Shadow Sun Expansion

Series: Shadow Sun, Book 2
Length: 17 hrs and 21 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (568 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The human race has become nearly extinct. 

Allistor and his small group push to make themselves stronger, fighting to survive the year-long stabilization. 

Forced to battle increasingly stronger and more deadly monsters, they work to expand their holdings, learn better spells, and gather resources to improve their crafting. 

Dungeons must be cleared, and dragons defeated. Fellow survivors are found - some friendly, some hostile.  

Allistor considers every human life precious, but when it becomes a case of kill or be killed, hard choices must be made. 

And each day brings them closer to the invasion of Earth. 

The Soundbooth Theater team for this production:

  • Will Watt - Narration
  • Annie Ellicott - Amanda, Meg, and other supporting characters
  • Andrea Parsneau - Helen, Andrea, and the rest of the female cast
  • Jeff Hays - Austin, Ramon, Fuzzy, and other supporting characters
  • Richard Smith - Proofing
  • Griffin Malnar - Editing and mastering
  • Ahmed Mahmoud - Sound design and music
©2019 Dave Willmarth (P)2020 Dave Willmarth

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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    3 out of 5 stars

I'm so dissapointed in Soundbooth

Are you guys just phoning it in now? Have you given up? How did Soundbooth go from cranking out well produced audiobooks one after the next to this?

1 - Andrea literally phoning it in for this one? That's what it sounds like. Her reading of the character Helen sounds small, distant, and tinny with very sibilant ssss. It sounds like she phoned it in, then that audio was poorly grafted onto one of the worst audio mixes i've ever heard.

2 - The mix. The recipe. One of the first rules of business success: DON'T CHANGE THE RECIPE. Soundbooth has embraced the opposite of that truism and went from one successful dish after another to offering one soggy mess after the next (see my Irrelevant Jack review). You've packed the plate with garnish no one asked for.

3 - *SOUNDSTAGE CHICANERY* - This one is the primary dealbreaker. The rest I don't like but could live with. The volume of the main narration is balanced, both right and left audio volume are even. Soundbooth has decided to sabotage their recipe and mess with this balance when characters are speaking. The balance centers the placement of the main character in the scene in my imagination (remember this is a book not a TV show, my imagination automatically places the characters) so when the balance changes and the character is no longer center it's disorienting (meaning the audio engineer has sent the audio to the right or left channel causing more or less volume to come from your right or left headphone). When the main character "speaks" it goes from balanced center to center right. This is disorienting. When the main character "speaks" to someone my brain has automatically placed the assumed person he's talking to in the scene, but when that person replies (Helen mostly) she's off somewhere to the left. This is disorienting.

In a movie or tv show you can see where people are in the scene, when effects and dialogue come from that 'direction' on the soundstage it feels normal. This doesn't translate at all to a book where my imagination has already decided where everyone in the scene is.

4 - Sound effects; the garnish for the dish no one asked for, that do nothing but clutter the plate. It really adds nothing imo. Worse, and ironically the more you add here the less your imagination has to play with. This isn't so bad, but it really does nothing for me.

5 - Music that spoils fight scenes by signalling when they'll start and end (rather than letting the author tell you when the scene starts and ends). This is a big nono, please stop.

Soundbooth killed Irrelevant Jack with soundstaging. I'd hoped it was something they didn't want to do that the author specifically asked for and they'd go on to cranking out awesome performances afterwards.

Nope. Goodbye Soundbooth :(

14 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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The ONLY character I liked was the bear

This book is nothing more than a constant stream of dumb decisions and questionable morality while pretending the characters are making brilliant decisions and accomplishing great deeds.

The voice actor for the main character sounds like he is slowly over annunciating every word with a mouth full of spit. The rest of voice actors (who are normally excellent) sounded like they recorded using very different sound settings so the whole thing comes off as very pieced together instead of fluid like their normal work.

The story has some good concepts that are poorly executed. Do yourself a favor and just go read The System Apocalypse by Tao Wong. It’s almost the same story but MUCH better.

9 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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I really didn’t want this book to end...

First, a caveat:
My 5 star rating could be inflated by half a star as I normally try to reserve the 5-bangers for books that are truly a cut above in language, performance and craft. I don’t know that this book quite meets those specific standards, but what I do know is that I kept checking the remaining time to ensure that there was more time left. The whole way through I just wanted to hear more, and I dreaded the ending like Grover did with the monster at the end of his book.

Ok, now on with the review...

The most noticeable difference between the first book and this one is that Sound Booth Theater did a much better job of integrating the sound design with the narration. A lot of this was accomplished by just mixing the sound effects much lower in the audio mix compared to the level of the narrators’ voices.

I’m still not sold on the value of the sound effects in particular, but also on the idea of any additional audio save for the narrator in general. If done well, some manipulation of the character voices might be alright if used sparingly, but on the whole it’s the authors’ job to put all of the necessary cues and nuance into the writing and the narrators’ job to bring the character’s voices to life. If the author and narrator have done their jobs well, then any additional audio will be superfluous and only serve to distract the listener. That idea is applicable to this audiobook... I can’t say that the additional effects improved the experience, but I can say for sure that it was still distracting at times. Even so, I will at least give SBT the nod for doing a better, more subtle job this time around.

As for the writing... it’s sadly refreshing when an author in this genre writes and releases a book which is both engaging and also long enough to tell a fully fleshed-out story... a novel that doesn’t feel like it has been arbitrarily cut off 2/3’s of the way through the story arc. It seems like many other authors in the GameLit genre are either content to release episodes rather than full books or are happy to cut what would be one complete volume into two or three 6 to 8-hour chunks which they release 1 or 2 months apart. This trend just makes you feel like you’re being milked for credits and leads to several, less-than-satisfying listens as opposed to one solid experience.

So thumbs up to Mr. Willmarth for not following along with many of his peers and writing a book that really hit the spot... In fact I’m going to start supporting him on Patreon right now to put my money where my mouth is. I encourage other listeners to do the same in order to reward those authors whose integrity and commitment to their art has over-ruled the base commercialism that seems to have afflicted so many other authors in this genre.

...5 bucks a month is worth it to encourage and support authors who all too often have to find time to write in the evenings and on weekends because they don’t make enough to feed their families from writing alone.

6 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Once again a success! HIGHKY RECOMMENDED

This book like the prior one was a great book. Very difficult to stop reading/listen. MC is likable and the writer makes you want to be on his team. story line is not like a typical LITRPG in a scense that they are trapped in a video game. It's a refreshing twist to the genre.
I am happy that these books have long listening times but I'm sad that the next book is not available.
Please bring on book 3 asap

4 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great new take on litrpg

I was just getting worn out on the same rehashing of litrpg when I stumbled on this series. Now, if you take yourself too serious or have morality issues, you really should not read sci-fi to start with but this book is not for you.

I actually agree with most of the sentiments and maybe that is why I like it..work hard and don’t take bull...


Anyway, the story grows steadily without trying to “crank it up to 11” all the time making it rather enjoyable as there are no boring fillers to wade through.

I did ding the score due to some audio issues especially with the woman voices...cannot think that was intentional??

Bring on the next one already:)

2 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Good quality writing, bad accent for apocalypse books

I really liked book one, but book two just seemed off. The narrator is often describing people and food with a very soft tone while there’s an apocalypse going on in the background. I still liked this book, but a heavily accented Englishman that loves drawing out the word “chocolate” just didn’t match well.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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keep it going

I saw this and after i listen to the first I had to get it drop all other books and start on this I wasn't disappointed amazing book with the best narrator's

2 people found this helpful

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amazing

my only complaint is that it ended to soon can't wait for the next book

2 people found this helpful

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Another Great Entry

Mr. Willmarth has continued to put out some very entertaining books. I have thoroughly enjoyed each and everyone odd his book series

2 people found this helpful

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  • DJ
  • 02-12-20

A great listen

Simply an amazing bit of work both in writing and in audio recording. I truly love this series and wish the next book was already put in audio as if have it as well. This is a great continuation of the story with lots of fighting, base building, and character development.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Charlton
  • 03-03-20

What a story!

This is by far my favourite Audiobook series, and is a primary example of why LitRPG is becoming so popular! Dave Willmarth for me is up there with the best, and what I truly like about his style is that he actually gives you a well round book, and does not cut it into 2 or 3 smaller books that leave you waiting months before real progression is made in the story. You actually feel as if the story has progressed and if you haven’t already I would suggest this series as your next read…..keep them coming Dave!!

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  • Aaron
  • 02-24-20

Excellent, much like the first.

Just as the title says; book 2 continues in the same vein as the first.
Even after finishing this book it feels as though we're just getting started into what could be a lengthy series.

Narration was very impressive as always from the people at SBT; even the small things like a faint echo in the voice when a character was calling out from another room. All of those tiny details can easily be missed listening to the recording, but I for one very much appreciated them.

Looking forward to the next!

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  • james mcadam
  • 02-22-20

epic

another great book from a great author and a very solid job done by soundbook theatre carnt wait for the next one

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  • Morris
  • 02-19-20

Epic post-apocalyptic book

Overall this is an amazing book and series. Most interactions between the different factions seem realistic and natural. The system is great and characters dont speed through levelling within an instant. The fight scenes are not long and dragged out they include the right amount of detail and last a good amount of time. I'm definitely invested to continue this series. Also the MC is likeable and the side characters are hilarious.

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  • mitchell
  • 02-15-20

the main character is the biggest hypocrite

the story is just repetitive the mc goes around spouting nonsense and saying how amazing he is while doing all the things he condems. he has no personality or charisma at all. overall extremely poor continuation on the series

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  • Adam
  • 02-14-20

Keeps Getting Better!

Keeps getting better, kinda hate the massive time jumps in this book but overwise incredible and can't wait for the next one.

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  • Owen Smith
  • 03-12-20

Story ok but writing is a massive letdown.

May issues with this book. Some examples: giving a high five to every gamer (as if they are so rare and part of some “in club”), the main character laughing at the most odd times, not knowing the appropriate reactions of children 5 year olds don’t say “I am this old and hold up 5 fingers”. 5 year olds go to school.
There was even an entire chapter on the main character playing a joke with giant chickens that wasn’t even funny.
I also don’t get that a park ranger can gift all this land, but what the president or top politicians don’t own any of it?? What is the difference!

Please get a good editor!

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  • Tessa
  • 03-11-20

amazing

i absolutely love this series and look forward to the next installment to find out what happens post stabalisation!

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  • Carl
  • 03-04-20

Good Easter eggs.

I noticed the “gnomes rule” and “Bob” in this book. Great references to some other great Lit books!
Loving this story so far. Keep them coming!