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I've been listening to a few audio books lately that while were good always felt like a bit of work to get through, that was not the case with Shadow Games.
First off let me say you really don't want to start your Black Company experience here. While Cook does a very good job of allowing this book to be an intro to the series it really will shine in it's proper place as #4.
Following Croaker from book 1 to now you really get a great feel for the guy and are either really interested in his journey or have given up before now. This books picks up right from 3 and does a good job of answering a lot of lingering questions you may have had.
It has as much action as the previous books and brings back enough of the past characters to keep you attached to the events while also adding in enough new gems to keeps things fresh.
Don't get me wrong there book is not perfect. My main gripe relates to the mystery surrounding the villains. It makes some sense but it also is annoying that Cook couldn't come up with better.
Vietor does a great job as always of voicing Croaker and I always felt his performance fit. I have more to add but I want to avoid spoilers even the most obvious ones.
All in all this is a fun read and if you are into the Black Company or this kind of military fantasy style you would really enjoy it.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
This book yields new life to this series. It draws one back to this story with a vengeance and it is totally worth listening to.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Not quite as enjoyable as the initial trilogy, but still a fantastic read
Story – 4/5
There wasn’t as much intrigue and new fantasy discoveries in this book, as it had mostly been done in the initial trilogy. There was a lot more character development though, as Croaker now has to lead the Black Company, so we are seeing it from a different perspective altogether. There is also a love story involved, which is subtle and believable, and has been built upon very nicely from the previous novels.
Where this story really shines though, is in the final 3 hours, where the battles and skirmishes are plentiful. I also enjoyed the political elements that accompanied it. The ending was excellent, and there are plenty of surprises in there that I did not see coming at all.
This is not a standalone sequel though, there is too much left open at the end, of which I imagine “Dreams of Steel” will follow straight on from. I can’t wait to get stuck into it. This has very quickly become a favourite series of mine, and I am being careful not to rush through all 10 novels.
Performance – 4.5/5
Marc Vietor IS Croaker. Having listened to him act as Croaker for 4 books, I can’t imagine any other voice doing it. The other characters all have distinctly recognisable voices, and he does a superb job, yet again, of setting the mood and atmosphere for the entire story. The more stories I read, the better he gets as well.
Overall – 4/5