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Desdaemona (Desdaemona #1)

3.55  ·  Rating Details ·  215 Ratings  ·  42 Reviews
Jordan helps kids on the run find their way back home. He’s good at that. He should be – he’s a runaway himself.

Sometimes he helps the kids in other, stranger, ways. He looks like a regular teenager, but he’s not. He acts like he’s not exactly human, but he is. He treads the line between mundane reality and the world of the supernatural.

Desdaemona also knows the non-human
Kindle Edition, 418 pages
Published June 9th 2011 by Solaris Books (first published May 31st 2011)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Cat Russell  (Addicted2Heroines)
"They'd tempted fate, and here she came."

Brilliant! Macallan is a wickedly talented story teller that immediately pulled me in with his clever and engaging writing style. The story was well-constructed, full of action, intrigue, and numerous surprises that left no room for dull moments.

We are first introduced to Jordan, a man on the run. A survivor. He spends time aiding in the recovery of lost children and teens whenever and wherever he can.

In a world of Powers he's not the strongest or the fi
Experiment BL626
This book could have been a lot better. I had more excitement reading the book description than I did reading the book itself. Oh, there were exciting parts in the book but they were scarce. Most of the book was about the characters’ emo issues. *rolls eyes* It was not what I signed up for.

+ the characters

Jordan was the main character and the narrator. I didn’t mind how he deliberately kept the reader in the dark about his identity... at first. It was not until the middle of the book that I cam
Suzanne McLeod
Feb 05, 2011 Suzanne McLeod rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: urban-fantasy
I was asked if I'd read, and if I liked, to blurb Ben's book. So I read, and I LOVED, and so here's the blurb! :-)

"Ben Macallan masterfully weaves myth, magic and the mundane to create a world where dangerous supernaturals control the shadows in a superbly realized English landscape. With its deft plotting, evocative prose, and the unique pairing of Jay, the plucky, engaging narrator, with the cool, take-no-prisoners Desdaemona, Macallan’s tale is smart, witty, full of surprises, and grips unti
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Christen (Goldilox and Whimsify)
Jun 15, 2011 Christen (Goldilox and Whimsify) rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Christen (Goldilox and Whimsify) by: Cat Russell Embraces the Darkness
I'm not going to lie - I give the first two-thirds of this book two stars and the last one-third of this book five stars. So I'm averaging it to three and a half stars.

Jordan is a runaway - running from what we don't quite know - who is found by Desdaemona, Desi for short. She knows a little about him and also knows that he helps other runaways occasionally. She needs his help in finding her sister Fay, who disappeared while Desi was off becoming a daemon. Being a daemon means that Desi possess
Cami Brite
Nov 28, 2011 Cami Brite rated it really liked it
I really liked this one. The characters were strong, the adventure was fun and there is a lot of "British" language I definitely don't hear every day in the United States. And even after the end, I have questions...and hope that means there will be a sequel coming my way soon.
Jul 21, 2011 Denise rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2012
Enjoyable Urban Fantasy read - both the setting in England and the fact that it's narrated by a 17-yr-old boy rather than the kick-ass female main character make it somewhat different than most of the UF I've read. Looking forward to book 2!
Joshua Palmatier
Desdaemona is the debut novel (here in the US) for Ben Macallan. It's an urban fantasy, and most of you know that I generally don't read urban fantasy. I just don't get caught up in it. I received this book as an eARC before it was published and read at least half of it then. I bought the book when it came out and finished it up just now. Out of the urban fantasies I've read, I'd say that this one has a few qualities that will make it stick out in the urban fantasy field.

Here's the idea behind t
Jules Jones
Jun 14, 2011 Jules Jones rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A welcome return to dark urban fantasy for Chaz Brenchley, writing under the name of Ben Macallan. If that pen name sounds vaguely familiar, it's because Brenchley previously used it for the lead character in a much earlier novel; and his usage here is more than whimsy, because this is exactly the sort of novel that the hero of Dead of Light would write. Jordan's a runaway teenager who makes a habit of helping the lost, both other runaways and those who've simply strayed into the world of the su ...more
Dec 11, 2012 Jacqie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: didnt-finish
Ben Macallan is another pseduonym for Chaz Brenchley ( I believe he's got at least 2 more). He's using this name for a foray into urban fantasy.

I was willing to go along for the ride, but about 130 pages into the book I realized that I didn't have it in me to read through the next 200 pages, so I skimmed. I feel that was the right decision.

Basic premise: young man (or something more?) on the run is recruited by a girl (who's definitely more) to find the girl's missing sister. There is, of course
Aug 29, 2011 Rhonda rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012
Desdaemona follows the story of Jordan, on the run from his parents, who plan to make him immortal when he becomes of age. While on the run, he helps find other runaways--because who better to find a runaway than another runaway that knows all the best hiding spots and tricks? Enter Desdaemona, or Desi for short, who enlists Jordan's help to find her sister Fay, who has gotten herself mixed up with some very bad immortals. Jordan attempts to turn down her request, but, as he’s a horny teenager, ...more
Jan 20, 2016 Toastkat rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
I had really mixed feelings about this one. I hunkered down for another by-the-book urban supernatural fantasy with a kick-butt leading female, and though that's what I got, it was served up a little differently than I had expected. As readers, we are thrust into semi-modern day England and into the perspective of Jordan, a mysterious runaway with a reputation we slowly learn about through the consequences of the novel. For the lack of a better comparison, Jordan is the Watson to Desdaemona's Sh ...more
There are things that aren't human in the world, and while seventeen year old Jordan isn't one of them he can see and hear their signs, which a lot of people can't. He's also hiding from them, and has been on the run (and seventeen) a very long time. Desi is the one who finally finds him, but she's not looking for the favor of those that hunt Jordan - she wants his help to find her sister, who's in a great deal of trouble herself.

Desdaemona is a tremendous addition to the urban fantasy genre. It
Joy Wilson
Dec 25, 2015 Joy Wilson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars for sure! I have never read any of Macallan's work, but I certainly will be seeking it out from here on. Jordan is a very interesting character who is fleeing from some unknown and dangerous pursuit when we first meet him. He is promptly found by another dangerous creature, a former daemon, who is looking for her missing sister. At first it seems odd that Jordan would be chosen as he is fully human and Desi is most definitely not, in fact she could tear him apart in a breath; however, ...more
Apr 14, 2013 Otherwyrld rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, paranormal
Well, this is an interestingly different story. Generally with Urban Fantasy there are rules that are usually followed - they are mostly told first person by the protagonist, and that protagonist is usually the same gender as the author. Desdaemona is different, in that it is told first person and the gender is right but that person is not the protagonist. Rather, he is Jordan, a missing Prince of Hell who is hired by the real protagonist, a daemon (enhanced human) called Desdaemona to find her ...more
May 29, 2011 Daniela rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
One blurb says something like "Not a syllable is wasted.". Ummm. I skipped. Quite a bit. When you are at the cusp of an exciting showdown and there are a page a half of "details" and "back story" you kind of want to get to the good stuff. This kind of description should have been saved for a little later or perhaps introduced earlier. Whichever would fit that particular scene. I skipped. Quite a bit. Okay it might be my adult ADD at work, but there are some authors who just get it. Ever read "It ...more
I love this book. Ben Macallan is the new pen name for Chaz Brenchley, whose writing is always beautifully crafted. Spare and elegant, deceptive in its simplicity, this British urban fantasy story keeps up the tension right to the end, a real page-turner.

Jordan makes his living by finding kids who are on the run and guiding them back home. But he's on the run himself from something he doesn't want to admit to anyone. Not even himself. He looks like a regular teenager, but he isn't. He knows far
Desdaemona is the debut novel (here in the US) for Ben Macallan. It's an urban fantasy, and most of you know that I generally don't read urban fantasy. I just don't get caught up in it. I received this book as an eARC before it was published and read at least half of it then. I bought the book when it came out and finished it up just now. Out of the urban fantasies I've read, I'd say that this one has a few qualities that will make it stick out in the urban fantasy field.

Desdaemona review at SFR
I've never been a fan of books with huge info dumps that swamp the reader and drown us in pointless description. This book however, goes to the other extreme and barely tells us anything about anything and that was just as frustrating. Everything seemed to be a secret that the author wanted to keep from the reader to leave us in the dark. I don't mind hiding a few things to surprise us with later, but c'mon give us something! I drifted along in the book wondering what was happening and losing in ...more
Jun 22, 2011 Megan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is hard to review. I enjoyed the story, sort of, but didn't particularly click with the story-telling. Jordan's storyline never quite did it for me. And his complicated relationship with Desi was confusing because I never figured out whether he truly felt anything for her or if it was all her aspect pulling him along. I felt like I was being dropped into the middle of a series, rather than the beginning of one. The plot twist was not foreseen and I was left wondering "Well what happens ...more
Carrie Baumbach
The way Desdaemona (and later Pandaemonium) is written was a bit hard to process... Don't get me wrong, I liked the storyline, but Jordon's narration feels like it's all over the place. Almost like being inside of an ADD-sufferers mind.

That being said, it was definitely different than any book I've read before. There are plenty of otherworldly creatures, violence, and possibly love. The whole book I was trying to figure out what exactly Jay was, and there aren't really any hints besides "not qui
Patrick Doris
Aug 07, 2011 Patrick Doris rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An unusual book the denouement and the ending came as a total surprise to me. This was a different world setting than I am used to it. The boo was so compelling a read that i skip my workout to finish it and had to go to the library to get new books since i had it scheduled to be a two day read. I enjoyed it. Unfortunately the authors seems to have four or five pen names which may make it difficult to find other works byhe/she
K.V. Johansen
Rereading these two this year. Brenchley always stands up very well to repeated readings. In some ways these two were a further exploration of ideas of family, power, and darkness he first took on in Light Errant and Dead of Light, kaleidoscopically changed and with more of the conventional supernatural. (If you liked these by "Ben Macallan", you'll like Brenchley's two about him, Light Errant and Dead of Light.)
Maghon Thomas
Ok so I'm a little lost with backgrounds... Is this a series? Did I miss one before? Will there be one after? Other than this, it starts a little slow (probably because I was lost) but has a really good twist and ending, which I like when that happens, so I'm giving it an in-between rating. Some parts I really liked, some parts I really didn't.
Samuel Lubell
Nov 26, 2012 Samuel Lubell rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
The beginning is very good. A boy on the run from some supernatural force meets a girl, Desdaemona, with a superhuman aspect, who is searching for her sister who is hiding from a different supernatural entity. There's a nice twist, but I felt the quality of the first part was undermined when it turns out the things characters were running from weren't as bad as the book made it sound.
Madeleine Robins
This is urban fantasy--in the larger sense that it's set in cities, and magic and the fae and other magical beings suffuse it. And while it's romantic (the author is a deep dyed romantic) it's not a romance. It's a rich, emotionally complex book with all kinds of good stuff, told beautifully. Go read it. Really.
Katharine Kerr
Jul 03, 2011 Katharine Kerr rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A fast-moving, very well crafted story -- but dark. If you demand a happy ending, I'd suggest reading something else. Yet I really liked the author's insistence on making the ending true to the story. He pulls no punches, and all the clues are there in the text for the reader to put together.
Andy Angel
Oct 08, 2012 Andy Angel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really enjoyed this book. A lot of running about from place to place but when the storylines all tie up it is well worth the ride.

And then, the final scene...............................never used OMG!!! before now but the final scene of this book deserve it.
David Marshall
Apr 22, 2012 David Marshall rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is great fun. For once, we go beyond urban fantasy as a label and get into a good quality story without being bogged down by romance.
May 18, 2013 Carolyn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: paper
This book was exactly what I love to read - something different, and surprising - sexy, but not bawdy. There is a second book in the series, called Pandaemonium. Not sure why it doesn't show up on this site!!
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Ben Macallan is the boy your mother warned you about, the one with the motorbike and the cool clothes and the dangerous superpowers. He shoots round corners without looking, can put on his socks without bending and finds new planets as a Sunday afternoon hobby. He sometimes hangs out in smoky bars, where he plays saxophone and talks philosophy. Several schools claim to have taught him, but he neve ...more
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Other Books in the Series

Desdaemona (2 books)
  • Pandaemonium (Desdaemona, #2)

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“This one had come to me, though, picked me out. I thought she was trouble from the start. I don't read minds and I can't see the future, but call it instinct or experience, something was prickling my spine.
You could call it something else, if you wanted: adolescence, hormones, lust. Being seventeen. That doesn't go away, however long you practice.
"Hullo," I said politely, warily.
She was long and slim and very neatly put together, dark hair tumbling over denim, old worn black jacket and jeans that somehow hadn't faded into grey. They probably didn't dare. Right from the start I saw a focus in her, a determination that must go all the way through, like the writing in a stick of Brighton rock. In another world, another lifetime, I thought she'd have raven-feathers in her hair, a bear's tooth on a thong about her. She'd be the village shaman, talking to spirits, and even the headman would be afraid of her, a little...
Seventeen, I told you. She was devastating to me, she was sitting at my table, and I couldn't afford her. Not for a minute.
If I'd stood up, if I'd left, if I'd run away...
Nah. She would just have come after me. Faster, fitter, and on longer legs. What chance did I ever have?”
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