Narrator: Bahni Turpin
Series: Downside Ghosts #5
Published by Blackstone Audio, Del Rey on June 26, 2012
Genres: Dystopia, Urban Fantasy
Length: 12 hours 58 minutes
A DEADLY HIGH
Magic-wielding Churchwitch and secret addict Chess Putnam knows better than anyone just how high a price people are willing to pay for a chemical rush. But when someone with money to burn and a penchant for black magic starts tampering with Downside’s drug supply, Chess realizes that the unlucky customers are paying with their souls—and taking the innocent with them, as the magic-infused speed compels them to kill in the most gruesome ways possible.
As if the streets weren’t scary enough, the looming war between the two men in her life explodes, taking even more casualties and putting Chess squarely in the middle. Downside could become a literal ghost town if Chess doesn’t find a way to stop both the war and the dark wave of death-magic, and the only way to do that is to use both her addiction and her power to enter the spell and chase the magic all the way back to its malevolent source. Too bad that doing so will probably kill Chess—if the war doesn’t first destroy the man who’s become her reason for living.
My Initial Reaction…
Stacia Kane sure knows how to put you through an emotional ringer! By the time I was done with Chasing Magic I’m pretty sure I’d experienced every single emotion possible – happiness, frustration, anger, fear, sadness, disappointment, arousal, surprise, excitement, and for the first time in this series a bit of hope.
I’ve said it with every single book in this series and Chasing Magic is no different – Bahni Turpin nails it! At this point, I don’t know if I could even finish the series if they changed narrators because Bahni Turpin IS Chess, she IS Terrible, she IS Lex and every other character I’ve come to know and love (or hate). She’s definitely an A++ narrator!
Oh Chess! Why must you be so colossally damaged? She does things that make you want to just reach into the book and shake her – her using continues to be a problem in Chasing Magic and then there’s her extremely complicated relationship with Terrible. You can’t help but worry she’s going to ruin it – ruin HIM – because she’s just so screwed up. But I can’t hate her. Can’t even begin to hate her because she’s so incredibly down on herself. She breaks my heart over and over – yes, she’s screwed up, but so much of that is BECAUSE she doesn’t love herself. This fact was made so incredibly vivid in Chasing Magic – and it was so hard to see happening. Chess takes some hard hits in Chasing Magic, one in particular that I did NOT see coming and am still a bit wounded from myself. Poor Chess! But, for the first time ever in this series, I really do think something has changed and Chess FINALLY has a chance. FINALLY I actually have hope for her to have some sort of HEA in this messed up world.
And then there’s Terrible. I guess we all love him right? So what else is there to say – except that you’ll love him 100 times more my time you finish Chasing Magic? I wish he saw himself more clearly – saw what we see, what Chess sees, because even though he’s way more together than Chess, way stronger, he’s got a whole ton of insecurities and they break my heart all over again. He sure knows how to love with 100% of himself though and if anyone can bring Chess out of her cycle it’s gonna be Terrible.
Then there’s Lex. I don’t know how most people feel about Lex in this series – but I like him… and damn it! I feel sorry for him too! (Why must I feel so badly for every character I love in this series?) The thing about Lex is – he jokes around and womanizes (is that a word?) – but I don’t believe it for one minute. Just like Chess uses her drugs to shield herself, and Terrible his fierce strength, Lex uses his could-give-a-care attitude. Stacia hasn’t confirmed it for us yet in so many words – but I JUST KNOW that poor boy loves Chess and it’s killing him to see her with Terrible. Is he right for Chess? No. But do I wish he could find happiness – and that somehow that could involve not destroying Chess’s world? Yes please. Please?
Although the story in Chasing Magic, like in all the Downside Ghosts books is fantastic, it’s not memorable for me because I’m just so caught up in the characters. I feel like you could replace the story I just read with any other mystery (and it could be crap, honestly) and if the characters were still having the same interactions they had, I would probably still love Chasing Magic. So it’s really just a bonus that the story is pretty fantastic.
Unlike most Downside Ghosts stories – there’s really just one big bad magical problem. Chess isn’t working a case for the Church (all though things are definitely happening there – but I’ll leave it at that). All over Downside people are going crazy – like they’re being possessed and they can’t be killed. Are you thinking what I’m thinking? Magical Zombies!! So it wasn’t quite zombies in the technical sense – no brain eating… but the concept is there. And of course, Chess has to figure it out and try to save the day. The other BIG, HUGE THING going down is Lex… he’s got plans and step one involves Terrible. I’ll leave it at that, but I have to say – Lex’s plans caused me more anxiety than all the magic because it involved Terrible and I care way more about him than hordes of faceless people.
As usual Chasing Magic was an emotional roller coaster, spiced up with loads of magic, action, and sex. The only bad thing? I’m now officially caught up on this series and have NO IDEA when then next book is coming!!