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City of Ghosts (Downside Ghosts #3)

4.26 of 5 stars 4.26  ·  rating details  ·  7,001 ratings  ·  629 reviews

Chess Putnam has a lot on her plate. Mangled human corpses have started to show up on the streets of Downside, and Chess’s bosses at the Church of Real Truth have ordered her to team up with the ultra-powerful Black Squad agency to crack the grisly case.

Chess is under a binding spell that threatens death if she talks about the inve
Mass Market Paperback, 408 pages
Published July 27th 2010 by Del Rey (first published May 19th 2010)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Jen (Red Hot Books)
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 ri
The only thing I want to say is that I appreciate how infidelity and lying are handled in this book. Ever since reading Richelle Mead's Succubus series I've felt pretty bitter about how Georgina and Seth's cheating was so easily forgiven and forgotten. City of Ghosts is a great antidote to that. I love that Chess had to work very hard for her forgiveness and redemption. The relationship drama kept me glued to this book, waiting for the next fight or hookup. Mystery? What mystery?
Emily May

So... the ridiculous thing? Ever since I finished Shadowfever in March 2011, I've been searching frantically for an adult series that was about more than just romance and sex, an urban fantasy series that was actually well-written with a good mystery going on. I have now finally found that well-written urban fantasy series + mystery and all I can think about is "when will Terrible show up and - more importantly - will there be sexytimes?!"
Sh3lly (Not all those who wander are lost)
I think I rate these generously just for the characters. They aren't the easiest books to get through and definitely aren't "light" reading. Sometimes the pacing is really slow, and it can be annoying to be in Chess's mind page after page after page, but I can't help it. I love Chess and Terrible and even Lex and Bump.

The plot in this one is similiar, but varies slightly from the books before. The Lamaru are back and, of course, Church members are involved. There was a lot of angst with Chess a
This book is full of BORING. LOL. No offense, fans. City of Ghosts has everything going for it except for meat and potatoes.

Stacia Kane's third Downside novel returns with the same tight, powerful prose, compelling dilemmas, and blood, sweat, and glass that crust Downside's streets.

Reviewing the last Downside novel, Unholy Magic, I doubted Kane's intentions and abilities approaching a challenge like drug addiction. In City, Kane demonstrates that her protagonist Chess's growth interests her. Wi
Kelly H. (Maybedog)
Update 7/19/12:
If it was even possible, I love Stacia Kane even more than before:


I cried again. I had no idea I was such a wuss. Friends, please don't judge me: I wasn't lying, I really don't like this torrid love affair kind of stuff and if the plot wasn't string enough on its own I wouldn't be reading this series. At least there is finally something definitive on the love front. I don't have to run out and get
Francesca the Fierce (Under the Covers Book Blog)
This review was posted at Under The Covers

Dear Ms. Kane,

I finished reading City of Ghosts and I'm utterly speechless. This is one of my favorite books this year. I'll be honest with you and say that after I read book one I wasn't totally sold on the idea of a heroine with a drug problem, among her other issues.

After following Chess stumble across her life through the past three books all I can say is it takes a truly talented author to bring out so much emotion and the depth of connection that y
The Downside Ghosts series by Stacia Kane is one of my favorite urban fantasy series. I never expected to like this series; in fact, if I was to meet some of these characters on the streets at night I would instinctively head in the opposite direction. I don’t approve of the lifestyle choices of the main character – she’s a pill popping addict. Somehow, I have the urge to both smack her and hug her and then cart her off to rehab. This is a testament to just how well these characters are written. ...more
Mrs. Badass
I owe Stacia Kane an apology. The first book was good, but I was put off by drug use. I let it cloud my mind and it took away from the reading experience for me. However, I still was fascinated by Chess and the host of characters in the Downside Series. Saying that... This book was SOOOOO GOOD!!!! From the very first page, to the very last word, this book brought out every emotion. It was riveting and draining. Emotionally unbalanced and frustrating. You really feel everything Chess feels. Staci ...more
Carolyn (Book Chick City)
I have now read all three books of the 'Downside Ghosts' series in quick succession and I am so glad I did. I don't think I could have waited a year for each book to be released. I am already having withdrawal symptoms knowing I have to wait until autumn 2011 for book four, it's well...agonising.

This is such a fantastic series. There's enough kick-arse action to keep urban fantasy fans happy, but with the addition of the most heart-wrenching romance between Chess and Terrible, Paranormal Romance
Love this series!!!!! I like Chess but she makes really dumb decisions all the time. Where I'm left looking at my kindle like "WTF!! Is wrong with her" I love love love Terrible!!! He is sooo hot!!!! I can't wait to see what's going to happen next.
Olivia ツ
This is why I love reading. Why did I not pick up this series sooner?? Why?!?

I read this in one day. Started in the morning and just could not put it down. Sleep? Who needs sleep? It's overated. Big, huge, monumental developments happen. I love Chess. Love her flawed, self deprecating, intelligent, kind hearted self. She is a powerful witch. The world of Downside is so vivid and fragrant. Ms Kane does an amazing job bringing everything to life.

Then there is Terrible. *swoon* I
Would this endless mind-fuck ever end?

This is the book i've been longing for. If you're a fan of Chess and Terrible, then this is the book you've been hoping for. First off this review is going to suck. My head is still too full of what happened and I feel a little shell shocked. It's so lame to say but, so much happens in this book. It almost blew my mind. Magical moments where Chess got out of some Ghostly situations that you thought were impossible. Heartbreaking moments with Terrible, tha
“So…so fuckin bad, want you so fuckin bad…shit so fucking bad…”

*Teenage girl sigh*

I love me some Terrible.

I was very hesitant to read this book since I read somewhere that Terrible wasn't featured as prominently. That was SO WRONG.
Many, many things happen in this book &, in my opinion, one of the sweetest scenes between Chess & Terrible.

(view spoiler)
Erica Ravenclaw

No spoilers and colorful language abound!

Unholy Ghosts Review

Unholy Magic Review

I am only three books into this series and I know without a moments hesitation that there will never be another that can fill the hole it will inevitably leave in my chest. Its' no holds barred absurdly ridiculous characters, the juxtaposition of the depths they can sink to the sudden heights they can sore is un-fucking-paralled. The hardened aloofness of a Downsider allows the reader to judge them harshly as the s
This will be short and sweet.

Wow. This is the best book I've read this year. It had it all.

Thanks to my friends that recommended the series. Safe to say I'm a Downside junkie now, right up.
Sophia (FV)
City of Ghosts is one of those books that needs to be discussed the moment you finish reading it. You know, those really intelligent conversations where you blurt out things like, “OMG! WTF! Can you believe how that all went down?”. It doesn’t matter who you have this discussion with, anyone will do. You just need to have it. Even if it’s with your unsuspecting husband who has no idea who Terrible is and why you’re so excited about him. (Sorry hubs) I actually had many moments like this througho ...more
Renee Nicole

I can't believe that I've just discovered the amazing force that is Stacia Kane. Say what you will about this series, but her brilliance behind the pen is almost shocking. Especially in a time like this, where anyone with a laptop and an Amazon account can call themselves an author. (Note: No offence intended, I've been known to love those stories, too!) Sometimes, while reading these books, I have to take a step back and just appreciate the writing ability behind this story. There are so many d
Wow just right up aye…WOW!!! Hands down my favorite Urban Fantasy book. There is no way this review can say how much I loved this book. I’m going to keep it simple and do another review on the reread, which I am contemplating doing right now because I have a chunk of time coming up and I read this over 5 days which was a little to broken up for me.

Everything in this story was done so well. There is supposed to be a mystery to figure out but Stacia Kane kept me so engrossed with every moment that
Dec 06, 2011 Penny rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: lovers of urban fantasy or anyone who is looking for something new
(Hey everyone! If all goes well this will end up being an honest to goodness--traditional!--book review. Before I get started I feel I should warn everyone I have ADHD and my medication is starting to wear off, also I dislike doing things the way they should be done--did I mention I also have Oppositional Defiant Disorder? Because I totally do. Anyway, my point is, despite the fact that I'm attempting to write a legitimate review I might go off on a few tangents like this. Just thought I'd warn ...more
Wow, what a ride!! I had such a hard time putting this book down.

This book gets STRAIGHT back into the action, and doesn’t let up until the heart-pumping, fingernail-biting climax. As usual there are lots of spooky ghosts and very descriptive gore, but this book had even more twists and turns than the others in the series, and it took me longer than usual to figure out who exactly was the bad guy.

And through it all, Chess is still Chess, and for all of her fucked-up-ness, I absolutely love her!
Mimi Smith
4.5 stars

"Only through penitence and pain is forgiveness possible.
—The Book of Truth, Veraxis, Article 72"

Downside World 301 by Mimi

Well, you know the way by now... I have to admit I wasn't as concerned about the world and fact-collecting here. Just waiting for them to finally get together distracting me from...well almost anything else. But here it goes.

* Psychopomps were very present here and I think I figured out the deal.

"Chess had never known if psychopomps actually came back to life, if

Whoa. I literally just finished this book and ‘Whoa’ pretty much sums up how I feel about it. I don’t want to recap this book. There are just so many twists and turns that there is no way I can discuss without giving something away. And I don’t want to give anything away! If you read the first two Downside books, you know what to expect, but Stacia Kane really upped the stakes this time. If the first two books were ‘dark urban fantasy’, this one teeters on horror. Som
Anna (Bobs Her Hair)
May 06, 2012 Anna (Bobs Her Hair) rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Downside Ghost Fans
Shelves: urban-fantasy, kindle
3.5 stars

- Terrible and Chess interactions, especially(view spoiler)
- the battle at the end, which included a couple of surprises

- Chess's repeated self-flogging. It felt redundant.
- The 'Binding' and its big role in the investigation. It felt like a cop illegally searching for evidence that can never be used for conviction. This happened repeatedly. (view spoiler)
Wendy F
I have a problem, and I just know you want to hear it. (Humor me.) Note that I have a shelf on goodreads titled 'terrible', yep, forever ruined for me now. I may actually have to rename it.

This book was awesome. It gave me exactly what I wanted. I love Terrible. Love him. Chess, ugh, let's just say that Stacia Kade is really amazing at writing emotion and translating that emotion with these deeply damaged characters. Again, just the painful dialogue broke my heart. She captured human emotion per
From the very beginning we were promised a stunningly moving addition to this dark series, and the author managed to deliver.

The drama and romance in the Downside Ghosts series has been pretty slow building and definitely rocky, but it managed to be interesting enough to overshadow the major weak point of the series – the utter dragging and dullness of the mystery / suspense element. There are a few twists and turns in the plot, but most of them were anticipated and lacked any real punch. Still,
I would give this one 4 1/2 stars if I could, but oh well, that's not allowed. I enjoyed this a lot more than the previous two, for some reason it felt a lot more grounded and real, I dunno. The character development was really good, and even though I am still kinda disapproving of the main character, she won me over somewhat. Kudos to the author for keeping me reading and rewarding me for it!
This is the third one in what, I just found out, was supposed to be a trilogy. The mysteries always were more or less standalone but there are a few things that have been going on since the first book that get nicely resolved.

After reviewing the first two books, there's not much left to say about the series. For more details, check my review of the first book.

This is a very good addition to the series where we get to know more about some characters, the city and the inner structure of the church
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Stacia Kane is the author of the light-hearted romantic urban fantasy "Megan Chase" series starting with PERSONAL DEMONS.

She currently writes the gritty dystopian urban fantasy "Downside" series starring Chess Putnam and featuring ghosts, human sacrifice, drugs, witchcraft, punk rock, and a badass '69 Chevelle. She bleaches her hair and wears a lot of black.
More about Stacia Kane...

Other Books in the Series

Downside Ghosts (7 books)
  • Unholy Ghosts (Downside Ghosts, #1)
  • Unholy Magic (Downside Ghosts, #2)
  • Sacrificial Magic (Downside Ghosts, #4)
  • Chasing Magic (Downside Ghosts, #5)
  • Unholy Luck (Downside Ghosts, #6)
  • Five Down
Unholy Ghosts (Downside Ghosts, #1) Unholy Magic (Downside Ghosts, #2) Sacrificial Magic (Downside Ghosts, #4) Chasing Magic (Downside Ghosts, #5) Personal Demons (Megan Chase, #1)

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“You know I do, aye? Love you right, Chessiebomb.” 168 likes
“People, she was discovering, were like cockroaches: If you allowed one in, more were sure to follow.” 84 likes
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