Customer Reviews for

Unholy Ghosts (Downside Ghosts Series #1)

Average Rating 4
( 156 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(70)

4 Star

(48)

3 Star

(20)

2 Star

(10)

1 Star

(8)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

Most Helpful Favorable Review

5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

Well that was different

I've never read anything quite like this. The story was amazingly original even though the feel of the story was gritty. The main character is stumbling through life by working a job to barely live and to get her next fix. Her job, however, is one facet of what makes th...
I've never read anything quite like this. The story was amazingly original even though the feel of the story was gritty. The main character is stumbling through life by working a job to barely live and to get her next fix. Her job, however, is one facet of what makes this book so interesting. She is a debunker, a ghost banisher. And between the job she is assigned and others she knows from her drug involvement, her life is anything but boring. I am quite interested to see what will happen in the next book in this series. Different works well!

posted by Yvette4 on October 20, 2010

Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review

Most Helpful Critical Review

10 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

Highly Recommended

This book was OK. The main story was interesting and different. Basically the dead rise and start killing the living, so an organization called The Church (oh irony) or The Church Of Truth banishes them to an underground city made especially for them and proceeds to b...
This book was OK. The main story was interesting and different. Basically the dead rise and start killing the living, so an organization called The Church (oh irony) or The Church Of Truth banishes them to an underground city made especially for them and proceeds to become the new government as the world abolishes all it's old religions now that "Truth is Fact." Chess is a witch who works for them as a Debunker, mostly disproving when people claim to gave a ghost (the church compensates you for your troubles) or banishing them to The City if there is one.

Initially I found her drug addiction made it hard to relate to her/accept her as my heroin, but it's effect wore off and by the end it didn't bother me as much, perhaps because the author gives some insight into her background and the causes for her addiction. Also, there is a LOT of narrative. That's all well and good, but sometimes I just like to hear (read) people talk and the constant inner monologue gets to be a bit much and I find myself skimming to see how far ahead I have to read before Terrible reappears (my favorite character at this point and a potential man for Chess).

All that being said, I enjoyed this read and having continued with the next books can honestly say this is now one of my FAVORITE series despite my initial hesitance.

posted by Sandra027 on December 19, 2010

Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 157 Customer Reviews
Page 1 of 8
  • Posted December 19, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Highly Recommended

    This book was OK. The main story was interesting and different. Basically the dead rise and start killing the living, so an organization called The Church (oh irony) or The Church Of Truth banishes them to an underground city made especially for them and proceeds to become the new government as the world abolishes all it's old religions now that "Truth is Fact." Chess is a witch who works for them as a Debunker, mostly disproving when people claim to gave a ghost (the church compensates you for your troubles) or banishing them to The City if there is one.

    Initially I found her drug addiction made it hard to relate to her/accept her as my heroin, but it's effect wore off and by the end it didn't bother me as much, perhaps because the author gives some insight into her background and the causes for her addiction. Also, there is a LOT of narrative. That's all well and good, but sometimes I just like to hear (read) people talk and the constant inner monologue gets to be a bit much and I find myself skimming to see how far ahead I have to read before Terrible reappears (my favorite character at this point and a potential man for Chess).

    All that being said, I enjoyed this read and having continued with the next books can honestly say this is now one of my FAVORITE series despite my initial hesitance.

    10 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted November 4, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Did not enjoy this at all

    First of all, I felt like I missed a prequel. Secondly, it seems unfeasable to me that within a lifetime, people forgot the basics of the English language. Perhaps my overly-grammatical brain could not get past the slaughter of the language, but I really did struggle to get through this (example "Something attacking planes, dig? Make they all go silent. Turns they off.") If that type of dialogue is appealing to you, then by all means, read away! The concept is good, but I just didn't like the book, or the junkie heroine of the story. I couldn't keep track of what pills she was taking for what and why (again, new invention by the author). I would have liked to read more about the ghosts and what Chess does, not her illegal hobbies. I will not be reading any more books in this series.

    6 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 20, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Well that was different

    I've never read anything quite like this. The story was amazingly original even though the feel of the story was gritty. The main character is stumbling through life by working a job to barely live and to get her next fix. Her job, however, is one facet of what makes this book so interesting. She is a debunker, a ghost banisher. And between the job she is assigned and others she knows from her drug involvement, her life is anything but boring. I am quite interested to see what will happen in the next book in this series. Different works well!

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 20, 2011

    Great read!

    This isn't an actual review, more of a one-sided discussion, if you will...

    I saw all the bloggy and twitter buzz about this series. Terrible, Terrible, Terrible...everyone's talking about Terrible.

    So, I decided to give it a go. I had some other obligations, so it literally took me over a month to read this book. Once I actually got into it, I enjoyed it. Chess is an interesting heroine and for whatever reason her drug addiction didn't bother me at all; I liked her. The plotline was pretty involved towards the middle/end, but once Chess figured it out I got it too.

    It also took me awhile to get the Terrible love. I can tell you exactly where it hit me (Two spots actually: When they were talking after she'd been chased through the tunnels alone, and she thinks to herself that he's 6'4" (the height does it for me every time), and then when he beat up Doyle for her. But, I like Lex too. I'm not sure how that's going to play out, but he beat up Doyle too and I guess that strikes me as chivalrous in some messed up way.

    I'm getting ready to start Unholy Magic and am looking forward to it; I like this Downside world and I'm curious to see where Ms. Kane is going to take Chess next.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 8, 2011

    WOW - This is an EXCELLENT series.

    If you're sick of the same old, same old paranormal fluffs - look no further - This book will grab you up and keep you reading far into the night.

    I bought the first yesterday, and now I'm on the third book here the next day!

    As someone who's "been" there - I appreciated the honesty. No sugar coating the dirty side of life. LOVE this character.

    Stacia Kane is going on all my favorite lists and permanant pre-order.

    I'm only sorry that all three are on my Nook and I can't pass them around. Cuz I would Stacia, I would!

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 15, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Fantastically Unexpected

    When one of my all-time favorite authors, Karen Marie Moning, recommended this series on her blog, I immediately went out and bought it. I've read plenty scifi, romance, and mystery novels to know what I like and what I don't like. I just might be too picky for my own good. "Unholy Ghosts" was described as "dark, edgy, sexy, and pushes the envelope." I honestly wasn't sure I could buy into something like that, but I gave it a try anyway. This book totally caught me off guard. The unique, complicated world that Chess lives in totally sucked me in. I absolutely could not put it down, and now I'm counting the days until the next in series arrives. Take a chance and read this book, it might just surprise you!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 22, 2010

    Great New Series

    Loved, loved, loved this book! Chess is a dark, flawed character who I can't help but rooting for. She has a troubled past and is an addict. Her addiction is a main plot point in this book, as well as throughout the series. She makes one bad decision after another, mostly due to her addiction. It's frustrating at times, but I found myself very sympathetic towards her. We don't get too much of her past in this first installation, but keep reading - it's coming.

    Terrible and Lex are introduced as her love interests. Lex seems like a good guy - as good as a gang member/drug dealer can be. He does care for Chess in his own way. But he's not about to have a real relationship with her, and she only sees him as a means to an end. She does what he wants, and she gets a bed companion and her addiction fed. Terrible grew on me throughout this book. He was rough at first, but I am definitely on TEAM TERRIBLE after reading this (as well as the two other books in this series). He's as dark and flawed as Chess. He is a gang enforcer and loyalty means everything to him. He begins to soften around Chess, and underneath it all, is a gentleman when it comes to her. He trusts her, more than she trusts herself.

    I loved the setting Kane builds for these characters. It's dark and gritty. I know not everyone is cool with the slang Kane uses for the Downsider's speech, but I love it, dig? I think it adds a dimension to the characters, and it wasn't difficult to read once I got used to it.

    This is a book that I urge any urban/paranormal fiction lovers to read. I think you'll be hooked.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 13, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    The world-building and characterization present in Unholy Ghosts rises above your average urban fantasy tale.

    Congratulations, Stacia Kane. You've earned one of the very coveted spots (ok, not THAT coveted) on my favorite UF authors list. Yep. Unholy Ghosts was the first encounter I've had with Stacia Kane, but I'm definitely planning on reading more of her books in the future!

    What I liked the most about Unholy Ghosts was that it was different from any other urban fantasy novel I've read, and trust me, I've read quite a few. The world building was fantastic, and it even has a bit of a dystopian/speculative feel to it.

    To give you a bit of an idea of what the world in Unholy Ghosts is like, imagine this. In 1997, there was a terrible tragedy that occurred, known as "Haunted Week." Basically, a bunch of bloodthirsty ghosts crossed back over into the world of the living and went on a giant killing spree. Lots of people died, until the Church of Real Truth was able to banish the souls back to the City of the Dead. As a result, all of the religions of the old world (Islam, Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Judaism, etc.) have become obsolete, because the Church of Real Truth (which has come to power at this time) teaches the people that there are no gods, only energy and magic. Employees of the Church, like the main character, Chess, work on "debunking" (banishing) ghosts, and fighting against a few smaller rebel groups that want to steal power from the Church of Real Truth.

    I loved reading about this world that was so different, yet so similar to our own. Like I said, the world-building was fantastic. Unholy Ghosts was a lot darker than I thought it would be, but I like dark, when it's well done, so I had no trouble enjoying this book.

    Chess was also a really interesting character to read about. She's a drug addict (That wasn't a spoiler, by the way. It's on the back cover), and I didn't think I would like her at first. I was wrong. She wasn't an oh-my-gawd-this-is-the-best-heroine-EVER! kind of character, but I liked her, and she grew on me more and more as the book went on. Throughout the book, there are several hints at Chess' darker past, though we don't get to see all of it. She definitely has skeletons in her closet, and I'm hoping we'll get to see a little bit more of Chess' history in later books.

    My recommendation: if you like Urban Fantasy at all, then give this one a shot in the near future!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 2, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Gritty urban fantasy with an unexpected heroine

    In the Orwellian future of Stacia Kane's Unholy Ghosts, the Church of Truth runs both the moral and legal elements of society, the afterlife is known and outside the City of Eternity ghosts are evil and bloodthirsty.

    The Church, and its staff with magic ability, manages the ghosts. If you are haunted a church employee will come to your home, send the ghost back underground and write you a check for $50,000. These employees are called debunkers for a reason: most people fake it.

    Chess Putnam is a debunker. (Though, those in Downside just call her Churchwitch.) She investigates reported hauntings, busts the fakers or uses her powerful magic to remove the ghosts. Stacia Kane presents Chess to us in such a way that we can't help but fall for her. She's created a hero with more obvious flaws than another other protagonist we can remember.

    Her biggest flaw? Chess is an addict. She manages, using her Church bonuses to pay her dealer. Popping uppers and downers, Chess tries to keep herself focused while numbing memories so she can function.

    Until now she's kept the two worlds apart, but her dealer has need for her skills. He thinks he has a ghost problem and expects Chess to solve it or she can owe him triple her current tab. Performing this kind of magic and using Church supplies to investigate, without official sanction could get Chess locked away, executed. But her need for pills and speed is greater than the possible consequences.

    The results of her acceptance: banishing real ghosts, dealing with fake hauntings, murder by oil injection, near-death, encountering wraith military battalions and getting put between rival drug dealers.

    All the while we're reminded of the overwhelming presence of The Church of Truth by the excerpts from Church documents that open each chapter.

    Unholy Ghosts wraps its bony fingers around readers from the first chapter and pulls us along with an ever quickening pace. It's gritty, it's intense and it's utterly amazing.

    Honestly, we've never read anything like this - urban fantasy or otherwise.

    This review was originally posted to Vampire Book Club (http://www.vampirebookclub.net).

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 26, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Dark. Gritty. Raw. Intense.

    Dark. Gritty. Raw. Intense. All these words and more describe Unholy Ghosts. Imagine a world where all gods have been debunked and religion is virtually outlawed, and all you have in this life is just the knowledge of where you go when you die. The unknown of dying is gone, leaving not much to look forward to. This is the reality for all those in this bleak future world created by Stacia Kane making the unsavory life of drugs is a common place for most in this reality, especially Chess.

    This is a very dark story with no-holds barred, it gets deep down gritty, and takes you deep into world of drugs and magic. It's written in such a way that you understand why Chess has chosen to use drugs as her avenue of escape from the realities of her life. I found myself understanding and sympathizing with her, even though I've never had an addiction like hers. I had some trepidation about reading this book at first because I wasn't sure how I would enjoy a book that involved drug use but I'm so glad I took a chance and looked beyond the drug use in the story.

    Unholy Ghosts is the BEST novel I have read this year and with pun intended, I'm jonesing for the next book in series now because the written and characters are addictive. I even enjoyed the dialect of the lower class citizens on the streets. There's also a very persuasive love triangle, that left me feeling unsure of who I wanted Chess to be with. If you get the chance, I recommend you read this book but prepared for a dark and compelling read ahead of you.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 15, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    A world of ghosts, magic, and mystery.

    Chess is a drug addicted witch working for the Church. (Please don't let the thought of drugs stop you from this read.) The Church is the only organization allowed to have witches by their law. The Church pays home owners to perform exorcisms of the ghosts from their house, pushing the dead to the City of the Dead. Chess knows she owes her dealer some money, hoping for a bonus in the case she just finished up - that didn't happen. After the job Chess went into town and is approached by Bump's, her dealer, enforcer. The enforcer is one everyone cringes at sight of, Terrible. Terrible takes Chess to Bump to find out she is in debt three times the amount she thought, all thanks to Bump's new interest charges. But Bump has an idea on how Chess can work off the debt. If she does it and catches the "ghost," her debt will be square with Bump. But, maybe its worse than she and even Bump thought...

    I devoured this book in two days time. I was surprised with myself. I love when I have the time and the book to just keep going. I'm still digesting this book after reading it so quickly. I'm not sure what the attraction was, but I had to keep going with it. So I am going to touch on what I liked and kept me going in the book.

    I didn't realize it until I was done how this book kept me going. There was constantly something happening, some trouble or problem Chess and Terrible came across. The mystery of who was responsible and why had me wondering and turning the pages. I just wanted to know who, why, what was going to happen next. The pages just kept turning and I was along for the ride.

    One of my favorite characters was Terrible. As the story starts you meet him as the large bully or drug lords law enforcer but he is a lot more. It seemed to me he may even have a soft spot in his heart for Chess. Chess was a great character as well. She is a strong female character that works through all the troubles with some worry. Just get past the drug addiction and you will see it too.

    What really caught my attention was the Church. I really liked reading the believes of the people NOW; in magic, ghosts, and the City of the Dead. This seemed to hold my attention. The religion that exists at the current time of the book and compared to the religious beliefs we have now interested me.
    In mentioning the Church and beliefs, I have to comment on the chapter headings. I loved them! They gave me more of an idea of what the Church is for, about, and how they ruled. Then I realized they where hints to what would happen in the chapter. Many times I had to think back to the chapter heading after reading the chapter, and it did relate . And I would have never guessed what would happen to get there or what the there would have been.

    I really did enjoy this read.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 31, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Bridget's Review

    The truth has come out. There is no God. Does that mean that people can live without the church? Of course not. Chess works for the Church of Real Truth where she fights one on one with ghosts rather than going to the usual 9 to 5 gig.

    Like everybody, Chess owes someone a favor. That someone, Bump, happens to be her drug dealer. What Chess finds rocks her to her core. A human sacrifice has been made and this is when the story really takes off. Could the church have dirty secrets of it's own?

    Loved it, loved it, and loved it! The plot was unlike any other book I have ever read. I really liked the way the book was able to deliver. Paranormal fans everywhere will be talking about this book for a while.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 29, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    a dark but promising future for urban fantasy

    Ignore the criticism that Chess' personality is "broken"; the fact that she is flawed and trouble is part of what makes this book so fresh. I guess if you want escapism with snarky heroines, this might not be your book, but if you want something atmospheric and dark, DO NOT PASS THIS UP. I think that even readers who lean towards straight-ahead horror will find much to enjoy in this book. With "Unholy Ghosts," Stacia Kane has moved to the front of the urban fantasy line.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 8, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    top ten books ever

    This book is a wonderfu new take on Urban Fantasy.Anti-hero's abound!
    The story is extremely tight and well written. Stacia Kane has done her research as the magical elements very plausible. Unholy Ghosts has everything, pimps, hoookers,addicts,religious zealots, and punk music..
    Church ghost debunker Cesaria makes her way in a world where ghosts are killers and killers are friends. I would easily put this book in my top ten of all time. You will too! Go get it now!!!!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 18, 2013

    Junkie Ghost Buster. Some how you'd think this would be interest

    Junkie Ghost Buster. Some how you'd think this would be interesting. It's not.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 19, 2013

    Great read

    I love the writing style. I enjoyed the realness of the book. Sick of all the fake stories and holier than though fudged up characters. This was epic. I d say evolve from all the happily ever afters and then read stacia kane downside series. Excellent sci fi with out the cheese.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 20, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    I loved this book! The world the book is set in is dark, gritty

    I loved this book! The world the book is set in is dark, gritty and uncompromising. I found myself flinching in places at the stark self-loathing the heroine has for herself but found myself rooting for her to continue forward in accepting herself. The love interest for her is unique and very sexy in a rough way. I definitely recommend this book!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 22, 2012

    You've gotta read this book

    What a GREAT story! Chess is everything you want in a heroine - smart, funny and flawed. The author creates a reality that is unlike anything I've ever experienced before. The language she uses is both unique and emminantly understandable. I loved this book, the 1st in a series, that I bought the next 2 before I was more than half way through.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 26, 2011

    Was awful !

    Its about an addict who will do anything to get her fix. She even dates a drug lord and never once trirs to get clean. Dont read unless you like that kind of thing. Pw

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 23, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Been waiting for this book to come out.

    This book was well worth the wait. The setting in which it takes place has the Big Brother feeling of a church that rules peoples lives through fear but has the only hope that it sells is the hope that they will protect people from the ghosts. This is paralleled by Downside, the ghetto neighborhood that the main character Chess lives in - a community filled with addicts, pushers, thieves, pimps and prostitutes.

    The Church has all of the ceremony, pomp and structure one has come to expect from a religious institution. It also has the red tape, bureaucratic and corruption that one expects to find in a big corporation or government. In this instance, the Church is really a secular, government sponsored church centered around magic and the controlling of the ghosts and reported hauntings.

    In Downside things are a lot more overtly dangerous, but at the same time you usually know what you are dealing with. It is also filled with real people with real problems. In Downside you can get food, drink, drugs, companionship and music. Lawds, no! M-O-O-N, that spells punk music! The soundtrack for this book reminds me of my early days of punk music like their method of dress and talk reminds me of the movie The Warriors. Hell, I expected one of them to be clinking bottles together with his fingers at the end of the book.

    Living with one foot deeply entrenched in each world, putting her life at risk every day and focusing powerful magic all while being a functional addict, it is no wonder Chess has taken to pills, pipes and beers. While I might not know what it is like to live that life, I think Stacia gave us a solid character whose head we could crawl in to get an idea what put her in that situation to begin with. By the end of the book I not only was concerned about the outcome of the character, but I also knew why she made the bad decisions that she did.

    The supporting characters gave some depth to them as well. Terrible, the enforcer for her drug dealer, was the typical muscle you expect to see in that scenario. That is until depth to his character is introduced. That is until you see the man who you only expect to break legs and get rid of bodies acting like a normal human being. By the end of the book I wound up hating the Church people and rooting more for the thugs in the book.

    The voice, the setting, the plot and the characters in this book are the freshest I have seen in the genre through at least the last couple of years I have been focusing on it. Between the action, the intrigue and the music, I could totally see this one on screen and have already set an alarm in my droid to remind me when it is time to download book two to my Nook. And for the record, this series is coming out one each month. So if you read this one, Unholy Magic comes out next week and City of Ghosts a month after that.

    Overall I would have to give this book a definite A+! Well worth your money and worth buying a copy to give to a friend.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 157 Customer Reviews
Page 1 of 8