Penumbra, a haphazard city of outcasts, rebels, and malcontents, has floated around a dead planet in a backwater system for longer than living memory can recall. Its towers abandoned starships melded to an ancient, mysterious core, Penumbra is the last remnant of chaotic individualism in a galaxy where conformity to the will of the all-powerful Galactic Council is paramount. Dropped into this dangerous mix are Marcus Wells - a Human of Earth who has squandered his potential to live a life of least resistance - and his adventurous friend Justin. Immediately entangled in local politics and targeted by a vengeful representative of the Council who is determined to drag the city back into the fold, Marcus has a choice to make: continue following the path of least resistance and allow Penumbra to fall, or show these aliens what a truly determined Human can accomplish.
Any additional comments?
Justin wanted a little adventure, a break from being a businessman which is how he and friend Martin find themselves being pursued by a sore loser who had gambled away all his money and a rather stunning necklace, thrown in at the last minute, to make up the bet. A necklace which was to give them far more of an adventure than either of them could have anticipated.
This is a terrific story, initially establishing the characters of the two men and their easy relationship, great dialogue, then moving later into more frenetic fight scenes. Plenty of assorted aliens, too, none of whom are glad to see a human. (There is actually a glossary of the various aliens represented within the Galactic Council at the end of the book, giving brief descriptions of their appearances and temperament)..Very interesting to see the internal changes which come about for Martin. Fun and fast moving, the 17+ hours of this audiobook passed all too quickly.
The narration was excellent, Ray Greenley reading fluently and clearly, well paced and with just the right range of intonation as the excitement grows. His voicings of the various protagonists was also clear, with a range of vocalisations spread throughout. It is definitely his reading which, in part, at least, made this such an enjoyable listen. Although the story is complete, it is obvious that another Shadow novel is to follow.
I have deliberately said little about the storyline to avoid any spoilers: it is not an elaborate tale of itself but has an interesting basic idea which is elaborated and woven into an exciting book, unusual in context. My thanks to the rights holder, from whom I was gifted a complementary copy, via Audiobook Boom. I spent a very enjoyable few hours in the author's world and was sad to leave Justin and Martin behind.
It picked up the pace pretty quickly after the inevitable slow burn that all books that start a series seem to have. The characters were really interesting and realistic (if that makes sense when discussing imaginary alien races) without feeling like they were just re-skins of cult classics. That said I loved all the little nods to other Scilly-Fi characters and series. I really enjoyed the way the author played with foreshadowing and red herrings to allow the reader/listener to guess at some parts and still be surprised by others. The narrator does a good job with putting a consistent character to all the races and gets better as the book goes on (I just prefer more of a John Lee style).
This book by Craig Gallant was a page turner! I loved it. Ray Greenley does a fantastic job with the performance. It seemed natural to flow into and become absorbed into the life and worlds of this book. I will be listening to more by these two.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Would you consider the audio edition of The Legacy of Shadow to be better than the print version?
I wouldn't know I didn't read the print version. I only listened to the audio version but it was well voiced.
What did you like best about this story?
The world setting that puts the primary protagonists on the back foot is a new take on humans in space.
Which character – as performed by Ray Greenley – was your favorite?
Justin. A great foil for his friend and a way to help ground the experiences of Marcus against for the reader.
Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?
Revelation of ancient human history on the galactic scale as hinted about through the novel. Sense of dual personality riding in Marcus also proves interesting through the book.
Any additional comments?
Couple moments that feel a bit dues ex machina but appropriate to continue to expand the story out. Some foreshadowed items left off the table and hopefully to be explored in a future book in the series.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
I loved this novel. Having read Craig Gallant’s other work in other people’s world I really wanted to see what he could do without the shackles of someone else world. The universe created by Craig is fantastic. From the politics to the unique races to the technology. This was the stuff I dreamed of when I was a kid. I wholeheartedly recommend this book. The narration was definitely above average. The only negative I can think of is I definitely want a sequel but with this publication coming from a smaller publisher I don’t know if it was able to generate enough attention and sales to guarantee a much wanted second book. Excellent work Mr. Gallant, give us more.
Craig wrote an excellent story that had me hooked from the beginning car chase. He shows clear Jim Butcher influences in his writing. There are a few problems with pacing, and the main protagonist is way too reluctant at several points. Much of his reluctance is justified, but there are a few times it goes over the top of doesn't make sense based on the character's everyone directly leading up to it.
Ray's voice narration is top notch. Every character has a unique and fitting voice. Every voice is still clear and articulate. The epilogue connects the prologue to the main story in an unexpected way that has me excited for another book.
Gallant raises some great and unique ideas on the sci-fi genre here. He avoids most tropes that we've become accustomed to through our run-of-the-mill universes we've become accustomed to, and explores some interesting concepts and pushes on what the wider Galaxy holds. Good delivery, however, especially when it comes to our two human protagonists needs some real work. He tries too hard to convey the idea that Marcus and Justin are two very average Joes who get caught up in an out-of-this-world ride. Instead their dialogue (and only their dialogue, it seems to me) comes off as forced, ingenuous, and obnoxious. Don't even get me started on the narrator. My bitter feelings towards the human characters are largely because he did everything BUT voice them in a way that made them sound believable. It got to the point that I would cringe every time he narrated a segment from the POV of Marcus. I look forward to Gallant's next piece in this Saga, but I'm hoping he picks a different narrator.
People suck! You’ve heard that right? I don’t agree, but in Legacy of the Shadow, humans suck to everyone else in the galaxy. Then Justin and Marcus hit the scene with the hopes of changing that widely held opinion. One young man has been beat up by life decisions ranging from his authoritarian father to his dead end job to alien abduction. The other young man saw a UFO and grabbed his bug out bag!
Boy do I love it when our hero holds a business degree! When I was in high school and thought I might one day figure out “what I want to be when I grow up” I thought business degrees were for evil greedy people who only wanted to squeeze cash from laborers. Then life happened, I’ve got a family, mortgage, and (gasp) a business degree… Which I recommend to anyone who wants to be successful at anything, by the way. The SCIENCE of business administration has been studied and practiced for hundreds of years because it is the practice of organizing work. Justin finds himself applying his education in a very unique place to some very common problems.
I dig the setting! Not Northern Connecticut (though I am sitting about a forty minute drive away from where the abduction scene happened)… There is a giant metal planet/ satellite/ inactive mysterious center with all sorts of huge space ships docked up to it and interconnected. It is also one of the only grey zones in Galactic space.
I was given a free audible code at my request and have voluntarily left a review. Any review. That fact that it’s a good one is because the book is good. Which has nothing to do with how awesome I am. You’ll have to find that out for yourself at LARC-SciFi(dot)com.
Ray Greenley did a great job narrating. There were a wide range of voices and his characterization accented the story well.
There is a free city formed by spaceships in a distant and dead solar system. The administrator of this free city, called Penumbra, has a medallions that is a kind of special key that allows him to have special powers over the city and its systems. The current administrator went to Earth for some fun and lost the medallion on a card game, and while giving chase to the winner, the administrator’s bodyguard ended up killing him by accident. Now Marcus, the human who won the medallion must be a temporary administrator of Penumbra. The only problem is that humans are the most hated race on the universe.
There is much more to this story than what initially seems. Behind the events there is a convoluted background story that will remain hidden to the two human characters and the reader, which was a good way to keep the listeners attention until the end. Even though this story did not feel very plausible, it felt very original and out of the box, especially if we compare it with other works of fiction.
I found the story interesting, and the plot well built. There was just something that didn’t allow me to give it 5 stars. Even though the main characters in this book are two humans, I was not able to connect to them. There was a lack of character development, especially about the other races. We are not given much more information than the physical appearance and little more. Some of the dialogs felt forced to me, and this could have also been a reason to having difficulties connecting to the characters. Due to this I didn’t care much about them or what happened to them. Despite this I enjoyed the book, and the original approach to the human race.
Ray Greenley did a good job narrating this book, the characters’ voices were distinct enough in general to be able to follow the story without problems. I think the character’s interpretations could be improved a bit, but in general it was an enjoyable narration. Greenley’s voice is pleasant to the ear and very clear. The audio production was correct.
It was a fine listen, a bit long winded perhaps, but enjoyable and from an original point of view.
I received a copy of this book in audio format from the narrator in exchange for an honest review.
Any additional comments?
Overall an entertaining, engaging and enjoyable listen. On the one hand the story overall is really good and very entertaining on the other hand it dragged at times throughout the story for me especially in the beginning. It's interesting and enjoyable yet there where times when it wasn't holding my attention. I struggled with it for the first couple of hours. It's not a non-stop action kind of story. The story unfolds slowly, building as it goes along, but it's a slow steady build. It took me until about halfway through to really be pulled into the story. Once the story really gets moving it pulled me in and held my complete attention until the end.
It is creative and full of detail with a large cast of original creatures/characters at the same time after a while they kind of all blended together in the beginning. It took a while to remember who was who.
Thrust into an unbelievable situation with the fate of the galaxy on your shoulders, this has become Marcus's reality. When everyone around you hates humans and wants you dead, who can you trust?
Ray Greenly did a great job with the narration. Nice voice that is easy to listen to for long periods of time. Clearly spoken with a nice even pace. Really good character voices. Even his female voices are good. He was able to bring the characters and story to life. Very enjoyable.
I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and voluntarily provided this review.
What did you like best about The Legacy of Shadow? What did you like least?
The idea and setting were interesting, and I wanted to learn more about the setting. There is much potential.
Unfortunately, so many of the characters and different races seemed to be shallow sketches. One of the lead characters is cowardly and moody. Another is cowardly and hates humans. Another makes friends easily and is good at building networks. One of the races is thugish, not very smart, and a bit dog like. There isn't much depth beyond those brief sketches.
Finally, the central conceit that everyone hates humans but no one is willing to say why nor is there any written record is simply unbelievable. If *everyone* hates humans, surely there would be someone willing to expound upon the history or there would be many, many histories, novels, mythologies about why humans are so reviled.
Would you be willing to try another book from Craig Gallant? Why or why not?
I don't know. I really wanted to like the book more because I like Craig's podcast, but this book was a bit of a struggle to finish even though it was pretty predictable.
What do you think the narrator could have done better?
The narrator could work on expanding his range and making the characters' voices more distinct, especially the female ones.
This was a fun story for me! Two ordinary guys thrust into an extraordinary sci-fi adventure! It integrates many unique characters from species across their galaxy that all coalesce into a community, the only community, that allows them to live the way they choose to live without the intrusive governing influence felt everywhere else. The story throws the two men into a situation in which they are immediately despised and hated by pretty much everyone and have to figure out a way to survive an ever growing lethal conflict that they have unwittingly become the center of.
If you like stories that thrust themselves upon your imagination with strange alien beings and technologies, starships, wormholes, ancient AI's, alien cultures and prejudices, powerful artifacts, harrowing chases, and purple skinned beauties, you'll like this story! And like me, you may even like it a lot!
I was given this book for free in exchange for my unbiased review.