Title: Shadow People
Author: James Swain
Genre: Parnormal fiction
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
Source: Review copy through Audiobook Jukebox‘s reviewer program
Audiobook reader: Stephen R. Thorne
Audiobook length: 10 hours and 55 minutes
First line: Something didn’t feel right.
Goodreads blurb: During a séance Peter is confronted by a group of evil spirits called shadow people, beings who have the power to kidnap a person’s soul. Peter is taken to another plane, where he confronts a serial killer about to claim his next victim. It’s a harrowing encounter that Peter only barely manages to survive.
Peter soon realizes that the shadow people are connected to the serial killer, and that he is a member of the Order of Astrum, a group of evil psychics who murdered his parents years ago. He must find the serial killer in real time before he claims his next victim. To save many lives, Peter may have to tap into a legacy that he has always dreaded…and a power that may consume him.
When I saw that Shadow People was up for review on the Audiobook Jukebox site, I signed up immediately. I really enjoyed Dark Magic, the first book in Swain’s series about Peter Warlock, and I was interested to see where he took the series. After the first book, I almost expected it to be a procedural series, in which Peter works with FBI agent Garrison to solve crimes. That’s not exactly what it turned out to be, but that’s not a bad thing.
While Peter and Garrison did work together to solve a mystery, there seems to be an over-arching storyline in this series that revolves around Peter’s origins and the Order of Astrum, an evil group of devil worshipers who are determined to kill him – and I enjoyed learning more about his back story. I would have liked more interaction with his circle of psychics, as that was one of the things I enjoyed most about the first book.
There were too major things that kept me from liking this second book as much as the first, however. The first is the character of Liza, Peter’s girlfriend. She is wishy-washy and needy, wavering back and forth between understanding who Peter is and wanting to know more about that part of his life, and telling him he must give it all up for her. I can not stand the character, and if she plays a major part in the third book, that will be the killing point for me.
The second thing I didn’t like was the ending. Or, maybe I should say, “non-ending.” The book ends on a major cliff-hanger, and again, I feel manipulated into reading the next book. I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again: Authors, make me want to read the next book in the series by giving me a good story, characters I get involved with, and terrific writing. Don’t force me to read it by ending a book without a sense of closure.
Audio notes: One of the strongest things about the series is the choice of narrator. Stephen R. Thorne does a wonderful job of telling Peter’s story, as well as handling the various accents of the other characters. I would happily listen to anything he narrated.