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Review: Chasing Embers by James Bennett (Ben Garston #1)

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Chasing Embers by James Bennett // VBC ReviewChasing Embers (Ben Garston #1)
James Bennett
Published: Sept. 06, 2016 (Orbit)
Purchase: Book Depository or Amazon
Review Source: copy provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review 

Reviewed by: Beth

Rating (out of 5): 3 stars

Ben Garston drinks to forget—his life, his past, he romantic messes. All of which he has a lot to forget, since Ben is a dragon. One of the last remaining dragons, in fact, as the rest were all put into a deep sleep many, many years ago when a pact was signed between those now regarded as myth, and the humans they battled against. Those who remain, only one of each species, are called Remnants, and Ben is one of them. When Ben is attacked by an old enemy, claiming that the ancient pact is dead and that death and annihilation will be the result, he escapes and determines to find out what that means. What he finds out will put not only his life in danger, but that of every human being on the planet.

Chasing Embers demonstrates what our world might be like if all of those myths and fantastical creatures that have been written about for years on end were to actually be alive today. What if there was a reason there is only an occasional “possible sighting” of some strange beast? A sighting that manages to quickly be forgotten, or brushed aside as a hoax? Bennett does a fairly good job with the backstory, giving plenty of information without it feeling like it’s dragging down the story itself. While the world in the story is that of ours today, intertwining mythological creatures in a way that doesn’t totally bend reality could be a challenge, and it’s one that Bennett handles well.

The characters within the book are reasonably fleshed out, though I would have liked more information on the CROWS and their place. I may have missed it, but it struck me as odd that all the creatures were only allowed to have one Remnant, except for the trio of witches. I did like the interweaving of ancient Egyptian gods and goddess throughout, though.

I will say that the beginning of the book felt like it dragged on a bit for me. Not that it wasn’t interesting, but…it just felt a little bit slow. The latter half, however, certainly picked up pace and moved right along until the end. Overall, it was a good read, and I would like to read the next one when it comes out. Ben is an interesting character, one who has made his share (and then some) of mistakes, but does it out of what he sees as loyalty. Whether that loyalty stays true after the events of this book? Well, that’s the question, isn’t it?

Sexual Content: None

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