Monday, July 9, 2012

Audiobook Review - Unholy Magic (Downside Ghosts, Book 2) by Stacia Kane (4/5 stars)

Reading Level: Adult
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Size: 368 pages
Publisher: Del Rey
Release Date: July 6, 2010
ISBN-13: 978-0345515582
Stand Alone or Series: 2nd book in the Downside Ghost series
Source: Audiobook through
Rating: 4/5 stars

This is the second book in the Downside Ghost series by Kane. It was a decent book and I enjoyed listening to it. It expands some on the world we were introduced to in the first series.

I listened to this on audiobook and the audiobook was well done. I am still not crazy about the narrator, but she is growing on me. The narrator did an excellent job of distinguishing between the different characters voices and of conveying the mood or feeling of the dialogue.

Chess has been promoted in the Church for her work in the first book and in this book she is given her first really high profile case. She is supposed to debunk a haunting of a celebrity. As with the last book her drug habit gets in the way when she is coerced into working another case for her dealer Bump; hookers have been gruesomely killed and Bump wants Chess to figure out if a ghost is involved.

As with the first book in this series I enjoy the dark, gritty, and creative world that these stories take place in. We learn a bit more about ghosts and how they are summoned, we learn a bit more about the history of the Church of Truth as well. This book wasn’t as gruesome as the first one, but it still didn’t gloss over any of the yucky details.

I still have some trouble with these characters. I just don’t like any of them, they are all pretty much train-wrecks. That doesn’t mean they aren’t interesting to read about; reading about Chess as she tries to work and use her drugs is kind of like watching a train on the verge of crashing. It is kind of fascinating how she can balance all these things and mostly have it work out.

Things come to a head between Chess, Terrible, and Lex in this book. Terrible is still by far my favorite character in this series and I am interesting to see what happens between him and Chess. We get to learn a lot more about Terrible’s background and history in this book and it was very interesting.

This book was similar in structure to the first book in the series. Events that happen with Bump and seemingly unconnected events that happened with Chess’s job at the Church end up being closely related. I found this to be a bit formulaic and hope that future books don’t continue to repeat this pattern. It made the story somewhat predictable.

These books have all been fairly self-contained and I am hoping future books introduce some broader story that ties the books together.

Overall a decent addition to this series. I love this world, it is interesting and creative. I am not totally sold on the characters though. I thought this book was a bit too similar to the previous one in structure and hope future books are different. I am planning on reading book 3, City of Ghosts, then I will decide if I will continue on with this series. I would recommend this book to those who like gritty urban fantasy with flawed characters.

This book goes towards the following reading challenges:
- Dystopia Reading Challenge
- Horror and Urban Fantasy Challenge
- 150+ Books Reading Challenge
- TBR Pile Reading Challenge

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