"And the living prayed to their gods and begged for rescue from the armies of the dead, and there was no answer. for there are no gods." The Book of Truth, Origins, Article 12
I am not a huge urban fantasy fan (not that you can tell by a bit of my recent reading), and I try to only read highly recommended books. So Michelle
suggested this book and I jumped on it.
The book was pretty decent, and by pretty, I mean I liked it a lot. There was some choppiness (as has been noted in other reviews), but I just figured the author is young, and this is the first in her Downside series, so I'd give it a pass. Any choppiness/jarring writing didn't take too much from the story, so I find it forgivable.
Cesaria "Chess" Putnam is a witch, but she's a church sanctioned witch, but not any church we have never known. Known as a Debunker, she tries to either debunk or banish ghosts/hauntings.
Apparently a while ago, ghosts arose and generally killed whole chunks of the population. Only the Church, who has no god but Truth and understands that magic is real, rounded up and segregated the ghosts to an underground city and keeps control of them (for the most part) so they don't kill anyone else. They also round up any wayward ghosts that were missed during the great ghost-rodeo of whenever. All religions were banished and there is only the Church, in control of everything. And Chess belongs to the Church, and she loves it.
This love for the Church is awesome because Chess is a deeply flawed character, who doesn't give two shits that she's flawed. She's unrepentant in how she is and how she works, which is nice. She's a little too stereotypical for me - orphan who is bounced from foster home to foster home, a lot of abuse, a lot of problems, and lo' she's a junkie. It's just a little too typical, expected.
I like the darker characters in the story, no one is perfect - the guys that Chess screws or not, works with (or not), and generally interacts with. Another on screen female character (other than the one evil-Goody) would have been nice, but I'll see if any show up in the next book.
The plot was well paced, I never got bored, and I was always looking forward to the next screen or chapter. I loved the scenery and descriptions of life in downside, and I really enjoyed the broken language, because it made the world of Downside feel a little more real.
The mystery was sufficiently fun and twisty (though one "twist" was entirely too obvious too early on)
Well done. Not perfect, by any stretch, but I enjoyed it immensely.