I have Terrible Fever – My Review of the Downside Ghosts Series by Stacia Kane

by Maryse on September 2, 2010 · 11 comments

in My Book Reviews, Stacia Kane

I admit it….I have Terrible Fever. ;) So much so, that today’s review will not follow my usual format (yes, it has affected my thought process that much!)

What is Terrible Fever you ask? It is caused by Stacia Kane’s “Downside Ghosts” series and has a variety of symptoms (pleasing to the reader, perhaps not so much to those around the reader).

The fever causes the reader to:

  • Obsess about the characters (and particularly one named “Terrible”).
  • Bite their nails, clench their teeth, and sleep only a few hours a night (staying up until 3 or 4am or waking extra early just to get a few more chapters in). In some extreme cases, they do both (as I did – meaning I was getting about 4 or 5 hours of sleep a night until I was finished reading the series).

However, the symptoms don’t end there.

  • The reader will sigh frequently, and groan in agony quite a few times too.
  • Upon attempting to follow a normal daily routine (like work), the obsession will continue to consume the reader’s thoughts, as they re-live the scenes in their head. This causes the reader to unwittingly ignore everyone around them and have that “dreamy” look in their eyes (or that glassy look - tee hee!).
  • Every “break” the reader gets, will find them scrambling for their book, And let’s be honest, the reader will attempt to create many of these “extra breaks”. You may even hear them growling or catch them rolling their eyes at anyone who succeeds in distracting them.
  • You know that fake smile you’ve seen when you’ve interrupted a reader (or given, if you were the reader interrupted)? You know the one…where you hold your breath and plaster a fake smile that looks more like a grimace? The eyebrows are raised, with feigned interest in what the “interrupter” is saying. Yeah…it happens ALOT here…
  • But the worst symptom, and it happens to the best of us, is when the reader suddenly breaks out in “Downside-speak”. Yes, it happened to me. And it wasn’t pretty. Husband confused…worried expression…eyebrows raised. I assured him I was not having an “episode”, but it did cause me to chuckle and contemplate how funny the brain is…
  • And of course, as with ALL great and addictive series, once it is over, the reader will insist upon talking about it incessantly, even trying to incorporate little “tidbits” of the book into normal daily conversation. Yeah…it’s best to join a “Terrible Support Group” when that happens (I’ve joined “I Gots Terrible Fever” on Goodreads). Luckily I also have “Lily” – she understands my predicament. Although…she is the one who introduced me to this addiction. Hrmmm…

Ok so what’s the series about? It’s awesome, but I’m simply going to paste in this morning’s chat with my mom about the series and how she needs to read it (she’s a paranormal romance addict like us). It’s kinda ”raw” - just me, in my full excitement about the series, trying to tell her about it in general, without spoiling it. It would be too easy to give spoilers away, and since it is an ongoing series, I really don’t want to do that for those who haven’t read it yet. I think I did okay…

Maryse says:
ok mom

Gisele says:
I’m all ears… (eyes)

Maryse says:
remember that book series that Lily reviewed on my website – where she’s calling you and telling you about Terrible?

Gisele says:

Maryse says:
oh boy
I read it

Gisele says:
yeah the pimp

Maryse says:
well he works for the pimp (breaks legs and stuff u know haha)
the first book was good but #2 and #3 blew me away
it is somewhat action (because there are mysteries she has to solve and lots of dangerous situations) bad ghosts loose, plus enemies etc…
u know the stuff – keeps it exciting
but the love triangle between her and Terrible and Lex (another drug dealer- the opposing one)
and I don’t think it’s considered a romance series…but her personal life is so interesting, so realistic – nothing fake about it. You feel it.

Gisele says:
really!… I guess it’s another series I’ll have to read

Maryse says:
its not vampires
its humans
but something happened where ghosts overtook the world, and everyone now realizes there are no gods

Gisele says:
really? not vampires and it’s good?

Maryse says:
and ghosts are bad so to get rid of the ghosts witches and people with magical abilities form a “Church” and do witchcraft, magic, banishing spells etc and it works – so the new “Church” is magic

Gisele says:
that sounds really interesting!

Maryse says:
run by witches (elders the whole thing) they are also now law
they protect everyone from these ghosts etc… it’s good (although I cringe at the no God thing)

Gisele says:
yeah… I can understand that

Maryse says:
bad stuff happens and some ghosts get out
they are supposed to be locked in their own “Underworld” where it is supposedly peaceful
but they’re dangerous so that is the “adventure part” (every new assignment “Chess” takes – she’s the main character and a strong witch) but
she needs pills to cope (past issues in her childhood, plus all the freaky stuff she sees)
so that’s how come shes stuck with these dealers
and she also has to work for them (possible ghost issues in their “territory”)
but since they dont want the “law” (the church) involved in their areas they hire her privately
And that’s where Terrible and Lex fit in…(Terrible helps her and protects her cause its a VERY bad part of town

Gisele says:
really!!!! send me the title of the series and the author

Maryse says:
I mean it mom
it’s convoluted a bit when she talks about her spells – it’s very descriptive as she’s performing her magic
sometimes I found myself skimming a bit to get to the REALLY good parts but there are LOTS of good parts

So there it is folks. My “chat” series description is missing a lot of good stuff. But really, Stacia Kane knows how to make you feel the story, the situations, and the characters. I’ll let her narrate the stories the way they need to be told.

Oh also – a little piece of my chat with Lily today, because I forgot to tell you guys. Terrible isn’t the typical hero. Let’s just say…he’s not handsome. In fact, “Chess” considers him “ugly”. So how is it that we can all heart him so much? But don’t let the chat snippet below fool you into jumping to conclusions spoiler-wise…Lex is pretty special too… ;) You’ll see.

chatting with Lily…

in fact
I thought to myself
how am I gonna be able to crush on an ugly book hero?
I dont get these girls
and then I thought
I already know too much of the story that he won’t take me by surprise
and I just KNEW I’d love Lex more
but nope…
Terrible won me
won me terribly ;)

so I get it
and it was just in a book?? how?
that’s how good Stacia is…she can WRITE so well that they become real
u see them the way you SHOULD see them

Oh and, speaking of Lily (and her reviews of the books), here they are (to get a little more detail on what each book is about):

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

I LOVED this series so much, that I’m reading anything “Downside-related” that I can find. I’ll be devoting the next few posts to the series (and to Terrible!) – I still need my Downside “fix”! I’m not ready to let go yet. So yes, folks, it’s gonna be a “Terrible” weekend ;)

5 stars!

Series Reading Order (so far):


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{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Jennifer Bakley September 2, 2010 at 9:22 PM

LMAO I get it “Terrible Fever” lollol I read Lily’s reviews and it did sound good so I do have it on my TBR pile ,,,Im Still trying to get thru the Dark Hunter Series..lol I know im like waayyyy behind…

Mom September 2, 2010 at 9:43 PM

Can’t wait to get these books… hummmm don’t I have a birthday coming up soon? hahahahaha… just joking… I can’t wait ’till then.. I was done reading everything I had up to now and I have girlfriends at work waiting for me to get on to the next series so that they can get them after me! so thanks Sweetpea for the link to the books AMAZON HERE I COME!!!! weeeeeeee!!!!

Maryse September 2, 2010 at 9:55 PM

Oooh yes YOU DO!! But I won’t make you wait until October ;) I’m dying to discuss these with you in detail, so I’m sending them early.


Lily September 2, 2010 at 11:41 PM

OMG – seriously – I told you, I told you. Just blow you away, knock the socks off. I can’t wait to see what the Grandmaker had to say em! Maryse, you remember when I was telling you I was laying in bed reading my nook by the light of cell phone because Shug told me I needed to go to sleep so I waited till he fell asleep to read like, well haha an addict, by the light of my cell phone and hoping he wouldn’t roll over and see me awake doing it? It was the Downside. I know how pathtic it sounds, but seriously, it was THAT good.

Maryse September 3, 2010 at 8:30 AM

Oh I DO remember that! Ha funny!! We are so bad. Yup, my iPad is backlit, so I was doing it too.

Remember when I told you my husband and I were taking a nice nature drive, and he’d get out to take pictures while I stayed in the car to read. Yup, I was reading these. That’s also when my “Downside-speak” attack happened.

Oh and the “feigned interest” in what he was talking to me about. He kept interrupting me to tell me about nature stuff. There was even one point while we were driving that he finally stopped talking, and I waited a few moments, and started to read again. The MINUTE I did, he said:

“You know I’m only gonna start talking again once you’re back deep into the book, right?”


Lily September 3, 2010 at 9:31 AM

HAHAHA that’s too funny. I bet his face was priceless when you bust out the Downside on him. I dig.

Mommy September 3, 2010 at 10:01 AM

hahahahaha…you girls are bad!!! well I don’t have that problem… I can read all I want and not disturb anyone but my 3 cats and my 2 dogs… the b/friend only comes on weekends and doesn’t stay overnight… hopefully I’ll be able to pull myself away from the book for the short while that he’s there… after all I wouldn’t want to drive him away completely… I need him to babysit the animals when I go visit my Sweetpea at Easter next year ; )))

Jenn (@iheartreading) September 3, 2010 at 10:38 AM

I completely and totally understand the feeling. It’s been so long since a series has griped me this way. I can’t stop thinking about the books. I gots the Terrible Fever, dig?

Maryse September 3, 2010 at 10:43 AM

I dig…hehe

JimiAnn January 22, 2011 at 11:32 AM

Great review Maryse! I LOVED this series, although when I first started reading it I didn’t think I would. It kinda brought back old memories of a bad time for me with a few situations but after I made it past that I couldn’t get enough of Terrible and Lex. I think you summed the books up perfect without giving too much away! Now back to Shadowfever for me ;)

Maryse February 12, 2011 at 12:39 PM

A fun tidbit i just found out today when reading Stacia’s blog:

She says:

“Valentine’s Day sucks, so let me be the first to go one record with my “It Sucks” post. (Although some of you might be very interested to know that the rooftop scene in UNHOLY MAGIC took place on that day. No, it’s never mentioned outright–and the holiday no longer exists in that world, of course–but in my head, given the timeline, I realized early on that it was the early-middle of February in dramatic time, so it fit very well.)”


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