Chasing Magic is the fifth book in Stacia Kane's Downside series, featuring Chess Putnam. I had heard a lot of good things about this series before I started reading it. I wasn't sure how much I would like the books because the main character is a drug addict, albeit a high-functioning one.
The world that Kane has created draws you in and Chess's faults make her human and relatable, even if a drug addict isn't normally someone you'd relate to. The latest book really tests Chess's relationships, and she really has to evaluate which relationships are really important to her and worth fighting for.
As usual, she ends up involved in things in Downside that aren't really in her official job description as a Churchwitch. Chess also works unofficially for her dealer, to help him keep a handle on magical trouble in his part of Downside, and that is what this book mostly revolves around. There is some big magical trouble in Downside. People are getting some bad speed and it seems to be turning them homicidal, with some help from some dark and ghost magic.
The mystery of this book was good, it had a lot of twists and turns and some heart-pounding action as well. It was hard to put it down!
The only thing that really jumped out at me in this book was Chess's negative self-talk was a little overwhelming. I understand where it comes from, and I think all of us have dealt with it ourselves. It just seemed like an excessive amount in Chasing Magic. I think Chess is on the verge of some big breakthroughs in her life, so I hope that is why there was so much inner dialog about how worthless Chess feels that she is. I would hope that we may start to see some of the breakthroughs in the next book and that Chess will start to see the value in herself. But, it's also possible that these are never going to be those kind of stories, she may never be a character that feels like she's redeemed herself.
All I know, is that I won't be missing the next installment in the Downside series!
I'm going to give Chasing Magic by Stacia Kane, 5 Stars.