Death has come with fury (and a bit of dark humor) to a little town south of Chicago. A healthy patient dies without explanation. A tour bus crashes; no survivors. Electrical fires. Strange diseases. Odd, deadly accidents.
And only a group of teens know why this is happening.
On an ordinary weekend, out on a drive at night, four friends find a portal to hell. And they accidently release into the world am army of grim reapers with a hatred of all humankind that immediately embarks on a worldwide killing spree the likes of which has not been seen since the Black Plague. Or the Purple Plague before that.
Now, only Conner, Almira, Ricky, and Flower can save the world. So the friends must sacrifice themselves in order to bring order back to a broken planet, by going back through the portal....
Back into a world of screaming darkness....
Back to the dominion of death....
But hopefully back in time for dinner.
©2015 Carl S. Plumer (P)2015 Carl S. Plumer
Shadows of Death deals with death; that is, the actual manifestations of death, the shadows that do the sould collecting. Well, it seems they dont like us, and when they get a chance, break out of limbo and kill lots of people. Can anyone say The Black Death? Yep, one of their shows. This story deals with an outbreak of Deaths, accidentally caused by four teen friends, and their efforts to stop the wordwide Deaths spree, and put the genie back in the bottle, so to speak. It has some dark elements, and a lot of humor to offset it. The four main characters are engaging and well written, with realistic interactions and reactions to the crisis. The supporting characters are well written as well, and help flesh out the story. The plot is fast paced, with a lot of action and interesting Deaths, since they can be creative. Ann Richardson does a great job of narrating, really moving the story along, and making each character stand out.
I was given a review copy of this book by the publisher, author or narrator free of charge in return for an honest review through Audiobookblast dot com.
I am at that half a century mark in years. I enjoy audiobooks,cats,rats and most days my family,not necessarily in that order!lol
This was a really great read!Narrator Ann M. Richardson takes us thru the chaos nicely.People are dying,for no apparent reason.Well,some die of known causes...like cancer sneaking up and killing you on the spot,things like that.It is fun yet terrifying! It seems that a few teenagers have accidently released something from hell...can they put it back?Let us all hope!
"I was provided this audiobook at no charge by the author, publisher and/or narrator in exchange for an unbiased review via AudiobookBlast or MalarHouse
If you like Scooby-Doo then this book is for you. It really reminded me of the Scooby-Doo gang and was like a Scooby-Doo episode.
A group of four teens fall through a crack between realms and return. (Unlike the book description they do not fall into hell rather they fall into the realm of death.) This is the realm of the Angel of Death's minions, the reapers. With this crack reapers flow unchecked into our world killing indiscriminately with out supervision or control. Of course our gang of four teens get blamed for some of the unexplained deaths.
One of the teens receives multiple life threatening injuries including internal injuries and multiple fractures and this kid is well in just a couple of days up and about battling reapers. Wow...I know this is not suppose to be a serious book but that was over the top.
I didn't see much 'dark humor' however it was a light enjoyable listen though a bit childish for this old lady. Pre and early teens would probably love this book though some parents may not like the occasional mild profanities.
The narration was superb and was a great asset to the book.
“I was provided this audiobook at no charge by the author, publisher and/or narrator in exchange for an unbiased review via AudiobookBlast dot come”
I had a really had time taking this book seriously. Plumer was obviously trying to create a story about the end times with a group of heroic teenagers, but all you really get is a story about a lot of people dying, clueless teenagers fumbling around the city, and a deus ex machina that fixes everything so the teenagers don't have to. I would have given more stars if I didn't spend most of the book in a near-DNF rage over the complete inaccuracies of the scenes involving the law enforcement officers. The awkward insertions of worldly events was distracting and irritating.
I listened to the audio version and I felt Ann M. Richardson did a pretty decent job of narrating. She's the only reason this book didn't get one-star from me. She did an excellent job conveying the befuddlement of the teenagers, but I think the "humor" was harder to get across. Also, she could have upped her reading speed a bit.
**I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.**
"Satire is a genre of literature, and sometimes graphic and performing arts, in which vices, follies, abuses, and shortcomings are held up to ridicule, ideally with the intent of shaming individuals, corporations, government or society itself, into improvement."
I only include this dictionary meaning of "Satire" in the review on the off chance the author reads the review. Because it is clear that no one has actually explained to him what satire is, despite his penchant for having 'a satire' written across the covers of his books. There is no satire here.
Beyond that the story is a mess.
It also doesn't flow. One example is midway through a speech where one of the teens explain how they escaped from the hell portal Plumer inserts a paragraph about how in the coming few days deaths all over the world would increase tenfold and no reason could be attributed to it. It then returns to the character continuing to speak. It's like the author accidentally copied and pasted a paragraph in the wrong location [There is the possibility that this as a footnote inserted into this section but a) the inserted paragraph had nothing to do with what he was saying at the time, and b) there is nothing that makes it seem like it was a footnote - which I guess would be the narrators fault not the authors].
There is also one character named "Ricky Martin" and about half the time the character is mentioned the full name is said (which is a lot of times). No other character gets this treatment. In fact half of them I have no idea if they were even given last names. But Ricky? The author won't let you ever forget his last name. Do you ever constantly call your friend by their full name? Because most of Ricky's friends do. But never once is it questioned or explained that it's an 'inside joke' or something. It's not evenly applied, in that characters swap back and forth from full name to first name. If it was an inside joke by his friends they would apply in consistently (like Young Neil or Stephen Stiles in Scott Pilgrim) It's like Plumer was so impressed with himself for making a joke about the famous singer that he couldn't possibly let you forget.
And then we get to the ending which is an anti-climax followed by a giant deus ex machina. And one in which I don’t think the main characters actually played a part at all, they just happened to be there for. It would have ended pretty much the same way no matter what the main characters had done. In fact the whole ending is like a giant ball of cotton candy sickliness, made all the worse because it is following what is supposed to be a dark book.
One good point I can think of - Plumer can turn a phrase. Individual lines read really well. It's just a shame he can't group them together into something coherent.
Narration is 3.5 / 5
I enjoyed Ann Richardson's narration. She imparts emotion into the reading, making each character distinct. She gets, and is able to convey, some of the snarky teenage mood.
I'm not completely sure she got the book at times though. In a few places I noticed lines from the narrator that should have been conveyed with very dry wit, but they were read straight by her. I think she missed the dry joke that. There is the aforementioned possible footnote issue too.
In the end I would gladly listen to other books narrated by her, I think she is a good narrator, I just don’t think this is the book for her.
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