Science fiction and fantasy
by Stacia Kane
Stacia Kane's gritty, punkish world comes vividly to life as its tattoo parlours, markets and dark subways fizz with life, death and dissolving pills. The author gets the speech patterns of the street just right, so the dialogue is easy to understand even while it's thick with an authentic urban-ghetto accent.
Chess is a fantastic flawed character, an addict with a cynical attitude to everything and everyone. We're never allowed to forget her drug problem, and in places we're led to wonder how she can function at all. Sometimes she's fuzzy-headed, but she's not quite at the stage where drug use has ruined her looks or made her outright stupid.
Unholy Ghosts has a brilliant atmosphere and tension to it, especially between Chess and Terrible, the hard man who is sent to ensure she does Bump's bidding. Chess is to virginal what Darth Vader is to successful anger management, but remarkably this never gets in the way of the story's building sexual tension. It's never merely a question of whether she will or she won't. Rather, at issue is whether someone as disconnected as Chess is even capable of love.
This book isn't for the faint hearted, the easily offended, or people who can't eat ketchup too soon after watching Shaun of the Dead. However it's modern, exhilarating, and has more kick than Jackie Chan on an angry mule. Strong stuff.
26th July 2010
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Kiss The Dead by Laurell K. Hamilton
Juggling vampire and shapeshifter relationships whilst hunting down fang-happy leaderless undead keeps Anita Blake busy in the 21st book in the series.
Silver-Tongued Devil by Jaye Wells
A series of murders threaten the fragile peace between vampires, mages, and the other dark races. The fourth in the Sabina Kane series.