|AMAZON | KINDLE|
Heroine: Chess Putnam – Drug Addict, Witch
Hero: Terrible – Muscle for Bump, Dangerous
There may be some spoilers from the first four books and Chasing Magic.
Dark and gritty is the only way I know to describe the incredibly, well-written Downside series. I would also have to say that Stacia Kane has guts. She has created a fascinating world that will suck you in and spit you out.
Downside is in trouble. Someone is distributing drugs tainted with ectoplasm causing people to become bespelled Zombies. This is not a case given to Chess by the Church. Both Chess and Terrible are working together on this horrifying case, hoping to save the residents of Downside. Chess and Terrible work side by side throughout the book which is the best part - we get a whole lot of Terrible. I can definitely dig.
Kane has a way with writing real characters with will real issues. Chess is so real, it’s hard to read sometimes. She continues to pop pills to cope and numb her pain. Swallowing Cepts (pills) and snorting speed are her vices. She claims she has it under control but also admits that she pushes the limits with her drug use. I feel afraid and worried for Chess because of her drug addiction. I hope that one day she will find it in herself to want to quit doing drugs. I was frustrated with Chess in this book, more than the former books. I was hoping for some character growth and less “I’m not good enough” from her. Yet, she continues to berate and doubt herself over and over, to the point I wish I could shake or smack her back to her senses.
She was still who she was, after all. A junkie, a liar, someone who didn’t know how to have a relationship, someone who didn’t deserve whatever happiness she managed to find. Someone terrified that she was going to fuck this up like she did everything else.
Chess is a fighter. I’m hoping that with the closeness her and Terrible found in Chasing Magic, it will help with her constant worry of not being good enough for him.
I’m just as addicted to Terrible as Chess is to her pills. He may not be pretty, and he may live on the wrong side of town working for a drug lord, but he is loyal and he loves Chess immensely. It makes me glad Terrible is starting to press for more in the relationship beyond their invisible boundaries. Terrible is one of those people who is smart but underestimated. He doesn’t say much but, when he speaks, I hang onto every word. And sometimes his words are so beautiful they make me melt.
“Shit. You so fuckin pretty, Chessie. True thing. So … ain’t even can breathe sometimes.”
Lex played a significant role in the book. I have always liked him in the other books, but he irritated me in CM. I know he has feelings for Chess, and doesn’t like the fact that she dumped him for Terrible, so he gives her a hard time and pushes the limits with Terrible. This little triangle that once was but now isn’t really hasn’t gone away. I was glad to see Terrible finally put his foot down on Chess’s friendship with Lex. And when Terrible claimed Chess as his, it was a heart stopping, heart in throat scene that showed how fiercely he loves Chess.
Some things in the past just don’t stay in the past. I didn’t see the twist coming with the incident between Chess and Elder Griffin. I felt sad for Chess and then maybe a bit resentful towards Elder Griffin. I’m interested but worried to see how this plays out in future books.
Even though the mystery was interesting, the story moved a little slow at first. Once I hit the halfway mark, it picked up and moved along at a faster pace where I couldn’t put the book down. The ending did feel a little drawn out but the moment between Terrible and Chess, before they went into battle, was well worth it.
"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."
Overall, I really did enjoy this book with all the great scenes and lines between Terrible and Chess. This couple makes this series rock. And of course, I will automatically buy the next book in the series!
Thoughts While Reading: