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Scrivener's Moon

Scrivener's Moon - Philip Reeve Fever Crumb's adventures are over. I cannot help but feel sad about this, especially since this last book ended on such a bittersweet note. I'm wanting to write a full review but I'm gonna need to think on it for a bit. Three stars.

Girl in the Arena

Girl in the Arena - Lise Haines I want to give Girl in the Arena four--possibly even five--stars, because it has something few other books I've had the pleasure of reading has. Something I've been looking for, desperately, within YA fiction. Something that just...I don't know... Just speaks to me, I guess; feels true. I can relate to it, to the protagonist, how she feels. I understand her because, in a way, I was her. Maybe, from time to time, I still am her.

To help you understand where I'm coming from I need to go back. Way back. Back to August 3, 2008, when I finished reading the flaming garbage pile that is called Breaking Dawn. As I closed the book, I sat back and contemplated what I'd just read. I was speechless at first, trying to pinpoint why Bella's picture perfect Happily Ever After made me angry beyond all reason.

The next morning I called my friends, asked them what they thought of the book. And you know what? I was shocked--shocked!--to discover none of my friends were dissatisfied. So I ran to the internet--to GoodReads, as it turns out--and sought out others who felt the way I did. I discovered a little group of disillusioned Twilight fans and together we ripped Breaking Dawn to shreds. Upon doing so, I saw what it was that bugged me so much: EVERYTHING. The entire book.

I especially hated how everyone was eating that piece of creeptastic wish-fulfillment up and begging for more. Listening to people refer to it as 'beautiful literature' was enough to stoke my fiery rage. I was embarrassed for every grown woman who referred to stalkerific Edward as the perfect man. I felt bad for the teens who thought Edward and Bella were the epitome of twu wuv--The ideal.

So stupid, the lot of them, I thought to myself. I'm glad my girls are too young to read the Twilight series. It was then a bunch of horrible and very-much insane thoughts popped into my head.

Oh, holy crap! My girls--my babies!--will grow up and they might read this garbage and think it's romantic. What if they start wishing to be just like Bella? What if they allow their lives to revolve around "beautiful" and mysterious boys? What if they lose the best parts of themselves in pursuit of an unrealistic, bastardized version of romantic love? They'll become pathetic losers. Weaklings with no identities, no goals to call their own. No one will respect them! They'll die alone! In vomit-filled gutters! Oh, the humanity!

Clearly I was being crazy, but can you blame me? Twilight mania had just set in--worldwide might I add. It was an ugly time in history.

I was upset Twilight was this Really Big Deal, had such a massive following. I hated that no one could shut up about it--not even me! I kept wondering what I could do to insure my girls wouldn't grow up to be useless human beings like Bella Swan. And then it came to me: keep teaching them. Encourage them to be themselves, to be proud of who they are. Teach about setting goals and what steps to take in order to accomplish them. Encourage them to think for themselves, teach them self-reliance.

There was a bunch of other things I resolved to do, but I couldn't figure out how to solve the pesky problem of the Twilight series and books that were similar. I was never going to forbid my girls from reading them, but I wanted them to be smart enough to see past all the glitter and not get too caught up in the fantasy.

I came up with the idea of building a little library, a collection made up of the best books. I wanted it to be something my girls could enjoy, so of course it needed a killer YA selection. But what books would I put there? It would have to contain more than just the classics, that I was sure, but was there any contemporary YA literature that was worthwhile? At that time I just didn't know.

And that, my fellow GoodReaders, is when I started reading everything YA in pursuit of awesome books with really great protagonists. Over the years I've read some heinous stuff, but I've also had the opportunity to read some truly beautiful literature. This book, Girl in the Arena, is, in some ways, among the best of the best. It contains a pretty solid message without being preachy. It brings up some legitimate questions, questions teenage girls should be asking themselves if they aren't already doing so. Questions I once asked myself, about who I was, what I stood for, how strongly I stood for it, what lengths I'd go in order to be true to my identity, and whether or not I cared how my actions might affect family members and other loved ones. This book? Asks all those questions and more. It introduces some interesting ideas, too. Honestly, I got lost within the pages of Girl in the Arena. In some ways it was a really great, near ideal, reading experience.

All of that said, this book is riddled with flaws. Errors of every sort, big and little. Glaring ones that made me want to give up on this book early on. The world-building is pretty weak in some places, non-existent in others. This book assumes I know exactly what's going on in the protagonists world. But see, I don't. I don't even know what year it's su
L pposed to be. I was never sold on the Gladiator culture, why they all did what they did. I didn't understand why anyone would adhere to such stringent rules, rules that interfered/controlled their personal lives so thoroughly. Especially when religion was in no way part of the equation. Was the government involved? What happened to the government, exactly? Where were the protestors, the people who opposed gladiatorial battles to the death? Where was PITA? Why weren't they throwing buckets of red paint at the gladiators who fought and killed animals in the arena?

The writing style was enough to make me want to poke my eyes out (until I got used to it). Instead of using quotation marks to indicate dialogue, the author used em dashes. At first I wasn't always sure who was saying what. It looks like this:

—Maybe we should stop eating meat.

—You better talk with Allison, I said. —The freezer is half cow.

—We could give it away.

—Before she gets home? I joked.

He got another knife out of the drawer and began to cut up the tomatoes.

—Sure, why not? he said earnestly.

See what I mean? Really annoying. And really, who writes like that?

There are other things that bothered me, but I don't care to go into all that, especially since I pretty much love this book despite all the flaws. I know it doesn't quite make sense considering how picky I can be. I can't say I completely understand why I feel the overwhelming need to overlook the glaring technical imperfections and give this book three stars, but I do.

This book just speaks to me on multiple levels. And no, it's not because of some convoluted love story (although, yeah, there is the beginnings of a love story but that isn't a major element of the book). It's just about a girl trying to do the "right" thing, whatever that may be, and not lose herself in the process. She wants more than what her upbringing says she's allowed to have. She wants to be more. In the end she is and I can't imagine a more beautiful Happily Ever After than that. After all, that's what I want for myself and it's what I want for my girls.

Officially 3-stars. Unofficially 5-stars.


Reckoning - Lili St. Crow, Lilith Saintcrow Four stars because of how it ended.. I'm grateful an author finally had the wherewithal to end a series in such a way. It's refreshing. I absolutely love it. I also respect Lili St. Crow for taking the road less traveled. girl walks into the sunset by herself. I'm sorry, but in my humble opinion that kicks all sorts of ass.

World After

World After - Susan Ee Not long ago I went back and looked over the first book in this series in an attempt to understand what made me want to pick up World After. After an almost entire re-read of Angelfall I am flabbergasted. I mean, sure, Angelfall is okay-ish. And when I originally picked it up it was a self-published kindle book that only cost 99 cents. Now it's in paper and audiobook form and there's all this buzz and more books are being published and Susan Ee is laughing all the way to the bank.

Don't get me wrong, I think Susan Ee is a genius. She wrote and self-published an ebook that didn't suck nearly as bad as the vast majority of self-published ebooks and struck gold. Good for her. I wish I could do that. Really. But still, that doesn't mean she's a talented writer or that her work necessarily deserves to be published. This book, World After, is irrefutable proof.

To be completely honest, I couldn't read more than one-quarter of this book and I ended up returning it. I never return books, but I made an exception.

Penryn was always sort of pining for the angel Raffe so I expected the pining and/or fascination to continue in this book. What I did not expect is for Penryn to be reduced to a boring girl who does little else but wax poetic about Raffe's beautiful face and body during the first quarter of the book. After the first chapter I struggled with not letting my eyes roll out of my head. I felt as though I was reading Twilight. Again.

Ain't nobody got time for that.

Look, Stephenie Meyer wrote Twilight and got away with it. That happened. I've made peace with that time in human history because we were younger then. We didn't know any better.

But now? Now we know better. We're smarter. We don't want our protagonists to be simpering morons who do little more than think about the perfection of a certain young man's body and/or face. We want our post-apocalyptic MCs to kick ass and lead a revolution, and if they happen to find love along the way that's okay. But first and foremost? Ass-kicking. That's what we want and that's what I thought I was signing up for when I purchased World After.

What I got was loveloveloveloveloveloveOBSESSIONlovelovelove laced with a (possible?) love triangle and a side order of monster (zombie?) children and maybe evil angels.

Susan! What happened? The truly enjoyable elements you gave us in Angelfall were missing in World After. It feels as though you gave up. It feels as though you sold out.

I am disappoint.

P.S. I wasn't going to say it, but, Dee-Dum? Totally a rip-off of Fred and George Weasley. A crappy, pathetic rip off.


Hallowed - Cynthia Hand Okay, I'm completely in the minority with this one. Pretty much everyone and their family loves this book. I, unfortunately, do not. And at this time I'm not capable of writing a fair and thorough review about Hallowed because just thinking about it still makes me ill, as if I'm recovering from food poisoning after eating at my absolute favorite restaurant. The whole thing just makes me so sad and disgusted. That said, I do feel, for the most part, Cynthia Hand ended this book the way it needed to end. Anything else, given the circumstances, would have been completely wrong.

And I need to give Hand credit for writing something that made me, the reader, feel like I was going through the worst break up ever. Like my soul was ripped to shreds in the slowest, most torturous way possible--look, I felt like I had a car resting on my chest when Clara drives away from her last date with Tucker, wanting to turn back but not doing it because that would have been wrong. By the way, how great is Tucker? He loved her so much he let her go. In his situation that was so much more difficult than fighting for her. . I had difficulty breathing and I wanted to cry but couldn't. I mean, 'Tucker & Clara' is only YA PNR pairing I've ever believed in. Cynthia Hand wrote their relationship so well in Unearthly I would have been fine if they eventually got married. They just seemed so right for one another, so solid, so genuinely in love. So...yeah...I'm ridiculously angry over how things ended between them, but I'm also glad because, all things considered, it had to happen.

Having said all that, I hope Christian dies like a stupidly long, drawn out, merciless, torturous death. I really mean that, and it's okay because he's a fictional character. A fictional character whose entire existence ruined the only good thing YA PNR had going for it.

Someday I will write an in-depth review of Hallowed in which I will go into Cynthia Hand's brand of angel lore and what not. But today is not that day. Today I'm still feeling a whole lot of Hatred with an extra serving of Bitter on the side. 2.7 stars*.

* Star-rating subject to change at reviewer's whim.


The 'day after' reaction to this book: I'm going to have to think about this one for a while. Hallowed is well written, that's undeniable, but it makes me really uncomfortable in the sense that had it really been playing out in front of my eyes I'd have to stop watching. I had to put this down several times. At one point I started skimming (something I never do) just to get the whole nightmare over with.

Hallowed is such a depressing follow up to Unearthly.

Imaginary Girls

Imaginary Girls - Nova Ren Suma I started reading this book in June. JUNE! I finally finished reading it last night. Admittedly I liked Imaginary Girls at first--like the first couple of chapters--then almost immediately it was all I could do to finish one page every time I picked this book up. The story is not that interesting. The writing-style is irritating and pretentious. It feels as though author goes out of her way to say things in the most roundabout way, in a way that's meant to be artsy and poetic. I wouldn't go so far as say the prose are purple-ish...but...yeah...almost.

Plus, I didn't like the older sister, Ruby, which is sort of a huge problem because a lot of the story has to do with the MC's (Chloe) hero-worship of said older sister. Hate is a strong word, but I'm willing to go so far as say I HATE Ruby. She sucks. And while I can understand Chloe's allegiance to Ruby, I still think she gives her sister way too much control over every aspect in her life. And the worst part is she does so gladly. That wouldn't be so bad if at the end of the novel things had been different. But, no, I didn't get the sense that Chloe was a better person by the end of the novel, if she'd learned some sort of a lesson. If anything, she's regressed. And that's really sad.

So, while I do think the cover is STUNNINGLY BEAUTIFUL, and like the fact that this is a standalone with an original premise, I still do not like this book. I don't know who I'd recommend it to. No one, probably. But if you're wanting to read this, don't let my review stop you. Read Imaginary Girls if you feel compelled to do so. Who knows? It might be just up your alley. 1.5 stars.

This is Not a Test

This is Not a Test - Courtney Summers Four stars. Great book. Read it. (real review to be posted shortly)

Snow Flower and the Secret Fan

Snow Flower and the Secret Fan - Lisa See Does Oprah still have a book club? Is it secretly running underground? Is the first rule Don't Talk About Book Club? I mean, how else would every woman my age know about this book? It seems as though all my GR friends over the age of thirty, many of which are lucky to finish 12 books a year, have read or plan on reading it. I just heard about Snow Flower and the Secret Fan's existence yesterday. This is odd because, regardless of what genres I prefer to read, I'm usually up to date on what's the newest hottest thing in the literary world.

That said, I tend to avoid this sort of literature like the plague, so it's no surprise that I likely walked past it countless times without taking a second glance. I mean, just look at the cover. It's bland as a bowl of plain oatmeal. Granted there are flowers on it, but I don't even like flowers all that much, or Chinese fans. Based on the title I can tell it's the sort of historical fiction that is chalk-full of horrors to woman-kind. The sort of writing rife with Emotional Porn. You know, the kind that will force you to collapse on the ground, snotting and sobbing and crying out for your momma.

*rolls eyes* The thing is, Snow Flower and the Secret Fan is the sort of thing I should want to read. I mean, I am a woman. I am over thirty. Statistically speaking it should be my bread and butter.

But it's not. It's totally not.

I've always known I was different, and not in a quirky, adorable way. Different because I snarl in the face of convention without even meaning to. I don't fit the mold. It's like I belong on the Island of Misfit Toys Women.

Whatever. I'll read Snow Flower and the Secret Fan. I'll do it because I'm sick of being the only person in the room that doesn't know all about whatever crappy new book all the Dignified Women are reading, especially when I'm the most well-read of the bunch. But if it contains something along the lines of 'You is kind, you is smart, you is important' all bets are off.

P.S. I'm willing to bet Snow Flower and the Secret Fan is nowhere near inspiring as Eon: Dragoneye Reborn.


Angelfall - Susan Ee I'm here to eat my words. My initial reaction to Angelfall was wrong. This book? Is awesome. Review to be posted soon.


Another book about angels? Really. Didn't we all agree Angels + YA fiction is a recipe for disaster, and then pass an international law stating no more YA angel books can be published under penalty of death? No? Well we should have. Out of all the YA angel books only Cynthia Hand's Unearthly is decent. The rest? Complete atrocities. Easily among the worst stuff I've read, that's for sure.

And this is self-published? Bahahaha! This book is going to fail so good, I can tell.

Then again, Tatiana and Kat and other trusted Goodreaders seem to think it's okay. And it is only 99 cents at Amazon...

I think I will give it a try.

(Purchased! Before I get started I've got to ask one last question: who would name their kid Penryn? That's just mean.)

Everybody Sees the Ants

Everybody Sees the Ants - A.S. King Review to come. Four stars.

Bonus time: my draft lottery # is 3. Lucky Linderman says it best: "what's so logical about the day you were born deciding when you might die? That's just a cruel joke, as I see it."

Touch of Power

Touch of Power - Maria V. Snyder Besides the healer magic the storyline wasn't particularly original. That said, I still liked it well enough. 3 stars.

Fate's Edge

Fate's Edge -  Ilona Andrews Yeah, so I can't tell if this series just jumped the shark by including super adorable kids/teens or if it's actually cutting edge awesome (because they are surprisingly good at killing/mauling things). Only time will tell. 3.5 stars.

City of Ghosts (Downside Ghosts, Book 3)

City of Ghosts (Downside Ghosts, Book 3) - Stacia Kane (Hey everyone! If all goes well this will end up being an honest to goodness--traditional!--book review. Before I get started I feel I should warn everyone I have ADHD and my medication is starting to wear off, also I dislike doing things the way they should be done--did I mention I also have Oppositional Defiant Disorder? Because I totally do. Anyway, my point is, despite the fact that I'm attempting to write a legitimate review I might go off on a few tangents like this. Just thought I'd warn you.)

When City of Ghosts begins our protagonist, Chess, is on medical leave, recovering from the events of the last book. Not only has her work life been put on hold, but her personal life is in shambles. The only friend Chess ever had--Terrible, enforcer to a powerful drug lord--wants nothing to do with her, treats her with disdain, and rebuffs her attempts to make things right. The other guy in Chess's life, Lex, is reluctant to walk away even after Chess tells him she's not interested. Much drugs are had.

She wonders why she let anyone into her life to begin with; her old solitary life was less complicated.

Then it seems things start looking up for Chess. She's able to return to work, agrees to assist the Black Squad on a particularly difficult case involving dark magic. Bound by a powerful spell, Chess is unable to tell anyone what she's doing, why she's investigating a building near one of her dealer's properties. Because of this she is forced into working with Terrible once again--though, in all honesty, she craves Terrible's company, wants a chance to talk to him--and allow him to accompany whenever possible as she investigates so he can piece together what's really going on and report back to his boss.

Duty bound, Terrible does as he's told--works with Chess--but he is mercilessly cruel less than happy about the arrangement. They discover there may be more to the case than originally thought: more players in the game, and a form of black magic Chess has never encountered before. To make matters worse the woman Chess is reporting to is condescending and just plain irritating to be around. Oh, yeah, and Lex keeps showing up. It's a disaster.

I enjoyed this installment of the Downside Ghosts series. I wish I could say I loved it, that I'll be giving City of Ghosts five stars, but I can't. While I reveled in the relationship aspect, I sort of had to slog through the mystery/Chess's professional life. It's not that the latter was uninteresting, it's just that personal relationships have become a big part of Chess's life, key to her overall character development. Things between Chess and Terrible are so unbearably awful that it's difficult for Chess not think about it all the time. Even I spent way too much time being angst-ridden over the whole ordeal. I lost much sleep over it, walked around feeling like crap for a couple of days. True story. This isn't typical behavior; it's rare for a book to affect me so immensely.

Because of my complete inability to relax until things were somehow resolved between Chess and Terrible, I could not focus on the mystery. This is pretty unfortunate as the details of this particular case were a lot more complicated than any of the other cases Chess has worked on. Which means I got a little confused from time to time and I was frustrated with myself and the book.

Do I place the blame on Stacia Kane? In her writing? Her storytelling abilities, originality and timing? When it comes to this specific series I'd have to say no, I don't blame Stacia Kane for my frustration. Sure there are aspects of the Downside universe that don't quite work for me, details that are a little fuzzy, and some grammatical errors (ironic I point this out, I know, seeing as I hardly ever edit what I say or write) but none of it stopped me from being so completely consumed by this series that I could do little more than think about it for a week straight.

I mean, it's a dystopian urban fantasy about a drug addict who traps ghosts for a living. The characters are named Chess and Terrible. Other than Kane's talent for storytelling, for writing emotion in such a way that it moved me on so many levels, there's no reason for this series to be among my favorites.

But it is, it totally is. The Downside Ghost series by Stacia Kane is going on my 'favorites' shelf, and even though City of Ghosts probably only deserves three stars--overall--I'm going to go ahead and give it four because it ends on such a satisfying note.

(A copy of this review is posted on my blog)

Unholy Magic

Unholy Magic - Stacia Kane Kat, fellow Goodreader (and my favorite Australian) summed up this book best: gut-wrenching. This book ripped out my innards, tap danced all over them, unceremoniously shoved them back inside me, and sewed me up haphazardly. Sure, in the end, my guts were no longer all over the place but serious damage was done. And I liked it.

Sounds like I'm being over-dramatic, I know, but you should see my Unholy Magic status updates.

This book sent me on an emotional roller coaster ride from hell. Now, don't get me wrong, this isn't a bad thing. I mean, I do love roller coasters. I love the sensation of plunging down steep slopes and shooting through loop-de-loops at eleventy-billion miles an hour. I love screaming like a maniac, thinking I might die any second (knowing I won't). But see, that's just a regular roller coaster ride.

Unholy Magic, is more like a terrifying ride on a rickety old roller coaster that may or may not be missing some track. While being stark naked. Halfway through the ride you see that, indeed, there is a section of the track missing, and you realize you're about to die--But, wait! Instead of flying off the track and plummeting to a gruesome death, the roller coaster sails across the gap--Speed style--and lands on the other side, tracks lined up and everything. It's unbelievable.

In the end you're still alive and you feel exhilarated and invincible and you want to do it again. You see that you can because, hey, there aren't many people in line. But as you prepare to get up you vomit in the lap of the stranger sitting next to you. Oh, and hey, you're still mysteriously naked.

It's horrible, but in the best way possible. Does that make sense?

Now you're probably thinking I don't like this book--I mean, "horrible in the best way possible" doesn't sound like high praise, amirite? Well, you couldn't be more wrong. I enjoyed Unholy Magic despite all the feelings--some downright beautiful, some so cringe-worthy I wanted to crawl in a hole and die--it stirred within me.

I don't know, I guess another way to describe the experience is by saying Kane's writing is so good I felt as though I was there, within the pages of the book, watching everything play out. Not only that but I felt all of the characters emotions and it was amazing and terrifying and overwhelming all at the same time.

It was great.

I'll be reading Unholy Magic again, sooner rather than later, I just need a little time to recover. Four stars.

(a copy of this review is posted at my blog)

The Weed That Strings the Hangman's Bag

The Weed That Strings the Hangman's Bag - Alan Bradley Probably being too generous by giving this book four stars, but I think it deserves more than three.

Unholy Ghosts

Unholy Ghosts - Stacia Kane I'm going to start this review off on a tangent--when do I not? As far as I'm concerned 2011 has been the Year of Meh. Television has been practically unwatchable. Movies released this year: heinous. The books were, at best, mediocre. Admittedly, there were a few notable exceptions but, for the most part, I'm disappointed.

Over the past six months I've grown weary; struggled to finish most of what I've started, and, by the way, failing more often then not--you should see my pile of abandoned books. Because of this I've been feeling the need to take a step back, maybe not read so much. Maybe spend my money more wisely--it is ridiculous how much I spend on books and audiobooks. You know, take a break.

2011 killed my love of books (and movies and television).

That said, over the past couple of days I've fallen in love with books (and reading) all over again. I'm in love. Love I tell ya. Can't-get-enough-make-everyone-sick-can't-eat-or-sleep-head-over-heels in love. Me and reading? It's like we're on a second honeymoon. I have Stacia Kane and her Downside Ghost series to thank because of it.

I know, I know--none of the books in the Downside Ghost series were published this year. It doesn't matter. What does matter is I love reading. Again.

Funny thing, it's not like Downside Ghosts is The Best Series, Ever. And it has to be said: it's definitely not for everyone. However, as far as I'm concerned, it is compelling and addictive. It's good.

So. Unholy Ghosts. Where to start? Twenty-five year old Cesaria "Chess" Putnum is a hot mess, and not in that chick-flick cliche can't-get-my-life-together-because-I'm-so-adorably-clumsy-and-I-wear-glasses-that-make-me-look-unfortunate-until-I-finally-remove-them-during-the-makeover-montage-and-that's-when-everyone-discovers-I'm-super-hot sort of way. I mean the sort of hot mess that's boozy and pops pills all the live-long day.

I'm not going to lie to you. I avoided this series for that exact reason. Boozy pill-poppers just aren't my thing, or so I thought.

Then, other day, I was looking through my Kindle bookshelf and I noticed that I had the sample of Unholy Ghosts--for the life of me, I can't remember when I downloaded it. Curious, figuring I had nothing to lose, I decided to give it a chance before I went ahead and removed it. Imagine my surprise when I realized I couldn't go the rest of my life without reading more. So I purchased it (FYI, the Kindle edition of Unholy Ghosts is just 99 cents).

The thing I like about Chess is, well, I pretty much like everything. Honestly, I don't even mind that she's a drug addict. Of course, most of her problems wouldn't happen if she wasn't addicted to pills, but if that were the case Unholy Ghosts wouldn't be so good.

One of my favorite aspects of Chess's life her employment. She works for the Church of Real Truth as a Debunker, a person who goes around trying to debunk claims of hauntings. If she's able to then she gets a bonus and if she isn't, if the haunting is authentic, the homeowner is compensated by the church and the debunker will rid the home of the ghost.

Sidenote: Did I mention this is a dystopian urban fantasy? Because it is. Basically way back in the year 1997 ghosts escaped wherever it is ghosts go (or actually The City, as it's called in this series) and got all murdery, killing one-third of the world's population. At the time The Church of Truth was just a small organization but they succeeded in capturing all the ghosts. 25 years later The Church of Truth is the only religion. They pretty much run the government too. Worldwide.

The church has vowed to keep people safe from ghosts, which is why homeowners are compensated if their haunting is real. /sidenote

Chess is good at being a Debunker and it's something she's proud of. She also loves the Church of Truth, despite the fact that it reigns supreme. I can't fault her for it because everything else in her life is crap--growing up being passed from abusive foster home to abusive foster home will mess you up, you know? And anyway the Church is the only place she's ever felt safe, the only thing that's ever given her life value.

Anyway, things get really interesting when Chess's drug dealer blackmails her into working for him. <--and I'm stopping right there because I don't want to ruin it for you. Plus, this review is entirely too long. <br/>
This isn't my favorite book in the series, there are a few things that didn't exactly work for me, but I still like it. (Just so you know Unholy Magic, the second book in the Downside Ghost series is...um...intense. I'll be reviewing it soon). Three stars.

P.S. This review is also posted at my blog.