Chasing Embers by James Bennett

Chasing Embers by James Bennett
Series: Ben Garston #1
Published by Orbit on September 6, 2016
Genres: Dragons, Fantasy
Pages: 464
Format: ARC
Source: NetGalley
Purchase on: Amazon// Barnes & Noble// BookBub
Add to: Goodreads // StoryGraph

I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

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.
Behind every myth, there's a spark of truth...


Dragons? Who doesn’t love dragons? Then, you add in dragons in the modern world? I couldn’t get my hands on this fast enough! Sadly, Chasing Embers by James Bennett didn’t live up to the hype I had built up in my head. It’s good, definitely worth three stars, but not as exciting or fun as I expected. It took perhaps a good 50% before it got to the point where I was like okay, I need to know what happens next and cannot put it down!

One of the biggest flaws I had with Chasing Embers, was also one of the things that I came to really enjoy: Ben’s constant introspection. His narration is one filled with self pity, and it’s understandable with everything he has had to endure in his life. It is also one of the easiest ways to get information out to the readers. But, it’s still so droll having it go on for pages instead of simply seeing action happen. I understand he doesn’t want to take action, but a story needs action to compel the plot forward and I think this one had a bit too slow of a pace for the casual reader. As I said earlier, it wasn’t until I was nearly halfway through the novel that the pacing finally picked up and I was sucked in. Most readers will not have that same patience, I’m afraid.

However, thanks to the introspective narrative, Bennett gives us incredible details about how this modern world works alongside the world of myths. He has a strong world built and it’s one I’d love to explore further. I think since this was the first book in the series, that is the reason for the absolute complete influx of overwhelming information that makes the narrative dull at the start. He needs to get his world built and make the reader feel as though they have their feet firmly planted in it. Hopefully, book two of the series will bypass the need to give all this extreme backstory and be much more active.

Something I absolutely LOVED though, was Rose. She was the shining star and character of this entire novel, which is a shame because we hardly see her. I desperately hope we get more of her in the second novel in the series. It was so incredibly refreshing to see a female love interest actually stand up for herself and essentially say f**k you to the hero. To walk away because she deserves better and won’t accept someone who cannot be honest with them, who hurts them on purpose. She was amazing and I wish more authors would write women like Rose.

Chasing Embers by James Bennett had a slow start but definitely laid down strong foundations for a compelling series. With the heavy world building out of the way in book one, the next one is sure to offer a better paced story that will be able to focus more on the already interesting characters introduced in book one.


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