• Tesser: A Dragon Among Us

  • A Reemergence Novel, Book 1
  • By: Chris Philbrook
  • Narrated by: James Foster
  • Length: 12 hrs
  • 4.2 out of 5 stars (3,006 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Number-one Amazon and Audible best-selling novel

Tesser, the dragon of life itself, is one of seven: Earth’s primordial draconic guardians, destined to oversee its development and safety. 

Species rose and fell, and one day, 10,000 years ago...Tesser disappeared. 

The golden dragon woke up this morning, buried deep beneath the city of Boston, with no idea how he got there, and no idea how humanity grew so fast and learned so much while he was away. He is lost; a fish out of water, with no contact with his brothers and sister, or any idea of what threatens his home. Where are the faeries? Where are the Minotaur and unicorns? Where are the selkies and all the creatures he fostered, and loved? 

Where is the magic? 

He’s got a lot of catching up to do if he’s going to find his missing sister Kaula, and stop an incursion of daemons from beyond the Veil. 

Learning English from watching Kevin Smith movies at a coffee shop is probably not his best first step, but not all heroes get handed a cape. 

Welcome to The Reemergence. 

"Vibrant storytelling, with an unusual protagonist...." (Georgina Parfitt, Towerbabel.com)

Book Two: Ambryn & the Cheaters of Death
Book Three: Fyelrath & the Coven’s Curse
Book Four: Tesser: A Father Enraged
Book Five: Zeud & the Prophets of Atomic Fire

©2013 Christopher Philbrook (P)2016 Audible, Inc.

What listeners say about Tesser: A Dragon Among Us

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Worth a credit and your time!

I'm terrible at writing reviews and doing the books I read any kind of justice I'm not a writer. I'm a reader (listener). :-) Having said that.... This book was about a dragon, a man, a woman, a wizard, magic, and good vs. evil. It was kind of a love story. Part action. Part suspense. A little bit of comedy. Completely entertaining.

Having said all of that, I will sum up my review in terms an Audible reader can appreciate. Was this book worth a credit? ABSOLUTELY! I found myself reading (oops listening) to this book way more than my average listen. It was very entertaining and unpredictable. James Foster is a master narrator and adds life to all of the characters. Time flew by as I listened and I found myself taking the long way home so I could keep listening.

It's definitely worth a credit and a listen.

103 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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I dont think the author has ever actually communicated with another human being.

There is a lot of clunky exposition in the book that involves a character speaking their thoughts aloud so that the reader knows whats going on. Also the women in this book are very... Sex-crazed? I don't know if thats the proper word to describe them, but it seems very unrealistic. For example about a minute after almost being raped a woman is aroused by a naked hobo vigilante. Alot of dialogue and interaction seems fake, and the whole book feels like a B-rated action flick.

99 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Tesser, the Dragon of Life

For 20,000 years, Tesser has slept beneath the earth. Now, he's awake, and walking around in human form. He is arrogant, of course, but he has the right to be: Everything that lives on Earth has Tesser to thank for it's existence, for he created them all. (There are also six other dragons, each with their own special gifts, and each is also necessary to the health and well being of the planet. And each, I suspect, will get their own book!)

One of the six is dear to Tesser, his sister, Kowula (sp?) the Dragon of Magic. He hasn't been able to communicate with her since his return, and he's worried. Because of her absence, magic has all but disappeared from the world, but when the magic comes back, creatures that were once thought to be only myth, begin to reappear, too -- causing chaos for the mundane humans, as they struggle to understand the new world order.

Pretty great, right? Ultimately, this story is fun, original, with a (very) little romance. And while the human characters are a bit cliche, and the humor can be crude and juvenile -- and the women talk about sex like especially sophomoric young men instead of women -- the dragons more than make up for it! There's a fair amount of violence, too, but it often made me laugh -- in that way dark humor with a side of horror often does.

The writing for the dragons is what I really loved. They are both innocent and ancient at the same time, and their views on what the humans have done to the world they created is really funny -- or at least, it would be -- if it wasn't also somewhat true.

BUT -- I will admit that I almost returned this book after the first few chapters, because of the crude male oriented humor. It made me think that this might be a book geared toward teenage boys of a certain age, and therefore not for me. Eventually I realized that the humor in Tesser is like a comic book -- which I think is exactly the point. The whole book has a comic book feel!

Philbrook does write that when Tesser came back, he learned the language and the modern cultural references from watching Jay and Silent Bob movies. That tells you all you need to know about the author, his point of view, his sense of humor, and what to expect from the characters he writes. If you don't like Jay and Silent Bob, you probably won't like this book, either. (I LOVE Kevin Smith, so there you have it.)

I found it very easy to ignore the flaws to get to the good stuff -- because there is some very good writing here, and a very good story to tell. (I'm already onto the 2nd book, and it's just as well done. It deals with the vampires taking over Las Vegas!

James Foster gives a brilliant performance, lending Tesser the gravitas and world weary pathos of an immortal creature seeing the state of his creations after a long absence. Also, the frequent inner dialogues of the characters must have been tricky for Foster to perform, but it was clear from the first line that they were inner dialogues. I also REALLY appreciate that Philbrook wrote them without all the 'he thought' or 'she thought' after each one, that a less experienced author might have included unnecessarily.

I loved this book, and hope to enjoy the whole series!

Highly Recommended to fantasy lovers, dragon lovers, Kevin Smith aficionados, and people who love their violence with a lot of dark humor. (But please note that the violence and crude language does make it inappropriate for younger kids.)

97 people found this helpful

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Not Your Typical Fantasy

What did you love best about Tesser: A Dragon Among Us?

This book is told from an incredibly unique perspective. The dragon, Tesser, is an almost timeless entity that is far more than a big flying reptile that breathes fire. I loved how he experiences the modern day world through ancient eyes.

What other book might you compare Tesser: A Dragon Among Us to and why?

It's hard to compare this book to anything I've read previously. It's singular and unique.

What about James Foster’s performance did you like?

I'd listened to James Foster perform other books that were WAAAAY different than this, so I had slight trepidation. He put that to rest in a few short minutes. He absolutely NAILS this.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Tesser's depth and insight are so believable. From his first encounter with the darker part of human nature to understanding, with benevolence, the struggles of humanity. Tesser is both breath-taking and gut-wrenching.

Any additional comments?

Typically, I don't venture too far into the fantasy genre. This book won't change that as I can't imagine many other books from the genre being comparable in delivery. It's imaginative. It's clever, witty, and even hip. I took a chance because I like so much of this author's other works. I was not let down. At. All. Can't recommend this one enough. Entertaining as hell.

48 people found this helpful

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Fun book and different take on dragons

Of late, I have become increasingly leary of Series books. I have tired of cliffhangers and series that go on and on forever. I want good stories that flow well,spins a good tale and has an ending that satisfies. I took a chance on this book "Tesser" even though it states it is book one of a series and I am glad I did. This is not your usual dragon book and it held my attention the entire time. I enjoyed the author's concept and the narration fit the story.Even though it's clear at the end of the book there is more story to be told about Tesser, his friends and family, the ending of this book was complete and did not leave you with some blazing question about what next? So THANK YOU Chris Philbrook for writing a wonderful story that is complete. When the next in the series comes out I will buy it.

46 people found this helpful

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Cute but shallow and unsatisfying

Would you try another book from Chris Philbrook and/or James Foster?

I doubt I would be interested in another Philbrook book, and although Foster is a good reader and actor he needs to work on making sure he gets all the words right

What about James Foster’s performance did you like?

He has a good style and is very easy to listen to, but he mispronounces some words, He might just be reading too fast, looking too far ahead, but when he refers to a threatened girl as the "frightening" girl instead of "frightened" and even worse uses the word "providence" instead of "provenance" in reference to an antique, it is jarring. But overall he does a very good job, has a good voice and handles the various voices well.

Could you see Tesser: A Dragon Among Us being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

It's too superficial and fluffy to make a decent movie or TV series

Any additional comments?

The book is very superficial and would appear to be directed at a Young Adult audience, except for the gratuitous and plentiful vulgarity and profanity. The whole idea of reading fantasy is to suspend belief, but once you accept the fantasy of an ancient dragon coming back in modern Boston and trying to learn how to function in our society the book skips over far too many details and has the dragon character suddenly acquiring detailed idiomatic English with no explanation of how this happens The author seems to think that constantly using not just profanity but vulgar sex-related phrases will make it sophisticated or modern, and that incessant references to music and bands will make it relevant to some audience---again, the target audience would appear to be YA but for the profanity. The sexual content seems to be based on a very juvenile concept of what is sexy. The book just seems confused about what it is and what it wants to be.

It feels as if it written by a precocious high schooler. I can see what the author is trying to achieve, but he always falls short. Sometimes the dialogue is just stilted and pretentious, sometimes it tries too hard to be edgy, but it never really rings true.

34 people found this helpful

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The Ultimate Alpha Male

Chris Philbrook spins a wonderfully unique story of a dragon learning to interact with humans after a very, very long sleep (~20,000 years).

Tesser, learns how to speak by watching television and listening to those around him, I really enjoyed listening to his inner monologue about different words and their uses and meaning. This method of learning adds some real color to his speech which is good and proper for the setting, Boston.

During his journey he meets an interesting group of humans and non-humans. His inner desire to guide the humans and other creatures comes out many times but my favorite is when he meets the sorcerer's apprentice, Abe. This was an entertaining bit that did not quite end up like you would have initially thought. It was also a treat to see the government behaving reasonably. Maybe this would be a good book to send to congress, military, and police to see if they can learn to work better with the public and themselves.

James Foster was amazing. He did a great job with the inner monologues as well as the differing character personalities and voices. His narration of this very entertaining story definitely made this book hard to put down.

This audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review courtesy of Audiobook Blast.

27 people found this helpful

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Dragon sex.

It's got dragon sex in it. What else do you need to know? Stop looking at me like that...

25 people found this helpful

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Basketful of cliches

A hodgepodge of urban fantasy tropes with basic writing. Good for entertainment on a long drive when you aren't worried about falling asleep. The story has no surprises and the dramatic bits are just passable. Dialog reads like someone trying to rewrite 'When Harry met Sally". It's ok but long. The epilogue is put in before the end to keep you waiting for the big finale. But there are only two possibilities: the dragon wins or we have to wait for another book. Neither prospect is enough to keep the book interesting.

Performers: PLEASE use google when you encounter an unfamiliar word! Daemon is pronounced 'demon'. Why don't the producers catch errors that are used many times in a book?

Must question where all the 5 star reviews came from.

20 people found this helpful

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Terrific Book!

Where does Tesser: A Dragon Among Us rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

This has become one of my favorite books.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Tesser was the hero, and is awesome, but I think Spoon is a major player

What about James Foster’s performance did you like?

I've heard many different books from James Foster, and I must say this being a different series then the previous books I was a little worried. I must say that my worry was for not. I didn't get any hint of the same characters from his other performance.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

I am Tesser!

Any additional comments?

This is such a great book! It is nothing like Philbrook's other books. It is a whole new experience.

18 people found this helpful

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  • Graham G.
  • 03-08-16

Such potential.....

but ends like a made for TV movie. Too bad.. . . . . .

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • GilesB
  • 10-05-20

great story

A really good story had me gripped from the intro. the narrator is good, although I spotted a point or two where I think the wrong character was voiced at the start of a sentence.

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  • Mordy
  • 04-30-20

An author letting his imagination off the leash

I took a bit of a chance on this book because I'd had enough of formulaic fantasy tropes and the word "Dragon" in the title almost put me off but I gave it a whirl because I love Chris' Adrian's Undead Diary series and the gamble really paid off. This is a fantastic tale and it's a great example of what can happen when an author leaves behind all the tried and tested tropes and strikes out on his own. Chris is a talented writer and weaves really interesting characters and adds his own signature pinch of darkness to a tale that really brings it to life and makes it feel more contemporary. I'm a huge fan of Chris Philbrook's other works and I'm glad I took a chance on this one. I've just picked up book 2 of this series (Ambryn and the Cheaters of Death) and I'm enjoying that immensely.

The Tesser series (at least so far) reminds me of the Anita Blake novels in that it takes a fantasy/sci-fi twist and blends it with the everyday modern world in a way that works.

As usual the pairing of James Foster as the narrator is a match made in heaven. Give this a try if you enjoy imaginative stories that break away from the usual fantasy narratives.

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  • Donna B
  • 03-18-18

enjoyable and left me wanting to know more

the book introduces us to the 7 dragons who basically keep the balance of the world with the story centering on the dragon of life Tesser.

just downloaded book 2!

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  • Debbie
  • 07-08-18

Buy it!

Loved this book and can’t wait to get started on the next in the series. Love Chris’s other books but I really appreciated his imagination in this one.