First, I have to say how much I love this series. There is so much that is fantastic about it - from Chessie with her drug addiction and emotional instability, to Terrible with his hardcore non-hero status and his love for her, to Lex with his humor and his sexiness, to the world of the Church and Downside. Honestly, as far as I'm concerned these books are poetry for the soul. For a book lover there is nothing better.
Now, I'm not going to go all spoilery on you. Chess is, as usual a mess of angst and insecurity magnified by her need to drown out the horrors she's endured in her life. Terrible is dark, dangerous and .... well, I have me a soft spot for yon Terrible, dig? ... heh. And then there's Lex. Every time he makes an appearance, I'm seduced. The story is exciting and intense, the ending both powerful and worrisome.
Poor Chess doesn't have an easy time of it in this book. But then again, when has her life been easy? Despite the drugs that fuck her up, despite her fears which fuck her up, despite her getting in her own way in so many ways, she still keeps fighting. It's heartbreaking and inspiring.
Stacia Kane creates a world that is so visual, so complex, so fascinating you can't help but be drawn into it. You will feel everything Chessie feels - her pain will be your pain - and you'll think about her long after you finish the book. This series is unique and brilliantly written. If I could give this book 100 stars, it would have it. It left me emotionally drained and yet intensely satisfied. 6 Perfect Stars - my highest rating.