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This was my first ever dragon book, it is also the first book in a four-part series, but it works perfectly fine as a standalone.
Told in first-person, the narrator isn't the protagonist making this quite an original way of relaying the story. Stagger, the narrator, actually dies right at the start of the story. Following his long-term companion around in ghost-format, Stagger tells the story of Infidel, a super strong female mercenary, and his secret love interest.
I really enjoyed Stagger's perspective. He was funny and endearing although he had basically been a drunk and a scoundrel most of his life.
The plot itself is a fairly typical action-adventure quest featuring a group of incompatible rogues setting off to slay a powerful dragon, Greatshadow, the dragon of fire. As I'm generally not a huge fan of fantasy epics, I appreciated that this was fast-paced action and entertainment rather than loads of world building. Characters were introduced with sufficient history and they, as well as the setting, were described thoroughly enough to make it easy to imagine the island, the dragons, the immortals, the orcs etc.
The rather mixed bunch of characters surrounding Infidel were all likeable and fun despite the expected tension within their group. I really enjoyed the "romantic" elements of Infidel's story as well although some of it was getting very close to being cheesy. Still, the arc about Stagger and Infidel's relationship, which neither of them had honestly and fully appreciated until Stagger wasn't alive anymore, was an interesting addition to all the sword wielding action.
Jake Urry brought the characters to life in a spectacular fashion. His dragon voices were menacing, his portrayal of The Three Goons was wonderful, in particular No Face. I like how Jake makes female characters sound believable and not like cartoon-type characters. There was a large cast of characters involved, but it was always clear who was talking due to Jake Urry's differentiation and tones. To be honest, I wouldn't have sat down to read this in book-format, it's just not my thing, but listening to this was phenomenal and so much fun.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
Where does Greatshadow rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?
Greatshadow ranks highly on my list of audiobooks I've listened to so far as it's a fascinating story narrated brilliantly by Jake Urry.
Have you listened to any of Jake Urry’s other performances? How does this one compare?
Yes, I have and he just keeps on getting better and better.
Any additional comments?
I loved this audiobook, the story came to life in the capable hands of Jake Urry who, in my opinion, is one of the best narrators I've come across so far. A fabulous and enjoyable listen that I would highly recommend.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Stagger and Infidel are bounty hunters searching for highly prized dragon bones. While chased by pygmies, Stagger accidentally stabs and kills himself with his bone knife, and is transformed into a ghost tied to his knife, he must go where it goes. Infidel, the beautiful warrior with impenetrable skin and unnatural strength, mourns his death, not knowing Stagger is still following her. She joins a strange band of magical warriors and priests to slay the elemental dragon, Greatshadow, to free the world of his control of fire.
This is an extremely complex story with imaginative characters and demons. Maxey paints a richly detailed world of magic and adventure: impenetrable armor that only exists as long as long as 300 monks pray for its existence, a deceiver who can change reality by convincing others of his lies, a mercenary who can change into an animal from the tattoos on his body, an ice priestess who can freeze anything with a touch and many, many more. The story’s originality and fresh ideas alone are worth the visit, but it is the richly developed characters that will keep the listener enjoying the ride.
The plot is far too complex to describe here. Each character has his or her own reason for searching out the elemental dragon, Greatshodow. One wants to kill it for king and country, others just for the money, another as an enslaved magician and Infidel to bury her grief. It is an epic adventure that will satisfy fantasy lovers.
Jake Urry performs the story magnificently. He brings the story to life with his exceptional voice and character portrayals. A beautiful dance of narrator and story and a pleasure to listen to.
Greatshadow is a thoroughly entertaining action adventure fantasy. It even throws a bit of philosophy into the mix about when messing with nature is going too far. It is book one in the series, but stands alone as a complete novel. You’ll definitely want to listen to book two when it is available. If you enjoy fantasy at its best, this is a must listen. Highly recommended.
Audiobook was provided for review by the narrator.
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10 of 10 people found this review helpful
Any additional comments?
A great fantasy book with some really cool additions to the wonderful world of dragon mythology. I loved the story telling devise, thought it worked really well and very much look forward to reading the next in the series.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful