This book is amazing. This series is phenomenal. The characters are so very deeply flawed: filled with insecurities, addiction, rage, lust and sorrow. But through that, they so are so very real. I read most of this book with a knot in my stomach. In turns, I felt hopeless and crushed, joyous and elated. Because that is what Chess felt. And Stacia Kane masterfully put me inside of her head.
The story picks up shortly after the ending of City of Ghosts
. Chess and Terrible are in love, but there are no guarantees for their future. And no one knows that better than Chess. Kane never takes the easy way out. It would be so satisfying to see Chess just begin to rebuild herself with the love of this amazing man. But the truth is, she is still Chess. Even though she sees Terrible for the gift that he is, what is just as important is how she sees herself: as unworthy of him. And with dread and inevitability, we watch her obsessive fears become a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Of course, there is much more happening in the book. Primarily, Chess is on a case from the Church which coincides with an investigation she has going on for Bump. Lex is back, bringing more complications. Chess faces danger from humans and ghosts alike. It's exciting and unpredictable. But the truth is, the internal conflict is far more interesting than the external one.
It's like watching a star explode: It's beautiful and destructive and you can't take your eyes off of it. And before I convince you that it's all heartwrenching sadness, remember that joy and elation I talked about earlier. It's not all one way or another. This book took my emotions on a roller coaster. When it was over, my heart was in my throat; I felt satisfied and exhausted; and I'm already dying to get back on the ride. If you have never read this series or if you gave up on it early, you are truly missing out. 5 stars.*ARC Provided by NetGalley