Erica Ravenclaw's Reviews > Unholy Ghosts

Unholy Ghosts by Stacia Kane
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's review
Sep 06, 2013

it was amazing
bookshelves: favorites
Recommended to Erica Ravenclaw by: JennyJen
Read 2 times. Last read February 4, 2015 to February 5, 2015.


Feb 2015 Reread with MacHalo Girls: ABSOLUTELY FUCKING LOVED IT. Everything I said below still stands. I think I loved it more the second time around because perspective.

No Spoilers! Definitely colorful language abound!


I didn't read the reviews on this until I finished, and truthfully it's really a difficult book to review. It's not what you think it's going to be. It's not what you want it to be. It's not familiar. It's not unfamiliar. So what is it then? It's fucking tragic. This world is a place with no meaning. Filled with a bunch of people with no hope. The class devision is extremely prevalent, specifically noted in the dialect of the lower class. It's a bit startling at first, but truthfully it's something you adjust to and eventually see the fineness the author applied to it. It speaks of an uneducated and hardened group of people who have long been forgotten by a system that no longer seems to exist. There is no god, no light, no better place, no peace. You simply die, and your ghost is ushered to the underground where once a year you might be let out, for all of eternity, consumed by a murderous rage, you aren't even yourself. Let that sink in for a moment, shall we? You get this brief time of being alive where the quality of your life is nothing more than a roll of the dice. You are born with magic? Great. You are born with wealthy parents? Good. You are born poor? Well, shit. You can't change anything, you just have to manage to make it through, then for what exactly? AN ETERNITY OF NOTHING BUT RAGE IN THE CITY UNDERGROUND!


You see, anything to do with ghosts typically freaks me the feck out and so that means I'm in equal measure terrified and fascinated. Eventually my TBR list lacked the ability to hold my attention and I went out seeking something I couldn't articulate. Thankfully I've met some book soul sisters here on GR and was reminded yet again by Jenny of this series. Something sparked and I put all my other reads on hold to start this.
I made a note at 20% through to myself:
Even if I were to stop right now, even if that was possible to let these characters go, I would always remember Chess. She is a character that will stay with me forever.

She is mosaic of painful memories, self-medicating tendencies and a healthy dose of self loathing. She is powerful, deeply sensitive, and brimming with hope despite herself. She expects the worst in others but somehow finds herself disappointed when they let her down. She is acutely aware of herself yet slathered in denial. She is a junkie with morals. She is a powerful witch and debunker but afraid of ghosts. She is gritty, raw and articulate. She is a badass and a pussy. She is complex, she is herself, she is MY NEW FAVORITE CHARACTER.

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Terrible is equally complex and manages to ooze a comfort in his own skin typically only seen in those who have been blessed with the pleasure of growing old. As all of the characters in this series his many layers are revealed in a deliciously slow manner, and almost in spite of himself. Terrible doesn't want you to get to know him but every now and again he slips and you see how clever, observant and protective he is. Not only does Terrible accept himself without hesitation despite being who he is and what he does, he also offers the same acceptance to all those around him. He truly see's people for who they are without any preconceived idea's of what they should do or be or say. This is especially visible in the way his friendship with Chess builds over the series.

Lex is the obvious charmer but carries it as his armor. You never once assume he will be anything other than what he is. I accept him, he's interesting and offers what I imagine will be a tough thing to accept in the plot. The relationship that develops with Chess is one she may have a very hard time seeing for what it really is.

Really, all of these characters are easy to judge and disconnect from. Some are junkies, some are pushers, some are enforcers and murderers, some abusive to themselves and to others. They will reflect all the ugly humanity has to offer and it's up to the reader to look deeper and see all aspects of their story.


N-O-T-H-I-N-G about this book is something you've read before. The drug use is intense and is a character of it's own. It's the force that drives everything Chess does, from sleeping, to working, to relaxing, to functioning on a basic level. It has a sort of love triangle but so far from the YA garbage you've read that you won't even care. These ghosts are murderous and dangerous. This world is bizarre and confusing. THIS FUCKING PLOT IS AMAZEBALLS AND CREEPS UP ON YOU.

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Reading Progress

Finished Reading
September 6, 2013 – Shelved as: to-read
September 6, 2013 – Shelved
December 19, 2013 –
4.0% ""Not that it mattered. She had to see him before she lef, she didn't have a choice. He could hunt her down or she could walk through that black door herself. She much preferred the second."\n \n Giiiiiiirl. Yes."
December 20, 2013 –
16.0% ""If Mrs. Morton would stop verbally jacking off her husband and son, this would all be done so much more quickly. bt then Chess figured it was just about the only sex this woman got."\n \n Dayumm."
December 23, 2013 –
January 10, 2014 – Shelved as: favorites
February 4, 2015 – Started Reading
February 5, 2015 –
82.0% "I wasn't up all night reading. Nope. I'VE FORGOTTEN HOW MUCH I LOVE THIS I COULDN'T STOP. The first reread of a loved book is always dodgey, but so far this is awesome. \n \n  photo anigif_enhanced-buzz-5061-1410879216-14_zps5230ed6f.gif"
February 5, 2015 – Finished Reading

Comments (showing 1-20 of 20) (20 new)

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message 1: by Angela (new) - added it

Angela Ooh. You're starting it!

Erica Ravenclaw I read a few pages last night before bed and I'm already very interested. I woke up wanting to read for the first time in over a month!

Erica Ravenclaw I think this is exactly what I needed... I'm trying not to get my hopes up but I'm interested and laughed in the first 5 pages so...

message 4: by Angela (new) - added it

Angela This is a series that I really should try again - and get caught up on if at all possible (I do own through book 4 I think LOL).

I'm glad you're enjoying it Erica! :D

Erica Ravenclaw Yeah I was wondering if that would come into play Angela, but I didn't pause for a second considering the way it all opened up. I was just like "yesssss, this is happening".

Andrea ❤Ninja Bunneh❤ I'm glad you like it! I have it waiting to read.

Erica Ravenclaw Andrea ❤Ninja Bunneh❤ wrote: "I'm glad you like it! I have it waiting to read."

Oh it's so good. Gritty. Real. Painful. Tragic. Fast paced. A little bit of sexy. Enchanting. Obsessive.

Mindy I like the sound of that. This on my TBR. Glad you liked it.

Erica Ravenclaw Mindy wrote: "I like the sound of that. This on my TBR. Glad you liked it."

Ok, review is up now, finally.

Erica Ravenclaw JennyJen wrote: "LOOL at #5. You managed to say everything I've ever wanted to say about this series, but could never properly articulate. Fantastic, spectacular review. ^_^"

Thank you! There are so many layers and facets to this story that it's actually overwhelming to try and talk about, there is just so much to wade through! But the heart of it is that this is not about a black and white world, this is about all the shades of grey and what makes us who we are. Brilliant book, can't wait to read more!

Mindy I liked your review before you wrote the final review, so I have to tell you here how much I like it. Great review!!! I received an Amazon gift cert. for xmas and this will be mine. Love the no spoiler review.

Erica Ravenclaw Mindy wrote: "I liked your review before you wrote the final review, so I have to tell you here how much I like it. Great review!!! I received an Amazon gift cert. for xmas and this will be mine. Love the no spo..."
I can't wait to hear what you think of it. I sent you a PM btw.

Holly "Not only does Terrible accept himself without hesitation despite being who he is and what he does, he also offers the same acceptance to all those around him." This is my favorite part about him. :) Nice review!

Athena Shardbearer YAY! You liked it! Ok, now I'm ready to read it. I was scared with everyone else hating it.

Erica Ravenclaw @Holly- YES!! My husband is like that, it's a rare quality in people. Thanks!

@Athena- It's tough to connect to, and if you don't connect with it, you'll hate all the things. I was sucked into it from the start, but I tend to be pretty fascinated by this subject matter.

Athena Shardbearer Thanks for the tip! I will give this one a try.

Erica Ravenclaw Good, I'll be stalking your updates!!

Carole (Carole's Random Life in Books) Great review! I love this series. Chess and Terrible are just awesome.

Erica Ravenclaw Thanks Carole! I totally agree with you, although (view spoiler)

Arie ☂ Great review, Erica! So many valid points. Both Chess and Terrible are so complicated, layered and messed up, but I just can't help loving them to pieces.

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