Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication Date: April 10, 2012
As a Debunker, Chess Putnam is used to investigating reports of suspected hauntings and sending ghosts back to the City of Eternity beneath the surface of the earth. What she isn't used to is having suburban housewives refusing to acknowledge the presence of ghosts in their homes. There are lots of reasons why someone might harbor a spirit, and none of them are good. At least Chess has Terrible on her side. But things are never as black and white as they seem, especially not when love is involved, and Chess finds herself making a decision she never thought she'd make.
Stacia Kane's "Home" is probably one of the best short stories I have ever read -- or at least one of the ones I have most enjoyed. There is always so much going on in the Downside Ghosts novels, so much action and adventure, that it is easy to forget how wonderfully vivid Kane's characters really are. Their relationships are complex and complicated; their emotions deeply felt. Yet, even though Chess and Terrible are what brings me back to Kane's books time and time again, Kane's masterful storytelling constantly shifts my attention to other things.
Then comes "Home." In this sweet, but not saccharine, short story we really get a chance to see Chess and Terrible when their lives are not burdened by trying to save the world. Chess is able to show some emotions that are not forced out by circumstance, and I like her the better for it. It was also nice to see her on a (mostly) routine job -- so often in the full length novels the jobs are just the tip of an apocalyptic iceberg!
4.5 of 5 stars
Review also appears on Goodreads; I purchased my copy from Barnes & Noble for Nook.