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Finding Magic (Novella) (Downside Ghosts) [Kindle Edition]

Stacia Kane
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: $0.99
Sold by: Random House LLC

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Book Description

Karen Marie Moning has called Stacia Kane’s Downside Ghosts series “dark, sexy urban fantasy at its finest.” Now, in this breathtakingly suspenseful eBook novella, Kane has written a prequel to her thrilling series. Before Chess Putnam was a magic-wielding Churchwitch, she was a student in the Church of Real Truth—with a keen sensitivity to magic, a strong rebellious streak, and a penchant for self-destruction. And in Finding Magic, a grisly ghost murder becomes Chess’s baptism of fire.
When eighteen-year-old Chess Putnam is offered the chance to train with a special team of investigators known as the Black Squad, she feels torn. She’s never been a team player and hates how one male Inquisitor condescends to “the new kid.” But at her first bloody crime scene, she gets a taste for investigation—and is hooked on the high. Though the seasoned Inquisitors consider the series of ghost murders random events, Chess starts to detect a pattern. Is a psycho killer summoning ghosts from the City of Eternity and using them as murder weapons? As Chess gets closer to the dark truth, she puts herself in grave danger and risks losing everything she’s fought so hard for.
Includes a special preview of Stacia Kane’s upcoming urban fantasy thriller, Chasing Magic!

Product Details

  • File Size: 1008 KB
  • Print Length: 120 pages
  • Publisher: Del Rey (June 4, 2012)
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0082XLZ3I
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #302,283 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Chess we haven't seen June 5, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
I wasn't sure what to expect from this prequel novella in the Downside series. I knew it would feature a young Chess, just getting started in the Church. I knew she would be untried and I knew she would already be damaged by her horrible childhood. What I didn't expect was how much she would be colored by hope; or how sad it would be to know what her future would hold.

Basically, the story follows Chess on her first real training mission. She's been studying with the Church for two years, but this her first foray out into the field. She must work with members of the Black Squad to solve a string of seemingly unrelated ghost-murders. The plot is interesting enough, but where I was affected was in how Chess was portrayed. She's so... earnest.

I've never had an overabundance of patience with Chess or her self-destructive behavior. But here, she is somehow both naive and jaded. She carries both hope and despair. And we see these defining moments in her life. The groundwork for the ill-fated tryst with Agnew Doyle we hear about in Unholy Ghosts. The first tendrils of a relationship with Elder Griffen. The feelings of communion with Downside. That first Cept. Her first glimpse of Terrible. It's a lot to take in. It makes me hurt for her. It makes me more sympathetic to where she ends up. And for that Stacia Kane is brilliant.

All that being said, I don't think this is a story for new readers. It's for fans who already think they know Chess, to show us just how much we didn't know. It's an important part of the Downside world, but it doesn't have the single most compelling element of the novels, and that's Terrible. He is the heart of the series for me, and his absence was felt.

One day, maybe, he'll get a novella of his own. A girl can hope, right?
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not for everyone April 17, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
If you love supernatural fiction, then you'll have run across Stacia Kane by now. While she's an excellent writer, her novels will turn off the light-weight readers who like their fantasy light and fluffy (like Twilight). The largest complaint I hear about her works concern the main character's intense drug usage and incredibly low self-esteem. Most people want the main character to be a little flawed, but not as deeply flawed as Chess. However, it's Kane's world, not the reader's. If you want to see into the depths of a character who is full of self-doubt and more than addicted to drugs, then give this series a try.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great glimpse of Chess' beginnings June 4, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Finding Magic is a great little slice of Kane's Downside Ghost series, a prequel showing Chess moving towards who she becomes during the series. Showing how she ends up being a Debunker, why she is drawn to Downside, what drives her to her addictions - and how she is already adept at living the lie that she is a normal person. It also shows her solving the puzzle, when she is getting her first taste of field work during her training with the Church of Truth, and as messed up as Chess is, her instincts are sharp and I love watching her put things together. And, since inquiring minds need to know, yes, there is an oh so brief glimpse of a bowling shirted someone who will become important to Chess in the future.

So Finding Magic is a decent short, one that fans of the series will appreciate, but also one that would serve as a fairly decent introduction to Kane's series.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Chess Is More Empathetic June 26, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I read these books like they are drugs...but my biggest problem with the books has always been Chess's drug use. Only in the last installment was I ever able to muster any empathy to her whatsoever. I hate the place that she is in, she is whiny, she doesn't deserve Terrible. (Who really is loveable and endearing as a character despite the lifestyle he leads). But in learning more about her background, I did feel a sorry for her. With "Finding Magic" I found myself really feeling for Chess and empathizing with her. "Finding Magic" is very much worth the .99 cents its being sold for right now. It is a nice length, fully fleshout out story. It shows us Chess and her life when she was just finishing up her Church training and trying to find which career to pursue with the Church. She is invited to train with the Black Squad but is treated like a know-nothing kid. Her ideas are pushed aside and she is patronized by her trainer Jillian time and again. What readers know, but Jillian and the Black Squad don't, is that Chess is one smart girl. She makes connections and figures things out despite everyone not believing her capable. In these aspects we can see the Chess we have come to know.

What I found most compelling about this novella wasn't the (very interesting) story of the ghost murders. It was watching Chess start with a sip or two of vodka to make it through the bad parts of her was seeing how the drugs hooked her at the was seeing her relationship begin with Elder Griffin. Most of all it was being privy to all of her inner turmoil. She is so afraid of being dropped by the Church and of being unworthy and disguarded. This is what remains of the abused, neglected girl she was before the Church took her in. It is absolutely heartbreaking.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Series October 23, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I didn't think I'd like the Downside books because I'm not generally interested in ghosts. The ghosts are just secondary though-- the real story is about the characters and the world they live in. Ms. Kane does an amazing job of world-building and character-building, plus her plots center around interesting mysteries that keep your attention and aren't full of holes.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars I love this series and this is great
This story takes place before Chess becomes a debunker. She has joined the church and is working her way through the training. I love this series and this is great backstory
Published 1 month ago by Oracle
5.0 out of 5 stars well done!
Stacia Kane again delivers an intense and tightly formed novella of an urban dystopian world filled with magic wielders and killer ghosts. Ms. Read more
Published 2 months ago by m4pax
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting back story
This novella has some interesting back story about Chess's early experience as a Churchwitch. It's not an especially sizzling story, but suited me just fine while I wait for... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Barbara Searles
5.0 out of 5 stars Best dollar I've ever spent :)
While I rarely read novellas and never consider them "required" reads, this one has proved that sometimes they are time and money well spent. Read more
Published 6 months ago by meigan
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
I love the series. This is a great look at Chess's history.
Published 7 months ago by Michelle Lande
5.0 out of 5 stars Downside is a winner
I can't say enough good things about this series. The heroine is functionally dysfunctional, it's amazing she still has a job because she's not the swiftest to find the answers,... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Downside
In my opinion there isn't one! Love these stories, characters, and locations! I will continue to look for more in the series!
Published 11 months ago by T. K. Gardinier
4.0 out of 5 stars Wait until you've read some of the series.
I liked this prequel. But I recommend that you get to know Chess before you find out how she became what she was. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Ashley
5.0 out of 5 stars Downside is my favorite fictional world
This may be the first story chronologically, but it will probably be most appreciated by people who are already familiar with the elaborate and fascinating world of Chess, the... Read more
Published 15 months ago by morehumanthanhuman
5.0 out of 5 stars finding magic a delicious read
I have missed reading about Chess' world and this novella was very satisfying. It really answers some questions the reader might have about her such as her drug addiction.
Published 17 months ago by retrostella
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More About the Author

Stacia Kane has been a phone psychic, a customer service representative, a bartender, and a movie theatre usher. Writing is more fun than all of them combined. She wears a lot of black, still makes great cocktails, likes to play music loud in the car, and thinks Die Hard is one of the greatest movies ever made. She believes in dragons and the divine right of kings, and is a fervent Ricardian. She lives outside Atlanta with her husband their two little girls.

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