Friday, July 16, 2010

Review: Unholy Magic

Unholy Magic

By:  Stacia Kane

Publisher:  Del Rey Books

Publish Date:  July 6, 2010

Genre:  Fantasy

Format:  Paperback, 343 pgs - pocket book size

Series:  2nd book in Downside Ghosts, review of 1st book ~ Unholy Ghosts

Recommendation:  YES!! Dark magic mixed with lovable, gritty characters and suspenseful magical cases.

Book Synopsis:

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. 
First Sentence:
Ghosts were stronger undergrounds; no witch willingly went below the surface of the earth, not without a Church edict or a death wish.
My Review and Synopsis:
Three months after the banishing of the Dreamthief in Unholy Ghosts Chess is helping the Black Squad to build a case.  She's starting to be viewed differently by her peers at work, considered that she just might be good at her job.  Chess decides to stop out for a drink and see a band at the local bar with her one friend, Terrible.  Chess ends up going with Terrible to look into a murder of a hooker.  Terrible wants Chess to verify the killer is not a ghost.  But knowing Bump, if it is a ghost, he would have her take care of it instead of the Church directly.  The murder was close to the edge of Bump's and Lex's territories.  Chess finds herself in the grasps of Bumps manipulation with drugs and his knowledge of her, again.  So of course, Chess agrees to help both Bump, and Lex without the other knowing, but at what cost to her...

This book is a wonderful number two to the series.  Stacia Kane, once again does not disappoint here.  I got drawn into Chess's cases and life.  This book was just as intense or more so than Unholy Ghosts.  The cases, both of them, hit close to home once again to Chess - actually closer than she would like.  Chess is stuck between the feud of her close friends boss and her local drug dealer, and the man who has been giving her free drugs and who she shares a night with once in a while.  I watched as Chess's life which seems to work so well for her, comes apart at the seams.  Then Chess realizes what she wants and tries to fix everything to get it.

The characters are a great love in this book.  The way we get to see more dynamics from them - history, reactions, and intimacy with each other.  We got more insight on our lovable bouncer, Terrible.  We get to see a softer side and the more dangerous side (that many others in the book see) of Terrible.

The story line... just keeps going.  The pacing is quick and keeps you turning the pages.  The different cases Chess works on kept me going to see what would happen and where the cases would lead.  And the trauma in Chess's life just adds the flare to the story.  All full of action, suspense, and even a caring between the characters.

These are definite reads.  I am looking forward to book three, City of Ghosts, on July 27, 2010.

I purchased this book for my pleasure

This book qualifies for my Speculated Fiction Challenge hosted by Book Chick City.


  1. Great review Mel! I've been wondering about this series.

    God...I feel like I haven't talked to you in ages! Robyn had mentioned us reading Mind Games by Carolyn Crane for TuesBookTalk (I guess Wolf Hall wasn't working out so great), but my library doesn't have it and I have no moolah at the moment. =O(
    I had mentioned Dracula in Love by Karen Essex, but I received it for review and I don't think it comes out until August. I had a brainstorm about our next pick. I'm going to compile a list of books...different genres & maybe even some YA...and submit it to all the TBT previous participants. Then each person will let me know which ones they have read, which ones they may already own or can get at the library. Out of the ones that we all have not read and can get access to, I will number them and plug it in to and that will pick our next read. What do you think? I'm hoping to have this done so we can start a new book chat the first week in August. Email me ( or comment on my blog and let me know what you think. I really miss you guys!

  2. Great review. I'm kind of in a mood for supernatural after having been off it lately, so maybe I will give this series a try

  3. I just bought the 3 books. I think I'm going to wait until the 3rd one is released. I don't like cliffhangers. :) Great review.

  4. I have heard such great things about this series. I need to put this on my tbr and not just my wishlist. Thanks for the review.

  5. Michelle - Glad you are back and doing better. :) I will have to send you an email later this evening on the books. :)

    Bookmagic - Thank you! Ut oh, you are getting the supernatural feel again. :) I hope you enjoy this series. It really is a great read. :)

    Spav - Hi! I think you will love these books. The ending in this one is just one of those endings that just leaves you wanting more. :) But you don't have to long to wait for the third one, about a week. :) Enjoy!

    Melissa - You do have to get these ones. I think you would love them. :) Thanks!

  6. Great review! I really, really need to read this series, as it sounds sooooo good! :)

  7. Hey Alexia! Thank you. :) Glad you enjoyed the review. I think this is a must read series and you will love it. We've even been discussing it at B&N too. :) Hope you enjoy it when you get it.


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