It looks like I have a new UF series to obsess over!
If you know me you know how I gravitate toward flawed characters. So I am pleased that the main character, Chess, is one. She's a Debunker by day - a Church witch who banishes ghosts for a living and a woman with a hidden agenda at night. When work is done, she peruses the Downside Market for unusual objects of interest and deals with Bump, her supplier. Yep. Chess is a junkie. And not the recreational kind.
I've heard of readers who were put off by this fact and honestly, this doesn't bother me at all. She doesn't have a lot of pathetic, drug-dependent characteristics (yet) and from what little I've learned of her past, let's just say that I'd be inclined to use too.
I was also surprised to find out that this was dystopian too. The governing institute here is the Church, which is not a religious body by any means. It's presently the only law-making, law-enforcing, ghost-protecting institute out there.
"Thus the Church made a covenant with humanity, to protect it from the malevolence of the dead; and if the Church fails, it will make amends."
But an unspoken law governs a certain neighborhood - Downside. This is where suspicious looking characters abound, where anything illegal can be procured, and where gangs roam the streets. Bump is all of the above. Now that Chess owes him a huge sum of money, he offers her a job on the side that'll clear her debt.
Terrible is the other fascinating and flawed character I fell absolutely in love with. He is supposedly ugly, what with his Elvis-like pompadour hair, sideburns, crooked nose, eyebrows sticking out up to there, and a weird affixation to bowling shirts. I can't picture him yet but regardless of what he looks like I find him hella attractive! He's one of Bump's, making him tough and badass, but when he's with Chess, he's sweet and nice. He listens to her, protects her and he opens doors ya'll!
He may seem like a half-witted fellow at first but once you get past the disjointed Downside speak you'll find that he's actually the smartest person here. I kid you not.
They haven't done the nasty yet, but I just loooove a sexual-tension filled book, you know? The warm skin, the tingle upon contact, the blushing, the awkwardness... I love them all! So looking forward to the development of their relationship.
Overall, I liked the world Ms. Kane created. We get a pimp in full regalia, a Cantonese rival gang, an easily creeped witch, and an unimaginably ugly hero. Chess was not an easy character to like but I sense a promise of a potentially great character development. It was definitely interesting and exciting, albeit a bit verbose at times and had parts that lost my attention momentarily. There were times when I had to go back and read a part again to understand what was going on. Then again, this may just be due to my lack of experience in reading UF. Other than that, I had no major issues with it. Loved the Downside world! Onto book # 2!