Book Review: Stacia Kane’s Chasing Magic

Posted August 9, 2012 by Kathy Davie in

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review: Stacia Kane’s Chasing Magic

Chasing Magic

in Paperback edition on June 26, 2012 and has 376 pages.

Explore it on Goodreads or Amazon.

Fifth in the Downside urban fantasy series revolving around Chess Putnam, a Debunker for the Church of Real Truth based in Triumph City.

My Take

It’s a clash of Chess’ world with an unscrupulous and vicious “entrepreneur” interspersed with her own personal problems.

Why didn’t Chess simply wait for the Squad?? Why hasn’t she done more research into how to help Terrible?? I can understand Chess wanting Lex to end it, to call off the assassin. But I don’t see why she succumbs to him. She claims to love Terrible. A very tense meeting with Lex that had my heart in my throat — you can tell from my writing! It’s odd how Chess is both so very strong and also so very weak. She just keeps screwing up in this story.

I do enjoy the particular language Kane has created for the Downsiders. I am so impressed by how consistent she is in the writing of it.

I couldn’t help laughing at the image Kane conjured up for me of the “uniform” the Elders wear. Kinda hard to take a man seriously wearing that.

The Story

The case of the Darnells reminds us of Chess’ professional purpose in life. A Debunker. An exorcist of ghosts or frauds. The attack also provides Chess with a strong desire for life. For Terrible. He is her strength, what enables her to push back against the dark magic trying to hold her.

There are weaknesses everywhere: Chess is worrying Terrible; Lex is forcing Terrible toward a decision; Elder Griffin adds to Chess’ worries; and, street men are dying all over the Downside. Men you would never suspect. And they’re almost impossible to stop, impossible to kill. Someone is creating an unkillable army.

A simple yes or no will affect Chess’ life forever.

The Characters

Chess Putnam is a Debunker with the Church of Real Truth. It’s her job to assess haunting claims by the public and either exorcise the ghosts or provide evidence of fraud. She’s strong in her magic and weak in her own esteem. The abuse she suffered in the foster care system has caused her to become dependent upon drugs. To chase away the nightmares, to ignore the horror of life, to float.

Terrible is Bump’s enforcer in the neighborhood where Chess lives, the Downside. And they’re in love. A love tainted by the rune Chess carved into him. That makes him weak. Bump is Lex’s enemy, runs his own territory, dealing drugs, pimping.

Lex is now in charge of his father’s territory. He’s also a former lover of Chess’ and a weak spot for Terrible who fears Chess turning back to him. Blue is Lex’s sister and she and Chess have become friends. A rare thing for Chess, having a female friend. Devil is Lex’s assassin and he will take advantage of Terrible’s weaknesses.

Elder Griffin, a.k.a., Thaddeus Aurelius Griffin, is Chess’ immediate supervisor and he was being promoted. Chess is so grateful for his pride in her. He’s also getting married to Keith Richard Freeling in a few days and is feeling quite nervous.

Edsel is a dealer in the Market and a friend of Chess’ with some critical information for her. Galena is his wife and she makes the charms and other magical basics her husband sells.

Marietta Blake is a girl from the Northside and loaded down with bags of speed she got from Razor. She seems to have had relationships with most of the men who’ve died: Yellow Pete, Ben, Samms. Kyle and Lindsay Blake are Marietta Blake’s parents. Kyle is KVB Shipping. A huge corporation making him worth billions. Carmichael appears to be Blake’s assistant.

Tagger is one of the new dealers imported from Baltimore. This Razor is claiming there are openings for enterprising men in Downside.

The Cover and Title

The cover is dark with a sparkling title. The blue-green-yellow lit-up city provides a busy backdrop to the close-up of the lower half of Chess’s face and the Church tattoo on her left shoulder

Yes, Chess is Chasing Magic throughout this story, trying to track it down.