It's been a while since I lost myself in the Downside and, man alive, I had forgotten how very much I love how dark it is. The shadowy alleys, the broken buildings, the heartache and pain that lives in the streets... Stacia Kane knocked me over and beat me down and I loved every second of it.
Chess is her usual messed up self. She's happy for the first time in a long time and in typical Chess fashion she's waiting for her happiness to collapse down on her like a house of cards. There are times when the choices she makes have you clutching your head in horror. Really, Chess, how many times are you going to put yourself in compromising positions with the son of your man's sworn enemy? Even if nothing happens when you two hang out, things are going to end up blowing up in your face. Sometimes literally. You'd think she'd learn that after a while. But she's Chess and she doesn't always think clearly where her personal life is concerned.
I'm going to put this right out in the open... Chess and Terrible have a rocky road in front of them. She has a lot of baggage from her abusive childhood to deal with and she makes a lot of mistakes when it comes to her relationship with him. As an enforcer and badass, Terrible has to be careful showing weakness among the masses. He and Chess have to keep their relationship under wraps so that nobody gets the bright idea of hurting her to hurt him. It's tangled and complicated and hard to read sometimes but, my god, it's so worth it.
The case Chess is working on this time around is gruesome and bloody (as they all seem to be) and there's a huge shift in the power dynamic of Downside at the end of the book that looks like it could cause untold problems for Chess and crew in the future. I am afeared. Hold me. Chasing Magic can't get here soon enough!
Oh, and a shout out to the REAL Chelsea Mueller, who is not nearly as crazy as her fictional counterpart and who dresses MUCH better.
-Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal