(The Downside, book 1)
THE AFTERLIFE IS ONLY THE BEGINNING.
The world is not the way it was. The dead have risen and constantly attack the living. The powerful Church of Real Truth, in charge since the government fell, has sworn to reimburse citizens being harassed by the deceased. Consequently, there are many false claims of hauntings from those hoping to profit. Enter Chess Putnam, a fully-tattooed witch and freewheeling Debunker and ghost hunter. She’s got a real talent for nailing the human liars or banishing the wicked dead. But she’s keeping a dark secret from the Church: a little drug problem that’s landed her in hot and dangerous water.
Chess owes a murderous drug lord named Bump a lot of money. And Bump wants immediate payback. All Chess has to do is dispatch a very nasty species of undead from an old airport. But the job involves black magic, human sacrifice, a nefarious demonic creature, and crossing swords with enough wicked energy to wipe out a city of souls. Toss in lust with 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. (from author's siteChess is a Debunker or a witch sanctioned by the Church to return ghosts to their resting place, an underground city. However, she owes a drug lord a lot of money due to some unsavory activities, and if she doesn't pay up, well, she'll get the hell beat out of her and possibly worse. So this guy, Bump, tells her that if she gets rid of a little problem for him, her complete debt goes away. And really, who would say no to that! The only thing Chess has to do is clear up some ghosts from an old airport and she's clear.
Enter Terrible. Terrible is Bump’s right-hand man. He's pretty much his bodyguard and takes care of "problems" for Bump, if you know what I mean, and he's been tasked with making sure Chess follows through with the agreement and banishes the ghosts that are supposedly haunting this airport. But nothing is ever easy, this is more than a simple haunting, as Chess soon finds out. Now she's stuck between two rival gangs, fighting an incredibly evil and powerful nightmare of a ghost and possibly having the hots for a certain enforcer, then yeah, she's ready for a vacation. Or at least, I would be.
Unholy Ghosts the first book in Stacia Kane's new series and absolutely full of win! From the very start, Kane just draws the reader in effortlessly. Chess is unlike any other heroine you'll ever read about, she's nowhere near squeaky clean and yet, she protects others, and she cares although I don't think she wants to. While I loved Chess, Terrible just stole the show for me. He was my favorite and no matter how much I loved the other characters, I lived for his parts. Interestingly enough, at first, I didn't think he was going to be a big deal in the book so my love for him kind of came out of left field and hit me right in the forehead. He's a funny mixture of being a bad-ass and yet at times, protective and it all forms a yummy package that easily became my favorite character.
Another thing that made Unholy Ghosts a book of never-ending awesomeness for me was the pace. It was just excellently paced. There's no awkward pauses or drawn-out monologue and that to me is brilliant. I don't want to have to sigh in boredom or feel like the action overshadows everything else and in this book, neither happens. Unholy Ghosts is the beginning of a new Urban Fantasy series that I think it will be a huge hit. The characters are kick ass and the plot will have you on the edge of your seat. I absolutely recommend it!
Lush Rating: 5!