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Unholy Ghosts (Downside, Bk 1)
Unholy Ghosts - Downside, Bk 1
Author: Stacia Kane
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. En...  more »
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ISBN-13: 9780345515575
ISBN-10: 0345515579
Publication Date: 5/25/2010
Pages: 352
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.

3.8 stars, based on 85 ratings
Publisher: Del Rey
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
Reviews: Member | Amazon | Write a Review

Top Member Book Reviews

FantasyDreamer avatar reviewed Unholy Ghosts (Downside, Bk 1) on + 10 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 7
Dark. Gritty. Raw. Intense. All these words and more describe Unholy Ghosts. Imagine a world where all gods have been debunked and religion is virtually outlawed, and all you have in this life is just the knowledge of where you go when you die. The unknown of dying is gone, leaving not much to look forward to. This is the reality for all those in this bleak future world created by Stacia Kane making the unsavory life of drugs is a common place for most in this reality, especially Chess.

This is a very dark story with no-holds barred, it gets deep down gritty, and takes you deep into world of drugs and magic. It's written in such a way that you understand why Chess has chosen to use drugs as her avenue of escape from the realities of her life. I found myself understanding and sympathizing with her, even though I've never had an addiction like hers. I had some trepidation about reading this book at first because I wasn't sure how I would enjoy a book that involved drug use but I'm so glad I took a chance and looked beyond the drug use in the story.

Unholy Ghosts is the BEST novel I have read this year and with pun intended, I'm jonesing for the next book in series now because the written and characters are addictive. I even enjoyed the dialect of the lower class citizens on the streets. There's also a very persuasive love triangle, that left me feeling unsure of who I wanted Chess to be with. If you get the chance, I recommend you read this book but prepared for a dark and compelling read ahead of you.
kpbunny avatar reviewed Unholy Ghosts (Downside, Bk 1) on
Helpful Score: 4
Really dark. This is a gritty futuristic look at a world where magic has replaced religion. If you find rejection of religion, casual sex, somewhat gory descriptions, and/or heavy drug use and acceptance distasteful, this is NOT the book for you.

I usually like at least a smidge of romance in my urban fantasy reads---this book doesn't have that. Surprisingly, I was still intrigued by it because of the interesting story line and intense descriptions. The author does not hold your hand and lead you through the world she creates. Rather, at the beginning of each chapter you are given snippets of fictional book passages from this world viewpoint. These passages somewhat foreshadow what happens in the chapter. I liked this method because it made me work at understanding the book's political environment and new order.

Overall, this was a book that took me out of my comfort zone and threw me into a world where life isn't pretty, is confusing with or without characters being in a drug-induced state, and doesn't end with a happily ever after.
YodaMom avatar reviewed Unholy Ghosts (Downside, Bk 1) on + 28 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
FAVORITE !!! This book hit every mark that I try to avoid in most stories. Heavy drug use, physical abuse, promiscuity, abused children, worms crawling out of skin.... and yet it worked so well I loved reading it. The magic web that Chess got involved in was a roller coaster ride to the darkest of places and yet there was kindness,a friendship in a twisted but sweet way. Terrible the big bad thug, wormed his way into my heart. The details and the imagination written into this story are mind boggling. Don't be afraid of the dark aspect of this tale the story is worth reading more than once.
I got this on audio, the narrator was perfect in her reading and made the book come alive.
reviewed Unholy Ghosts (Downside, Bk 1) on
Helpful Score: 2
I thought this series was interesting. How often are the "heroes" of the story a drug addict and the top men of the local drug dealers?
ladyd2206 avatar reviewed Unholy Ghosts (Downside, Bk 1) on + 50 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
This book was awesome! I love the premise, the world, and the characters!

Chess Putnam is a Church member. She is a Debunker, which means that she goes around trying to prove hauntings as false. See, in this world, there is no religion, only truth. And the Church are the ones who battled the ghosts away at the Haunting years ago. So now they are the supreme rule, and their members are held with respect and awe. When Chess can't disprove a haunting, she banishes the ghost to the City, the underground place where all spirits dwell.

But when she's pulled into a case by her drug lord (she's a secret addict), she might've bitten off more than she can chew. Bump wants her to get rid of ghosts at an airfield. And then a competing drug lord named Slobag, doesn't want her to get rid of the ghosts. While she's working this case, she's also working on a case for the Church. But both cases start having eerie instances, and it might just be too much for Chess to deal with alone, or at all. Will Chess be able to figure out the cases before the drug lords decide she's no good to them anymore?

We also meet in this book Terrible, one of Bump's men, who helps Chess along the way, and who has a bit of a thing for her I think, and we meet Lex, one of Slobag's men, who also helps Chess on the way, and who for sure has a thing for her.

When I read the premise of this book, I was totally intrigued. I finally picked it up, and I'm not sorry I did. The world building lacks a little, in that at times I felt a bit lost, and the way that Lex, Terrible, and Bump talk seemed strange in that they talked that way, without explanation, while Chess and everyone else seemed to speak normally.

The characters are all amazing. I love Chess, which I wasn't sure if I would or not, since she has a drug addiction. I have a personal hatred for drugs in real life, and so I wasn't so thrilled to read that she had an addiction, but the way that Ms. Kane writes it, it doesn't bother me. I love Terrible. He's written like a 50's greaser, and I'm totally hoping he and Chess end up hooking up. Lex is Korean, and kind of punk or metal based on the description. He keeps calling Chess "Tulip" which amuses me to no end. There's kind of a love triangle hinted in this book, so, I can't wait to see where she takes it.

All in all this book was very enjoyable. I did figure out the "Whodonit" before it was revealed, but at the same time, it took me a while to figure it out. If you haven't checked out this series, do so! You won't be sorry! I cannot WAIT to start book 2!
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NonExistence avatar reviewed Unholy Ghosts (Downside, Bk 1) on + 239 more book reviews
I'm going to just get the drug thing out of the way. I didn't like it. I see drug use, the way it was portrayed in Unholy Ghosts, as a weakness.

I do look forward to seeing growth - even if I haven't seen any in that particular area at this point in time. I felt no sense of empathy, or compassion on Chess' part. No real sense of right and wrong.

The magic and the ghosts, their history and use, was interesting and well thought out. The idea of the world's population decimated because of a huge paranormal event is compelling...as well as how humans reacted to it afterwards. The intense scenes couldn't have been better written.

I liked "Unholy Ghosts" for the action & the plot & especially for Terrible.


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