• StarCraft: Shadow of the Xel'Naga

  • Blizzard Legends
  • By: Gabriel Mesta
  • Narrated by: Neil Kaplan
  • Length: 6 hrs and 55 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (90 ratings)
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StarCraft: Shadow of the Xel'Naga  By  cover art

StarCraft: Shadow of the Xel'Naga

By: Gabriel Mesta
Narrated by: Neil Kaplan
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Publisher's summary

Far in the future, 60,000 light-years from Earth, a loose confederacy of Terran exiles are locked in battle with the enigmatic Protoss and the ruthless Zerg Swarm. Each species struggles to ensure its own survival among the stars in a war that will herald the beginning of mankind's greatest chapter - or foretell its violent, bloody end. 

Bhekar Ro: a bleak, backwater world on the fringe of the Terran Dominion, where every day is a struggle to survive for its handful of human colonists. It is a veritable wasteland - one speck of dust among many in the vast, dark sea of space. But when the most violent storm in recent memory unearths an unfathomable alien artifact, Bhekar Ro becomes the greatest prize in the Terran Sector - the Holy Grail of the Zerg, the Protoss, and Humanity alike - as forces from the three great powers converge to claim the lost secrets of the most powerful species the universe has ever known. 

An original tale of space warfare novels set in the world of the best-selling computer game!

©2001 Blizzard Entertainment (P)2020 Blizzard Entertainment

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What listeners say about StarCraft: Shadow of the Xel'Naga

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

3.2/5 - Strong Narration for a weak novel

Shadow of the Xel'Naga is weakest of the original three StarCraft novels, being the second produced between Liberty's Crusade and Speed of Darkness. I prefer to split a review 60/40, 60 for narration and 40 for the novel, because even a poor novel can shine with the right talent. That's sadly not the case here.

Neil Kaplan brings his A game, probably some of his best work in terms of flexing his voice by narrating chapters differently depending on the character, both in tone and flow. If you've listened to any of his other narrations, you'll be pleased with his performance, earning full marks.

The book is a flop, it does a few things wrong, but commits two defining crimes of note. Firstly, it comes across as written with cursory knowledge of it's source, with characters acting inappropriately or commenting on other characters that doesn't work as a reflection of their video game representations.

Secondly, it's incredibly dull. the singular event takes a long time to occur, and for every interesting detail, there're several dozen that bore, like how a hive morphs from the previous stage which morphed from the previous stage. Neil does his best with the material, but you can only do so much polishing. You can occasionally hear the weird way it's written in places reflected in the narration, the first chapter most noticeably. Easily a .5/5.

I thoroughly enjoy Neil Kaplan as a narrator, and he does an utmost excellent job, and outside of this one book, I can thoroughly recommend any of his previous works for fans of the StarCraft universe. I patiently await Speed of Darkness!

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2 people found this helpful

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

Neil carried the book

the story might as well have been written by a late teen for all its nuances...
it brings little to the SC universe and leaves more questions than it answers...

had it not been for Neil I might not have finished it...

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

Enjoyable as always.

Neal Kaplan is amazing as usual.
can't wait for more.
love StarCraft.
makes me go back 20 years and more.

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

Amazing work!!

I really liked how he put different inflections on the different parts of the story to let you know where in the story you are! just feel lucky to hear these amazing stories, miss the old Blizzard.

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

v. good

a very cinematic read. I could clearly imagine everything going on and was very straight forward.

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

start slow and picks up

this story takes place between Starcraft and brood War. does a very good job of portraying the three sided conflict. the events at the end of the story are mentioned in other Starcraft books.

the story starts rather slowly and picks up quickly. before you reach the halfway point of the book it's like a runaway train and doesn't let up until the very end.

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

good book good reader

Neil Kaplan another amazing performance story was entertaining overall 8 out of 10 only issue was the ending kind of fell flat.

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

great series!

love this series, we need more starcraft books, cant wait to listen to the next one

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