Friday, December 2, 2011

Review: Unholy Magic (Downside Ghosts #2) by Stacia Kane


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.


Kat, fellow Goodreader (and my favorite Australian) summed up this book best: gut-wrenching. This book ripped out my innards, tap danced all over them, unceremoniously shoved them back inside me, and sewed me up haphazardly. Sure, in the end, my guts were no longer all over the place but serious damage was done. And I liked it. Sounds like I'm being over-dramatic, I know, but you should see my Unholy Magic status updates.

This book, Stacia Kane's writing, sent me on an emotional roller coaster ride from hell. Now, don't get me wrong, this isn't a bad thing. I mean, I do love roller coasters. I love the sensation of plunging down steep slopes and shooting through loop-de-loops at eleventy-billion miles an hour. I love screaming like a maniac, thinking I might die any second (knowing I won't). But see, that's just a regular roller coaster ride.

Unholy Magic, is more like a terrifying ride on a rickety old roller coaster that may or may not be missing some track. While being stark naked. Halfway through the ride you see that, indeed, there is a section of the track missing, and you realize you're about to die--But, wait! Instead of flying off the track and plummeting to a gruesome death, the roller coaster sails across the gap--Speed style--and lands on the other side, tracks lined up and everything. It's unbelievable.

In the end you're still alive and you feel exhilarated and invincible and you want to do it again. You see that you can because, hey, there aren't many people in line. But as you prepare to get up you vomit in the lap of the stranger sitting next to you.  Oh, and hey, you're still mysteriously naked.  

It's horrible, but in the best way possible. Does that make sense?

Now you're probably thinking I don't like like this book--I mean, "horrible in the best way possible" doesn't sound like high praise, amirite?  Well, you couldn't be more wrong.   I enjoyed Unholy Magic despite all the feelings--some downright beautiful, some so cringe-worthy I wanted to crawl in a hole and die--it stirred within me.

I don't know, I guess the best way to describe the experience is by saying Kane's writing is such that I felt as though I was there, within the pages of the book, watching everything play out. Not only that but I felt all of the characters emotions and it was amazing and terrifying and overwhelming all at the same time.

It was great.

I'll be reading Unholy Magic again, sooner rather than later, I just need a little time to recover. Four stars.


  1. Hey Penny! Love reading your reviews on GoodReads...I have a book I'd like to send your way (would you believe there is a discussion about pie in it?) and if you like the character of Chase, you'd definitely like Perry Palomino but can't find any contact info for you. If interested, please email me at info (at) experimentinterror dot com. Cheers! And keep up the blogging!

  2. Where the follow button so that I can follow your blog?

    Great review, honey!