Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Review: City of Ghosts

Book: City of Ghosts (Stacia Kane)
Stand-Alone or Series:  Series, Downside Ghosts #3

Pages: 408
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Preview on Google Books
Description (From Goodreads):

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.
Words cannot express how much I love this series. Everything about it; the characters, the setting, the dialog - it's all amazing. Once again, Stacia Kane hits it out of the ballpark with the third Downside Ghosts installment, City of Ghosts
This time around Chess once again gets herself involved in some, lets say, tricky situations. She is assigned a highly secretive case by the church, one in which she is forced to work with a member of the Black Squad, Lauren. Lauren is pretty much the direct opposite of Chess, which often proves to be problematic for the duo, but entertaining nevertheless. 

Besides being involved in a highly stressful situation at work, Chess's personal life is in shambles as well. She spends the majority of the book pining over Terrible; her former BFF of sorts and love interest. Although Chess spends a lot of time thinking about Terrible, she is aware that she has brought their situation on herself. She tries to apologize to him countless times, but he will not have any of it. As the book progressed, I began to fear that they would not have a lot of interaction, but Bump, my favorite sleazy drug lord, fixes that. Because Chess and Lauren are investigating the happens surrounding his territory, he sort of assigns Terrible help Chess/keep tabs on her. Which means, we as the readers are awarded with plenty of angsty Terrible/Chess time. Bravo Ms. Kane!

Now, I don't want to spoil the book for those who haven't read it yet, but Terrible fans do not stress! Although they spend the majority of the book apart, there are a few scenes between them that are dynamite! They are definitely worth the wait!

In my opinion, what makes this book so great is how Chess evolves over the course of the story. When we first met Chess in Unholy Ghosts and even in Unholy Magic, she was very self-sufficient, or at least, she thought she was. She did not think she needed anyone and was constantly shutting people out. In City of Ghosts, she comes to the realization that she does in fact need people. She is ready to not only let people in (mainly Terrible), but ready to acknowledge it. This is a huge step for Chess!

The plot, as always, is also extremely well crafted. There are plenty of twists and turns - and just wonderfully written scenes. I have a few favorite scenes - I am sure those of you who have read it, can guess them. I would like to mention one in particular, since it doesn't giveaway too much of the plot (my other favorites definitely include spoilers!). There is a scene in which Chess has gotten herself into trouble (big surprise, I know..) and the cavalry comes through. Here is a little snippet from the scene:
"Her eyes closed. Whether she fell asleep she wasn't sure. All she knew was suddenly the world was flooded with light and noise. Terrible's Chevelle jumped the curb and came to a stop a couple of feet away. 
Terrible and Lex lept out. She didn't think she'd ever been so happy to see two people in her entire life. There was an awkward moment when both of them reached for her;they hesitated in unison, then Terrible knelt beside her and scooped her up."
 Oh my goodness! Isn't that just pure magic? Stacia Kane, you rock.

Anyways, if for some, crazy reason, like you've been abducted by aliens or have been living under a rock the past few months, and haven't read this series yet, please do. You will not be disappointed, I absolutely promise it.

1 comment:

Marg @ Clockwork Reverie said...

Great review! I totally agree. I completely adore this series and Stacia Kane's writing.

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