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Villains Rule

The Shadow Master, Book 1
Narrated by: Jeffrey Kafer
Series: The Shadow Master, Book 1
Length: 9 hrs and 50 mins
4.6 out of 5 stars (168 ratings)

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Summary

Hi, how are you?

Yes, I am talking to you, the reader of this book's description. It's rude not to answer a person when they ask you a question. Okay, I get it, fourth-wall breaking is overdone. Get over it. This book, Villains Rule, is a fantasy action-comedy which you have to hear. Not because it redefines the genre, far from it. But rather for what it contains. A villain's tale.

How often do you get to listen to a story where the villain is the protagonist? No, not an anti-hero, or a brooding monster, nor a hero thinly disguised as a villain. And not evil. If you want evil, take that nonsense to therapy. No, I mean a villain's villain. The ones who use their power because they can, while morality is only a philosopher's complex.

This is the story of Jackson Blackwell, the Shadow Master and the top villain adviser. Sadly, even the top villain occasionally gets double-crossed. Trapped in one of the fantasy realms, Jackson has to use his skill and wits to exploit the rules, points out the genre flaws, undermine godly authority, and win the day.

Because that is what villains should do, shouldn't they? Listen to this book, have a few laughs, and find out.

©2017 Michael Gibson (P)2017 Michael Gibson

What listeners say about Villains Rule

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When is a god not a god, When he is a villain.

Did not expect what I got totally brilliant this book just blew me away the story has twists and turns at every page. the narrator puts so much life into the characters that brings the book to a higher level that it already is. I really hope there is a follow up.

4 people found this helpful

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Don't let the cover fool you

One of the better superhero/villain books I have listen too. Very original story with a great narrator and I can't wait for book 2. The cover doesn't do this great book justice

3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars

Heroically villainous.

Loved it. Hope there's more to come. Narrator is good though the voice grated on me once or twice.

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Excellent comedy

Really well written and performed. Plays on the troupes and the 4th wall in a very creatine way

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Gave up fairly early.

I only made it a few hours in. The main character was just boring, reminded me of my great uncle when he's had too much to drink and thinks he's a genius who knows better than everyone else how to fix the world. I couldn't listen to another 7 hours of that.

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to many references to other books

the concert is good, the main character is 1 dimensional, I found the references to other books really annoying,

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gooood rules

not really just a very funny and we'll narrated novel and if there isn't any sequels yet why not ...

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What a find

If you like Drew Hayes, Rich Gualteri or Jim Butcher you’ll love this Can’t wait to listen to the next one

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An enjoyable book

I will admit after the first chapter I assumed it was going to be a rip off of C T Phipps but it quickly turned into a compelling narrative in it's own right. the characters were engaging and the story flows nicely with some good twists and turns, I also like how it plays off fantasy tropes without falling into the "anti-trope" trap that so often ruins good satire. narration is fantastic.

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Hilarious!

Loved this book, think it’s one of the funniest books I have ever read. The narrator is so good and really has a villainous tone to his voice which just adds to the storyline. Would highly recommend this book to any fans of fantasy, sci-fi or anyone into pop culture that enjoys dark humour.

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 12-06-17

Ignore the cover art.

This is the best book I've listened to this year. The characters are consistent and act according to what should motivated them, the story is enjoyable and humorous, and the narration is excellent.

24 people found this helpful

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  • medy
  • 30-09-17

Villains Rule

This book was a fun read. Jackson Blackwell aka "the Shadow Master" is an intelligent villain who knows all rules. He can build an empire or grind you into dust but he's about to fall victim to a plot from hidden enemies. The book doesn't take itself too seriously and there are some laughs along the way as well as some ironic fantasy plot twists

9 people found this helpful

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  • MelHay
  • 11-06-17

Oh my so much fun!!

Would you listen to Villains Rule again? Why?

Absolutely. I know I missed some of the references and one lines that go to other fantasy stories I know. I also had fun with the story and Jackson.

Who was your favorite character and why?

I felt I could believe Jackson's thinking and I really liked him. I want to watch movies with Jackson. He would be a hoot at pointing out the flaws in plans, hero and villain. I laughed at the obvious observations pointed out by Jackson in this book. So good and so true! Jackson's written in a way that I liked him even though he wasn't the clean cut good guy. I even felt the fluctuation of praise and irritation of Randy with Jackson - all thanks to Jeffrey's vocal talents and M.K.'s writing.

What does Jeffrey Kafer bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Jeffrey performs with heart, stepping in to the characters minds which breathes life to them. When stories are performed with the emotion the characters are feeling, and the narrator feels as to be having fun, the book is brought to a new level of awesome. Jeffrey accomplished that in this work. Jeffrey speaks with different infliction and personality for each character, which makes it easy to know who's who along with keeping my attention.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

At my first big surprise in events, I wanted to give M.K. Gibson a big high five. He told me what not to do. He drew me into doing just that. And I was surprised when he used that. AWESOME JOB!! M.K.wrote it so well, I was drawn into the web.

Any additional comments?

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

At the end of the first prologue, I had to smile. Really. This was something I always thought about, how easy it would be to take down a hero when he's having his "moment". I got a feel of a twist of Grayskull (You know what Grayskull is, from He-Man.) here with other elements mixed in. I like what I get, and it's only a prologue!

Oh my the references of all the great science fiction and fantasy tales!! Really! Even in the titles we get great one lines that we know reference so many. lol. I love listening and pointing out references and what I get the feel of. I'm sure others would pick up on others I've missed. This is the kind of story I would love to listen to with someone who I could talk to on the potential influences. You know, listen at the same time and go geek on what we pick up on! lol.

Okay. The story. I enjoyed how the rules of heroes and villains are viewed and understood in the world. And they still stand and function. M.K. has created a story with a villain that sees those rules and uses then in a way to do what all villains want. And he's talented at his work. M.K. tells us these rules and we see the predicament that Jackson ends up in, and has to find his own way back to his place in the world. M.K. writes a well crafted story of fun while still in the guidelines and takes a villain in the outs and brings him back. Totally awesome work.

This book is a modern setting with Jackson but it's also in a fantasy world, or worlds as he goes along, because of the different realms of villains. It's so easy to understand and enjoy. I loved the play on different fantasy themes as it made me smile.

As Jackson goes through the fantasy world he's in, working to get to the ruling villain, he points out the fantasy tropes present. And he hits on them all! Totally awesome and fun summary of characters in fantasy tropes. And I can say I read about that. It was great as it was fun in how it's portrayed. M.K. has taken fantasy, brought what we know to our attention, then twists it to his world and makes it fun.

Enjoyable story to listen to. It kept me entertained.

20 people found this helpful

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  • aVaena
  • 01-02-18

Unique story with perfect narration!

I really enjoyed this audible book. The story was fantastic, and the narrator did one of the best jobs I've ever heard with the voice narration. Beginning book two now!

4 people found this helpful

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  • Jonathan
  • 29-06-17

The beginning felt a bit long winded...

But it very nicely set up the tone. The pace improved quickly making this book I had few hopes for in the beginning, one I have recommended to several people now. Once the roller coaster began I was unable to stop. I sat in my car in my driveway for 45 minutes after I got home just to see where things were going.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Kaz
  • 14-02-18

Honestly struggles with the book but read it!!!

I suggest you read this book. I started it and it starts off great then it kind of dead pan for a while eventually it got back on track and became fantastic.

8 people found this helpful

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  • Anthony
  • 09-02-19

brilliant

what are you fucking waiting for just get the book The character is a genius asshole who loves to use people for his own purposeshe's the type of character who pretty much sees you use as you even if you think you're not being used by him you are cuz he's fucking pretty much what kind of villain lex luthor but even better and you think you got them he's behind you fucking you he's pretty much making other gods be his little bitch and he barely has any power

3 people found this helpful

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  • Lomeraniel
  • 27-09-17

Mix of intelligent, absurd, and irreverent humor

Jason Blackwell, also called the Shadow Master, has a consulting firm for the evil. Villains from several realms go to him for advice. But what happens when the Shadow Master is double-crossed and falls into a trap? Will he need this time to seek help among heroes?

I loved this book from the very beginning. It is written in first person, and Gibson breaks the called 4th wall to engage the reader. It is true that sometimes this doesn’t work, but it does here. In the book there is a mix of intelligent, absurd, and irreverent humor that is absolutely refreshing, and which contains pearls like this one:

"Meant to be is the idiotic rederick that results when those who are ignorant of facts try to make sense of random encounters. They cannot understand that there is only one random chance or the machinations of greater minds."

There are many references to fantasy realms and characters, like Hee-Man and Skeletor, and the books of J.R.R. Tolkien. Jackson mentions many unspoken rules in fantasy worlds, and I couldn’t but laugh hard… because they were true! He also explains why he hates elves, and even though I don’t, I couldn’t help but agree with him. There are also some references to Lost and mentions about its end. I think we all know how it went, but if you don’t want spoilers, just don’t read this book.

This is my first book narrated by Jeffrey Kafer, even though I know who he is, and I have to say that I am absolutely impressed with his narration skills. He totally became Jason and gave him a personality. But not only that. There are quite some characters in this book, and several scenes where they all interact, and Kafer delivered a different interpretation for each of them, and they were perfectly distinguishable. This was a good book, but Jeffrey Kafer made it shine.

I would recommend this book to any fan of fantasy, but it needs to be taken with humor. If someone is going to get offended by things like why Jason hates elves, or why some things just work in a specific way in fantasy realms, than stay away. Or not, I think your life will improve by reading this book, because humor is good for you. And go for the audio version, and you will find your next favorite narrator.

I received a copy of this book in audio format from the narrator in exchange for an honest review.

7 people found this helpful

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  • Tracy
  • 15-05-17

Villian or Anti-Hero??

Jack is a villain... make that a 'Villain'. This book was good fun, full of pop-culture references, fast paced action, and sarcastic wit-- almost too much sarcasm for my taste, but I am what the protagonist would call a 'Hero", after all. The narrator is a smooth talker, with a great voice that is an easy listen. This feels like the beginning of an epic series, the characters begging for more of their stories to be told. If you like fairy-tales, you would probably like this book. If you like treachery, you would probably enjoy this book quite a bit. But, if you like Villains (or anti-Heroes), you will probably love this book. It is set in alternate universes, where we find that the seemingly clear cut defined 'Villain' and 'Hero' roles may not be as clear cut after all. There is a tiny bit of romance and lots of funny moments, but there is a lot of villainous activity to be sure! I enjoyed it.
I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

13 people found this helpful

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  • Shane Gordon
  • 09-08-19

Awesome series!!!!!

First off let me start off with this. > < (insert yelling here)..... I think Sophia has messed with my review. -.-....... And of course, she would. I had this whole thing about Kafer, and Gibson getting Ferraris. Still applies but still, now I have to write this up from scratch again. Anyways this is a fantastic start to the series, and honestly, it keeps getting better along with the rest of what this man writes. So buy everything he writes.

2 people found this helpful