• Destiny of the Dead

  • The Shroud of Prophecy, Book 2
  • By: Kel Kade
  • Narrated by: Nick Podehl
  • Length: 13 hrs and 54 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (1,162 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Destiny of the Dead is the second audiobook in the genre-bending Shroud of Prophecy series from New York Times best-selling author Kel Kade.

The God of Death is tired of dealing with the living, so he’s decided everyone should die. And he’s found allies. The Berru, an empire of dark mages, has unleashed a terrifying army of monstrous lyksvight upon everyone with a pulse.

While the wealthy and powerful, the kings and queens, abandon the dying world, one group of misfits says no more. Through dogged determination and the ability to bind souls to their dead bodies, Aaslo and his friends fight on.

In the mountains of the far north, another bastion of defense is opened. Cherrí, the avatar of a vengeful fire god, has united the survivors amongst her people and begun her own war on the invaders.

Now, Aaslo and Cherrí must find a way to unite their powers, one divine, the other profane, to throw back the monsters of the Berru and challenge Death itself.

A Macmillan Audio production from Tor Books

©2021 Kel Kade (P)2021 Macmillan Audio

What listeners say about Destiny of the Dead

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

I'm a fan of Kade, but this felt like a 1st draft

As I said, I'm a fan of Kel Kade. I loved Fate of the Fallen, I've read it twice. I've read her King's Dark Tiding series. They are fun books. As such, I was excited to jump into Destiny of the Dead. However, I was disappointed overall. The book has pacing problems, coherent plot problems, character problems, problems galore. It really feels like the first draft, just a step above a rough draft. I fear she was racing towards a deadline instead of making the book as strong as it could be. That's really unfortunate. I think it could have been a great book if it had gone through another two drafts to tighten it up and streamline it.

One of the most grating problems of this book, and it happens every single chapter, practically every moment of dialogue - is the "miscommunication" between Aaslo and everyone around him. I don't know if the author thought this was funny or something, but as a reader, it is the most annoying thing ever. Aaslo can "see" into various realms at the same time. He can hear and talk to individuals on separate planes all at once while the inhabitants of those planes can't see or hear each other. At any given time, characters never seem to know who Aaslo is talking to and just assume he is talking to them, EVEN WHEN THEY ARE AWARE OF HIS ABILITY!!!!!!! They know he can talk to beings that aren't in their dimension and they know the other beings are frequently there, yet they still assume he is always talking to them even when it comes off as a non-sequitur or strange. Why would they do that? So then there is constantly this back and forth of “no, I wasn’t talking to you.”

Let’s look at this in real life. Imagine you are talking to someone on a bluetooth and you approach another person. At first, the first time you approach that person, they may think you are talking to them, but then you signal the bluetooth and they instantly are like, “Oh, okay, you have a bluetooth, you obviously weren’t talking to me with that weird comment.” Now imagine you are constantly on a bluetooth, like 80% of the time. From now on, that other person will first assume you are talking to someone else instead of them. They won’t just assume a random comment is aimed at them. This will become their new default instead of taking offense at some non-sensical words spoken their way. You, the speaker may even develop a signal, like holding your hand up and turning your head to the side, to show these new friends of yours that you are talking to a being of another realm. Simple, effective, realistic. Nope. Kel Kade decides that every conversation will be a conversation of errors and misinterpretations. Imagine a friend telling you a knock knock joke over and over and over again. That’s what it felt like in this book. I think I knocked a star off for that alone.

If I can throw in one more snipe, what’s up with a female author really misrepresenting female characters? I get a man not understanding women but I expect more from a female author on female characters. Teza in supposedly the main female character and “love interest” but she is extremely one-dimensional and naggingly annoying. She has one emotion and it’s “irritated.”

 It's hard to like a character when they just come off as constantly belittling and sharp and frustrated with the world.

I will continue this series, because it has potential and I really hope Kel Kade gets her act together for the sequel. I hope she takes the time to get it properly polished before just shooting it out to shelves.

9 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Sloppy, Scattered, and Rushed

Another reviewer on here said that this book read like a 1st draft and I couldn’t agree more. The ideas are there but the book reads like she had a deadline coming up and raced to write the whole thing in a couple of months.

I’ll go through biggest problems I had:

-The whole characters hearing Aaslo speak to off screen (unseen) characters and thinking he’s talking to them schtick (which handled pretty well in the first book) got old real quick. It wasn’t funny, almost always didn’t make sense (in the context of the conversations and that the other characters kept falling for it), and it didn’t progress the story at all. In fact it was obstructive. I groaned every time it happened, which was pretty much every other page.

-The pacing? Imagine the “Yakety Sax” song.

-Tezza? Ugh. Talk about a static character. She’s perpetually insecure, defensive, pissed off, and/or aggravated. She’s either crushing on Aaslo (which goes nowhere even though it’s cartoonishly obvious because Aaslo, even more than usual for the trope, is completely blind to of course), complaining about something he’s said or done, or freaking about the situation. Oh and sometimes she heals. That’s it. That’s all she does. There’s nothing more too her.

-The gods act TOO immature. TOO unintelligent. TOO bumbling. So much so that it can’t be chalked up to arrogance. It’s like none of them have any idea what they’re doing or any ability to detect the (obvious) plans of each other. They’ve lost all mystique and grandeur to me at this point.

-Too much is happening at once and doesn’t come together. Plus so many larger concepts and potential plot lines are introduced that create a million questions and never get explored.

-The whole tone of the secondary storyline of Cherie is entirely different. Far darker and doesn’t even feel like the same world. She’s fine I guess, but it would not have changed things much if she was completely cut out of the story.

-The big secret the Reaper (Myla? I forget) has is so blatantly obvious (has been since book 1) that it’s infuriating to have to continue to see hints dropped throughout the whole book and pretend that you haven’t figured it out yet.

-The talking head best friend is just kind of an a-hole in this book. He trashes and dunks on Aaslo throughout the whole book and does so in a mean-spirited way. None of what he says is productive or helps Aaslo’s character progression.

-The ending reads like Kel Kade was still in the middle of finishing the final few chapters when the teacher said “pencils down”, so she scribbled out the last handful of plot points (the climax) in a few sentences before her test was taken up.

Even with the understanding that there are going to be more book(s) to come im this series, the ending was incredibly abrupt and didn’t bring on any sense of closure.

Anyway, this review got away from me so I’ll wrap up. As you can see, I’m pretty aggravated by this book. I’ve read all of her others and it’s clear that Kel can put out a much better finished product but just didn’t put the effort in (or rushed it just to get it out) this time. So I’m left feeling disrespected as a reader.

Having said all of that, I do think that it is worth a read if you’ve read the first one. But I wouldn’t recommend the series now for people that haven’t.

PS: Nick Poehdel (sp?) is great as always.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Tezza ruined it.

Tezza was annoying with no reason from the start and only became worse. She was a seriously weak link in the story. her character had the depth of a shot glass. Always angry, always distrustful and always full of herself. Besides her, the story was pretty good, although it was pretty frustrating how incessantly everyone told Aslo that the "prophecy says we're doomed". I really enjoyed Kel's writing before this, but it definitely felt rushed, but overall it's a super interesting idea.
But on a positive note, as usual Nick Podehl's narration and voices were top notch.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Require multiple listens to filter

I think Kel Kade is an excellent talented author whose heart isn't in her stories. Kings Dark Tidings and now this. Long time between stories and apparently slapped together. Well wishes to her hearts desire. She is probably spectacular. Revising after multiple listens and think it's much better if you can ignore multiple voices talking at main character at the same time and the conflicts it creates. Perhaps its to bring light to the schizophrenic condition, I don't know. If that's the case, well done.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Lots of action, but so many points of view

I enjoyed this second book, but went from telling the story from only one point a view to so many different ones did not make it as enjoyable as the first.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

I really Liked it but had 1 big issue

Aaslo has been shown to be slipping mentally with him talking to His best friends head and seeing all sorts of crazy things but the big issue is that when Aaslo is talking to himself other people around him think that he is talking to them and constantly misunderstand him or think that he's calling them stupid or something. I hated this and his dead hero friend's spirit was more chatty and annoying then helpful. I think there was only 1 time he helped by saying look out behind you during a fight saving Aaslo but the rest was just chatty babble

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

phenomenal

I haven't found a book from Kel that I don't ADORE, barely a few hours into this one and my love for these characters and this world is still growing

Thank you Kel <3

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Best read immediately after book 1

Skip prologue. Brush up on book 1 especially names. The Head in this book is just as annoying as in book one and Aslo's continued muttering is over done after this book. There is a lot of action and magic. I feel like there are too many characters and I don't feel connected or concerned for any of them.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Stick it out. It’s worth it

Overall too much Mathias early on but enthralling once you get into it. I’m so glad I kept listening.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • JT
  • 08-05-22

Disappointing follow up to a great book

Felt like maybe Kel was really rushed on this one. Many areas of the story were glossed over or not fleshed out. Rapid fire changes of place and cast without completion. I love the KDT books she writes, and none of them have this issue. Fate of the Fallen was really good too, but Destiny of the Dead was a miss.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Jamie Blakeman
  • 07-04-22

Interesting Series

Turned out to be a great series. Good pacing and plenty of intrigue. Looking forward to the next book!

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Arman
  • 06-11-22

another great installment

these books are always so much fun to listen to! so much passion behind them and really brought to life by the performer.
a diverse and interesting cast.
It's more like a shonen anime than your typical fantasy novel, though over time they've become less cliché/childish and a bit more gritty which I like. It's hard to keep that balance.

All in all, worth the read.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Paul J.
  • 03-30-22

Waited long, over too soon

I have enjoyed both book series by Kel and Nick delivers them wonderfully. I can’t wait for the next in either series, so please Kel, work faster ;-) highly recommended, have fun.

Just read some other reviews, wow, just wow, did I listen to another book? I get some observations about the gods, Tessa and the confusion around Aaslo having 3-way conversations, but I accepted that in terms of the developing story, the changing circumstances and his developing skills. I have always accepted the style of the books and this has the same feel as Kings Dark Tidings. The ideas and scope of the story are what grab me, and who says gods are mature and wise?

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Christine
  • 04-06-22

It was cool

I liked it, the voice is good and the story was thrilling + I love the mystery and intrigue of some of the details like wtf is with dolt and is igen telling the truth about never having seen a line of prophecy in which life prevails and what’s with methias’s sword and with his head. Twas cool.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Mark
  • 03-31-22

a bit of a disappointment

The only reason i finished it was i had no other unread books in my library. No where near as good as kings dark tidings. I won't be listening to the next in the series.