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Chasing Graves

(The Chasing Graves Trilogy #1)

by
3.88  ·  Rating details ·  489 ratings  ·  140 reviews
Welcome to Araxes, where getting murdered is just the start of your problems.

Meet Caltro Basalt. He’s a master locksmith, a selfish bastard, and as of his first night in Araxes, stone cold dead.

They call it the City of Countless Souls, the colossal jewel of the Arctian Empire, and all it takes to be its ruler is to own more ghosts than any other. For in Araxes, the dead d
...more
Kindle Edition, 412 pages
Published December 7th 2018 by BenGalley.com (first published December 5th 2018)
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Ben Galley Thank you! I'm pleased to say the first book, Chasing Graves, will be out in early December! Here's the brand new blurb for more info:

Meet Caltro Basa…more
Thank you! I'm pleased to say the first book, Chasing Graves, will be out in early December! Here's the brand new blurb for more info:

Meet Caltro Basalt. He’s a master locksmith, a selfish bastard, and as of his first night in Araxes, stone cold dead.

They call it the City of Countless Souls, the colossal jewel of the Arctian Empire, and all it takes to rule it is to own more ghosts than any other. For in Araxes, the dead do not rest in peace in the afterlife, but live on as slaves for the rich.

While Caltro struggles to survive, those around him strive for the emperor’s throne in Araxes’ cutthroat game of power. The dead gods whisper from corpses, a soulstealer seeks to make a name for himself with the help of an ancient cult, a princess plots to purge the emperor from his armoured Sanctuary, and a murderer drags a body across the desert, intent on reaching Araxes no matter the cost.

Only one thing is certain in Araxes: death is only the beginning.(less)

Community Reviews

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Average rating 3.88  · 
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Emma
Oct 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
Here lies Araxes, City of Countless Souls, where death is the pretty shitty beginning of a whole new ‘life’, comprised immediately and forevermore of servitude and toil. No perks. No escape. No food. For newly dead Caltro Basalt, this means being late for a very important date, a mysterious appointment in the Cloudpiercer. Instead, his murder takes him on another path, no less dangerous, with stakes higher than life or death and deadly enough to topple more than kings. Power over souls may be e ...more
Esme
Dec 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have loved other books by Ben Galley so when I was in a reading slump I decided to jump around in my reading order to get to this one, hoping for a little boost. This was the correct decision, it jump-started my love of reading again.

The opening of this is a very short prelude and the first thing that struck me was how atmospheric it was, it’s very descriptive without falling into the “purple” prose trap where it’s overdone. I felt the heat of the desert, smelled the decaying bodies, and was t
...more
Haïfa
Oct 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
A big thanks to Ben Galley for providing an ARC of Chasing Graves, in exchange for an honest review.

Spoiler-free review. Please note that the quotes in this review are taken from the ARC edition and may change in the published edition.

You can find this and more at Novel Notions.

When Ben Galley revealed the cover of Chasing Graves and after hearing that it was an Egyptian mythology-inspired fantasy, I knew I had to read the book. My only experience with Galley’s writing before CG was with The He
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Nick Borrelli
Jun 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Araxes is a city full of ghosts. Not the figurative kind mind you, and also not the playful and prankster kind that you see on certain paranormal television shows. These ghosts have been ripped from their formerly living bodies, often through brutally violent murder, and then are subsequently bonded as slaves to serve whichever masters are the highest bidders. It's not called the City of Countless Souls for nothing.

This is also not a city that you want to be walking around in alone, but that's j
...more
Lukasz
Sep 30, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I deeply enjoyed Galley’s Heart of Stone. This guy knows how to grab the reader’s attention. Once I learned about his new book, I put it near the top of my TBR list. How could I say no to an early ARC of Chasing Graves?

You’re right. I couldn’t.

The story is nuanced, dark and complex. A master locksmith, Caltro Basalt, dies a gruesome death on his first night at Araxes. He won’t enjoy eternal rest though.  Soulstealers led by Boss Boran Temsa turn him into a Shade (a ghost slave) and sell him to s
...more
Adam
Sep 24, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Although I haven’t read many works by Ben Galley, his previous SPFBO entry Heart of Stone is one of my favorite standalone novels I’ve read this year. It presented a world ravaged by war, with an enslaved golem bound to serve and massacre under various generals throughout the centuries. The story offered an intriguing take on enslavement and the sacrifices made when one’s fate is trapped and bound to another. Galley explores similar themes of enslavement in his latest novel, Chasing Graves, book ...more
Kaitlin
Nov 12, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: spfbo-2019
* I read this as a Judge for the #SPFBO *

I have to admit, I thought I would like this one as from what I have read of Ben Galley's work so far I usually find something fun, this book is no exception. I did indeed find it a very easy read, unique, and it stood out from the rest for the polish and quality. I really recommend that you try some of Ben's work if you haven't yet, because he does some really cool things :)

We follow a couple of different viewpoint characters in this one, we have Caltro
...more
Olivia
Jun 27, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
This is my first Ben Galley book, and two things struck me the most: pacing and world building.

Galley doesn't waste unnecessary words (or time) and the plot moves forward at a good speed. While I love long books, I highly appreciate shorter ones, since I'm - I almost don't dare and say it - I'm prone to skim descriptions. Still, Galley takes care to introduce his characters, and they feel unique and three dimensional.

It is, however, the first book in a series and doesn't stand on its own. In fac
...more
Benji Glaab
Jul 18, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Update: until Nov-15th buy the whole trilogy for the disturbingly low price of .99c on kindle

Chasing Graves made for a great audiobook. Samuel Roukin, and Moira Quirk are some bad ass narrators, and they really enhanced the atmosphere throughout. Ben Galley has created a vividly detailed world that is high on the originality spectrum. The writing is a big draw for me here it really jives with me. Clever yet not pretentious the balance was great and made for an engaging listen that you had to wor
...more
Audrey
Aug 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Welcome in the city of the countless souls and your journey will be full of plots, murder and above it all an empress in waiting eager to hone her dagger on the souls of the many.
Castro is a locksmith should had known better than to put a foot in Araxes.
This book is everything one’s can expect in a fantasy book, can’t wait to read the sequel.
Michael Sliter
Jun 08, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In a world where the ghosts of the dead are enslaved... (Read that in the movie trailer guy's voice)

That's the world of Chasing Graves. In this Egyptian-themed, pyramid-heavy world, the doors to the afterlife are closed, and most ghosts are indentured upon death. Caltro, our main protagonist (who is kind of a lazy dick), found himself in that situation within the first chapter or two. He's kind of a coward lockpicker, and he's pretty likable. His story is in first-person, an interesting choice w
...more
The Tattooed Book Geek (Drew).
As always this review can also be found on my blog The Tattooed Book Geek: https://thetattooedbookgeek.wordpress...

The characterisation and world-building on display by Galley in Chasing Graves are both exceptional, Galley is highly talented and Chasing Graves is a hugely entertaining read.

Caltro Basalt isn’t a hero or a fighter, he’s a thief and a renowned locksmith, one of the best but he’s down on his luck. When a mysterious papyrus letter appears on his doorstep requesting that he attend a m
...more
Andy
Feb 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is some of the most enjoyable and original fantasy I’ve come across in a while. It takes place in a world where death is not the end, but for many is just the beginning of your “half-life”, generally meaning a life of servitude to the person who binds you upon your death (or to whoever you’re sold to). Trading in “the indentured” is a large part of this world’s economy, and the main character finds himself murdered and his ghost sold within the opening chapters of the book. This sets off a ...more
Justine
Sep 30, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Firstly, I’d like to thank the author for giving me an advanced copy of this book. I was so intrigued with the concept of an original fantasy world built with an Egyptian flavor that it was instantly pushed to the top of my TBR - I am so glad for this decision. Chasing Graves is a deliciously dark tale of treachery, secrets and murder filled with a cast of truly detestable characters whose intentions cannot ever be taken at face value. The only drawback of reading the first installment of a seri ...more
Pamela
Nov 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
Being a story of ghosts, thought it might fit the bill for my Halloween treat for the year. Very unique story of shades being bound as slaves in a corrupt society. The main characters are a slippery group, with personal goals outweighing any sense of morality, making it hard to actually like them, but interesting stories nonetheless. The characters and politics are well developed in this first installment, making the continuation for the next installment a must read, if this world peaks your cur ...more
Richard Derus
PEARL RULED (p67)

Real Rating: 2.5* of five

The Publisher Says: Meet Caltro Basalt. He’s a master locksmith, a selfish bastard, and as of his first night in Araxes, stone cold dead.

They call it the City of Countless Souls, the colossal jewel of the Arctian Empire, and all it takes to be its ruler is to own more ghosts than any other. For in Araxes, the dead do not rest in peace in the afterlife, but live on as slaves for the rich.

While Caltro struggles to survive, those around him strive for the e
...more
Laura Hughes
Dark, tense and surprisingly hilarious, Chasing Graves is the accomplished opening novel in an exciting new trilogy.
T.L.
Dec 28, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Chasing Graves is a dark, witty romp—delightful, original, and beautifully paced, it oozes confidence.

4.5/5

Full review to be posted on The Fantasy Hive!
Holly (The Grimdragon)
It's my stop on the massive blog tour in support of the wonderful Ben Galley! There are four books involved and something like 140 bloggers. Or thereabouts. I don't know, I'm shit at math! There's a lot of us. A METRIC FUCK TON. I'm excited to be a part of it. It's the first time I've ever joined in a blog tour! 

Chasing Graves is the first installment in the trilogy of the same name, which was released in quick succession. Three books within three months. A series released in its entirety. That'
...more
Scott  Hitchcock
Apr 21, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: grimdark
Loved the world, characters and writing style. Will continue the series.
Mark
Nov 15, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An excellent 4.5stars read, I just love Ben’s grimdark humour through out the book. It’s so hard for any author to do this, but Ben is in a league of his own

Highly recommended to all my Goodreads friends
Esme
Dec 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I think this is my first 5 star in months. I loved everything about this and I'm working on writing a full review today.

Fantastic.
Al Burke
Dec 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Dang, this is good. Review here - https://www.alwroteabook.com/2018/12/... ...more
Dustin
Sep 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
5⭐️
I wanted to give 5 stars to Chasing Graves just based on the sheer ambition and scope of the story. But then I couldn’t stop reading and then I picked up the second and third books before I finished the first.

I’m finding it hard to believe, but this is the first of Ben Galley’s books I’ve read. It’s been on my radar( I don’t really follow a tbr list) for awhile, and I’m shaking my head for not picking it up sooner.
I’ll not add much to the book’s plot description as it’s summed up pretty wel
...more
Queen Terrible Timy
You can find this review on my blog!

I've got an ARC in exchange of an honest review from the author.

In everyone’s life comes that point when we start to think about what awaits us after death depending on your beliefs. A happy afterlife? Torture? A place in between where we wait until our fate is decided? Or something else? The people of Araxes aren’t wondering much, they know all too well what comes for them: endless servitude as shades. The luckier ones can get their freedom and a choice in t
...more
Travis Riddle
Jan 07, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: spfbo5
This was quite a good first foray into Galley's work. He's got a great, quick-moving style with creative but not overly-purple prose, which I really appreciate.

The novel follows several different POV characters, all of which have intriguing plotlines that probably could've carried a book on their own. So far they're only slightly overlapping, and I'm excited to see how they get further tangled up in each other as the series progresses.

I'd call the book's world-building its greatest strength. G
...more
Tam
Chasing Graves was what I’d come to expect from Ben Galley. Unique, fantastic worldbuilding, interesting characters, and much more. I’ve only previously read The Heart of Stone by Ben Galley, but both that and Chasing Graves have been quite different from most books I’ve seen in the genre.

The worldbuilding in this book is done exceptionally well. It’s based around the concept that death isn’t the end, the dead can be bound and enslaved as ghosts. Naturally, this has run on effects to the whole w
...more
kartik narayanan
Chasing Graves happens to be one of the best fantasy books I have read this year.

The book is fantastic and, at no point, did I feel like putting it down. Even upon a re-reading the book remains as fresh as ever and this is not something that most books can manage.

It is fast paced and there are no sections that drag. Somehow, everything comes together seamlessly to make this a read that one cannot stop even if they wanted too. The world building is great. Though there are a few recycled areas (
...more
Fiona Tewson
Dec 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A new venture

I have been waiting to read this book since I first heard of its conception and I have not been disappointed. A completely new concept with new characters to like - or not like! The book tells the tale of several protagonists and gathers the various ends together towards the end before throwing a spanner in the works, so to speak. We have been promised a short wait for the rest of the trilogy and book 2 is out in January, a new years present to look forward to.

If you like your fanta
...more
Filip
Dec 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, 2018
Nothing quite like enslaving the dead to show the worst society has to offer.

Chasing Graves is the first ever novel I’ve read by Ben Galley. Immediately, I was hooked: by masterful prose; a character with a strongly distinctive voice, personality and a remarkable sphincter (you’ll get what I mean literally two minutes in); and, perhaps above all else, by the city of Araxes, the heart of the Arctian Empire, where the living hold command over the dead.

This is where I’ll begin, with a spoiler-free
...more
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Ben Galley is an author of dark and epic fantasy books who currently hails from Victoria, Canada. Since publishing his debut Emaneska Series, Ben has released a range of epic and dark fantasy novels, including the award-winning weird western Bloodrush and standalone novel The
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Other books in the series

The Chasing Graves Trilogy (3 books)
  • Grim Solace (The Chasing Graves Trilogy, #2)
  • Breaking Chaos (The Chasing Graves Trilogy, #3)

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