Unholy Ghosts

, by Kt Clapsadl

Unholy Ghosts by Stacia Kane
Downside Ghosts #1


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.
Chess is a church witch whose job as a debunker is to disband rouge ghosts and disprove false haunting claims against the church. She is a broken character with many flaws and weaknesses. In the middle of a fight she will pop pills or snort up. She is completely unable to function without being high. Surprisingly though, I couldn't help caring for Chess. Her past is a little murky, but based on what was revealed its no wonder she is a user. Despite her weaknesses, she has a tremendous underlying strength. A lesser person could not have survived some of the thing she went through.

Chess's habit lands her in hot water in this book when her drug lord, Bump, orders her to clear up a ghost problem at an airfield he wants to open. She thought it would be an easy way to wipe her debt clean but quickly finds herself in the middle of a deadly plot with a great evil at the root. As if these evil forces were not enough, Chess is pitted between the two main drug lords when Bump's rival, Lex, tells her he doesn't want that airport open and it would be in her best interest to stop it. Teamed up with Bump's enforcer, Terrible, she must figure out how to play both sides, and unravel the nefarious plot or it could mean countless deaths including her own..

Terrible's character completely caught me off guard. Chess describes him as an ugly brute who is only good for beating down people for his boss, so I wasn't expecting anything else behind that facade. However, he seems to have a slight vulnerability towards Chess and given his normal behavior, this makes him very endearing. As the book went on, Chess began to see intelligence behind that brawn, as well as compassion and found herself trusting him, something she never does. There was a definite spark between the two of them that was much more than the lust between Chess and Lex. Hopefully this trust will build into something more between them.

I didn't particularly care for the extreme slang from some of the characters. It was difficult to read at first, but as the book went on it did get a little easier to understand. I understand the author was trying to show the characters from downside as uneducated, but the slang could have been written a little more clearly. Putting that aside, the rest of the book flowed really well and kept me sucked in until the very end. Considering how dark the book is as well as Chess's habits, it is a surprisingly good read, and makes a good addition to the Urban Fantasy Genre.


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  1. I like your blog, and I just gave you an award, visible HERE.

  2. I've heard great things about this series and will have to pick them up as soon as my TBR load lightens a little. Great review!


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