I put off reading Unholy Ghosts by Stacia Kane for several months after first coming across it on Goodreads, mainly because the synopsis includes hints of a love triangle. The super cheap price of the ebook called to me though, so I downloaded it. What an addicting series! I’m actually glad I put off reading it, but only because I had three books to sail through instead of just one.
Chess Putnam is far from the normal heroine you’d expect to meet in a paranormal romance/urban fantasy world. She comes loaded down with enough baggage and issues for about 34 pack mules and she is not easy to get to know (for the other characters or for the reader). She also has a severe, dangerous and disturbing addiction to drugs. I was shocked when I quickly found myself rooting for her! Hard to really blame her for wanting to stay high in order to keep from feeling. I wouldn’t want to be constantly surrounded by painful memories if I was her either.
So, yeah. I found myself really impressed with Stacia Kane’s ability to make Chess so likable. Same goes for all the side characters. Terrible, the local gang’s enforcer, shouldn’t be likable either. Beating and killing people regularly and being described as completely ugly – when did these things become so endearing?
The plot of Unholy Ghosts really worked for me too. Chess works for the Church – the world’s main authority. She is a witch that is put on the job of investigating hauntings. If the hauntings are legitimate, she banishes the ghosts. The governmental and political powers of the Church make for very interesting world-building and I found the ghost-lore fascinating. It didn’t remind me of anything else, and I enjoyed the sense of originality.
Between all the darkness, death and drugs, I definitely didn’t find much to connect with in the story. That is the only downside, but I got so caught up in the story that it didn’t matter as much as it might have if everything else wasn’t so stellar.
So what happens when Chess’ drug problem catches up with her and the dealer, Bump, suddenly wants her help with a ghost – off-books and illegally? Throw in a rival gang, a stalker-ish ex-boyfriend and a reluctant attraction to Terrible (Bump’s right-hand man) and you have got yourself a book well worth reading in Unholy Ghosts!
I definitely found Unholy Ghosts to be raw, edgy and gritty. The darker personalities of the characters definitely made them memorable; Stacia Kane has created a series I will be following until the very end!