Sunday 2 January 2011

Review: Downside Ghosts 1,2,3 - Stacia Kane

Book 1

Genre: urban Fantasy
Pages: 346
Published: 2010


The world is not the way it was. The dead have risen, and the living are under attack. 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, freewheeling Debunker, and ghost hunter. She’s got a real talent for nailing human liars and 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 lot of money to a murderous drug lord named Bump. 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 for 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.

My thoughts:
I am afraid I expected more, I mean the book was good and all, but I have seen these amazing reviews, and I just never fell that hard for the book.

But I will give you that she has created a great world. Ghosts came out and killed 1/4 of the earth's population or something like that, and they still kill and kill. But a new church of magic takes care of them. So the book is certainly original. Like a crazy zombie world, just with bad ghosts.

The other thing that makes the book stand out is the heroine, Chess, who has a really serious drug problem. It is really bad, and she should honestly get some help before she dies. But I do understand why she does it, she has one f*ed up upbringing and what she does for a living is not that easy.

In this book I could the first taste of the ghosts, and they are sure evil. Action, magic and some sexual tension is promised.

Book 2

Pages: 352
Published: 2010

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 men 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.

My thoughts:
I read that everyone seems to go for Terrible, but honestly I like Lex. Sure there is not love between them but he does care. Terrible, oh he does care too, a lot, but I guess he has to grow a bit more on me.

More action, and magic. But mostly a deeper insight in her problems too. In the first book she popped some pills, in this one we see how bad it really is. Withdrawal and having to take some pills all the time. I do like Chess, but at the same time she is so messed up, how on earth she gets anything done beats me.

The world still amazes me, and I like how everything else fell to pieces when the new Church came around. Everything else proved to be a lie. I also like that most things take place in the truly bad neighbourhood, there things sure got bad.

All in all, I did enjoy this second book more than the first. They do get better.

Book 3

Pages: 408
Published: 2010


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.

My thoughts:
I am afraid I read the first 200 pages with a high fever, big mistake, can't say I remember much.

Anyway, she does some ghost-ass kicking, the bad guys are back and wants to bring down the church of truth and release the ghosts. They are some crazy idiots. She spins a good story, and it is hard to know who to trust.

She is no longer with Lex, oh bad, cos I did like him. But she is really hung up on Terrible, and yes I started to warm up to him. Mostly cos he is really hung up on her too. He is angry, and upset, and yes I am starting to get him.

But do I want to read more? If the library get them yes, but sadly I would not buy them. In the end I thought they were ok, but they did not grab me as much as they could have. But I am sure many would enjoy them, so give them a go if you want to, they are certainly dark.

Reason for reading:
I do like UF, and everyone else enjoyed the series.

Not that fond of them.


  1. I am not sure I would like to read these but thanks for three reviews that helped me make up my mind - good job! It's always a pleasure to visit your blog!

  2. Hmm... you have such a different take on these books than I've seen. I have all 3 on my tbr and I haven't been able to get to them yet. Still, looks like an curious world.

    I hope you are feeling better now. No more high fever and nothing but health!! Take Care of yourself!!

  3. nice reviews!! i've always wondered if this is the same author who writes western romances under 'stacy kayne'

  4. Ana
    Thanks :) Dunno why it just did not work for me, oh well, all can't.

    I know, everyone else raved about these, and for me they just were ok. But perhaps you will enjoy them more.
    Took some medicine to make the fever go down, oh yay, will feel great for a few hours :)

    Hm...can't help you there *goes to google*

  5. awww pitty you didnt love these ones... after a likewarm begining with books 1, I loved bks 2 and 3... =/

  6. It's a weird, trippy series and not for everyone. I loved it but two things bugged me. She needs to smarten up about The Church, hoping that comes in the next book, and the ghost stuff was repetitive by book 3.
    Although I'm a Terrible fan I did like Lex too.

  7. I have only read the first book in this series, and I am afraid that I didn't love it as much as I expected to from everything I had heard. I really struggled getting my head around the rules of the world, and also Chess. I did however like Terrible so will probably read at least the next book to see if I like it more.

  8. I've never even heard of these but after reading your thoughts it sounds like they might not be what I'm looking for anyway.

  9. Aw sorry this series was a miss for you. It was one of my favorite series of 2010. I did struggle while reading the first one because of the drug use by the heroine but she really grew on me and I loved the wonderful world building.

  10. LOL: "...and everyone else enjoyed the series" is a very telling statement!

  11. I have the first one in my shelf. So looking forward to reading it because so many people have enjoyed it :) Pity you didn't enjoy it as much. I assume you like Ilona Andrews and her UF series better?

  12. I've been watching these on bookstore and wondering if I should wait for library. Now I guess I just wait if library gets those. Thanks for the reviews!

  13. Larissa
    I know, it made me so sad cos I really wanted to love them. But sadly there was no left in me

    So very true, it is kind of the same theme all the time. It could be mixed up a bit.

    Kind of like me then. Not my cup of UF in the end. I am curious about will happen of course

  14. Staci
    They are sure gritty and different

    I did like the world, and in the end I did not have such a problem with her drugs, still something was missing for me

    Lol, aye that is me ;)

  15. Sabrina
    I am kind of happy now to hear that I am not alone. Everyone else raved on about the series, so I wondered what I was missing

    It did take a while to get into her books, but then I really enjoyed them. Here, that still has not happened.

    Perhaps that would be a good way to read them, and more could red them then too ;)

  16. I do have this book on my list to read because everyone seems to love it. I'll probably still give it a try but at least my expectations are now tempered a bit.

  17. Hmmm...I wonder if I'd like these. The premise does sound good.
    Great reviews. Too bad you didn't love them. I give you lots of credit for sticking through and reading all three.

  18. simcha
    I do hope you like them more than I did :(

    Well, I was ill, they were next to me ;)

  19. I already have the two first books but I was distracted and sent other books for review, so I haven't read them yet.
    But they do seem interesting and it isn't often that you see such tormented and flawed protagonists!

  20. Kelly
    She sure has issues, that's for sure. But I liked that, she was very human



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