Chasing Embers by James Bennet


From the publisher: “Behind every myth, there’s a spark of truth…

“There’s nothing special about Ben Garston. He’s just a guy with an attitude in a beat-up leather jacket, drowning his sorrows in a downtown bar. Or so he’d have you believe.

“What Ben Garston can’t let you know is that he was once known as Red Ben. That the world of myth and legend isn’t just a fantasy, as we’ve been led to believe. And he certainly can’t let you know the secret of what’s hiding just beneath his skin…

“But not even Ben knows what kind of hell is about to break loose. A centuries-old rivalry has just resurfaced, and the delicate balance between his world and ours is about to be shattered.”

This was a great idea for a story – legendary creatures are real, but they’ve been in hiding (many in plain sight) for centuries. The author did quite a good job of making the idea plausible, too (we are definitely so bombarded by make-believe in TV and movies that we are often blinded to the truth, etc.). And it was a decent read. The writing could be quite beautiful at times, really evoking that sense of the fantastic, of magic.

Unfortunately, I felt that Chasing Embers dragged like a sled in tar in far too many spots. It was one of those books that got to the “Is it over yet?” stage for me. There were still nuggets of greatness dispersed throughout the story, but they weren’t enough to fully keep my attention. I found myself putting it down and not really wanting to pick it back up. Bummer, because I love the idea and parts of the story, but I still can’t give it a high recommendation.

Honestly, it was the cover that sold me on this book. I was completely intrigued when I saw the dragon tail and the tag line, “Not all stories are made up…” Kudos to the cover designer!

Thanks to Orbit Books and NetGalley for the free ebook copy of this novel. 🙂


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