Author: Stacia Kane
Series: Downside Ghosts, #1.5
Release date: August 4th 2013
It’s a thin line between right and wrong. It’s an even thinner one between wrong and dead…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.
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.
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. :)