City of Ghosts by Stacia Kane
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
No spoilers and colorful language abound!
I am only three books into this series and I know without a moments hesitation that there will never be another that can fill the hole it will inevitably leave in my chest. Its no holds barred absurdly ridiculous characters, the juxtaposition of the depths they can sink to the sudden heights they can sore is un-fucking-paralled. The hardened aloofness of a Downsider allows the reader to judge them harshly as the scum of society, but that is a mere distraction, you see. Then suddenly and before you can sense it, the smooth slither of the rich variety and sincerity of their emotions wraps around your chest, and squeezes, you are left breathless and dizzy. I live for this.
Downside Ghosts is everything a book should be, you become an interloper, transported into a life and held hostage throughout their journey, powerless, engrossed and maybe a bit disgusted. Regardless of why you are emotionally invested, the simple truth is you will be. This is not a story filled with mediocre feelings and predictable plot twists. Kane with the aid of Chess, Terrible and the cast of misfits that surround them weave a complex and troubling tale that lacks a filter from the true ugliness the human mind is capable of. In fact, it screams it at you, it whispers, it taunts you, it engulfs the mind and saturates you. As I said, it's everything a book should be.
The interpersonal relationships are just as complex and painful as the world they live in, but none quite like Chess and Terrible. It's not about romance or sex or lust. It's not about smexy scenes to sell books. It's not about crappy forced teenage angst. It's not about a vapid love triangle manufactured to create conflict. It's about two individuals floating along in the sewage of life, who despite the horrors of their upbringing managed to keep just a small glimmer of hope alive, and they have protected it at all costs. It's about the extraordinary bravery required to make a connection of trust, even though life has taught them that this is the one thing you never do. It's heartbreaking and heartwarming all at the same time.
Me until I finish this series:
and when I finally do... oh it's going to be tragic:
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