I waited months in agonizing anticipation for this book. Terrible is one of my all-time favorite heroes. A story from his POV was almost more than my fangirl heart could take. And getting inside of his head was everything I hoped it would be. I love him even more –if that’s possible. As for the novella as a whole, I liked it, but something felt a little bit missing.
The story was well crafted and the plot was good. It sucked me right back into the Downside world and made me want to read the series all over again… so I could once again ride the wave of euphoria I felt when Chess and Terrible finally got together. And that –after I thought about it for awhile– was what I was missing here. I love how he loves her. It’s what makes him so damn amazing. I wish, though, that I could have felt what it was like to have that reciprocated through his eyes. I wanted him… happy… a constant theme for me as I read the entire series. I wanted him to win.
He does get a win here, though the victory is not with Chess, at least not the way it happens later in the series. No, here he prevails doing what he does best: working for Bump. Someone has killed one of Bump’s men, but even worse, someone is targeting his hookers, beating, raping, and leaving their broken bodies behind. Terrible has to figure out who is doing it and shut them down. The mystery is what keeps the book moving, but it’s really more of a vehicle to give us more of an insight into Terrible’s mind.
We learn a bit about his past, though we have to connect some of the dots ourselves. We get deeper into his connection with Bump and how he feels about his job. We get a glimpse of the women in his life. But most importantly, we are privy to his reflections about himself and his realization that he is in love with Chess. These were the best parts of the book. Stacia Kane delivered 100% on opening him up.
As you’d probably expect, the Downspeak is pretty dense here. After all, Terrible thinks the same way that he talks. As a result, it’s not a fast read, even though it’s not a full length book. You have to pay attention and think a little more about the words as you read. But it’s worth it to see what makes Terrible tick; to see Chess through his eyes; to see how he views himself. How can any reader not love him utterly?
Now, I am more anxious than ever for the next book. Right up.
*ARC provided by author for review