Shadowbreaker

Warhammer 40,000
Narrated by: Andrew Wincott
Length: 16 hrs and 37 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (343 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

A Deathwatch novel.

Talon Squad return to action, hunting for a missing inquisitor on a world that has been claimed by the T'au Empire - but has their quarry been taken or defected to the Greater Good?  

Listen to it because: It's the long-awaited sequel to Deathwatch and is packed with the high-octane alien-hunting action you've come to expect from Steve Parker.  

The story: The Deathwatch are the elite of the elite - small teams of Space Marines handpicked for special missions that require the utmost courage and cunning. Now recovered from the injuries sustained on his previous mission, Codicier Karras must lead Talon Squad in the hunt for a missing inquisitor. Their only clue is the name of an Imperial planet that has been taken over by the T’au. Is the missing inquisitor alive or dead? Worse still, has she gone rogue, jeopardising one of the Inquisition’s most secret projects? 

Karras must lead his team against a whole planet of hostile T’au and survive the deadly internal politics of the Inquisition to succeed in his mission, code named Shadowbreaker.

Action, intrigue and excitement are seamlessly woven together by the master of high-octane science fiction, Steve Parker.  

Written by Steve Parker. Audiobook running time 16 hours and 37 minutes. Narrated by Andrew Wincott.

©2019 Games Workshop Limited (P)2019 Games Workshop Limited

What listeners say about Shadowbreaker

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Good book, great Narrator, stupid politics

First let me say the story was good and the narrator was great. I look forward to other book narrated by him. I will hesitate to get another book by the author though.

Spoilers ahead. There is a Female Stormtrooper commander codenamed Archangel. I thought she was well written and like her character. But there were these boaderline feminists moment. First the killteam is placed under her command and if the Space Marines only had an issue with being under the command of a human, yeah ok that fits the lore but they had as much if not more of an issue with her being a woman. Then there were these "ahh she is capable" inter-rants some of the marines had and agian not as a human but as a female human. then finally before the last mission Archangel had an inter monologue about being passed over for promotion becausr she was a woman. There was another human woman that was from a backwater world with almost warrior culture. She was pyker who use her power to control her son's body to lead the resistance, ok that fits it's a backwater male controlled world, no issue. But Archangel was from Elysium a advance core imperial world know for their skilled Drop Troop Regiments, not a backwater mud ball and she was imperial guard. Overall the guard doesn't care whether you gentiles are on the outside or the inside, it all just meat for the grinder. To make it worse these feminism rants didn't even fit in to the story well and almost seemed to be shoehorned into the story after it was finished.

Please leave your real world politics out of the fictional universe of 40K. The Imperium doesn't care about your gender only whether your death will service the God Emperor.

14 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Deathwatch, kinda.

The story wasn't too bad but I really wanted a little more selfless sacrifice and heroism and less politics and cringe worthy moments, especially when talking about the leader of the special forces. Final conclusion : some parts are brilliant and some parts are eyerollinglly cringy.

4 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Good story bad editing

Overall I found it to be an enjoyable listen and would still recomend it to fans of 40k, but there were a few times that lines were read twice because they weren't properly edited out.

6 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Not As Deathwatch Heavy As It Should Be

I had high expectations for this title...definitely didn't feel like it met them.

Where to begin? First, the performance throughout is difficult to hear. The narrator speaks in low gravely tones that don't really register well through speakers. I mainly listen to audio books in my car, and had to have the volume up quite high to be able to hear him. By comparison, other titles in the Black Library with other narrators don't have this problem. Perhaps it was an issue with the file being ported to Audible, but regardless it made for a difficult listen even with high volume. Best listened to with headphones.

In addition, many of the character voices are similar, and the narrator had a few slips where he used the wrong character voice in dialogue so it became confusing to know who was speaking.

These physical performance issues, however, only hinder an already hamstringed narrative that suffers from a variety of problems.

Let's get this out of the way before I go any further: FOR A BOOK ABOUT THE DEATHWATCH, THEY TAKE QUITE A LONG TIME TO SHOW UP IN THE STORY. If you're buying this book to hopefully be inspired to start collecting a Deathwatch army (as I was), you'll be waiting quite a while before they see any action.

Granted, the story takes the solid path to setting up the rising action of the story, but in doing so, we spend so many chapters learning about the rebels on the planet, the Inquisition, and the T'au--almost 20+chapters before we get to even SEE a space marine doing anything more than talking.

When the action finally does kick off, it's the human soldiers that begin to endear themselves to readers, not the space marines. By the end of the book, there was a strong case to start a Kill Team of Elysians more than a Deathwatch one.

Because the story has so much intrigue on all sides (antagonists included) it takes so long to reach a conclusion. The conclusion (without spoilers) was good as to be expected and didn't leave any loose ends.

Despite all of the misgivings about the book, it's a solid narrative set in the Grim Dark universe. Definitely good to listen to while painting, but not really worth the credit if you're expecting nonstop action like I was.

TL;DR: it's a Deathwatch story without much Deathwatch. 60+ chapters but a good portion is intrigue and dialogue. Pass if you want nonstop action.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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A good Deathwatch story

I enjoyed the story, it had a nice look into the workings of the Ordo Xenos, and the Deathwatch.

There are a few repeated lines due to mistakes but with a 16 hour runtime, it's barely noticable.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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great balance between each character's story lines

great balance between each character's story lines. starts intriguingly vague and illuminates motivations, high stakes and plot at a good pace

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Hard read at times, but is a good story (I guess?)

This is hard to write cause I don't know what to say. I don't want to bash the story, as it is a rather interesting one at times, but this is definitely meant for you as the reader to know the previous events with these characters. At times, the exposition is boring, or all together at times meaningless, to the events in question.

The characters are rather entertaining, yet a few feel very copy and paste. Some I wished were more flushed out while others I wish were never present as their place in the story does little to nothing with it.

Overall, if you have read the previous ones, and enjoy this group, you'll more than likely enjoy this read. If you have no experience with this setting, or even 40k in general, I'd suggest something else. Honestly, it is really up to you.

1 person found this helpful

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good representation of the deathwatch

nice plot and well designed. hope there's going to be more than one book in the series.

1 person found this helpful

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it's ok

the narrator did well. however the story Arch jumped around near the climax and important details would not be addressed clearly and resulted in listening a second time. 3/5 overall.

1 person found this helpful

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peak 40k action

A combination of everything that nakes 40k unique and fun: tactical combat, a twisted story, variety of allies and enemies, and an unrelenting story of grim war in the stars. absolutely loved it. slight gripe at 2 spots the narrator repeats aline in the exact same way a little strange but the only error I noticed over the long runtime.

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  • Aaron Greenwood
  • 10-29-19

Great book, some editing mistakes

Overall the book is good but there is at least 3 double takes have been left in, in chapter 25 not longer after 9:20, chapter 36 not long after 9:09 and chapter 49 not long after 13:13. This is the first time something like this has been in warhammer 40k book in my experience and while it didn't detract from the overall performance it supring it slipped the net.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Andrew
  • 08-15-19

great book but some minor recording/edit errors

A great book about how the deathwatch operate. some minor hiccups with the recording which broke my immersion from time to time. I counted maybe 3 or 4 errors. other than that the voice actor does an amazing job at voicing to sassy/stuck up inquisitors.

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • James.
  • 07-21-19

Great Book

A really good book, my 1st Warhammer book, interesting storyline that keeps you listening.... Recommended..

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Chris Dann
  • 07-19-19

Special Ops, Aliens and Insurgency in 40K

In a setting so often dedicated to the epic scale of warfare on the blasted battle fields of the far future, Shadowbreaker is a welcome change of pace. We step away from the front line and see what life is like on a formerly Imperial planet now under the control of the T'au. With intrigue and subterfuge dictating the pace of the novel there is a level of tension throughout that keeps you wondering what will happen next. With the protagonists of the novel being Deathwatch, the action is close up and intimate, forever stacked against the odds. Each member of Kill Team Talon feels unique, occasionally tending towards a level of caricature that seems a bit too far for indoctrinated killing machines, but overall the dynamic between the characters is well thought out.

The performance is certainly demanding. With such an array of characters, not all of them human either, Andrew Wincott does a great job of distinguishing each and at no point are you left wondering which character is speaking. That being said I wasn't overly fond of the way I'm which he performed the Xenos characters. Maybe it's just the way I imagined them speaking doesn't line up with the way in which he has them speak.

Definitely worth the listening time, and open to the potential of further development of the story.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Olli
  • 07-10-20

Bolters and intrigue!

Really enjoyed listening! excellent mix of stealth undercover operations and when it all breaks loose lots of bolter rounds flying everywhere.

Some of the voices sounded a little bit strained and similar from character to character. but if you can get past that then it's a really really good listen.

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  • TLOG
  • 03-08-20

Slow build, good finish

Overall a good book, the first couple of hours feel like they could have been condensed a little but it was enjoyable all the same. Some way into the book I realised this was actually a sequel, as it referred to events in the book prior to this "Deathwatch", which I can't find on audible sadly.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 03-06-20

Really great listen

One of few Warhammer 40K books where the talking parts aren't a boring drag but actually interesting and insightful.
Thrilling action scenes and moments of gripping suspense. This book really twists and turns - just as you think you know what's going to happen, it veers off in a completely different direction. It also covers narratives from a wide variety of different character's viewpoints - enough to give a thorough perspective of the story, without being so many that it becomes overwhelming.

At almost 17 hours, the book is pretty long relative to others by the Black Library, but a really enjoyable 17 hours nonetheless. Would definitely recommend.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 02-12-20

great voice acting

fantastic voice acting, however story is a tad slow and unbelievable... characters are essentially invulnerable and so there is never a feeling of threat.

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 01-20-20

cold war CIA novel cheaply ported to 40k

shadow breaker is a 40k cold war novel with Mujahideen and CIA/Delta Force going into Soviet held territory.
It is repleat with cheap middle East tropes, highly sexist male orientated society, sci fi middle East names. The Tau are lovers of austere and could be Chinese of cold war Russia or even sci fi North Korea.
The narrator overacts throughout and is off putting, using near racist diet coke Mickey Rooney Asian accent for the Tau.
overall, it's interesting to paint the Tau in this 20th century esque Communist mindset but this all comes across as a the author had a special forces cold war novel ready on his shelf and he changed the names and locations.

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  • Sean Robinson
  • 01-07-20

Review

The first few chapters were abit boring but once the space marines show up it got way better. Would recommend to anyone who likes deathwatch 😃👍

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  • Joe
  • 06-01-19

Great story in the end, with a few flaws

Warhammer 40K audio books are my guilty pleasure. The performance of these gonzo-epics of unending 'law vs order' military space operas is exquisite.

Steve Parker tells a good story here, and overall hits the mark with lasgun precision.

However, there are passages during the first two-thirds of the novel that feel repetitive and fall into the 'tell, don't show' sin of writing: the author commenting on just how important the mission is or how unlikely it is to succeed. Yes. The reader already knows this from the weirdly-horrific machinations of the Ordos at the start of the book (which is a great opening set of chapters!)

The latter third of the story picks avoids this problematic storytelling, diving into the action with the vivid violence of the final mission and minor characters coming to life (and often dying horribly in short order.)

All up, this audiobook left me very satisfied. No spoilers, but the end is exactly what it should be, but not what exactly what the reader expects.

Enjoy the grim dark future!


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  • Anonymous User
  • 05-30-19

Decent

Rather slow start but picks up around the middle. Voice performance is okay, a bit monotonous and a couple repeated lines though.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 05-15-19

slow start but hold on to your jump pack!!

awesome and unexpected. Can't wait for another story of team talon deathwatch. story was just a bit slow to start off.

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 05-15-19

stick with ADB, French or Wraight.

lots of interesting ideas, but constantly brakes 40k canon. like sentence by sentence. its as if he has the memory of goldfish. go checkout the most recent plague war book instead!