Unholy Magic (Downside #2) by Stacia Kane
June 22, 2010
Paperback, 368 Pages
Reviewed by Tori
Favorite Quote: “He terrified her. He terrified her because when she kissed him, when she’d gotten so desperate for him so fast…so fast…she’d had been there to…
She’d still been there. She wanted him…herself, Chess, not just her body. That desire, that crazy intense need…that hadn’t been just physical.”
In the second book of Stacia Kane’s Downside series-Unholy Magic-Ches Putnam is back and sinking further in her drug induced world. After being poisoned by a psychic con man, she is contracted to debunk a famous actor’s claims of haunting. As an agent of the church her job is to expose those who seek to profit off spiritual activities. She has also been “asked” to investigate the gruesome murders of several hookers belonging to her dealer. As Chess settles herself deeper into the haunting and murders, she finds a remote connection that could spell disaster for her and all those involved.
Kane has written one of the most dark and disturbing Urban Fantasy’s I have read in a long time. This story drug me in, striped me bare, then rebuilt me page by page till the end. Enticing and addicting from page one, we are once again submerged into Chess’s life. The world building is fascinating; merging past and present history to create an dark and edgy time. The dialog is intoxicating; its particular cadence and rhythm lulling you into a false sense of security until your feet are ripped out from underneath you and you find yourself falling down the rabbit hole.
Chess Putnam, the heroine, is a particularly difficult character you really don’t want to like but cannot help doing so. She is a drug addict; sinking further into the mire and muck of her own sordid world. She has begun to question the whys of what she is doing and not liking the answers. But the drugs have a strong hold on her that even good intentions cannot break. Combined with her increasing attraction to Terrible; we can see the mistakes she makes and the suffering she will endure because of this. Chess is scared. Scared to feel. Scared to hope. She is her worst enemy.
The secondary characters are rich in detail and personality. There is no clear cut good vs bad in this story. The lines are blurred and often help comes from unusual places. We are given more clues to each of Chess’s and Terrible’s past which helps explain the way they are now. It’s also interesting how Ms. Kane shows us the different choices we make in reaction to the same circumstances.
We see more of the love triangle between Chess, Terrible, and Lex. The range of emotions you feel when reading about them is both incredible and scary. I have to say I love Terrible-even knowing what he is. What he can and will do.The chemistry between them is so tangible you can almost touch it. The end is dramatic, heart stopping, and I admit, left me stunned into silence trying to absorb it all.
I am already jonesing for book three- City of Ghosts and can only hope my heart is ready too.
Fiction Vixen – 5/5
All Things Urban Fantasy – 4/5
Writings of a Wicked Book Addict – 5/5
This series includes:
Unholy Ghosts 5/25/10
Unholy Magic 6/22/10
City of Ghosts 7/27/10