Raising Fire by James Bennett (Book Review)
Ben Garston is back . . . and feeling less than fantastic.
To be fair, life isn’t exactly treating him all that well. He’s lost everything he once held dear, including the love of his life. Still, he did at least escape being dragged into hell by a malevolent spirit bent on total destruction. So there is that.
Now Ben just wants to drink, and forget, and drink some more. But he can’t. Not yet.
Because someone is stirring up trouble. Someone who wants to wake the sleepers, and watch the realm of mythology come crashing into the modern day.
Only Ben can stop them. The world will burn if he fails – and that’s the last thing he needs on his conscience.
Every once in a while I come across a writer whose work is so powerfully written, so challenging and so beautiful that I am simply left spellbound at the God-given gift that has clearly been bestowed upon that individual. David Mitchell, Salman Rushdie, David Foster Wallace, Alan Moore, Neil Gaiman, and RJ Barker are all names that come to mind whose genre bending exemplary work have had a profound and lasting impact on my life.
James Bennett is one of those writers. His incredibly beautiful, historical, mythological and poetic story about Red Ben Garston, the last dragon, the lore that keeps him alive , his damsel in distress, and his struggle to survive, just may be one of the most unique creations in the fantasy genre. Far from the urban fantasy it is marketed as, I found myself going back to certain sections in disbelief, just to re-read the beautiful abstract prose.
James writes fantastic thrilling action sequences, and everything in this sequel to the excellent Chasing Embers is ramped up a notch. However, if you come to the series expecting Jim Butcher or Kevin Hearne, you will be disappointed. This is literature in its finest form. It will challenge you, make you think, make you laugh and make you cry, but more than anything else, it will make you NEED to know how it all ends for Ben Garston in the third instalment.