Jamie's Reviews > Chasing Magic

Chasing Magic by Stacia Kane
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Originally posted at www.Addicted2Heroines.com

...looking up at the sky, pale and starless above the city's glow. Chess looked up at it, too, at that blank stretch of cloudy gray covering the world like a sheet pulled over its head. [The thought] of it made pain and loneliness twist in her chest. Pain because she wasn't part of that sky, would never be a part of it, because it looked like a home she could never enter. She'd never know what it was like to be so peaceful.

Thanks to NetGalley for the ARC!

Chasing Magic, the fifth installment of Stacia Kane's innovative and dark Downside Ghosts series is, in my opinion, the best book of the series to date. Stacia Kane takes us along a dark and scary path, both externally and internally in regards to the characters. And all those times I said that Terrible is just as vulnerable as, if not more so, than Chess? Get ready for a big dose of Terrible love and vulnerability.

One thing that is different in this book is that Chess is not working on a Church case, except for in the very beginning of this book. She is becoming more comfortable in her relationship with Terrible, but she's still grasping for her drugs. Unfortunately, Lex keeps dropping by Chess' apartment, even when Terrible is there. Lex wants to chat with Terrible about a proposition. When Terrible declines, Lex becomes my most hated person in Downside. I've defended Lex for four books. I've said that although he's not a good guy, that he really does care about Chess. However, we see how ruthless Lex is in Chasing Magic when he attempts to coerce Terrible into working for him. Even though Lex sees this as a business decision and nothing personal against Chess, it still angered me and made me change my opinion of him.

Chess makes some progress in her relationship with herself and with Terrible. While trying to convince Lex to call off his orders, Chess finds herself in a very precarious situation. She begins having self-doubting and self-hating thoughts, and even thinks that she is not worthy of Terible's love, or worth anything as a person. There is a lot of darkness in Chess, and Terrible seems able to counteract that darkness and worthlessness that she feels. As with my opening and closing quote in this review, Stacia Kane does a lovely job of using the sky as a metaphor for Chess and her vulnerabilities. Kane uses the sky to portray Chess' demons, to show how she can face those demons with Terrible by her side, and how by the end, those demons don't appear as insurmountable as they once were.

She took his hand, and together they walked through the open double doors, back into the party, leaving the sky alone outside.

Another thing I want to comment on is the way that Terrible seems to be replacing Chess' need for another high. He is filling this unending chasm that she carries within her. Chess seems to be coming to terms with her drug use as self-destructive. After an emotional overdose, Chess sees the affect her habit is having on Terrible. Terrible even goes as far as to ask Chess to only buy drugs off of him or Bump, to try to keep her safe. Not once does Terrible ask her to stop, which is a good thing, because I think that Chess is going to have to come to this conclusion all on her own and without prodding.

Warmth spread through her chest and up to her face, warmth that had nothing to do with pills or booze or anything else. It was trust heating her up from the inside, making her feel like a real live person.

Terrible truly shows off the most vulnerable parts of himself in this book. Stacia Kane makes it perfectly natural for an enforcer like Terrible to be so in touch with his feelings.

"Shit. You so fucking pretty, Chessie. True thing. So....ain't even can breathe sometimes."

Terrible is still attempting to cope with the problems he's been facing since Chess saved his life and carved the sigils into him. Chess searches for a way to mitigate the effect of those sigils with the help of Elder Griffen. Unfortunately, Elder Griffen discovers what Chess did to save Terrible in City of Ghosts and is extraordinarily unhappy with Chess and her reckless decisions. The response from Elder Griffen wounds Chess deeply.

Let's face it. Chess had put Terrible through some pretty awful events in the past few books. From infidelity, to drug overdoses, to withdrawal, to countless other missteps. But one thing about Terrible - he's loyal to a fault. This tension with Chess and her self-assessment is a driving force for Terrible in this book. After the big mistake Chess makes with Lex, Terrible really and truly stakes his claim on Chess with a hot scene where the word, "mine," is mumbled. Swoon!

Towards the end of the book, there is a very touching scene between Terrible and Chess, when neither of them knew if they were going to make it through the night alive. Stacia Kane is masterful at writing raw emotion. They briefly discuss dying, and it brought tears to my eyes.

"Don't want to. An even if I did, ain't can leave you down there on your alones. How I can do that one, aye? Leave my Chessiebomb there without me. 'Specially knowing you scared on it."

This is the moment where things all fall into focus for Chess. This is the point in the book where Chess begins to value herself, to trust, to chase away the loneliness and to love unconditionally.

The remainder of this book is the epic showdown with both Chess' and Terrible's "big bad." There are some close calls, on both accounts, and I was riveted while reading. Stacia Kane has written a book that delves into the chaos that is Chess' dark and damaged soul. Kane leaves us with hope that Chess will eventually come to terms with her past, and that Terrible will be along for the ride. This is one of, if not the best, urban fantasy series out there right now. It would be a shame for you to miss this epic story.

The sky that suddenly didn't look so lonely, the sky that was maybe....peaceful. "Love you, Chessie," he murmered. "Ain't never...Fuckin' love you, more-n anything."
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Reading Progress

July 22, 2011 – Shelved
April 11, 2012 – Started Reading
April 13, 2012 –
25.0% "Loving this, as always!"
April 13, 2012 –
33.0% "I think I figured out what Elder Griffin wants to talk about w/Chess. And I cannot stop highlighting passages in this book!!"
April 15, 2012 –
57.0% "Lex needs to go."
April 16, 2012 –
74.0% "Love this!!!"
April 16, 2012 –
87.0% "This is the best book I've read all year. No joke."
April 16, 2012 –
page 5
April 16, 2012 – Shelved as: books-i-obsess-over
April 16, 2012 – Shelved as: assassins
April 16, 2012 – Shelved as: favorites
April 16, 2012 – Shelved as: addicted-hero-heroine
April 16, 2012 – Shelved as: series-i-can-t-wait-to-continue
April 16, 2012 – Shelved as: dark-and-gritty
April 16, 2012 – Shelved as: ghosts
April 16, 2012 – Shelved as: unbelievably-sexy-heros
April 16, 2012 – Shelved as: books-that-break-my-heart
April 16, 2012 – Shelved as: magic
April 16, 2012 – Shelved as: zombies
April 16, 2012 – Finished Reading

Comments (showing 1-8 of 8) (8 new)

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message 1: by AH (new) - rated it 4 stars

AH Did they change the release date? I'm still seeing June 26th everywhere.

Jamie Yes -June 26th is the date! I want to get this book read and then I'll have some time to read non-ARCs.

Christal So happy it was awesome. Can't wait for the release!

Laura *Little Read Riding Hood* Oh my goodness, it doesn't matter how many times I read the part near the end, where they are talking about dying, I still get goosebumps. Amazing.

Jamie Laura *Little Read Riding Hood* wrote: "Oh my goodness, it doesn't matter how many times I read the part near the end, where they are talking about dying, I still get goosebumps. Amazing."

I know, Laura. That scene just kills me!

Laura *Little Read Riding Hood* I've read it about 5 times ... and the grin + goosebumps happen each time. SO GOOD!

Jamie It's one of my favorite scenes of this entire series. Love ne some Terrible ;)

message 8: by AH (new) - rated it 4 stars

AH Great review! There were so many amazing quotes and I just love Terrible.

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