn’t do that. Kane mentions on her blog, that this book could be a stand alone or possibly a start to a new series. If there is a book two, I will definitely give it a go. I know that it is often that the first book of a series is okay, but get way better with more stories. I’m sure Kane could do that, as I’ve loved her other series. I really hope that there is a book two.

 

Narration

This is my first book with Aiden Snow as narrator. I really liked him. I thought he did a great job with our tortured hero. I also liked his women’s voices. The pace was great. I thought he really brought the darker side to the story. He is definitely a narrator that I will be on the look out for in the future.

 

**I like to thank the publisher for providing me with a copy of this audiobook in exchange for an honest review.

Source: www.hotlistens.com/made-for-sin-audiobook-by-stacia-kane-review
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review 2016-08-21 04:54
I don't know
Made for Sin - Stacia Kane

Thing is, I love the author's "Downside Ghosts" series. Even when the thing is breaking my heart, I am loving it. From the plot, to the amazing characters, not forgetting that amazing setting, that series is a must to all urban fantasy addicts.

And then you start reading this, and you have to adjust your expectations, because when it comes down to the characters, this story feels too paranormal romance, and I've stopped being a fan of it...

"Made for Sin" had a potentially amazing storyline. Not that it hasn't been done before, but, this is queen Stacia Kane, so yeah, great expectations.

The idea of a normal guy having to share his body, more precisely his mind with a Demon is a great one, and the author knows how to write: this was an engaging story from first page to last.

Thing is, I didn't care about the characters.

I didn't even memorized their names: his seemed to come from an old noir movie. Hers? Well it could be at home in "Lord of The Rings". lol

 

So E.L. Speare is supposed to be this big shot PI who occasionally does the dirty jobs of this Mafia boss guy. Also, he may be related to said Mafia guy, so things are even more complicated, as if hosting a Demon in his head wasn't enough trouble already.

 

We get the story from Speare's pov, but the thing is, at time he felt way too young for all that he had gone through. I don't know if it was just me, but with the exception of the steamy parts, he felt a little too YA: too emo. I got a little tired of being in his head.

 

As for Ardeth, most of the times she was just this red haired Barby, with the great body, and with a plastic personality. She's supposed to be this master thief, but it was hard to get on board with that, since she spends most of the time bickering with Speare.

And it isn't as if that bickering led to great sexual tension. Because it didn't!

Most of the times they just came out as two (okay, she more than him) stubborn, moronic people, wasting time on frivolities. Yes, Ardeth, I'm looking at you.

 

The plot was nicely done in a macabre way. Think Buffy and the Initiative episodes...

 

Towards the end, the pace picks up a little more, the story becomes more interesting with possibilities, some truths were revealed, and the pages flew faster.

I don't know if this is going to be a series, but if so, I really hope Ardeth gets a new personality. That, or that we get a new leading lady.

As for the ending, there's no cliffhanger, but there are obvious possibilities for this to get turned into a series.

Although, I would definitely prefer a new "Downside Ghost" book.

 

Arc provided by Loveswept through Netgalley

 

Release Date: August 30th

 

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