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27 December 2010 @ 09:21 am
"City of Ghosts" by Stacia Kane  
I was pretty sure when I read the first two of The Downside Ghosts series that there were another two in the works to be published soon, but I can't find any reference to that any more (if I didn't just imagine it in the first place) - there are three more books planned, but they don't have titles yet so can't be all that imminent. So this one (book 53) is the last of the series for now. And it works as a potential stopping place - both plot-wise (the biggish bad has been defeated, probably) and character-wise. But there's still places to go - the Church itself is still there in exactly the same way, looking like a totalitarian dystopia from my point of view but safety and stability from Chess's point of view. And Chess even spells it out at one point, that she likes the way the Church runs things better than the way things were before. A product of her (Church run) education/upbringing, kind of a reminder that we're all a part of our own culture - when we say things like "Democracy isn't perfect, but it's the best of all possible systems", well other people brought up in other cultures might be saying that about their own governmental system. Or religion. Or whatever.

And whatever Chess has sorted out in her life, she's still a drug addict in a job where addiction is not only frowned upon by her employers but also actively interferes with her ability to do her job. You don't just see her screwing up her personal life or being easily manipulated by her drug dealer, but you also see her making mistakes because she's not just searching somewhere but trying to get herself a bit of privacy before withdrawal kicks in or missing obvious things because she's too high or too zoned out. And everything's from her point of view which means that we, as reader, often see more of what's going on than she does. And certainly get different impressions of some of the other characters than she does. I don't mean that in a bad way, tho, it works for the story and works for fleshing out Chess's character (and the other characters).

I need to try & remember these exist so I can look for the next ones when they come out. Hopefully despite the almost-closed arc that these three have the next ones will be just as good. There definitely still feels like there's something lurking in the organisation of the Church and some backstory to do with the event that made the ghosts rise.
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