****** (6 out of 6)
cover - love this cover. love all the covers. I like the tattoo inked on her, the colors, everything.
I have eagerly waited for each of the novels in the Downside series ever since I read the first book, Unholy Ghosts. Everytime I finish reading one of these books, I'm already feining for the next book. Can't get enough. Chasing Magic was no exception. What's weird, is that I am enjoying things in this series that I usually roll my eyes at in other novels - angst, the does he or doesn't he love bit, the odd decisions that Chess makes - and it's all due to the skill of Stacia Kane's characterization. What I get frustrated with in other books just works in this series.
In this book - Chess is continuing with her spiral of drug use, trying to keep things hidden and alternately riding the highs and lows of her relationship with Terrible. In keeping with her addicted personality and background, she has some serious insecurities - both as a partner and as a human being. But the one thing she's always been proud of is her work, and even that is threatened because of a past decision, and everyday because of her addiction.
There's a bad drug being passed around in the territory where she lives, people are having some really bad reactions. When Chess and Terrible start to dig a little, they find out that it's further reaching than they first thought. Even people in Lex's side of town are dropping. As things progress, her relationship to Terrible is threatened, Lex threatens Terrible, one of her relationships at the Church changes, and things get very dangerous very fast.
Kane does a wonderful job of producing a book with many layers - the plots and subplots, the relationships between Chess and Terrible, Chess and Lex, Lex and Terrible, etc. Usually I don't want to read too much of the relationship side of things, but because of the way Kane presents things, it all goes hand in hand seamlessly. It's brilliant the way she writes the relationship between Chess's personal life and her professional life, her insecurities and the decisions she makes. You can't help rooting for her, and she's easy to relate to because she make some poor choices and is far from perfect. I also enjoy the way her drug use is weaved in throughout the novel - it's a huge part of her life, and so it makes sense to me to read all the times she grabs a couple pills, bumps a line, craves a bump, worries about her stash - it's all a part of her and her daily life.
Those who enjoy the not so goody two shoes type of heroine will enjoy this - it's refreshing to read a character who is so flawed and yet functions, who goes through life sometimes in a fog sometimes just high, yet is still trying to do the best she can, with what she's capable of. It's a different world in the Downside, and all the characters reflect this, with their speech patterns, their behaviour and their acceptance of each other. Stacia Kane has done a great job at portraying each character, with all their quirks, flaws, good points and bad points.
I am now eagerly waiting for book #6.