City of Ghosts (Downside Ghosts, Book 3)
by Stacia Kane
Paperback: 416 pages
Publisher: Del Rey
Available: July 27, 2010
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Book received from: Purchased by reviewer
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.
Reviewed by: Fiction Vixen
City of Ghosts is one of those books that needs to be discussed the moment you finish reading it. You know, those really intelligent conversations where you blurt out things like, “OMG! WTF! Can you believe how that all went down?”. It doesn’t matter who you have this discussion with, anyone will do. You just need to have it. Even if it’s with your unsuspecting husband who has no idea who Terrible is and why you’re so excited about him. (Sorry hubs) I actually had many moments like this throughout the book but after finishing, I was literally exhausted, and found it difficult to talk past the lump in my throat. It’s not often that I read a book and have to put in down for breaks because my muscles are tense and my jaw hurts from gritting my teeth. Even a few days after finishing City of Ghosts, this book is still with me, I am still thinking about it. I feel like the grit of this story is all over me and I’m not ready to wash it off just yet.
City of Ghosts is the third installment in the Downside Ghosts series. With each book in this series Stacia Kane pushes the limits just a little further. I continue to be impressed with the superior story telling, and the incredibly vivid, crisp writing. Once again, Stacia Kane brings the Downside to life by immersing me deeply into a complex, gritty world that is steeped in fantasy, horror, and mystery. The level of violence in City of Ghosts goes well beyond what we’ve seen in the previous books, and I admit I was pushed slightly out of my reading comfort zone. However, the violence never felt gratuitous and simply thrown in for shock value, but instead it felt appropriate for the dangerous world in which Chess Putnam lives.
Within the sometimes shocking violence, and suspense, Stacia Kane weaves a deeply complicated relationship between Terrible and Chess that will tear your heart to pieces. Their relationship has been building up to an emotional boiling point in the previous two books but City of Ghosts brings it on an emotional level like no other. Chess and Terrible are both flawed but not beyond what is forgivable, and amidst the constant threat of danger, the desire to love and be loved is present within them. The range of emotional turbulence in their relationship kept me on the edge of my seat and absolutely breathless.
If the series were to end here, I would be deeply disappointed, however the ending of City of Ghosts is intensely satisfying and left me in tears. Thankfully, this is not the end for Chess, Terrible and the Downside Ghosts series. Stacia Kane has confirmed there will be a 4th and 5th book, she just needs to write them.
If you have not read this series, get thee to a book store now! This is one of the best Urban Fantasy series I’ve read and City of Ghosts is on my top ten favorite books for 2010.
She’d never been able to resist temptation—especially an unhealthy one—and at that moment he was another pill, another line; one she needed, one she would die if she couldn’t have, and her entire body was already vibrating in anticipation.
Oh, yes. Terrible’s eyes narrowed; he gave Chess the kind of look most people reserved for ax murderers. Ax murderers who killed children. And kittens. She shivered.
Purchase a copy of City of Ghosts
Other books in the series:
- Unholy Ghosts
- Unholy Magic
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Check out my guest post with Wicked Lil Pixie over at SmokinHotBooks. The top 10 reasons you NEED to read Unholy Ghosts by Stacia Kane.