An Ali Audiobook Review: Never Lose Your Flames (New Canadiana #1) by Francis Gideon and Kevin Chandler (Narrator)

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
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.
I thought this was a nice start to a new urban fantasy/paranormal romance series.  I liked the plot and the world that the author created.  It was interestingly done and I found it unique.  I was especially excited to see a dragon shifter.  I would love to see more of those.  There were some really great parts and some really cool characters.  (I especially liked the part with the little elemental children.)  Unfortunately there was too much detail and too many unnecessary scenes.  It felt like the author had a lot of great ideas and tried to put a bit of all of them in this story.  I think this would have been better to be a shorter book and different characters/plotlines to be added in future books of the series.  World building in an urban fantasy story is super complicated in my opinion, and can easily become too confusing to the reader if it’s not done just right.  This was close, but not quite there.
I liked both of the main characters for the most part but Nat was a little too nice in my opinion.  I struggled to understand how he could be so calm and sweet when he’s being taken against his will to some place really bad.  I understood his reasoning I guess but it still didn’t ring super realistic to me.  I had a very difficult time relating to anything he did.  There were some super interesting side characters that I’d like to learn more about in future books.
The romance is a very slow burn but that was a nice change.  I was good with that but these two were an odd mix for me and I didn’t really feel the connection until the very end of the book.
This story is narrated by Kevin Chandler and this was my first time listening to him.  Unfortunately the narration did not work for me at all.  His voice was very nice but it was like he was just reading the story in a monotone voice.  I repeatedly didn’t know who was talking because he did the same voice for everyone.  I could have gotten past that but his the lack of emotions in the character’s voices bothered me.  They both sounded so bored through throughout the story.  I was only able to make it about halfway through on audio.  I was interested in the plot so I ended up switching to the ebook and finished the story that way.
I felt this was an unique story that had a lot of potential.  I liked it enough to read the next book in the series and I’m hoping some of my complaints are resolved in that.  I recommend you try a sample of the audio to see if it works for you since it did not for me.
The cover is done by AngstyG and I thought it was pretty good.  It had a lot of brown did not stand out or catch my eye because of the monotone colors.  It was an accurate representation of the MC’s though.
Sales Links
Audiobook Details:
11 hrs 9 mins
Audible Audio, 12 pages
Published March 1st 2017 by Dreamspinner Press
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesNew Canadiana #1

By Scattered Thoughts

At over 50, I am ruled by my terriers, my gardens, and my projects. A knack for grubbing about in the woods, making mud pies, and tending to the injured worms, bugs, and occasional bird and turtle growing up eventually led me to working for the Parks. I was a park Naturalist for over 20 years, and observing Nature and her cycles still occupy my hours. From the arrival of Ruby-throated Hummingbirds in the Spring to the first call of the Snow Geese heading south in the Fall, I am entranced by the seasons. For more about me see my bio on my blog.

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