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Unholy Ghosts (Downside Ghosts) [Paperback]

Stacia Kane
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (64 customer reviews)

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Paperback, 27 May 2010 --  
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Book Description

27 May 2010 Downside Ghosts
The first book in a compelling new urban fantasy series, The Downside Ghosts. Murderous spirits and ruthless drug dealers combine to create serious problems for fiercely independent heroine, Chess, in these fast-paced, sexy and addictive novels - fitting for a witch with a serious drug problem. 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.

Product details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: HarperVoyager (27 May 2010)
  • ISBN-10: 0007338279
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007338276
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (64 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 7,763,267 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Stacia Kane has been a phone psychic, a customer service representative, a bartender, and a movie theatre usher. Writing is more fun than all of them combined. She wears a lot of black, still makes great cocktails, likes to play music loud in the car, and thinks Die Hard is one of the greatest movies ever made. She believes in dragons and the divine right of kings, and is a fervent Ricardian. After almost four years living in England, she's currently outside Atlanta with her husband and their two little girls planning a return as soon as possible.

Product Description


"Gripping... Vivid characters, superior world-building and a wonderful sense of pace... I was enthralled." "The world-building is unexpected and complex, the characters are alive, and the protagonist Chess is a treasure." "The characters are complex and indelible, the plot is fascinating, and I can hardly wait for another book..." (all) Charlaine Harris

About the Author

Stacia Kane was born in Illinois, raised in St. Louis MO, and lived in South Florida for a dozen years before moving to the UK with her British husband and two daughters. She is the author of the paranormal romance Personal Demons, and The Downside Ghosts is her first urban fantasy series.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
33 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Astonishing and dark, dark, dark. 23 May 2010
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This was an utterly compelling read. The story is totally original and in the crowded urban fantasy/horror market, Stacia Kane has produced something that stands out as wonderful. Some of the cover quotes mention 'ideal for fans of Charlaine Harris' and on this I would exert caution. If Charlaine Harris is at the softer end of your reading pleasure (as she is for me, a die hard horror fan) you will love this. If however, Charlaine is as dark as you want to go then Unholy Ghosts is not for you. because this is dark, sticky, violent stuff.

The basic story revolves around a not so distant future or alternative now where there has been a horrific surge in ghost activity. No moaning, chain rattling, making you jump type ghosts these. These are killing people indescriminately, violently, horribly and are not interested in communing with their ancestors. And so an offshoot of mystical belief that has the power to banish and subdue these murderous entities has replaced governments and religeons globally as the seat of power. This is the Church- but nothing remotely christian about it and this is not a religeous book in the slightest.

Chess is our notional heroine, a drug addicted adult orphan, been through the care system, been abused and hurt countless times and seeks refuge in the safety of Church power and her beloved drugs. As a largely functional addict, she bumbles through her life until she suddenly finds she has racked up more drug debt than she can pay back. Politely declining the offer of working the debt off on her back, she takes the alternative offer of clearing an abandoned airfield of a ghost so the local drug lord can start shipping in new product more cheaply. How hard can it be right? This is, afterall what she does for a living.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars unholy ghosts (Downside Ghosts, Book 1) 19 Oct 2010
I thought this book was one of the best urban fantasy books i have had the pleasure of in a while. Chess putnum is a class A heroin (LOL)She is kick ass but is not super together. The book has an aura of social commentary but not in a bad way. Chess is vulnerable, she doesn't live 'on campus' with the other churchwitches, she has had a hard life and lives in an area of town policed by two warring druglords. Chess gets involved with both but she has loyalties. The world building is beleivable, the side charachters are so intersting. Chess had dealings with both enforcers, Terrible who is Bump's underling, and Lee who is Slobag's. Be prepared to stay up with this one its fantastic.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The ultimate anti-heroine.... 28 July 2012
By Cheryl M-M TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I wonder if the concept for this book came from a need to drop something different in the expansive depths of urban fantasy or whether the reader is being treated to a glimpse of Kanes subconscious darker side. Regardless of which and why this is an extraordinary example of its type of genre.
The main character is an anti heroine par excellence and like marmite, the reader will either love her despite her failings or hate her with the passion born of hatred.
Me, myself and I are on board the love boat.
I enjoyed the darkness of her character and the way she makes no excuse for being who she is. She lives as she feels, which is in the moment. However behind all that carelessness and silmultaneously free as a bird attitude hides the hurt and scared child, as often is the case with addicts. Hidden behind the addiction is the pain of past horrors and present indifference.
The world surrounding the characters is dystopian in its nature with strong elements of paranormal and occultism. The church leads and guides as a dictatorship with cult like presence. I found it extremely interesting how Kane took the outside population, who are living in ghetto like habitats, and has had them regress in their language skills. So rather than use the future as a scenario, in which we find the population more advanced, we in fact find them going backwards. This is demonstrated in the way they communicate.
I found the concept fascinating, daring and I look forward to reading more.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Towering Imagination 11 April 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I read a lot of fantasy, not much of it urban. This is the first of Stacia Kane's books I've read and, although not particularly a fan of the urban fantasy sub-genre, I am now firmly hooked on her writing.

Unholy Ghosts is richly imaginative with a cracking pace that left me breathless. The heroine, Chess, has the knack for self-sabotage typical of the emotionally damaged addict, and my heart ached for her as she made one bad decision after another. I couldn't help hoping that she would get her act together, which was one of the aspects of this book that kept me reading. Now and again she does manage to save a situation, but only just, and more by luck than judgement. Stacia Kane manages to make her main characters quite unlikeable and highly sympathetic at the same time, which is a clever balancing act. I fell in love with Terrible partway through the book and couldn't believe how stupid Chess was... only I could...

The compelling central characters and their relationships are well matched by the complexity and coherence of the world Stacia Kane has created. Overall, Unholy Ghosts reminds me of some of the work of Philip K Dick and William Gibson, addressing similar questions about the nature of society and the essence of humanity. Which is not to say that this is in any sense a heavy read. Some passages are quite scary, and at times I found myself reading through my fingers. But for me, neither the drugs nor the sex nor the horror are gratuitous, they all fit with the crowded gritty urban environment and its supernatural element.

I loved the characters' names. In fact I loved the whole thing. Not everyone will, but I did - so much so that I'm now going to download the next book.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars alright
I loved the covers and thought it sounded really interesting. But sadly although I liked the story the characters left me cold. Read more
Published 5 months ago by K. J. Alexander
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read Fantasy
I wasn't at all sure about this book with a drug addict heroine living in a Godless and harsh world where the dead have risen and the living suffer from their attacks. Read more
Published 8 months ago by L
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read
Love this book so much I bought the next one after the first couple of chapters. It's not soft or romantic, it's gritty and dark but humorous too x
Published 9 months ago by victoria james
5.0 out of 5 stars fantastic!!!!
I'm really addicted now, want more more more! Can't wait for my next installment. Would recommended, once you start you can't put it down.
Published 10 months ago by jacqueline twigg
5.0 out of 5 stars brilliant reading love it love it
I brought this book because it sounded interesting and i wasnt sure if i was going to buy the others but i thought i would try it and see if it was worthy of buying the other books... Read more
Published 16 months ago by sheila l
5.0 out of 5 stars Great start to a series
Well this came highly recommended by a friend so I thought I'd try it and I wasn't disappointed. I admit it took a bit of getting used to with the Downsiders way of talking and the... Read more
Published 17 months ago by Leanne Crabtree
3.0 out of 5 stars mmmm not sure
i tried to get into it, seem like it could be a good read it's a shame that i couldnt get into it. i think it's coz of the way it's written it's not from the point of view of the... Read more
Published 18 months ago by Miss Sarah Melville
5.0 out of 5 stars Fab!
I didn't know what to expect with this book but I'm very glad I took a chance.

It's very interesting with a variety of characters that I really cared about. Read more
Published 18 months ago by spraggpie
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting!
Unique. I think if you are wanting a different series,abut gritty you should try this.good story,hard to read in parts and chess is a character you hope survive. Read more
Published 20 months ago by suzieq
5.0 out of 5 stars Terrible...not
Bought this on a kindle daily deal months ago, just got round to reading it! and ive had to buy and read the whole series in the last two weeks!?. Read more
Published 20 months ago by Ms. Sally Willilams
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