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Summary

SPFBO Finalist 2020

A world punished by a dark imprisoned magic.

When refugee Guyen arrives in the land of his enemy, he knows he will fight, but soon falls down a well of wonder and improbability as a mysterious power invades him. And when his brother falls ill to the same deadly force, he will only save him if he can master his newfound abilities.

A gritty, heart-wrenching tale of high magic and high stakes, loves lost and friendships gained, set in an oil-lit 18th-century world.

Epic fantasy for fans of Patrick Rothfuss, Brandon Sanderson, Neil Gaiman, Mark Lawrence, V.E. Schwab, Ed McDonald, Brian McClellan. 

Please note: This book contains mature themes.

©2020 Shaun Paul Stevens (P)2021 Shaun Paul Stevens

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What listeners say about Nether Light

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

A mixed bag for me but so many strengths

The central problem I had with this book was the initial lack of engagement with both the characters and the plot. While the 'interludes" might be fine in a written book, in an audiobook they created confusion and a level of disjointedness. The plot as a whole is complex to wrap your head around, and I did not immediately warm up to any of the characters which would have anchored me to the storyline and the things to care about regarding the characters and their uniqueness and nuances.

I valued the creativity and the expansive inventiveness of the world creation. The concept of babies being 'bound' soon after birth to be allowed to enter society was new and fresh. We follow a family who buck the rules to protect their twin boys from harm and protect them into young adulthood. We then skip forward to when the twins are is in their late teens and we follow Guyan's story for the rest of the book, Guyan quickly learns of his uniqueness and the politics and power-playing employed by those around him in response to his gifts. He is out of his league and struggles to rise to the new and sophisticated challenges. This paves the way for character development in the books to follow.

To consolidate and anchor understanding, the inner workings of the magical world the magic itself would have benefited from further explanation. Although this may occur in subsequent books, adding more magical detail in this book would have potentially lessened plot confusion.

In addition, the flow of the story would perhaps have been more coherent and I would have been drawn in faster by altering the pace of the tale in the first 30%. Removal of unnecessary introduction and further integrating the major plot changes that occurred would have potentially streamlined the plot and my connection with major characters. The narration by Maria Marquis was of good quality but increased coherence in the adaptation to audiobook format would have made her task a little easier.

Overall so much promise here and plot options for the series continuation. Looking forward to where it will all journey.

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entertaining and enjoyable

I have enjoyed this story, lots of intriguing aspects to the tale with plenty of scope for world building and further adventures. Narrated well and kept me engaged throughout the story. Certainly worth a credit.

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World building doesn't get much better than this

In Nether Light we have a fairly complex plot with enough twists to surprise the reader/listener and an interesting cast of characters but for me it's the world building where the novel really shines. Stevens has successfully created an intriguing magic system and then laid it over an 18th century technology world making for a very refreshing change to your usual fantasy affair. Nether Light will hopefully spawn a number sequels and further expand our understanding of the fundamentals laid out in this novel.

The narration of Maria Marquis is articulate, pleasant on the ear and overall pretty good.

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A brilliant book read beautifully

This is a great book in and of itself, with well written, believable characters, rich in worldbuilding, has a cracking plot and topped off with an amazing performance from Maria Marquis.
It's one of those audiobooks where you just can't help but think about it in between listens. It takes its time to build up but is all the better for it and the more you listen, the more you want to listen!
Hats off to Shaun Paul Stevens on this.

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  • Deborah
  • 26-03-21

excellent

This was an interesting listen. There was plenty of action and intrigue. The narration was excellent.
I was given this free audiobook copy at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

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  • Lonnie-The GreatNorthernTroll-Moore
  • 24-03-21

Great world building!

I found this book had a fairly long fuse. But the story was so well written that I continued listening, because I needed to know what happened next! We get to follow Guyan as he works out how to save his twin brother!
As I said the writing, world building and magic system are all superb! And I've included some of my favorite lines:

""That's preposterous." "Preposterous!" Repeated Janic. "Actually, It's perfectly posterous" She interned." ...Hahaha, the author used the word posterous! You have no idea how happy that made me...

"Mist laughed, "I doubt that she'd recognize a moral if it bit her on the tit. And if she did, she'd ignore it.""

"Wondering whether this new job might be a piece of bad luck in good luck's clothing."

"Emotions can be confusing things, especially when you're sleep-deprived, grieving, hardly able to think. Shock mingled with hope bathed in hatred, dusted in doubt, and distrust."

The narrator Maria Marquis was fabulous and her nuanced performance also insured that I stayed with the story all the way through to the last page!

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  • Pam W
  • 18-03-21

A must read

Loved the way the Narrator brought each character to life. Loved each twist and turn in the plot that added to the story. I found myself listening longer than I should have because I wanted to know what was going to happen next.