I just finished a marathon reading session. Laundry? Abandoned. Wear dirty undies honey geez! Dishes? Ignored. Wash em yourdamnself dude! Computer? Wha? I own a computer? Groceries? Uh, we can scrounge can't we??! You want to go where? Ugh. cough. Not. Feeling. Well. Go without me, okay? Dog? We own a dog? Get. Away. From. Me. I'm. READING!!!!
So what had me so hooked?
Unholy Ghosts, Unholy Magic & City of Ghosts by Stacia Kane
I love reading book series in sequence, so I purchased the first two books in this series when they came out, but saved them aside & started the first the day before the 3rd book came out. I ended up having to hunt for the 3rd in the series & basically pleaded with a Borders employee last night to search her back room for one (because they weren't on the shelves) so that I could read it today. Thank GOD!
The story is about Chess, a church witch. Only the church is not our churches today -- its more of an inquisition church with magic mixed in. And our world? Greatly altered after the dead (ghosts) rose during Halloween & killed off millions. (Ghosts are not happy in this dark tale.) Chess is a debunker. Her job is to disprove hauntings. If she proves they're faked, she gets paid. If they're real, she deals with the ghost and the people who have the haunting get paid. Its pretty ingenious as a storyline & unique.
Chess is a seriously flawed character. She's all alone in the world -- an orphan raised in foster homes where she suffered serious abuse -- and she's a drug addict. While you might think this would ruin the story, it doesn't. It makes it infinitely more interesting and believeable. With what she's been through, self-destruction by drugs makes sense. And yet, she still has a will to live. You can't help but hope for her. Enter Terrible (enforcer for a drug lord - Bump - who supplies her) and Lex (employed by a rival drug lord). Bump has a ghost problem & wants Chess to use her magic to solve it. He assigns Terrible to help her. Lex doesn't want to see her succeed, because it would give Bump an edge. And Chess is put into a very difficult situation.
I LOOOVED these books!! I was so fascinated, so engrossed, that it was impossible to put them down. They had such emotional pull, I cried in the third book & had to take breaks because I was so upset with the characters (and, no, I'm not saying why). I drove my son nuts ranting about it. I will say, I was very satisfied with the end, but hope I get to read much more about Chess.
If you like dark urban fantasy, books with a gritty edge, books that make you feel the emotional struggles of their characters, these books will not disappoint. I'm actually debating reading them a second time, because I enjoyed them that much.