“Veil of Shadows” is the second book of “The Empire of Bones Saga” picking up where book one ends. The book is written by Terry Mixon, having real-world military and NASA experience which he brings to this engaging space series. The audiobook, along with the others in the series, is narrated by Veronica Giguere; who is no new comer to the narration scene. If you enjoy action-packed light space opera books, you will enjoy the depth, complexity, and characters the author creates within the series.
The book is intended to be read as a series. Yet, the author does a decent job of wrapping up most of the open story lines. Unlike other serialized books ending at a chapter break, this books could almost be read as a stand-alone story. There are always a few remaining cliff-hangers at the end of the book because the story continues in the next.
Terry is able to intertwine a solid space opera, with a hint of the “Silo” series, and even a bit of romance in a decent sized book covering the vastness of space. He is able to include some scenes of action, emotion, and even humor all at times that make sense. The characters are mostly developed, well-rounded, and consistent with how they were introduced in the first book. The author adds new twists and turns as the series unravels, and this includes some new races and technology not previously discovered.
Although I enjoyed the book overall, portions of it seemed (or at least the characters at times) to be more young adult (YA) in nature than what I remember of the first book. There appears to be more usage of earthly slang, clichés, and a few other forms of speech pulling me out of the storyline. I would have liked to have had the author use more unique phrases or words that would have been other-world centric. Regarding language, it should be noted that there are some occurrences of vulgar language in the book, not overly used, but there; so parental guidance should be used if the book is to be read by a younger individual.
I have to admit the narration by Veronica would not be my first choice for this series even though she has voiced over 15 Sci-Fi/Fantasy books. It is not that she does a bad job narrating, it is more how I visualized the characters based on her voicing of them. For example, the princess comes off more as a whiny twelve-year-old girl and not an older more mature woman. To her credit, I have not listened to other book she has narrated so it is difficult for me to judge her voice only based on this series. All of her currently published works on audible are given 3-5 stars for performance, so it may be more a personal preference on my part. I liked the story enough that I wanted to finish it even though some of the characters bothered me.
I also wanted to note as I did in my review of the first book, this book’s audio contains multiple places where there are audio artifacts not edited out. There are frequent long pauses and sounds of swallowing in the audio version. These are not so bad that one cannot listen to the book, however they are noticeable and I would have expected them to have been edited out prior to production.
Disclaimer: This book was provided to the reviewer by the author, narrator, and/or publisher free of charge in exchange for publishing a non-bias review.