Book: City of Ghosts
Author: Stacia Kane
Publisher: Del Rey
Release Date: Out Now
Rating: 6 Stars (FB’s Top Ten of 2010)
Unholy Magic ended on quite a few loose ends. Chess and Terrible, at opposite sides of the ring, bloody and beaten-a row of epic proportions widening the chasm between them-and Lex at the center of the maelstrom. Despite the uncertain footing of Terrible’s ambivalent allegiance, Chess manages to down a pyschopomp to save his life, battle the Cryin’ Man, Vanita, and the unholy brothel from hell and even escape twisting black curses for Bump. But not without sacrifice.
This time in City of Ghosts, Chess Putnam has her work cut out for her as the latest challenge to the Church and its indomitable rule is that there is a war waging in the labyrinthine tunnels beneath Triumph City. And this time it’s not a gang war between Slobag and Bump that threatens to break the back of Downside, but something more evil, more sinuous, that could crack the heart of the City of Eternity-and let the ghosts run rampant…
The black magick faction Lamaru has slowly been consolidating their power and all signs point to a threat on the horizon of the likes that Chess has never seen. And now an enigma has stepped up to the plate complicating issues: Baldarel, a shadowy wraith with untapped power and a hidden connection to the Church who commands an army of aberrant children intent on battling for supremacy of the City. The citizens of Triumph and Downside find themselves caught betwixt two ruinous evils. Will Chess have Terrible at her side to engage in the deadliest battle of her life?
The peaks and valley’s of Terrible and Chess’ relationship is ardently felt throughout City of Ghosts. Biting with the sharpest knife and forever etched into your memory, Kane has patiently and agonizingly laid out her best work to resolve some of the loose ends left unanswered in Unholy Magic. The scene at Chuck’s is incomparable…a smoke-laden backdrop flickering filled with reverb, feedback, and bitter ashes, as Chess and Terrible battle it out-two damaged souls melding, unable to bear the constant polarity between them. Readers will be gasping like strangled guppies for air over that confrontation.
City of Ghosts shivers with vibrancy and a patently inimitable style that is without a doubt the best urban fantasy series I have ever read. Kane’s Downsider patois is an integral component-making the burnt and decrepit rank and file ‘hood hum with flavor. It is riddled with rabid gangster noir, surly and intriguing inhabitants, arcane magick, and a vice-ridden heroine riding the proverbial train wreck to hell and back. It’s so far north from cookie-cutter-gun-toting-vixens that you’ll get a nosebleed. (here…have a ‘kerchief)
A Fiendishly Bookish Review (and one grumpy cat).