Lily’s Book Review of City of Ghosts by Stacia Kane

by lily on August 14, 2010 · 0 comments

in My Book Reviews, Stacia Kane

City of Ghosts
Dear Maryse,
I am writing this letter from somewhere near Downside, dig? I am hunting a black 69 Chevelle, cause I know that only Terrible is driving that car in these parts. I just got done with Stacia Kane’s 3rd book in the Downside Ghosts series and I am convinced she wrote it just for me. This book brings us into an intense case with the Black Squad – one they put a binding spell on her over. Chess can not mention the case to anyone, or the ghosts of the original elders will literally come back to get her. This is a VERY highly paid job, but Chess is an odd girl. She is a witch with the church, her official title being a debunk-er – her job is to seek out people looking to defraud the church by making false ghost claims, but she also has a big nasty secret from them.

“Most Debunkers spent their money on actual things, rather than just buying anything they could swallow, smoke or snort. Unlike Chess.”

She ends up paired up with Lauren, a Black Squad member and the Grand Elder’s daughter to boot. Instant dislike on both sides is rampant and as they begin to investigate the dangerous rebel group who is showing signs of trying to overthrow the church. Fighting with psychopomps, dark dangerous magic, Lauren who she’s not sure she can trust and then we can never forget the fresh problems with Terrible. Betrayal is nothing that is easy to forgive, and to say Terrible is not the forgiving sort is an understatement. Unfortunately for both her and Terrible (as he is doing his best to avoid her all together) fate jumps in with both feet.

“Her sigh felt dragged from the depths of her soul. Great. Working for Bump again.” and of course that means lots of forced interaction with Terrible.

At one point in the investigation she is plunged into a nice neighborhood and has this astounding thought

“Suburban generic, right down to the coffee shop sharing the parking lot, so the yuppies could have their frothy caffeine fixes before they even left the property. Funny how addiction was socially acceptable-even a status symbol-when it made people extroverts rather than introverts.”

I love this book because Chess’s drug problem is there, but not as heavy as in the other two books – this one focused more on her relationships with others. She is very profound at times and at one point thinks

“How the hell did people do this, this emotion-and-forgiveness thing? How did they stand these feelings? She could barely handle it and she had lovely, necessary, reason-for-living drugs to smooth over the rough spots. How did people do this shit sober?”

Speaking of relationships, her one with Terrible is rocky and rough, rough, rough.

“But she never thought about the way Terrible looked, at least not that way. He hadn’t been ugly to her for months; he’d gone from just being a face she was familiar with to being a face she loved to look at, a face that made her….happy. Who gave a shit what anyone else saw when they looked at him, when they saw the crooked, many times broken nose, or the scars, or the jutting brow or thick jaw and heavy muttonchops? She knew what she saw, and that was all that mattered. Knew what was behind those hard dark eyes, and wanted it more than anything.”

As in the past where there is interaction with Terrible there is interaction with Lex to follow – even after they “breakup”. Poor Chess continues to have trouble with being connecting to people and is dismayed to discover she is finding comfort with other people instead of just her drugs.

“People, she was discovering, were like cockroaches: If you allowed one in, more were sure to follow.”

She has amazing revelations in this book, and although I will tell you this one detailed more of the fighting and some gore, it was mostly centered around the relationships. Chapter 31 – cheese and crackers! And let me tell you Chapter 32 found me smiling. This book ended well but makes me wait for 2011. It is official – I am in love with the Stacia Kane Downside Series, and more than just a little with a drug dealers enforcer….it’s just Terrible, I tell you. Terrible.
Your Progeny,


Make sure to check out Lily’s own awesome blog – “Lilium’s Realm“ - she’s hilarious and my mom (Lily’s “Grandmaker”) is addicted to Lily’s darkly humorous side, as am I!

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