Reviewed by PizzyGirl
SERIES: New Canadiana #1
AUTHOR: Francis Gideon
NARRATOR: Kevin Chandler
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
LENGTH: 11 hours, 9 minutes
RELEASE DATE: March 1, 2017
A New Canadiana Novel
Cop-turned-bounty-hunter Gabe Dominguez is hired to capture firestarter Nat Wyatt. For a dragon-shifter like Gabe, apprehending Nat is easy, but transporting him involves more time, energy, and blood loss than he envisioned. An attack from a band of fairies, an out-of-control forest fire, and a showdown at an auction don’t faze Gabe, but Nat’s innocence might stop him entirely.
Since discovering his abilities, Nat’s lost a best friend, a boyfriend, and trust in his brother. Only his love of concerts and card games get him through life without a home. Rumors of the Judge, a giant dragon who once destroyed half of Canada avenging those he loved, provide Nat with hope of vindication. When Nat discovers his captor is the Judge, he thinks he’s finally caught a break. Through late-night conversations and a shared love of music, Nat tries to convince Gabe he’s not guilty.
Can Gabe continue his cutthroat lifestyle, or will he run away with his dragon hoard like he’s always longed to do? Can Nat escape his legacy, or will his be another spark snuffed out by people who don’t understand? The Oracle, the most powerful wizard in Canada, might be the only one who can provide answers.
Never Lose Your Flame was a good story. The characters were well developed and grew as their journey progressed. Gabe ended the story a much different man than he started, and his transformation was for the better. Nat was a bit different as he was ahead of Gabe as far as self realization was concerned, but he still grew towards his best self as the story unfolded. These men were good together, and though I did not always feel their connection as it was written, I believed it was possible.
The mystery around who wanted Nat and why was interesting. It was a bit slow to get moving and took a while for things to come full circle, but I never felt overly bored or like I wished the story would have moved faster. I kept trying to figure things out for myself but the author kept the information I needed just outside my grasp. I love when I cannot determine the ending until the end!
My favorite thing about this book was that world. The way the author set up the various species and the interplay between them was intricate without being overwhelming. The setting was futuristic but not unbelievable. I loved learning about magic and elementals and dragons and history. It was really well done and I can’t wait to read book 2.
With that being said, I think I will be reading the next book rather than listening to it in audio. Kevin Chandler had an easy to listen to voice, but his narration was simply a reading of the book. It took me a little while to get used to the narration since there was nothing to distinguish between the various characters. Gabe and Nat’s voices were so similar that I started off having a hard time knowing who was speaking and things were a bit jumbled. None of the emotion or tension was present and I feel that some of my issues with pacing may have been more related to the narration than the story. I will be revisiting this one in ebook format to make my final determination.
Overall, I recommend this one. It was a good, solid story set in a fascinating world.