Review: City of Ghosts

The heroine is a lying drug addict with divided loyalties. The hero is ugly. And most of the dialogue is in a bastardized version of the English language. He calls her Chessiebomb for God’s sake. It should be a disaster. But somehow, some way, the Downside Ghosts series has wormed its way into my heart… and this installment is the most powerful one yet.

Things blew up between Chess and Terrible at the end of the last book –and things are still a mess between them. Chess wants to make things right, but Terrible is avoiding her like the plague. She’s keeping busy, though, with her latest assignment from the church. The elders pair her with another investigator to solve a series of grisly murders in Downside. The Lamaru are tied in somehow –and the situation is so serious, Chess must take a blood oath of secrecy.

The investigation is complicated; the discoveries are gruesome. And once again, Chess finds herself a target. Since all the madness is happening in his backyard, Bump takes an interest. And because her binding oath won’t allow Chess to keep him informed, he pairs her with Terrible again. Only now, instead of a friendly partnership, things are strained and miserable between them.

It’s so devastating to see what has become of Chess and Terrible. His heart is clearly broken and he obviously still loves her even though he doesn’t want to. There are moments between them that are so poignant and gut-wrenching, they left my chest feeling hollow. Chess and Terrible are both so destroyed by what has passed between them… I just wanted it to be fixed so badly. But at the same time, I had all this left over anger and angst toward Chess for creating the situation in the first place. Then I swing back around and remember the kind of life Chess has lived; what she has had to endure just to survive… the void in her life where most people have known love. It’s such a mess. It’s masterfully done. Truly.

The investigation wields some disturbing results. There are great twists and turns and I never saw the ending coming. Plus — I have to say that the resolution between Chess and Terrible was so very, very satisfying.

This series won’t be for everyone. But it most assuredly is for me. 5 stars.

Click to purchase: Amazon
City of Ghosts
by Stacia Kane
Release Date: July 27, 2010
Publisher: Del Rey

Comments

  1. Anonymous says:

    With this review you have put into words my exact feelings for this series!

    I cannot wait for Sacrificial Magic.

  2. So ignore my last comment on Unholy Magic…I didn’t realize that book 3 was already out. I’m glad you’re still really enjoying the series (I didn’t read this whole review since I have been wanting to get to these books sooner than later) and I hope it continues that way!

  3. You rated these books exactly like I did. 4 then 4.5 then 5 start. lol And you’re right: not for everyone but if you can get into it, it’s just amazing!

  4. Stop it right there! The hero is ugly? I need to get this book ASAP, that’s like the unicorn of romance novels, the ugly hero… Oh my!

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