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GROUP READ OF THE MONTH--ARCHIVE > Unholy Ghosts--October Group Read--SPOILERS

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message 1: by Theresa (new)

Theresa  (tsorrels) Ok to post spoilers here.

Please remember to uncheck the "Add to my Update Feed" option before submitting your post.


message 2: by Yodamom (new)

Yodamom WOW, I can't believe how the pilots turned into the evil being. That was amazing and so twisted. The history she wrote into it made is "real" .
Oh, and the big bad Terrible-I love him
Ok, The worms had me scratching and squirming in my seat, Anyone else ? When she had the glove on.... Arguh !


message 3: by Regina (new)

Regina (reginar) I really like how Kane has created the Terrible character be so appealing despite so many negative characteristics. I like Terrible alot.


message 4: by Lisa M (new)

Lisa M | 311 comments LOL, quiet thread. I know several people have read this, because I kept hearing in this group how much they liked it. C'mon people, let's discuss this. :)

I just finished it today and I LOVED it! The drug abuse took a bit to get used too, but it really added to the feel of the book. Kane did an excellent job with her world building. It felt like I was there, very gritty and believable. And she did this without ever bogging down the story. I never felt any of that dreaded "first book syndrome" that so many series starters suffer from.

I kind of hoped Chess could have come clean to Terrible about Lex, or at least mention it somehow. I think after the trust and friendship that they shared, he deserved to know. At least Chess did feel guilty about it. I think that's going to come back and bite her in the ass.

I loved Terrible, and Lex too. It's rare in a UF book when I like both potentional love interests. So many of the guys come off as bland or over-done. But both these guys are interesting.

I have to admit that shortly after Chess met Brain, I figured he was going to die. I'm not sure what gave it away, but I just knew. He had "tragic future victim" written on him or something, I don't know. I wasn't expecting when he'd show up again or how, but I wasn't surprised when it happened.

I wish that Albert's (the Morton boy with the porn -- hehe, funny touch) comment when he was sleep talking had been explained more. He said something like, "I shouldn't have taken it," or that he didn't mean to take it. The way Chess dismissed it, but the author felt the need to put it in there, made me think it was important. But it never came up again. I guess it was a red herring, but it sure seemed like it should have been more.

Other than that, Kane did a great job of throwing out tidbits of information that was key later, like the pilots (that was cool, btw), and the back of Doyle's and Randy's heads looking the same.

And Yodamom, yes, the worms freaked me out!!! Ewww...

Overall, I absolutely adored this book. Once I'm done with the reading challange I'm getting the rest. Can't wait!


message 5: by Jason (new)

Jason (j_calvin) | 13 comments I have to admit I went into this series with the expectation that I was going to walk away from it. I pleased to report that I have done just the opposite and am now currently reading book #3 City of Ghosts. Don't worry this won't contain any spoilers from the next two books.

I had seen many reviews about the drug abuse and the "Downside" talk(or chatter). Not all of them were good. It did admittedly take about 100 pages or so to truly get used to both.

Chess isn't your stereotypical heroine, she's about as far from it as you can get. She constantly walks a fine line between reality and a drug induced pseudo reality. Once you understand the reasoning behind the drug use it makes it a lot easier to swallow, pardon the pun.

What can I say about Terrible that hasn't been said. He is a great character, well written. You do feel bad for the guy despite all the negativity around him and associated with him.

Lex is pretty much the opposite, you don't want to feel bad for him. Yet he seems to have the proverbial horseshoe...

The author had me positive that it was Doyle for almost the whole book, so kudos on her for that little twist. I wasn't sure how she was going to tie all the story arc's together but she did in explosive fashion.

She gives Downside that 'real' feel with her descriptions of the buildings and the characters that reside there. I love how over the top Bump and his place are. It's all so well done.

Here's hoping for book 4 and beyond...


message 6: by Lisa M (new)

Lisa M | 311 comments I was pretty sure it was Doyle too, until about 2/3 of the way through when Chess thought the same thing. I figured it was just too soon for her to know the true villian. But I was stumped after that as to who it could be. Even after Kane mentioned that Randy and Doyle looked the same from behind, I didn't catch on. And I loved the surprise of it. I love it when an author surprises me (which usually happens, honestly, so I'm usually happy :D).


message 7: by Yodamom (new)

Yodamom Jason-I though I woulld walk away from it too with all the drug usage, I can't astand to watch people waste away. Weird but it really fit here and the story would not have been a total hit with out it.
I did think it was Doyle too and I wa disipointed that I figured it out so soon in the story, LOL I am so glad that I was wrong !
Lisa- Lex and Terrible are both great ,but I still wanted her with Terrible, it was his scarred back, the way she wayched him with the other girl at the club and the way he walked away from her when she was wasted out of her mind.
Albert, I pictured him as a Duddly kind of character from Harry Potter. Yeah, I wondered about his sleep talk too.

I already ordered the next two !! I am getting them on audio also.


message 8: by Regina (last edited Oct 14, 2010 02:37PM) (new)

Regina (reginar) On her website, she states she is contracted through book 6. :) 4 is due out next year (I follow her reviews on GR and her tweets on twitter -- she is a prolific tweeter!)

This is a book that I checked out from the library, but about 1/2 through I immediately bought all 3 b/c I knew I loved them. 2 is good, -- 3 is over the top amazing and satisfying. :)

There is a Downside Ghosts group here on GR -- it is listed on my profile page. Love love this series.


message 9: by Sandra (new)

Sandra Regina you are my new favorite person! I read all three of these in a row and LOVED book 3 but thought it was the last one... SO excited there's a 4 and beyond!

As to book 1: Kane's world building was great, it was a really new and interesting idea. The drug thing put me off at first too, but I ended up loving Chess' anti-hero vibe and thought her and Terrible were so dysfunctionally perfect for each other (that's one of the main reason's I couldn't put the books down!). I thought it was Doyle too, until Kane said how Brain saw the back of his head and than flipped out and left Chess' apartment (that's when I got suspicious of Randy since she made that earlier vague comment about them looking alike from the back), but I still was totally surprised by his motives and how things played out. Everyone who liked this (even if they didn't love it - because the 1st wasn't my favorite) should definitely stick with the series. It's depressing and uplifting and devastating and awesome with more unseen twists and turns to come. I'm gonna check out Kane's other series because she's a new favorite.


message 10: by Yodamom (new)

Yodamom Regina wrote: "On her website, she states she is contracted through book 6. :) 4 is due out next week (I follow her reviews on GR and her tweets on twitter -- she is a prolific tweeter!)

This is a book that ..."


<> Thanks Regina


message 11: by Regina (new)

Regina (reginar) Eeeeeek -- not next week sorry -- next year. *hides head*. Sorry everyone!


message 12: by Sandra (new)

Sandra Haha SHAME on you! :-P I'm sure we'll get over the disappointment after only a few months of intensive therapy.


message 13: by Regina (new)

Regina (reginar) I thought everyone's excitement was a little over the top for a release date one year from now. :)


message 14: by Yodamom (new)

Yodamom I was so happy, sniff sniff, LOL Oh it would have been so nice. Worth the wait, so I count down the days.


message 15: by Yodamom (new)

Yodamom She has some extra/cut out stories on her site-http://www.staciakane.net/fun-stuff/


message 16: by Regina (new)

Regina (reginar) Oh! I did not know -- thank you. :)


message 17: by Armand (new)

Armand (armand-i) | 43 comments Well I just finished it and I had a host of reactions.

general notes:

1. It's a pretty solid read, although I have to admit that the science fiction fan in me couldn't quite put together a coherent picture of this world. I mean, I got the general idea but there were a lot of questions.

2. The descriptions of Terrible made me think of old illustrations of Conan the Barbarian and (of course) "the Beast" from Beauty and...

3. The drugs didn't bother and it was certainly a lot less disturbing than classic drug lit like "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas"

here is what I liked:

1. Hey, a book with no vampires! I love vampires, but variety is nice too.

2. Chess / Cesara is pretty well written. I admire her dark side (lies and drugs) and it informs the character. I also love that she dismisses Doyle as a petty sh*t, but she's pretty much the same person as he is. (good looking, friendless, egocentric, fragile, quick to lash out, overconfident)

3. Good creepy ghosts scenes. Especially when she was alone in the tunnel in the dark with only a few matches. Ersihadran (or whatever his name is) was creepy too as were those horrible soul worms.

4. Overall, the plot worked for me although I did guess the church-traitor had to be Randy because he seemed to serve no other purpose in the plot and she kept mentioning him. I thought it would have been cool if Randy and Doyle had been working together (they look so much alike, maybe they're brothers?).

5. I liked the sexual tension/ triangle of Terrible-Lex-Chess. I'm assuming this will reach some kind of boiling point later.

6. I liked Chess's lockpicks- like they were an extension of her fingers and how often she used them.


Here's what I would have liked to see more of:

1. A little more sympathy for Slipknot. It would have nice if Chess found Slipknot's wife or kid and we got to connect a little more with this poor soul.

2. A little more about Brain (God what a horrible name for a kid). I agree with a Lisa MH above that he had victim stamped all over him because he was sympathetic/ scared and hiding a secret.

3. I would have liked to learn Terrible's actual name.

4. A little more about the Dream Thief (and having him say a few choice words). I'm a big fan of scene-stealing villains.

Here's what struck me as annoying:

1. All the gangsters are too nice. They ALL kind of come across as misunderstood lost boys from Peter Pan. I guess they're just like fictional pirates in that sense. The addicts too seem a little too happy with their lot.

2. I really didn't get much into the Downsider's dialect. "I accept it. Aye. But never get with. Dig?"

3. That Chess was the only prominent female character in the story. That's just a peccadillo of mine, however. I'm always amazed that in real life, the women I know are the ones who have and maintain friendships, but on TV and in books, they're are inevitably alone. Just for the record, Chess seemed to have trained at the Church for years and years to become a Debunker yet she pretty much (with the exception of Elder Griffin) hates and mistrusts each person there. Again, that's just something that bugs me about popular fiction.


4. The orderly science fiction fan inside me couldn't make much sense of this world. I think New Triumph City (or Triumph City) or wherever they live is supposed to be New York. So all the ghosts whoever lived are living in an underground city under New York? All the billions of them? Why wouldn't they live underneath the city that they come from? Also, the church comes across as very oppressive in spots, but seems to lack basic security like video cameras or alarms. Also, technology has devolved so people don't use guns anymore or have computers (it seems) but Chess has a cellphone.

thanks for reading my rant


message 18: by Jamie (JK) (new)

Jamie (JK) (eimajtl) Finished the book this morning. This was a really interesting book, it definitely stands out from all the other urban fantasy novels I've read. It had it's own voice and I appreciate that.

I enjoyed that Kane doesn't equate sex with love. She knows there is a difference and doesn't have her character immediately fall in love and then proceed to have sex with that other character. In this book, sex was just sex and nothing more. And it wasn't overdone! I really liked that about it... I usually hate any sex in books cause it so rarely has a purpose other than to be there.

Chess' drug use was interesting. We typically have vulnerable protagonists, but not like this. Most of the time it's just a character down on their luck or with trust issues, but Chess really is vulnerable. She has her addiction and she's not above it - she's definitely a slave to it. That's not to say I condone her habits or even liked it, I actually hate drug addiction, but it makes her character seem more real.

I liked Terrible, he was a neat character. I hope Chess ends up being with him in the end. >.> I'm not too fond of Lex, he seems like an incredibly shallow guy.


As for the world building and whatnot, I'm left wanting a bit more. I want to see more of the Church and the workings of it and the people involved. We were told a bit about those things, but didn't get to see much of it first hand.

I'm eager to learn a bit more about Chess and her history, which I'm sure will pop up in later books. She's mentioned the foster care as being a huge influence on her and it explains a bit about why she is the way she is, but it seems like there is more to it than that.


... more to come when I can think of it.


message 19: by Regina (new)

Regina (reginar) I love the comments so far! I agree about Kane's writing re sex v. love. I have seen many readers judge Chess harshly for her choices regarding sex, especially in book 2. I like have flawed protagonists who are vulnerable and have room to grow. I also hate drug addiction, but it is not glamorized in this book.

I agree the world building could be tighter -- and I think it does get tighter.


Sharon ∞❥ is an emotional book junkie ❥∞ I just finished the 3 books in the series and loved it!! I would just have to say for people that have a hard time getting into the world to hang in there....u really do get used to the way they talk!


message 21: by Carolyn F. (new)

Carolyn F. | 182 comments I just finished this last night and I'm right on the fence about liking it. Chess to me was such a hard-to-like character and I'm not conservative, but the drug use was pretty much constant - every couple of hours or so. And the church that's not really a church - I don't know what to think about that. I did like Terrible and Lex but I liked Terrible more. And I don't know what to think about her make-out session with Terrible and then having sex with Lex, because she couldn't imagine herself with Terrible. Lex is a drug dealer and Terrible is an enforcer. Not really that different to me on the bad scale. Even with all my doubts above, I'm planning on reading book #2. Hopefully, I'll like it more.


message 22: by Regina (new)

Regina (reginar) Books 2 and 3 give more info on chess's background and why she self medicates and isolates herself from other people.

Everyone in the church lives together but she chooses to be separate. And even in her own "community" she doesn't socialize or have close friends.

Carolyn it is post apocalyptic world the religious beliefs are different. It truly is fantasy in that respect in the same way that pure fantasy books have their own religious beliefs and structures and I guess other cultures do too. What is church to one person may not be to someone else. I think Kane has cleverly played on that image - church but no belief in a god but at the same time a belief in magic. The concept of death in this world is pretty scary. I get an image of a very dark and scary world. One that I would not want to visit.


message 23: by Yodamom (new)

Yodamom I am reading book 3 now and I agree you get a lot more background on Chess. I though Book two was even better than book 1 and now I am at chapter 6 in book 3, WOW !
It is a very complicated world and can be so ugly, and yet it has my heart bleeding for some of the characters. Tears have come to my eyes more than once. Chess is a survivor but it has come after much pain and abuse, more than most of us could live through. I would try to drug it away too.
This is one of my favorites series.


message 24: by Carolyn F. (new)

Carolyn F. | 182 comments I've ordered book #2 from the library. Even though I didn't care for Chess much I'm hoping something good happens for Terrible, with or without Chess.


message 25: by Regina (new)

Regina (reginar) Yodamom wrote: "I am reading book 3 now and I agree you get a lot more background on Chess. I though Book two was even better than book 1 and now I am at chapter 6 in book 3, WOW !
It is a very complicated world ..."


I agree! I think the scene (in book #1) where Chess is high and the make-out session ends horribly between her and Terrible -- is written so well. I could feel both characters' embarrassment.

I do think it is interesting that some readers prefer Lex and Terrible over Chess (or at least one of them). Where as Chess makes bad decisions and hurts herself (but is trying to help people and in her own very messed up way is concerned about other people) -- and Terrible and Lex are both violent and her other people. What I thik this shows -- is that Kane has written some complex characters that strike a chord in us differently. And many times it is not appealing, but that is the strength of a good writer .....

In book 3 we see how similar Terrible and Lex are -- and how similar Terrible and Chess are (at least in my opinion, lol -- this is all my opinion).


message 26: by Leslie (new)

Leslie (funlovinlady) | 19 comments I love these books. Right now, Stacia Kane is writing book 4. Book 3 was sooooooooooo good. I can't wait to see what happens in book 4.
I haven't had time to read all your posts. But, I will soon. I love all the diffrent takes that you guys have on Terrible, Chess, and Lex.

Goodreads...... you gotta love it!


message 27: by Yodamom (new)

Yodamom Regina wrote: "Yodamom wrote: "I am reading book 3 now and I agree you get a lot more background on Chess. I though Book two was even better than book 1 and now I am at chapter 6 in book 3, WOW !
It is a very c..."

I so agree they really are similar, And Lex he can be a sweet, perhaps he really cares ? Kane makes it hard to figure these characters out, just like figuring out people in real life so many layers to the truth. I am almost finished with bk 3 and it is harder to chose between them now that I know Lex better and saw some nastiness out of T-man.
I have a feeling that bk 4 will rock them all !


message 28: by Robin (new)

Robin (littlebird123) | 1 comments One of the things I enjoyed most about this book is that it is clearly not young adult fiction. So much of the best creativity shows up in books written for kids and I get tired of reading about teenagers. I'm looking forward to book 2 (already downloaded to my kindle and just waiting for me...). Thanks for suggesting this book for the group.


message 29: by Sandra (new)

Sandra I totally agree Robin! I have a bit of a potty mouth myself sometimes, so I appreciated that Chess' reactions to things were probably similar to what I would say in those situations (which is not always G rated). A lot of YA is a little too clean cut for me, and this was definitely NOT!


message 30: by Yodamom (new)

Yodamom Sandra wrote: "I totally agree Robin! I have a bit of a potty mouth myself sometimes, so I appreciated that Chess' reactions to things were probably similar to what I would say in those situations (which is not ..."
Potty mouths unite ! LOL I am one too ; )


message 31: by Theresa (new)

Theresa  (tsorrels) Yodamom wrote: "Potty mouths unite ! LOL I am one too ; )..."

Me too! My husband says that I could out-swear a sailor. :)


message 32: by Grace (last edited Oct 28, 2010 11:23PM) (new)

Grace (liliannemarie2012) | 10 comments I agree with JK about the world building concerning the Church. I hope that there is more interaction or glimpses into the inner workings of the Church especially the elders. I'd also like to find out if there were any repercussions to Chess's actions in Unholy Magic in relation to Terrible and psychopomp.


message 33: by Armand (new)

Armand (armand-i) | 43 comments I just wanted to add my personal complaint here that I think "Haunted Week" is the worst name ever for an apocalyptic event that involves 2/3's of everyone dieing. Haunted Week sounds like some activity that happens on a college campus.

OK, maybe I can think of even worse names like "2/3's Dieing Week" , but Haunted Week is just pretty lame..


message 34: by Sandra (new)

Sandra Haha I agree Armand... how about "the week of the dead" or "rising week?" It is hard to come up with one that doesn't have religious implications.

On a side note... I saw a bumper sticker I thought was relevant here that you guys would appreciate:

"Who needs drugs? I spend all my money on books!" :-P


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