Chasing Magic - Stacia Kane 3.5 Stars


This is my least favorite of the Downside books so far, and it's because of Chess, not the writing or plot. I still love the way Kane writes and the world she has created, but I got really sick of Chess this time (well maybe sick isn't the right word...more like wrung out).

Of course there was a plethora of trouble occurring in Downside, and of course Chess was expected to solve any magical issues, and of course they somehow affect her legitimate working life. Does Chess come through for Downside? Does she manage to make it through one more crisis without being found out by the Church?

I'm ready to see more growth in her this far into the series. Last book there were leaps and bounds made with her realizing things about her relationship with Terrible, and her life in general, but this entire book felt like one long winded I-don't-deserve-to-be-happy spiel. It felt like damn near every paragraph had her reaffirming that she was a junkie and had so many issues from her childhood. We got glimpses last book about some of the abuse she suffered, and I expected more of the same this time, but we aren't given any further insight to the horror in her past that made her what she is presently. I want to see that. I want to see her begin to want to heal instead of numb herself. I want to see her do something other than what she's been doing for so long. I've known a couple people like her in my time, and I couldn't keep them....they're so heavy and nothing was ever going to change their idea about what they deserve, and eventually I had to cut them out in order to maintain my own world. I agree with her about wondering if Terrible would stick around, but unlike her, I think he will. He's great for her, and I did love that in the end she made more progress with her relationship. But....I'm getting so weighed down by her hatred of herself. I want to shake her, or make her go to counseling, or treatment, or something. Just give me some relief because she is wearing me out with my desire to save her.
~~~Sobs rode beneath them, choking, hopeless sobs. The kind she recognized. The kind she'd learned a long time ago wouldn't do any good at all.~~~

On to some of the other aspects of this book; I didn't see the Elder Griffin debacle coming. I don't even know what to say about that whole plot line actually. I was really sad for Chess, and I was really sad for him for giving up what he did, and then being so resentful about it. To make that choice and have the reason for that choice no longer be important to you would be awful. Another thing that started to really nag at me this time was the lack of other Church presence in Downside during such an event. I didn't get their not being there during the Dreamthief craziness, and I didn't get how at least someone wasn't aware of all the magic and/or ghosts suddenly permeating the area. This didn't annoy me that much, but I definitely thought about it more than in the other books.

All in all I still loved this book--how could I not--but I'm very ready for more, and I have complete faith in Stacia Kane's ability to give me that.