As much as I love Terrible (who doesn't?) and am very much invested in seeing his and Chess' relationship work, it is Chess, herself, that keeps bringing me back to this series. She's so very smart, but also so very much messed up. She uses drugs to deal with the pain in her life, both from memories of her past and in the present. She's just extremely fascinating to me, and I like seeing the world through her eyes no matter what she is doing - from hanging out in Downside with Terrible to doing her job for the Church.
In this book Chess must deal with a contaminated drug supply making its way through Downside and turning people extremely violent. Terrible is by her side through most of book as they figure out who is behind these drugs and why. We also learn more about the awful consequences of the sigil Chess used on Terrible. Chess is desperate to find a way to fix it.
Chess is working really hard at not messing up her relationship with Terrible, but neither is perfect, and they have a long way to go. Though, I do think most of the conflict in their relationship falls on Chess' side. There, of course, is the whole drug addiction thing. Terrible never gives her any ultimatums - the drugs or me - but he also wants Chess' mind completely present when they are together. Lex also shows up a bit and even offers a compromise in his own messed up way. One scene involving Lex and Chess had me begging Chess to stop. Oh man, it was intense. But this book really had some great moments between Chess and Terrible. One of Terrible's declarations, especially, was very sweet and aww inspiring.
I really can't recommend this series enough. It has the most creative world building and plot, and the most absorbing characters. Go! Read it!
ARC provided through NetGalley.