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Chasing Magic (Downside Ghosts, #5)
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Archive: 2012 Buddy Reads > November: Chasing Magic by Stacia Kane

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Christine | 850 comments *Sigh* The last available Downside Ghosts book until next year.

Jeann and I are going to be reading this sometime in November. Feel free to join us!

Christine | 850 comments I'm thinking I could probably squeeze it in either around Nov 10 or near the end of the month, any time after Nov 25. What's good for you?

Jeann (Happy Indulgence)  (happyindulgence) | 1151 comments Nov 10 actually works for me, I think I'm addicted to this series! I'll let you know if it fits in my Bingo shelf that week.

Christine | 850 comments Sounds good.

Josie | 1961 comments I've just finished this! Loved it, hope you all love it too :D

Jeann (Happy Indulgence)  (happyindulgence) | 1151 comments Oh no, what will we do when we finish Chasing Magic Christine? I'm so incredibly addicted to this series.

Have you checked out Personal Demons (Megan Chase, #1) by Stacia Kane also by Stacia Kane?

Christine | 850 comments I haven't read that series yet, but I've heard it's totally different from Downside. It may be worth a try though. I don't know what I'll do without my monthly Chess and Terrible fix.

Christine | 850 comments @Josie - I have loved every single book. I don't think I could pick a favorite. I expect no less from this one.

Josie | 1961 comments I'm glad, Christine!

I'm up for reading 'Megan Chase' if anyone wants to?

Jeann (Happy Indulgence)  (happyindulgence) | 1151 comments Christine wrote: "@Josie - I have loved every single book. I don't think I could pick a favorite. I expect no less from this one."

I think the series does keep getting better and better. Probably a combination of getting used to Chess's drug addiction and Downside, plus the author getting more comfortable with where she's taking the series.

Josie wrote: "I'm glad, Christine!

I'm up for reading 'Megan Chase' if anyone wants to?"

Hmm, I'm keen to give it a shot but it's not one of my priorities at the moment.

Jeann (Happy Indulgence)  (happyindulgence) | 1151 comments Gonna pick up Chasing magic today!

Christine | 850 comments I should get to it tomorrow. Monday at the latest. I almost hate to start it, because then it'll bet over for who knows how long.

Christine | 850 comments I've started it and am about sixty pages in so far. Something that I notice in each book, but always forget to comment on: Chess seems to be a big germophobe. She'll often think about not wanting to touch certain things because of the other people who have touched them. Or needing to wash her hands in hot water. In this one, she was thinking of taking a hot shower and having Terrible dump bleach over her. It seems at odds with her lifestyle, but I wonder if it's common among victims of abuse?

Jeann (Happy Indulgence)  (happyindulgence) | 1151 comments Interesting point there Christine, it could be possible. I'm about 90 pages in or something and finding this one a little harder to get into than previous books. I think it's because she doesn't have a church case going on or something. It's also not as emotional as the previous book where she didn't know where she stood with terrible. I love seeing them together though, he's basically her salvation.

message 15: by Christine (last edited Nov 14, 2012 01:02PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Christine | 850 comments I'm about 50% through the book. I agree that this one started out more slowly for me than the previous books, but it seemed to hit a better stride about 100 pages into the story. I don't know if it was the lack of tension between Chess and Terrible or the lack of a solid case. There seemed to be a lot of Chess just wondering how to fix what she did to Terrible and them driving from place to place and running in to Lex. Once the mystery finally kicked in, it picked up.

It was good that she took Terrible with her to Elder Griffin's wedding. I was actually surprised that she did, instead of keeping him part of her secret, hidden life in Downside. I like to think this is a change toward the positive, that she's wants to introduce him to the only other important part of her life.

Why is it that the simplest compliment from Terrible goes right to a girl's heart? He just tells her how pretty she looks and it's better than a hundred flowery poems. I guess because you know it's sincere and from his heart. That he's not going to waste words on something he doesn't really mean. But every time he says something positive to her, I just want to curl up and snuggle him. I guess it makes him seem a little vulnerable, too.

Jeann (Happy Indulgence)  (happyindulgence) | 1151 comments Awwww I like what you said about Terrible's compliment :) it's because he's such a tough guy that you don't expect those sweet things to come out of him.

I keep on wanting to see what Elder Griffin has to say about Terrible. Obviously it's not going to be what Chess thinks, but we'll see how it goes. Terrible also wanted to mention something about Keith too, but Chess cut him off quickly because there was a case.

Christine | 850 comments I'm about 250 pages in now. I think I hate Lex now. I always thought that a part of him genuinely cared about Chess, but boy was I wrong. He's just out for himself like everyone else in her life, except Terrible and Elder Griffin.

There is a scene where she goes to see him to ask him to call off his assassin. He starts to seduce Chess and she tells him she won't sleep with him because she loves Terrible. His response? (view spoiler)

Sorry. Had to rant. I was so mad over that scene. I was afraid Chess was going to do something stupid and at the same time my heart was breaking for her because of all the negative thoughts she was having. It certainly was a powerful, emotion-inducing scene for me. One minute I was ready to cry, the next I wanted to do bodily harm to a fictional character!

And Elder Griffin. He does seem to genuinely care for Chess, but I have to wonder what the new developments are going to do to their relationship. Will he ever be able to look at her the same? Will she ever be comfortable with him again or will she always be feeling guilty?

Jeann (Happy Indulgence)  (happyindulgence) | 1151 comments I'm in page 127 at the moment so I haven't reached as far as that yet but I am finding this a little more dry than the previous books. Need to catch up and get into it again.

Jeann (Happy Indulgence)  (happyindulgence) | 1151 comments Page 208 where Chess has fainted from taking too many drugs. It's kind of disturbing how much she relies on them to get through her day to day life. Oh I have to talk to Elder Griffin, let's snort some speed. I have to go and face Terrible about Lex visiting, let's swallow 2 or 3 cepts, plus another one for posterity. I just faced a terrible violent crime scene, let's take some Oozers and a Panda. I really hope she gets this thing under control, and hoping that her fainting was a catalyst for doing this.

Plus I remember Terrible being concerned about her drug use a few books back, fair enough he doesn't want to interfere with her life but hopefully him being present will make her rely on it a little less.

Josie | 1961 comments You're right Jeann, she is so reliant on them (view spoiler)
Although it's always been there, I felt it really came to the front where it cannot be ignored in this book. I think it's going to become more and more destructive and will probably have to get much worse before Chess gets better.

Jeann (Happy Indulgence)  (happyindulgence) | 1151 comments It's crazy, throughout the series she is exposed to people in Downside who have suffered and even died from overdose, and I think in this book it really brings it to the forefront. It's always a niggling feeling in the back of her mind but it hasn't really affected her until now. Interestingly, I don't think Terrible has ever used and he's very tolerant of her. I think he'll be the one that starts moving her away from it.

Jeann (Happy Indulgence)  (happyindulgence) | 1151 comments Finally finished it, I think the reason why it didn't captivate me throughout the book is that there wasn't a clear plot or mission throughout the whole book, as with previous books. There was a lot of things happening here and they weren't all necessarily to do with the mission.

Also, I'm a little tired of Chess stuffing up everything. Beforehand, she was sad about Terrible and involved in some really dark magic but here she didn't really have an excuse to take so many drugs that she OD'd. It just seems like she keeps on making wrong decisions, ie. going over to Lex's place.

I agree with you Christine how Lex just tried to use her and dragged her down even further. It's really rotten of him to do that to Chess, especially hitting her where it hurts (and knowing it). That's a clear reason why she ended up with Terrible instead. Terrible's such a good man, just forgave Chess for that.

Elder Griffin, that loss of friendship really makes me sad. He was really the good in her life but he really can't forgive her for not upholding the Churches values. That scene at the end was really cold and held the finality that it cannot be repaired. Although, if it wasn't for that, she would have lost Terrible, and they wouldn't be where they are today.

Speaking of Terrible, he really does make you melt from the things he says doesn't he? This book was the first time we got to see them really being together and sticking up for each other.

Josie | 1961 comments Yeah, Chess can be so frustrating!

I thought the situation with Elder Griffin was so sad. The thing is, I can understand why he's disappointed in Chess but maybe this isn't the last we see of Elder Griffin. I feel like something's building, something to do with the Church.
I thought Stacia Kane did such a good job with the storyline though (I mean EG and Chess). You see the loss of relationships a lot in books and the pain they cause but very little on friendships which can be just as if not more painful.

Christine | 850 comments Finally, I found some time to get in here and post some thoughts. I agree you, Jeann, that this one just didn't grab me quite like the others. I still had enough emotional moments that felt like my guts were being ripped out, so it stilled earned five stars from me. I think it was that the mystery wasn't quite as tight in this one, not quite as concrete. But all of the other elements were still there.

And Josie, I like what you say about the relationship with Elder Griffin, and the significance of non-romantic relationships in our lives. Even though he may never look at Chess the same way again, he is still willing to keep her secret. He's sacrificing his career to protect her. And I agree that something is building with the Church. At the very least with Chess' relationship with it. The Church demands absolute obedience. But Chess has broken the rules. Now Elder Griffin is breaking the rules to protect her. What happened to those absolutes? What happened to Facts are Truth? If Elder Griffin is willing to bend the rules for Chess, what else might be going on? When will any of this register with Chess? Despite her drug addiction, she is a very smart person who can put connections together and think on her own. How long before she starts to think about these things? How long until more things happen to make her question? If she can turn things around and lift some of the drug haze surrounding her, I think she just might start wondering about these things. But I guess we'll have to wait and see.

Christine | 850 comments On Terrible. I've been thinking a lot about him and his relationship with Chess. In almost any conversation about this series one thing becomes obvious: We love Terrible. Many of us see Terrible as Chess' salvation. But I've noticed a disturbing trend. Chess' drug usage has increased in proportion to her relationship with Terrible. Think about it. I'd say that in the first two books we were presented with a high-functioning addict. Chess was downright obsessive-compulsive about her drugs. She knew how many she had taken and when, knew just how long she could wait until the next dose. Knew what drugs to take in what combinations so they wouldn't have too negative of an impact on her work. Sure she was a drug addict, but she seemed to have some control over it. Or as much control as an addict could have.

Then she started to let Terrible in. Started to allow herself to be vulnerable. It seems to me that most of the times her drug taking has really gotten out of hand has usually been in response to Terrible, often indirectly: worrying about what Terrible might think or do, what someone else might think of or do to Terrible, what will happen when Terrible realizes she's trash and leaves her. She has always used the drugs to numb herself from memories and emotions. For someone like Chess, allowing herself to become close to anyone else has to be the scariest thing she's ever done. Just the kind of things someone like Chess wants to hide from, bury herself in her drugs and not deal with. It's almost as though as she gets closer to Terrible, she also goes deeper into her addiction. Once again to hide from emotions she never learned to deal with.

At the end of the last book, I thought she had reached a turning point in her life. She decided she would rather stay who she is and deal with the dirt of her life because that's where Terrible is. I thought, Finally! But then in this one she seemed even more out of control. But then, on top of her relationship with Terrible, she had her relationship with Elder Griffin at stake. At this point it's almost like the two closest relationships in her life are the driving force of her addiction.

How will that shape what's next? She does seem to gradually be coming to terms with her relationship with Terrible. She seemed at the end of this one to even be willing to finally put that ahead of all else. While she regrets losing Elder Griffin, she still has Terrible.

Another thing is we only see Terrible through her eyes. She sees him (usually) as not judging her for her addiction. And yet.... in the last book he didn't want to have sex with her when she was flying high. Wanted to make sure when he's with her, she knows who she's with. And I read it as part of his real anger with her relationship with Lex was also all the free drugs Lex was giving her, allowing her to bury herself even deeper. So while he's never asked her to stop, he knows it's not good for her. Probably knows it's only a matter of time before it kills her, if she continues like she has in the last two books. He's willing to accept that part of her to be with her. But how many near overdoses can he take? How long can you watch the one you love destroy themselves before you do take action and try to convince them it's time to change?

The ending of this book gave me hope that Chess is turning that corner, finally becoming comfortable in her relationship with Terrible. That she even realized the drugs were getting out of control. I'll just keep my fingers crossed that maybe this time it's true. See, even I am willing to keep giving her chances!

Jeann (Happy Indulgence)  (happyindulgence) | 1151 comments I totally love your insight about Terrible and Chess's drug use! I do hope the author will bring about a resolution to her drug problem, because if she's gotten to the point of OD'ing you know that's really dangerous.

I finally reviewed it here:

Christine | 850 comments I hear there is a Terrible POV in the works to hopefully be released by Christmas. That will fill a little bit of the gap to the next book.

Jeann (Happy Indulgence)  (happyindulgence) | 1151 comments Wow that would be amazing! Let me know if you hear anything

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