Review: Chasing Magic by Stacia Kane (Downside Ghosts #5)


Chasing Magic by Stacia Kane (Downside Ghosts #5)Chasing Magic (Downside Ghosts #5)
Stacia Kane
Published: June 26, 2012 (DelRey)
Purchase at: Book Depository or Amazon

Review by: Chelsea

Rating (out of 5): 4.5 stars

Note: This review assumes you have read earlier novels in the Downside Ghosts series. If not, please see our review of the first book in the series, Unholy Ghosts.

Chess Putnam has always struggled with feeling unworthy. Having someone genuinely love her and tell her she matters is altering. She’s sure she’s living a lie with Terrible. A beautiful lie. He makes her feel something real, something True and she would do anything to keep him happy — and that means staying with him.

Before when faced with the possibility of losing him, Chess did the unthinkable and marked him with magic and killed the creature sent to ferry his soul to the City of Eternity. Now dark magic is sweeping Downside, turning dealers and street men into zombies set on murderous tasks. Terrible, as an enforcer, has to intervene, but the dark magic takes him over. Chess needs to find a way to correct what she’s done to him. To protect him, the way he protects her.

Because he matters. And maybe she matters a little bit, too, because Terrible says so.

For those who love delving into Chess’ anxieties, her difficulty accepting love and just how our Churchwitch’s mind works, Chasing Magic is a win. While Chess still is every bit the flawed heroine we’ve come to love — drugs and all — she’s also growing. She won’t always do the absolute worst thing imaginable (she’ll consider it), but she’ll still dig a deep hole that will have you muttering “Chess. Oh, Chess. No. No. No.”

And, really, would you have her any other way?

Expect epic relationship growth with Terrible, Lex causing problems, zombies, dark magic and Elder Griffin getting married.

Sexual content: Dirty sex — but she makes you work for it

6 Responses to “Review: Chasing Magic by Stacia Kane (Downside Ghosts #5)”

  1. Alison Robinson says:

    I’ve just read the first four books back-to-back and I love Chess and Terrible and Lex, OK I love everything.

    I have spent a lot of time reading all the books in a series back-to-back and the recaps that some authors feel the need to give really start to grate after a while – it is almost word-for-word the same in each book. I’d rather there was a “here’s what you missed in the previous books” prologue rather than feel that half the book is recapping what I read in the previous book(s). Sorry, that was a long-winded way of saying that Stacia Kane doesn’t do that – hurrah.

    Another thing that has put me off certain authors (Rachel Vincent and Richelle Mead I mean you) is that their heroines get progressively more abused and downtrodden and terrible things happen to them, if I read one more book where the hreoine falls in love only to find her love interest is under a curse/married/engaged/turned into a Strygi/etc I will scream. Chess is different. Chess has real problems which Stacia only alludes to, never explores or fully explains (which is more powerful). Chess self-medicates (a lot) and that hasn’t changed in the four books, she hasn’t miraculously seen the error of her ways. No, she keeps taking vast quanitities of illegal drugs to help her forget her horrible past. And Lex and Terrible are OK with that. Chess doesn’t progressively get mutilated (a la Riley Jensen)or see friends and family murdered, she has had a terrible childhood which influences how she acts and reacts but that’s a constant.

    Aynway, once I have refreshed my palate with Illegal Magic by Arlene Blakely and the new Sierra Dean book Keeping Secret (which arrived on my Kindle this morning) I look forward to reading Chasing Magic.

    • The beauty is Chess is her own enemy. While the other series you cite have outside forces beating the heroine down, more often than not Chess is doing it to herself. The constant internal war is what makes her such an engaging character.

      It’s one of my favorite series, too. 😀

  2. Mags says:

    In the fourth book, Sacrificial Magic, I really felt like Chess’s self-doubting internal monologue was too much. (Like she had me wishing for some Cepts to get through the book.) She kept going through the same thing as she did in all the previous books. The story going on outside of Chess’s head was so good, it was a huge distraction.
    Now, in Chasing Magic, her insecurities have shifted a little and it felt like something new. I enjoyed this one almost as much as the first one, which was a big relief. I was so afraid she was going to keep repeating herself I almost didn’t read this one.

  3. cindyg says:

    Get review!

  4. This became my favorite of the series. I love that Stacia Kane is staying true to Chess’s character, no matter how frustrating it is, and that Terrible is being more *ahem* demanding with his needs. great review!

  5. Alison Robinson says:

    Just finished the book, some awful things happened and some great things too. A great book, now if only the short stories were available in the UK on Kindle grrrr

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