Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Downside Ghosts: Short Stories & Novellas

In addition to the full length novels, Stacia Kane has written four short stories/ novellas in the Downside Ghosts series.

The Brave Tale of Maddie Carver is a prequel to the first book and gives us a small peek at the events of Haunting Week as it began to unfold. It does not feature any of the main characters from the novels. Instead, we see the terror and destruction through the eyes of an old witch, who is near death, herself. It's only 10 pages, but it's free and a treat for fans of the series. (Note: I had to read the ending twice before I understood what happened. But it made sense after I gave it some thought.)

Rick the Brave was published as part of the anthology Home Improvement: Undead Edition. It comes chronologically after the events of City of Ghosts. It's told from the perspective of Rick, an electrician who has been hired to work on an old house that Bump is having renovated in Downside.  Terrible is there to oversee his work.  But the job gets more complicated when ghosts start showing up.  And Terrible has to call in Chess to help take care of the problem.

It was interesting to see Chess and Terrible from an outsider's perspective... especially from the point of view of a "normal" guy.  Of course, the story can't have the same emotional resonance as a full length novel.  Chessie's perspective is sort of the touchstone of the series.  But the writing and the dialogue are consistent.  And even if all that weren't true, Chessie's small confession to Rick about Terrible makes the whole thing worth reading. 
"He's my family," she said finally.  "He's everything."
Sigh. Swoon. At least Chess finally sees the good thing she's got.  Please don't let her screw it up again.

Home is, without a doubt, everything a Downside fan could want.  It gave me all of the warm and fuzzies I experienced at the end of City of Ghosts, but bigger and better.  The plot essentially follows Chess as she works a debunking case where the so-called victims deny the ghosts exist.

But what makes the story so damn good is the fact that Chess is finally happy.  She is in love. And she doesn't screw anything up.  We watch her revel in her relationship and her joy, and we celebrate along with her.  Terrible is there and he is so solid and wonderful.  One of my favorite heroes of all time.  It was perfect.  I would not change one single thing.

Click to purchase Home at Amazon  

Finding Magic is reviewed here.

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At Thursday, April 19, 2012 at 10:49:00 AM CDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

where can I find the story "home"?

At Thursday, April 19, 2012 at 10:54:00 AM CDT , Blogger Jen at Red Hot Books said...

Click to purchase Home at Amazon

At Thursday, April 19, 2012 at 12:12:00 PM CDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I read the maddie carver short story and dont really get the ending either. she let the dead take her? huh?

At Thursday, April 19, 2012 at 1:39:00 PM CDT , Blogger Jen at Red Hot Books said...

My take was that she knew she was dying (to me it seemed like a heart attack) and got herself out of the house to protect them from being trapped inside with her ghost after she died.

At Friday, April 20, 2012 at 1:54:00 PM CDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

awesome thanks!


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