Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Review: Unholy Magic by Stacia Kane


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.
Having listened to Unholy Ghosts on audio and loving it, I figured I would continue with the same format for the rest of the Chess Putnam books.  In Unholy Magic, the story continues shortly after the first book left and poor Chess has barely had time ro recuperate.

It still amazes me how complete Stacia Kane's world is in this series, with the underbelly of society up close and personal in Chess's life. In Unholy Magic though, we get to see that there are still rich people around to greater offset the poor that were so visibly displayed in Ghosts. Following two mysteries, one official, the other for Bump, Chess has her work cut out for her here.

I didn't enjoy Unholy Magic as much as I did the first book, mostly because we get to see more of Chess' personality and her propensity to muck up the good things she has going in her life with her own stupid actions. I wanted to bitch slap her more than once throughout the story, as she just seemed to pile more bad decisions up, one after the other.

Worst of all for me was how Chess' stupidity affected Terrible. Yes, I'll say it....I felt horrible for the fallout that Terrible, the drug dealer's enforcer, had to experience. I'm going to give Stacia Kane big kudos here though for superior writing that allows the readers to fall for a character that we would normally balk at. The author does very well at pulling emotions from readers: anger, frustration, and maybe just a little bit of hope.

I still love this series, though, despite the main characters self-destructive tendencies. Unholy Magic sustains the darkness, grit, and, well, magic that makes this series so alluring.

Available for purchase from: Amazon, Book Depository, Book Depository UK


Melissa (My words and pages) said...

lol. I think the best part of this book was Chess's screw up with Terrible. I soooo hated it! But it really had me feeling strongly.

Aaggg, you are really getting me WANTING to read City of Ghosts. Badly! I really need to get to it. I think I will learn a lot about that city under, where the ghosts live.

Thanks for the review!

Jackie said...

@Melissa - Yeah, I know the whole thing with Terrible was necessary but I just felT Chess was way too much in "feeling sorry for herself" mode, lol. And you should read City of Ghosts! (My review of that one will be up soon ;-)

pattepoilue said...

I felt the same. I wanted to slap her silly soooooooo bad. Poor poor pooooooooor Terrible. :/
I really disliked the heroine in this book.
I still need to read book 3 though. I bribed Susi to tell me spoilers lol. *g*

Jackie said...

@Caro - I could tell ya too ;-) You should listen to City of Ghosts; Kane keeps ripping out your heart then giving it back to you piece by piece - it's sweet torture, lol.

pattepoilue said...

Lol but it's still torture! ;) I will listen to it sooner or later.

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