James Bennett is a debut fantasy author currently living in Wales. Born in England and raised in South Africa and Cornwall, his travels have furnished him with an abiding love of different cultures, history and mythology. He’s had several short stories published internationally and draws inspiration from long walks, deep forests and old stones. Also the odd bottle of wine.
Behind every myth there is a spark of truth . . .
There’s nothing special about Ben Garston. He’s just a guy with an attitude in a beaten-up leather jacket, drowning his sorrows about his ex in a local bar.
Or so he’d have you believe.
What Ben Garston can’t let you know is that he’s also known as Red Ben. He can’t let you know that the world of myth and legend isn’t as make-believe as you think, and it’s his job to keep that a secret. And there’s no way he can let you know what’s really hiding beneath his skin . . .
But not even Ben knows what kind of hell is about to break loose. Because a centuries-old rivalry has just resurfaced, and the delicate balance between his world and ours is about to be shattered.
Something is hiding in the heart of the city – and it’s about to be unleashed.
A debut book is always a challenge to review, how much leeway do you give the fact its a first? The more time that goes by the less leeway is the answer, because debuts get better and better… Does this cut the mustard? yes… no… almost. This begins a series and its a series with loads of promise, so you need to read book one. But it has significant world setting/ building, and character development, i think as the authors writing develops across this series he will bleed this information out in the plot rather than some of the (as it felt) heavy drops of detail. I also think that there is a habit of getting just a bit carried away with some of the descriptive…. simple can some times be better than..”“‘The sword Fulk drew from the scabbard on his back was a guillotine on the barman’s words. The youth scuttled backwards, bottles and cocktail sticks crashing to the floor, panic greasing his heels.” .. i leave it to you to decide where he got carried away… and there are many examples…
It is well worth reading, the characters are well rounded and engaging, the plot draws you in, the bad guys are….well sufficiently bad…and the plot has plenty of depth, without the need to confuse the reader. Its a series with a significant enough amount of promise that i want the next book in the series (and im so busy with reading schedules that im happy to drop anything that doesn’t engage). I have a feeling that book 2 may see some progression in the descriptive (its a common debut book occurrence).
I give it a high 3/5 … James Bennett is a name to watch for the future.
1. Chasing Embers (2016)
2. Raising Fire (2017)
Winter Tales (2016)