Thursday, August 22, 2013

Review: Wrong Ways Down (Downside Ghosts, #1.5)

Wrong Ways Down (Downside Ghosts, #1.5)Author: Stacia Kane
Series: Downside Ghosts, #1.5
Release date: August 4th 2013
Publisher: Self-published
Source: Bought
Buy: Amazon

It’s a thin line between right and wrong. It’s an even thinner one between wrong and dead…
Terrible has always been on the wrong side of the law, living up to the only name anyone ever gave him. As the chief enforcer for Downside’s most powerful criminal, it’s his job to collect debts and protection money by any means necessary. And he’s very good at his job.
But part of that job is also to keep Bump’s various employees safe. So when a street dealer is found dead and a prostitute is brutally attacked, Terrible immediately starts using his fists to hunt down the ones responsible.
He’s determined to find and destroy them. They’re determined to use his desire for the woman he secretly loves to break him.
It’s safe to say that Wrong Ways Down is the best thing that happened to urban fantasy in a very long time. With this long-awaited, anxiously anticipated and rather longish novella told from Terrible’s POV, Stacia Kane gave her readers exactly what they desperately needed – a glimpse into the complicated psyche of a well-beloved character.

If you know anything about Stacia’s books, you might have noticed that she doesn’t have almost-fans or lukewarm readers. People either hate or love her books, but for those who have loved the previous five novels, Wrong Ways Down will seem like a gift fallen from the sky. Not only do we get to see the inner workings of Terrible’s mind, but we get to see Chess through his eyes: a beautiful, confident and well-put-together version of her.

Somewhere in the back of my mind, I was always painfully aware of Terrible’s insecurities, although it’s easy enough to forget them while seeing his strength through Chess’s eyes. In Wrong Ways Down, Stacia Kane brings them all skillfully to light, thus giving a new and much needed dimension to a well-loved character. Suddenly, Terrible doesn’t seem neither untouchable nor invincible. He is as vulnerable as you and me, but all the better for it.
And when he was doing it, using his fists, his whole body... he felt right. Like his body did the thinking he mind couldn't seem to get, and when he was fighting he thought faster than anyone else. If fists were brains he was the smartest dude in the city, and he couldn't help how that made him feel good.

Terrible’s POV means that Downspeech is heavier than ever. Chess’s education is evident in her narration, as is Terrible’s lack of one. Stacia proved herself as a writer a hundred times over even before this novella, but for this, she should get a standing ovation. Everything about Terrible’s language was consistent and well-thought-out and Kane’s attention to details. I hope someone someday will write a paper about it, purely from a grammatical standpoint.

I realize $4 seems like a lot for a novella (that’s the EU price, I’m not sure about US), but Wrong Ways Down is actually the length of a short novel, and brilliant to boot, so trust me when I say it’s money well spent. In addition, I don’t often see a self published work that is so well edited and has such a wonderful, non-generic cover.

Downside fans, get yourselves a copy as soon as possible. The rest of you don’t know what you’re missing. :)


  1. And here I'm hearing about this book for the first time while you're saying that it's the best thing that happened to UF in a long while. That means that I'm adding this book to my to-read list and hopefully I'll get to read it soon. It really sounds amazing. Great review Maja :)

  2. I have heard so much about this series and how dark and gritty it is. I had no idea you were a fan of it! I bought the books at one point thinking I would try it and then saw some pretty negative reviews on it so I decided not too. You definitely have me rethinking reading them now. ;)

  3. I don't think I've heard about this series before, but with your review you just made me want to read it! Adding it to the TBR list now!

  4. Ahhhhhhh! I NEED THIS IMMEDIATELY MAJA! I absolutely adore this series but I will admit I lost track of it for a while. I've read through book 3 but need to read the others and of course this novella. I love Terrible something fierce and am utterly fascinated by the way he talks, so I'm excited to spend time in his head. WOO HOO!

  5. I agree completely, Maja! I absolutely ADORED this one and it was so very perfect. I think one of its strongest qualities for me was that Terrible understood Chess on such a deep level - a level that I only began to glean insight into with the fourth and fifth books. And yet, this is in-between the first and second novel and Terrible already knows her so well. It really sheds so much more light on the kind of person he is and although I didn't think I could love him anymore, I now totally do. Lovely review, dearest - I must get around to reviewing this soon!

  6. You're killing me, Maja! Now I'm salivating over another UF. I blame you for turning this solid vanilla queen into a rabid UF lover!

    Btw, I finished Iron Kissed and I can see why you never re-read. It was shocking and heartbreaking, but amazing at the same time. I still hurt for Mercy. :(

  7. I can't decide whether to take the plunge or not. I have read the love and dislike reviews for this series and am worried the dark and gritty might be too much for me. I don't ever see five stars for novellas from you so this must be a good one!

  8. Wow! Usually you don't get such high praise for a novella. It is pricey (same in the US) but I do think I'll wait. Mostly because I have the first 3 and haven't read them yet. :) You have added this one to the wishlist though.

  9. Hmm, I think I need to pick up book one and it is so refreshing to hear about a good novella, lately they have been meh! Thanks for sharing this have been adding to my reading pile all week!

  10. AMEN!! I do so love Terrible. And I LOVE LOVE LOVE this world, these characters and this series!! So great. *sighs with happiness*

  11. I haven't read this series just yet, but I have heard amazing things and your review has me anxious to get started!

  12. It's not often that I see 5 stars awarded to a novella! I still need to read the first book in this series, but you already have me more than convinced about Terrible's character. I'm glad that this novella introduced you to a new side of him. Great review as always!

  13. I haven't heard of this series until reading your review today - but Terrible sounds like a very well-developed character. I have to agree with Sam, it's rare to see 5 stars awarded to a novella! Thanks for sharing.

  14. GAHHHH.....kill me now....why haven't I heard of this series!!?? Honestly, I really am missing out! I LOVE the sound of this series, and if a series can have a novella this good, then I am sold! Terrible sounds like an amazing character, and really I love finding out that a character is just as vulnerable as the next person, even though their exterior is all tough. If an author can portray that well, it makes the characters feel more human and relatable. I'm so glad this is not an issue in this. I seriously can't wait to pick this up! I'm glad you enjoyed this Maja! Fab review! :D

    ~ Maida
    Literary Love Affair 

  15. I LOVE this series but I am unforgivably behind on it. Reading this review makes me anxious to pick it back up again and get lost in the world of Downside. Have you listened to any of these as an audio book? I love hearing how the narrator does the Downspeak.

  16. Oh Gods! I so need to get caught up so I can purchase and read this one! I sooooo need to get back to Chess and Terrible. *sigh* I miss them! :D Thank you!


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