Early Review: Unholy Magic by Stacia Kane

July 3, 2010 Uncategorized 8

**This title will be released on July 6, 2010**


Book Description


For Chess Putnam, finding herself near-fatally poisoned by a con psychic and then stopping a murderous ghost is just another day on the job. As an agent of the Church of Real Truth, Chess must expose those looking to profit from the world’s unpleasant little poltergeist problem—humans filing false claims of hauntings—all while staving off any undead who really are looking for a kill. But Chess has been extra busy these days, coping with a new “celebrity” assignment while trying on her own time to help some desperate prostitutes.

Someone’s taking out the hookers of Downside in the most gruesome way, and Chess is sure the rumors that it’s the work of a ghost are way off base. But proving herself right means walking in the path of a maniac, not to mention standing between the two men in her life just as they—along with their ruthless employers—are moving closer to a catastrophic showdown. Someone is dealing in murder, sex, and the supernatural, and once again Chess finds herself right in the crossfire.


Book 2 in The Downside Ghosts Series

Like any drug, the first taste gets your attention but its the second taste that gets you hooked. I though the first Downside Ghosts book, Unholy Ghosts, was an impressive debut, but UNHOLY MAGIC is even better. I am well and truly addicted to this dark, seductive urban fantasy series.

Ghosts were stronger underground; no witch willingly went below the surface of the earth, not without a Church edict or a death wish. Chess had both to varying degrees… –First line from UNHOLY MAGIC

Chess Putnam is a total train wreck of a human being. Her childhood was spent bouncing from one abusive foster home to the next. In her adult life she is a junkie, becoming more and more dependent on her pills and Speed just to make it through the day. Yet she is a fighter.  Battling her own demons one day at a time, or ghosts as the case may be. Sometimes she gives in, but she never gives up. I find that I’m constantly rooting for her, even when she falls—which she does a lot—to pick herself up and keep going, and I kind of love her for that.

But it is hard when you see those bad decisions lining up to tackle her all at once, which they do in UNHOLY MAGIC.  Romantically there was a very unorthodox love interest introduced in the last book, Terrible, who basically lives up to his name, but who like Chess, you root for (even more so in this book).  There are some profoundly powerful scenes when we find out more about both Chess and Terrible’s histories, and when they both have to finally own up to their feelings for each other.  I’m still recovering. 

Bottom line, Chess Putnam is quickly becoming one of my favorite urban fantasy heroines.  Yes, she’s an addict, who gets twitchy, itchy and even physically ill if she goes too long without a fix.  But I’m starting to relate when it comes to the Downside Ghosts series.  Sure, Stacia was all nice and generous at first, releasing the first three books a month apart (the third Downside Ghosts book, City of Ghosts, will be released on July 27, 2010).  But what happens in August when I’m jonesing for book four?  If what happened to Chess in UNHOLY MAGIC is any indication, it’s not going to be pretty, but right now I’m too high off this book to care.

Sexual Content: References to sex. Several scenes of sensuality. Several sex scenes. An orgy is briefly described. References to child molestation. References to rape. 

My Rating (out of 5):
imageimageimageimageExcellent – Loved it! Buy it now & pre-order the sequel.

Click HERE to read an excerpt from UNHOLY MAGIC

Product Details

  • The Book DepositoryMass Market Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Del Rey (July 6, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345515587
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345515582
  • Cover Art: Juliana Kolesova

*Disclosure: I received this book courtesy of Random House

Disagree with my review?  Contact me with your review for this or any other book I’ve reviewed and I might use it for 2nd Opinion Review.

8 Responses to “Early Review: Unholy Magic by Stacia Kane”

  1. Cecile

    Wow.. very good review.. Now in the sexual content.. is that provided by the book or you?? I am not sure I can deal with the child molestation and rape?? How is that dealt with??

  2. Abigail [All Things Urban Fantasy]

    Cecile – I always add the sexual content based on what I found in the book. In this case, the molestation is something that is implied in Chess's background (there is no description, just references.) The rape is a little harder to explain without giving away a bigger plot element. There is no description of any character being raped, but it is again implied in Chess's history and also involving a ghost/magic related crime. Feel free to contact me if you want more details.

    Don't let this scare you away from this book. I normally would flee from a book that had any kind of molestation or rape in it, but in this book, the topics are handled briefly and really only in passing. I only mentioned them because I try to be as thorough as possible in the sexual content breakdown.

  3. Cecile

    No I think that is great and I am glad that you answered my questions. Thank you for that. Especially for taking the time to do it. I have seen this book around and when I get a chance to, I want to buy it. But was a little scare. But now that you have given me insight without giving away the book, I really am looking forward to it now! Thank you hon!!!!
    Hope you have a great weekend!!! And a happy fourth of July!!

  4. Mardel

    I just finished Unholy Ghosts last week – I loved it also. I didn't realize the second one was coming out so soon – and even the third. I may have to re-think my whole summer-not-buyin-books thing.

    I love how you compare the going without the books to going without the drugs…..Thank god it's not really that tough though! I hate to wait for a book but I'd rather wait then go through withdrawals. 🙂

  5. Abigail [All Things Urban Fantasy]

    Mardel – Oh I would recommend rethinking the not-buying-books summer too. And book withdraw is the closet think I can compare to drugs in my own life, plus it sort of fits this series perfectly 🙂