Book: Ben Macallan’s ‘Desdaemona’ – “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”


I have a personal stance that if a book is described as a debut novel it should be the author’s first published book, not the first book they’ve published under that name in that particular genre. That is just cheating.

I accept that this view might just be my problem, however let’s be very clear that Ben Macallan is also known as Chaz Brenchley and Daniel Fox. There may well be other names too, but that would require more digging than I am currently bothered to perform.

ben macallan desdaemona

Jordan is a runaway, although at first it isn’t made clear what exactly he is running from, he looks human  but is something extra. He makes money helping people find their way home and getting the reward money sent to his Paypal acount, then he meets Desdaemona who is looking to find her sister.

Desi’s sister Fay did something that got her on the radar of some rather angry supernatural beings and Desi is eager to find her before anyone else does. They also need to outrun the people who are looking for Jordan.

I don’t recall reading an urban fantasy novel that was sent in the UK without being entirely London centric. Up until now I certainly haven’t read one that involves a canal boat! It is the setting that  made me give the book a second chance as I was underwhelmed by the characters; Jordan is a bit of a self-absorbed emo kid who runs away from his responsibilities – (SPOILER) admittedly his responsibility is to be drained of blood by his parents and be reborn as a princeling of Hell.

Desi isn’t overly likeable, she is strong, independent and a liar. There are a few other minor characters who appear and add very little to the story. The story gets rather lost around  half way and wanders towards and ending where (spoiler) the bad guy who is revealed to be chasing them is revealed to not even that big or bad, but he still kicks their collective asses.

Then to add insult to injury Jordan falls victim to the fate that he has spent a very long time avoiding, his location betrayed to his parents by  Desi for reasons that I don’t really understand.  I am happy to have a late plot twist, but a final page betrayal is pretty random.

Anyway, there is a sequel, ‘Pandaemonium’, but I will be saving my pennies for something by a less erratic emo-loving author.

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