What Stacia Kane Did–Unholy Ghosts


I’m not going to do a whole review here–because I’m not a great reviewer and the romance community has had a lot to say about this book. I don’t think this is my favorite book this year. I don’t think it’s a book I would recommend to everyone. What it is, though, is a really good, messed up, imperfect, out there REFRESHING take on urban fantasy. And I am bowing to Stacia Kane for shaking up the formula a bit. Here’s what I think–folks look to romance authors to do one thing, and only one thing–write the same woman over and over (put her in different time periods and clothes and hair and skin color, of course) and set her up against a man she’s destined to turn her life over to.

What Stacia did was create a heroine who has already turned her life over to something else. Chess is bankrupt in a lot of ways. Well la-de-da aren’t we all? I’ve read all the posts about “I don’t want to read about an addict, an alcoholic, etc.” That’s fine. I’ve lived in families with both, and survived, and those troubled siblings actually survived and thrived in a way most of us could never imagine.

I watch the TV show House. A little hokey, I know, but Hugh Laurie is a sympathetic junkie. I’m not sure Stacia pulled that off completely here, but I think she gave it a really solid shot. And for that, I am in awe and bow to her. To have the guts to DO SOMETHING DIFFERENT. This is dangerous territory. If Stacia keeps this up, she’ll be treading that thin fence that separates genre fiction from literature. I hope she jumps off the fence and really goes for it in the future. See, I think it’s the foot in regular ol urban fantasy that tripped her up. I think she has the skill to do some really cool writing. Props to her!

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One thought on “What Stacia Kane Did–Unholy Ghosts

  1. Felicia Lind says:

    I never reflected on the fact that Chess’ drug problem might make the book problematic until I read the reviews. In fact, Chess reminds me a whole lot of Case in Neuromancer. He pops a few pills too, but I can’t remember that being mentioned as a problem by pretty much anyone. But then, Gibson’s readers are prepared for dystopia. If you’re not expecting that I suppose it could be a shock.

    A very entertaining read, anyway.

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