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Publisher's Summary

Fossil fuels are gone. 

Five years ago, hungry for energy and profits, the Union Forest Corporation embarked on an aggressive search for alternative power sources. In their quest they drilled too deeply, releasing a long-forgotten evil that’s been terrorizing the planet. As frightening as the dragon is, the executives at Union Forest are more terrified of losing corporate secrets than losing human lives. Somewhere in that drilling site, there’s a data core that they desperately want back.

After giving years of service to the military, Henry Morgan just wants a normal life. But between nagging feelings from his past and a strained relationship with his brother Rick, “normality” always feels just out of reach. When Henry learns that Rick is among the force of elite commandos sent by Union Forest to battle against the demon at the drilling site, he’s forced back into the roles of soldier and protective older sibling. He’ll do everything he can to save his brother...including risking his own life at the hands of a ruthless corporation.

©2017 Daniel Swenson (P)2017 Immortal Works

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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

The shadow

Henry with his geeky, but very important friend, heads out to try and save his brother from almost certain death. It was a roller coaster action packed that will keep you listening until the very end.
A great debut novel by the author

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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

Similar to Reign of Fire NOT!!

When I first saw this book my instict was to say that it was a rip off of Reign of Fire, the movie with Christian Bale. Afte listening to it, however, I would say there are only tangential similarities. Dragon? Yep. Flys around burning stuff? Yep. That's about it though. I was surprised to learn that this was Swenson's first book. He does a good job, with some incidental things that could be annoying if you didn't know that there is a squel coming out. It seems like some people doing reviews were complaining about plot points that went nowhere. I do believe that a lot of that stuff will be covered in the next book, or the one after that!!!

I also liked the fact that the Dragon didn't just show up and start tearing up the place. (Well, ok, it does in the prologue) but, there were other more malign monsters for the protagonists to fight. There were alternate dangers that made it feel like a fantasy world draped over a modern setting. The writing flowed and was easygoing. The story was well paced, and deserving of a sequel

Now, Campbell (who seems to also be breaking into the narrating business) does a great job. He conveys the emotions of the characters, drives home the desperation they feel, and conveys the dangers they face like he was in their place. You'd never know that he was just starting out.

I would say that Swenson and Campbell make a fine team, each bringing things to the table that helps to create a great modern fantasy tale. I just wish they hadn't beaten Ireland up so much.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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

Interesting story, great narration, some elements of characters did t work for me


This story is a sort of Smaug-meets-the-modern-world post-apocalyptic adventure. I love dragons and post-apocalypse, so this appeals to me.

The narration is excellent. The narrator uses his voice very well to raise and lower the tension from scene to scene, to bring the characters to life. I particularly enjoyed his renditions of the character’s voices. For example, Smythe’s voice done so well. From the voice narration for Smythe, I could really picture this smarmy, pretentious, a-hole as he’s harassing Henry.

Overall, I enjoyed the story. There were some things that didn’t really work for me though:

When Lenny is fighting with Henry in Henry’s office to make it seem like Henry has refused to help him, the actual dialogue doesn’t sound like natural dialogue. The words are too explicit and the message about Henry rejecting him is too obvious. I think a natural conversation would rely much more on the context of the conversation than so much explicit statement of betrayal?

As well, the whole idea of Rick being called ‘Greenie’ by the other members of the special forces team didn’t work for me. Too often, Rick seems plagued by self-doubt and constantly on the verge of falling apart. And Sgt. MacEvoy spends too much time behaving like a favourite uncle trying to bolster his confidence. That didn’t fit with my image of a man who threw himself into ever more dangerous missions to such an extent that he got noticed and recruited for MacEvoy’s team.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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

Excitement from beginning to end

This is an exciting tale from the beginning. It comes out of the gate on fast and furious and just gets better with humor, sibling rivalry, suspense, mutated fighting squirrels, strong soldiers, and expert consultant geeks who must all fight an evil that an unscrupulous company has released on the world. The fire-breathing creature has almost destroyed the world, but all is not lost. The narrator will keep you on the edge of your seat, wrap you up in the story, grab your gun and try to help. He is that good and so is the story. I got this story via audiobook boom and this is my voluntary review.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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

Review Shadow Above the Flames

Daniel Swenson has done a superb job of writing a novel with the right balance of action, suspense, mystery, and intrigue, ( along with a very impressive dragon). He tied together each subplot and brought the book to a satisfying conclusion. Steve Campbell narrated this with great talent. Easy to follow and know which character was speaking. The emotions were palpable. Over all I am very glad to have received a copy for review. I look forward to his next novel.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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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
  • TU
  • 12-05-17

Great dragon unleashed on the modern world story!

I was given this free review copy audio book at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

I really liked this book. I liked the premise of a greedy mega corp releasing a real dragon and chaos ensuing. I liked the ex-military main character and his friend. The narrator did a good job of bringing the book to life as well. All in all, a very enjoyable book. I'd definitely be open to more from this author.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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

3.5* - Interesting plot idea

I would give three stars for the story. The idea for the story was very interesting, but I wish that it had passed through the hands of a critical editor to tighten things up. For example, there are numerous aspects of the story that are unexplained. I appreciate the occasional red herring, but the author must be able to convince me that he/she is using this device deliberately and cleverly, rather than making it seem like a plot point that the author forgot to do something with. In this story, I noticed several loose plot threads that went nowhere, such as: a boat captain that requests a handful of grenades from one of the main characters, a protagonist receives a special gift of a compass that isn't mentioned again, different animal species that are mutated for no apparent reason, wolves that have are able to display emotions such as the need for vengeance and retaliation for something that a specific human had done, trees in a specific type of location that are thriving although all of the other trees have withered and died, a video with a mystery lady that we're not told about, and so on. I can understand where/why the author deliberately left us with mysteries (such as the history of the beast's interactions with humans centuries ago, how the beast's power source seems to fluctuate), but I think those other loose threads could have easily been omitted to tighten up the story.

A second reason why I think the story would have benefitted from an editor's expert eye is that the dialogue and characters' actions didn't seem to be authentic to me. These are experienced and professional soldiers who have seen active duty in combat situations. Seems to me that if an experienced sniper tells you his spidey senses are tingling, that instinct should be trusted rather than questioned by everyone (including his brother, who has previously trusted that instinct). In some places, the dialogue resembled exposition surrounded by quotation marks rather than words that someone would actually say. I know a few folks in the armed services and they're all more likely to drop the f-bomb than use the words like "thus" and "therefore" in the middle of a highly dangerous situation. I also saw moments where the military characters froze, hesitated, questioned decisions, had conversations, etc., during tense moments when I thought they should have been focused and professional. It occurred to me, during the first half of the mission in particular, that Rick was turning into a liability to his squad - he has the wrong amygdala for this type of profession...

Finally, I thought that an editor would have helped because of the awkward repetition and phrasing that popped out numerous times during the story. Another reviewer already mentioned the "more often than not, you're always right", which wasn't presented as a joke in the story. I was also distracted by other repetition and mistakes. For example, in the grocery story, Jacobson turned to Jacobson to say something (a minor error that an editor should have been able to catch). In another scene, a main character described how Rick *crashed* into a table and sent some china *crashing* to the floor. That type of word repetition became quite distracting because it occurred several times during the story - I wanted to yell "THESAURUS!!!" every time that repetition distracted me from the flow of the story.

In summary, it was an okay story and I don't regret listening to it. It's just a shame that it hadn't been edited better. I would easily have given the book another star if these issues had been addressed pre-publication.

I enjoyed the narration, except for the voice characterizations. To me, the voices sounded like they would belong to teenagers rather than experienced combat vets. The voice of the Sergeant seemed exaggerated in a different way (reminding me of the coach in the comedy movie 'Major League').

I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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

The Shadow

I enjoyed this one.There was a lot of suspense and action.A well written book.Steve Campbell was a fine narrator.“I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher.”

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

A Fantastic Read

I love the modern take on the infamous dragon in the modern world. It is nice to see new and upcoming authors.

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

I really wanted to love this, but alas...

Disclaimer:  I received this book for free, and asked to give an honest review. Initially, I felt that the kindest thing I could do would be to not leave a review at all, but that felt like kind of a cheat, so here comes my two cents...

I really wanted to love this story, we have a crack military team and cyber expert facing off against an Apocalypse Dragon... A Dragon!  And, seriously I laughed out loud when this group of grown, Macho-men-soldiers squealed like girls and ran away from Mutant Squirrels... But what this story really needed was an editor who wasn't nodding-off asleep over an empty coffee cup... an editor that would've pointed out that changing POV's is fine as long as that new POV isn't almost word for word, the same as the previous POV...  an editor that would've pointed out that incessant repetition of keywords will drive a reader CrAzY !!! 
A good editor would have dug this gem of a story out of rough matrix, but alas, such was just Not the case!   Sad face...

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • C. Rowlands
  • 01-04-18

Two brothers facing an evil corp and a dragon

This book had an interesting mix of ideas and a decent overall story, but for some reason it did not quite click with me quite as much as it should have done.

I enjoyed the idea of a modern company waking a dragon by their drilling, but some of the other stuff they did was just a little too stereotypical evil corp for them to be a compelling enough baddie. Besides them you are obviously left the dragon itself along with the various animals on the destroyed remains of Ireland that had been somehow mutated by its presence and these worked fairly well as an obstacle for our collection of heroes, but weren't quite compelling enough.

Facing these obstacles you mainly had two brothers who were both special forces at one time (younger brother still was) along with some other members of Rick's (younger brother) who had been sent to Ireland to retrieve some sensitive data that somehow got trapped there when the dragon first appeared a number of years ago and finally, a hacker-type friend of their from back when they were kids. On the whole this cast worked out pretty well, but the brothers both showing some signs of near-psychic ability seemed a little unnecessary.

The narrator of this book gave a good performance with a clear and distinctive style with all significant characters having enough individuality in the performance so that they all stood out enough from one another.

Overall, there were some flaws with this book, but it was an interesting story that I enjoyed listening to with none of them being big enough to disrupt that.

[I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.]

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Peter
  • 12-11-17

Modern day adventuring and dragon hunting.

Oil drilling wakes up a dragon and the world pays for it but it is not the end of the world and life goes on just with a new danger in the world. It is a quite refreshing take on this sort of event the fact that a single creature does not end the world as it can only be in one place at once. The world takes it seriously but in a way, it's just like a natural disaster, not the apocalypse.

The book is more action hero than realistic military but it is still grounded enough that none of the characters feels indestructible or that they are protected by plot armour which adds a real sense of threat in the action/combat sections.

Getting to see things from different characters including the dragon's point of view helps the listen learn more about the characters and in places keep the action moving.

Daniel Swenson has done a great job here the writing is good and the characters are believable, I get the feeling there is more to this world that we find out about in this one book. The book has great pacing and I never had the chance to get bored, If I had the time I could have quite happily listen to this book from start to finish in one sitting. The story focuses very much on the characters which help make it engaging and keeps you listening.

The narration is easy to listen to and clear, the narrator does a good job giving each character their own unique voice. I like the sense of menace and arrogance the voice of the dragon adds. I would happily listen to other books narrated by Steve Campbell

After listening to this I am interested in finding out what happens next so I hope there is a book two. This setting has a lot of potential, I would love to find out more about some of the side characters.

All in all, this is a great listen. I am happy with the time I spent listening to this.


I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Jackie Thorogood
  • 11-17-17

Fantastic Listening

Poor Henry is a geeky guy. Where his brother Rick is special ops. But when Rick get into trouble Henry is there to try to help him.
This is a delightful books. With some different twists.makes you want no need to hear more.
Each character with their own little quirks is so wonderfully written. Detail to the story was beautiful. The story is set in Ireland which has been described beautifully. Oh the Dragon (I love dragons) another character very well written m.
Steve Campbell I’ve never listen to him before was fantastic with each character voice. He made them come alive.i really enjoyed this book. I will listen to it again.
I was given this copy for an honest review.
Which I truly did.