If you like science fiction stories that include fighting, portals, time travel, monsters, unique weapons and even romance, you will find it all in Jessica Meats book “Shadows of Tomorrow”. This may be one of the lost gems of the genre and I was glad I took the time to read it. This detailed story is only enhanced by the wonderful voice narration performed by Jake Urry. The book weaves a tale covering multiple worlds consisting of different time periods and dimensions; think multiverses. Not only do you have a deep storyline, one of the main characters is blessed or cursed with a special power permitting him to see events in the future; which none of his friends or co-workers can know about.
The reader is dropped into a world that appears to be earth based on various locations, however there are also rifts in time or dimensions that are accessible via portals popping-up in various places. What comes out of these portals can only be imagined in a child’s worse nightmare. The “Others” can best be described as zombie like hordes that want to devourer whatever is in their path when they enter a new world; be it plant, animal, or human. If you are like me and not a fan of zombies, do not worry as these are not your typical zombie-like creatures, but it is the easiest way for me to describe them.
The defenders on the other hand are a group of specially trained people who respond to portals appearing and are tasked with defend those around it by dispatching of the others. It is a tight group of individuals who are well respected in the community and many desire to become one if they can. This unique team is trained in various weapons and techniques to kill the different “other” types. I liked the author’s use of both medieval weapons (knives, swords, axes) along with some limited projectile weapons such as guns. These were used sparling due to limited ammunition. I also liked that each character seemed to have a purpose and reason for being there. Each had weakness and strengths and they needed to depend on their co-workers to survive.
Think Stormship Troopers, Portal, and Sixth Sense wrapped into a well-developed story consisting of complex and likable characters. It may sound like a strange mix, but it works and as I listened more, the more I began to grow on me. The author is able to tell a believable story that is complex and engaging. I enjoyed very much the way she took chapters in the book to provide backstories or flashbacks on why the characters were who they were and the way they acted. It was well thought out and delivered. The book was descriptive, but not overly so. There were times of humor, sadness, and nearly every other emotion one can think of. It was a rollercoaster ride consisting of many different twists and turns as the story was unwrapped. You never knew who or who not to trust.
The story did not contain any vulgar language that I recall, and even the parts describing romance were done in a way that is suitable for young adult readers; mid-teen and above. That is not to say this is a YA book, it is enjoyable by both young and old. Even the violence was not overly descriptive or graphic, however one could picture the events without needing it said in the text itself.
From the start, I enjoyed the deep and rich voice of Mr. Urry’s narration. His voice along with the audio itself was very clean and crisp. Although he did not narrate the multiple characters using a unique voice for each, he made it easy enough to distinguish the different speakers. He also read the story with passion and emotion bringing the listener into the book all the more. The audio itself did not contain any artifacts such as pops, clicks, or swallows. It seemed to be professionally done as care was taken to clean up any mistakes.
Disclaimer: This book was provided to the reviewer at no charge by the author, narrator, and/or publisher in exchange for a non-bias review.