The Shadow Above the Flames

  • by Daniel Swenson
  • Narrated by Steve Campbell
  • 10 hrs and 56 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Fossil fuels are gone. 
Five years ago, hungry for energy and profits, the Union Forest Corporation embarked on an aggressive search for alternative power sources. In their quest they drilled too deeply, releasing a long-forgotten evil that’s been terrorizing the planet. As frightening as the dragon is, the executives at Union Forest are more terrified of losing corporate secrets than losing human lives. Somewhere in that drilling site, there’s a data core that they desperately want back.
After giving years of service to the military, Henry Morgan just wants a normal life. But between nagging feelings from his past and a strained relationship with his brother Rick, “normality” always feels just out of reach. When Henry learns that Rick is among the force of elite commandos sent by Union Forest to battle against the demon at the drilling site, he’s forced back into the roles of soldier and protective older sibling. He’ll do everything he can to save his brother...including risking his own life at the hands of a ruthless corporation.


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Two brothers facing an evil corp and a dragon

This book had an interesting mix of ideas and a decent overall story, but for some reason it did not quite click with me quite as much as it should have done.

I enjoyed the idea of a modern company waking a dragon by their drilling, but some of the other stuff they did was just a little too stereotypical evil corp for them to be a compelling enough baddie. Besides them you are obviously left the dragon itself along with the various animals on the destroyed remains of Ireland that had been somehow mutated by its presence and these worked fairly well as an obstacle for our collection of heroes, but weren't quite compelling enough.

Facing these obstacles you mainly had two brothers who were both special forces at one time (younger brother still was) along with some other members of Rick's (younger brother) who had been sent to Ireland to retrieve some sensitive data that somehow got trapped there when the dragon first appeared a number of years ago and finally, a hacker-type friend of their from back when they were kids. On the whole this cast worked out pretty well, but the brothers both showing some signs of near-psychic ability seemed a little unnecessary.

The narrator of this book gave a good performance with a clear and distinctive style with all significant characters having enough individuality in the performance so that they all stood out enough from one another.

Overall, there were some flaws with this book, but it was an interesting story that I enjoyed listening to with none of them being big enough to disrupt that.

[I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.]
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- C. Rowlands

Modern day adventuring and dragon hunting.

Oil drilling wakes up a dragon and the world pays for it but it is not the end of the world and life goes on just with a new danger in the world. It is a quite refreshing take on this sort of event the fact that a single creature does not end the world as it can only be in one place at once. The world takes it seriously but in a way, it's just like a natural disaster, not the apocalypse.

The book is more action hero than realistic military but it is still grounded enough that none of the characters feels indestructible or that they are protected by plot armour which adds a real sense of threat in the action/combat sections.

Getting to see things from different characters including the dragon's point of view helps the listen learn more about the characters and in places keep the action moving.

Daniel Swenson has done a great job here the writing is good and the characters are believable, I get the feeling there is more to this world that we find out about in this one book. The book has great pacing and I never had the chance to get bored, If I had the time I could have quite happily listen to this book from start to finish in one sitting. The story focuses very much on the characters which help make it engaging and keeps you listening.

The narration is easy to listen to and clear, the narrator does a good job giving each character their own unique voice. I like the sense of menace and arrogance the voice of the dragon adds. I would happily listen to other books narrated by Steve Campbell

After listening to this I am interested in finding out what happens next so I hope there is a book two. This setting has a lot of potential, I would love to find out more about some of the side characters.

All in all, this is a great listen. I am happy with the time I spent listening to this.

I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.
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- Peter

Book Details

  • Release Date: 03-11-2017
  • Publisher: Immortal Works