Saturday, 8 October 2011
Book Review: Unholy Ghosts by Stacia Kane
It's funny, a friend of mine recommended it to me, but she warned me that certain drug references could become quite frustrating and confronting. Well, I have to say, it's one of the reasons I loved it. Not because I'm a crack addict and that's my bag, but because I was enthralled! I was seeing the world through the eyes of what we'd usually class as a sub-par citizen, the delinquent we walk past in the street and pretend does not exist.
Let me explain ...
The story follows Chess Putnam, a church sanctioned witch and glorified ghost hunter. Trained from an early age, it is the responsibility of witches like Chess to protect the citizens of Downside from the barely contained underground city of ghosts. She is good at what she does, revered by the upper class for her dealings with magic, but welcomed by the drug dealers and street riff raff for the opportunity her power represents.
She finds herself embroiled in a case that has more than one connection with the church she trusts and the underworld in which she is indebted to. She must uncover the mystery behind recent hauntings, her feelings for a couple of crooked drug enforcers, and learn to harness her magic in a way that keeps everyone safe from deadly intent.
Needless to say, watching her unravel the mystery is intriguing, especially when hampered by her drug addiction and constant need for a fix. Amazingly, she has great moments of clarity, a woman very sure of herself and the expectations of those around her. It was hard not to empathise - hard to judge her when knowing her background and lackluster appreciation for life.
As for her fellow male playmates? You were exposed to arrogant pretty boys with an agenda, low life drug enforces, and a surprisingly endearing wall of muscle named 'Terrible'. By the end of this book I was practically waving a banner saying 'Go Terrible, it's your birthday!' I loved him - the crooked nose, scarred face, bulky frame and unsuspecting soft side. Stacia Kane knows how to make a bad ass look good.
The plot was engaging and the characters believable. Relateable may be the wrong word to use when I've clearly led a sheltered life in comparison, but descriptive content and vulnerability was such that you wind up thinking they're surprisingly well adjusted, no different than your mysterious next door neighbour. But above all else - I want more. And as such I know what I'll be doing ....
Crap better finish this post first.
Later all, have a great weekend reading!