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Unholy Ghosts by Stacia Kane
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Unholy Ghosts (edition 2010)

by Stacia Kane

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
7027513,505 (3.82)18
Member:TheDivineOomba
Title:Unholy Ghosts
Authors:Stacia Kane
Info:Harper & Brothers Publishers (2010), Paperback
Collections:Read but unowned
Rating:****
Tags:2012, Urban Fantasy, From BookMooch, Given Away

Work details

Unholy Ghosts by Stacia Kane

  1. 20
    Magic Bites by Ilona Andrews (reconditereader)
  2. 20
    Working for the Devil by Lilith Saintcrow (flemmily)
    flemmily: More of a pulp novel feel, but another gritty, dystopian setting. The main character also deals with ghosts.
  3. 10
    Benighted by Kit Whitfield (TheDivineOomba)
    TheDivineOomba: There is a similar feel between these two books - both books deal with a world with one church and a small group of special people who work for the Church, both very much needed, but scorned by the rest of the population.
  4. 10
    Mind Games by Carolyn Crane (leahsimone)
  5. 00
    Blackbirds by Chuck Wendig (GirlMisanthrope)
  6. 00
    Tainted by Julie Kenner (TheLibraryhag)
  7. 00
    The Naming Of The Beasts by Mike Carey (LongDogMom)
    LongDogMom: Both are a bit gritty and have interesting lead characters that deal with ghosts and hauntings.
  8. 00
    Night Life by Caitlin Kittredge (flemmily)
    flemmily: Similar dystopian setting, similar dark tone.
  9. 12
    The Witching Hour by Anne Rice (leahsimone)
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English (75)  German (1)  All languages (76)
Showing 1-5 of 75 (next | show all)
Unholy Ghosts is the first book in a fresh, exciting series that stands out as different from the rest in terms of its bizarre, intricately-built world, unusually tainted characters, and the scenarios/villains.

When people think of this series, several things come to mind, but the main recall is how different these characters are. Cesaria (Chess) as the protagonist is not the everyday type of heroine. She's a drug-addict with a past she tries to forget by numbing her brain constantly with pills, the "pipe", random and meaningless sexual encounters, and self-imposed isolation from her peers. She was a troubled child caught up in the system, who feels rescued by "the Church."

The Church has now taken over the world, but instead of being focused on any religion at all, they long ago disproved it. Ghosts are trapped underneath the city for punishment, while others are for "peace of sorts", and if anyone claims a haunting, a debunker is sent to do an investigation. All children are tested for magic ability, and if they make it - as Chess did - they receive a full education and career provided by the church. Chess is a debunker but instead of living at the church as the others do, she chooses to stay in "Downside", amongst the criminal element and her drug addiction.

The whole church/government angle is refreshingly original. The plots are dark, brutal, and leave a gritty, grim feeling. Violence is present but not detailed, more like the aftermath of it. Chess goes through the motions of meaningless sex, but it's not dominating in the plot or pornographically detailed. I would say it's short and sweet, but instead it's short, forgettable, and there mainly to illustrate emptiness rather than lust, romance, or emotion. Flashbacks hint to a grim, sad experience which helps explain the present.

Having a drug addicted heroine where most interaction is with criminals on her side is certainly a new bent. Despite some unlikeable attributes, still ended up (habits/jobs/actions) liking Chess for the most part. She's intelligent, sarcastic, and completely insecure. Terrible as another main character is also quite different. The strange slang used as speech is hard to get used to at first but it grows easy once you get used to it. Terrible is described as unattractive and has the unpleasant job as being the main collector/thug of the local drug dealer, Bump. Bump is described as cheesy, completely disrespectful to women, and has his hands in a majority of crimes around the poor, run-down town.

This first novel didn't impress me all that much. It had a slow start and a lot of what's going on with the magic is confusing. Ghosts are not how we view them, and there's career related jargon made up by the author, such as "psychopomps." The characters don't really start growing on you until a bit later, so investment in their personal lives are a moot point when starting out. Once the book reaches around page 100, it becomes especially interesting and everything starts heating up big time.

Overall a book that, while not amazing, is unique enough to intrigue and want to read more. Survival type coping UF than heroine or happy ending type. Despite some unlikeable traits/jobs/actions of the characters, you end up liking them. ( )
  ErinPaperbackstash | Jun 14, 2016 |
*Spoilers* It was an interesting read. I wasn't sure I'd be all that into it with the main character being a junkie and all. The whole ghosts having to be locked away or they kill people is an interesting concept for a book. This series definitely has potential. I really liked Terrible, thought he was a good character. I really want him and Chess together but she got with Lex....I mean really??? Eww. Anyway I will definitely read/listen to some more of this series. ( )
  LenaR0307 | May 30, 2016 |
Two and half stars rounded up, because the genre is definitely not my cup of tea to begin with.

2,5 звёздочки
Наркотики, грязь, трупы, кровищщща. Короче, ужас у​жасный, совсем не в моём вкусе, да ещё и с треугол​ьником (или четырёх-? Ах, нет, пятиугольником!), н​о вот дочитала же... Благодаря героине, я думаю. Ч​езария хороша, несмотря не обилие тараканов в голо​
Но всё же не настолько, чтобы подвигнуть меня на д​альнейшее чтение длинной серии, так что на этом я ​с ней, пожалуй, и попрощаюсь.​
( )
  Rezeda | May 27, 2016 |
Chess Putman is a witch. She works for the Church of Truth as a debunker. Chess however is a drug addict and owes moneyto Bump a dealer and hes come to collect.

My sister recommend this book to me so I borrowed it from the library. I couldn't get into it took it backm then ended up with a copy from my sister as a Christmas present. So ive tried it again.

Second time around and I persevered with it. I enjoyed it a little more than what I thought I would. I quite liked Chess, shes a likeable enough character. Along with her motley crew of fellow characters the story plodded on. I did feel the whys and why not was a bit feeble and this let the story down.

What I didn't like was some of the characters names. Theres a big drug lord snd hes called Bump and his henchman is called Terrible. Felt like they were out of the Mr Men books.

I plodded with this book but felt there wasnt enough in it for me to rush out and get the next books in the set. ( )
  tina1969 | May 13, 2016 |
Chess is a Debunker, a witch trained to detect and dismiss ghosts. When her drug dealer threatens to cut her off if she doesn't purify a local unused airport for him, she gets embroiled in a dangerous chain of events.

And I don't caaaaaaaaaaare because Chess is just a total trainwreck. Every single time she makes a decision, she makes the worst choice possible. She gets into debt with every criminal character she meets, does drugs instead of sleeping, avoids getting medical treatment for no apparent reason, doesn't share information even when it would gain her allies and not harm her...She's supposedly super noir and gritty and cynical, but then she does naive crap like let a random kid (who she knows is a thief, knows is under the control of a gangleader, and has only met once for about ten seconds) stay in her apartment. I think if I'd ever gotten the idea that Chess was smart, or could see what a mess she was making, I might have finished this book. As it was I gave up halfway through, unable to read another chapter of her making yet another series of insanely stupid and terrible decisions. ( )
  wealhtheowwylfing | Feb 29, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 75 (next | show all)
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To Cori. Not just my best friend, but my best reader. Her enthusiasm for this book in its earliest stages and beyond kept me going; her friendship kept me sane.
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Had the man in front of her not already been dead, Chess probably would have tried to kill him.
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Book description
THE DEPARTED HAVE ARRIVED.

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. Enter Chess Putnam, a fully tattooed witch and freewheeling ghost hunter. She’s got a real talent for banishing the wicked dead. But Chess is keeping a dark secret: She owes a lot of money to a murderous drug lord named Bump, who wants immediate payback in the form of a dangerous job that involves black magic, human sacrifice, a nefarious demonic creature, and 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.
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Chess Putnam is a troubled young witch who hunts down and banishes angry spirits. Still haunted by the memories of her abusive childhood, she has developed a drug problem in order to stifle her thoughts. But her problem frequently gets in her way and it could see her lose everything.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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