Originally posted at Paperback Wonderland.
Okay, this is probably the darkest urban fantasy I have read yet BUT it's making me flail around like a 12 year old fangirl because
First of all, Chess is such a damaged character - that isn't unusual in urban fantasy, everyone in the genre seems like they're a pluck of guitar strings away from becoming a country song: momma didn't want me, daddy left, world is rough, my lady left me for my brother and now my dog died - you know the deal. What is different is that we actually see Chess not simply toughing it up. Oh, we see plenty of male characters in UF who go for the booze, but that has a long tradition of not being seen as really a flaw in male protagonists, there's that Hemingway concept that dating the bottle is as manly as Ron Swanson.
Female characters, however, usually just move on if they're ~strong female characters~, meaning they kick a lot of ass but they're so hurt inside, they just need the love of a good man, etc.The love of a good man is all very well but Chess uses drugs.
There isn't one single character who is actually a nice person in this and yet it was impossible not to care about them.The old gangster talk is delightful (I never thought I'd say this) and though they usually don't say much it's all there - this book is a great example of show not tell.
Another thing this book did well: the world building. Damn, I raise my glass to Stacia Kane, that was wonderfully written.
I can't believe it took me so long to get into this series, but YAY, that just means I get to read a bunch of them without stopping for such trifling things such as food, water, or sleep!And now on a less serious, more fangirly note: I hope for a lot more of Chess making Terrible blush in the next ones because those two, omg!!