Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Review: Unholy Magic
Unholy Magic is the second book in the Downside series by Stacia Kane and a Ballantine Books.
Enemies don't need to be alive to be deadly.
For Chess Putnam, finding herself near-fatally poisoned by a con psychic and then stopping a murderous ghost is just another day on the job. As an agent of the Church of Real Truth, Chess must expose those looking to profit from the world's unpleasant little poltergeist problem - humans filing false claims of hauntings - all while staving off any undead who really are looking for a kill. But Chess has been extra busy these days, coping with a new 'celebrity' assignment while trying on her own time to help some desperate prostitutes.
Someone's taking out the hookers of Downside in the most gruesome way, and Chess is sure the rumors that it's the work of a ghost are way off base. But proving herself right means walking in the path of a maniac, not to mention standing between the two mean in her life just as they - along with their ruthless employers - are moving closer to a catastrophic showdown. Someone is dealing in murder, sex and the supernatural, and once again Chess finds herself right in the crossfire.
This book was submitted for review and I retain my copy.
Unholy Magic picks up a few months after Unholy Ghosts. Chess is still working for the Church, still under Bumps thumb, still sleeping with Lex and still using drugs.
In my opinion Chess has increased her drug use - it is to the point now where she is buying from Bump - but getting all the drugs she wants free of charge from Lex. All she seems to think about is her drugs - I don't see how she can keep this from the Church much longer.
Her feelings for Terrible - Bumps Enforcer - are mixed - she enjoys his company, sees him as one of the only friends she has - but she scared to try anything more serious - and that has a lot to do with her background. Growing up as an orphan and moved from foster home to foster home - at the mercy of any and all of the people around her - makes her hesitant to allow herself to 'feel'. I also think that has a lot to do with the drug use.
Now prostitutes are being murdered - not just on Bumps side of town - but also on Slobags. Something is killing them and Bump wants Chess to find out who or what it is...and stop it.
In the mean time the Church wants her to do her job and Debunk a haunting - but that could prove harder than Chess thought - could this be a real haunting?
I enjoy this series. Chess is a likable person - flawed and confused about right and wrong at times- but likable.
The world Ms. Kane has created is unique to say the least - populated with larger than life characters and strange beliefs. But those characters come alive and I find myself invested in what is going on and eager to find out how the story will unfold.
I give Unholy Magic 5 out of 5 stars and look forward to the final installment - City of Ghosts - due out in July.
*This is my favorite cover of the 3. :)