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  • Shadow Magic

  • Darkling Mage, Book 1
  • By: Nazri Noor
  • Narrated by: Luke Daniels
  • Length: 7 hrs and 35 mins
  • 4.1 out of 5 stars (27 ratings)
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Shadow Magic

By: Nazri Noor
Narrated by: Luke Daniels
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Summary

The gods are dying. But for one man, death is only the beginning. 

Murdered as a ritual sacrifice, amateur thief and professional charmer Dustin Graves mysteriously survives, finding himself gifted with strange, dark magic. Then more dead bodies turn up. Some are human, but one is a god of the old world, slain at his own doorstep. 

Mortal or divine, the bloodshed must end, and Dust is the mage for the job. But first he must contend with a succubus, a talking sword, a spider queen, a goddess of magic, and eldritch abominations from beyond the stars. No big deal...right? 

If you like snarky heroes, snappy dialogue, and a bit of grit and gore, you'll love the first standalone audiobook in Nazri Noor's series of urban fantasy novels. Explore the Darkling Mage universe and discover a taste of Shadow Magic today.

©2018 Nazri Noor (P)2019 Nazri Noor

What listeners say about Shadow Magic

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Magically Awesome

Absolutely can't wait for the next instalment. This book is so good. Easy to listen to the audio artist did an amazing job. Especially with all the character's. Dustin the main character is AWESOME & it's got werewolves vampires mage & maybe even God's. I'm so sad it ended😭 Quickly searching for next instalment

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Good story

Really enjoyed listening and Dustin made me laugh in places . Luke Daniels narrated perfectly and I’m going to buy book 2 soon.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

New series starts strongly

I had previously read the ebook version and enjoyed it in that format, but it meant I was not going into this version blind. Luckily, this book is one that stands up to rereading/listening with a well-realised world and magical system, filled with an array of interesting characters.

Dustin, the main character, is a Hound for a shadowy organisation, which means he steals potentially dangerous magical items from those who do not understand what they have, he is a likeable mix of competency and idiocy with a healthy dose of snark to round things off.

Anyone who has listened to a lot of audiobooks will probably be very familiar with the prolific Luke Daniels who delivers another quality performance with his narration, bringing the characters to life as always and my only slight quibble is that some of the voices he used in this one sound just like some from another series I am listening to at the moment, but luckily they work well in both places.

Overall, an enjoyable book becomes an even better audiobook and I will eagerly look out for the other books in the series to follow this one onto the format.

[Note - I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.]

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

A great introduction to a new series

Shadow Magic by Nazri Noor is the first book in the Darkling Mage series, a supernatural adventure which introduces us to thief-turned-mage Dustin 'Dust' Graves. We meet Dust as he is beginning to come to terms with a more magical existence, and learns that he must use his new powers for something a bit more dangerous than pilfering some supernatural pottery.

Dust is a classic 'lovable rogue', though one who probably told you that himself while excusing some sketchy behaviour. This wise-cracking wizard seems to find trouble wherever he goes, but has a cat-like ability to wriggle out of it. In the employ of a Top Secret Magical Corporation known as the Lorica, he is charged with solving the murders of old gods - 'entities' - who are being sacrificed by someone who is intent on absorbing their power. Someone who may also have been responsible for Dustin's own murder...

Shadow Magic was well written and I enjoyed the story. I really liked the premise but as the first book in a series I would have preferred Dustin's first adventure to have kept him at the Lorica. It is difficult to find the balance between setting up a series arc and creating a standalone story, but I would have loved to learn a little more about it and the other mages with Dustin still on the inside and part of the team, so I hope it features again in later audiobooks. Noor does a good job of setting up the alternate universe in which it is set; one where magical artefacts and supernatural creatures rub shoulders with the 'normals' in modern-day California. The book's lore develops nicely, and because our glimpse behind the veil mirrors Dustin's own journey of discovery it never feels as though there is unnecessary exposition. Some of the humour was a little laboured, with far more time than necessary given to a magical book of very little importance just so that Noor could make a joke about Facebook, but in a way that, too, was authentic. Guys like Dustin who make jokes about everything are going to drop a few clangers.

As I was listening it did feel as though there were parallels to a few other series' which may have had some influence on the author. Benedict Jacka's Alex Verus series and Jim Butcher's early Dresden Files bear a few distinct similarities, though fortunately without the misogyny which plagued the latter. It's difficult to incorporate old gods in 21st Century America without making people think of an acclaimed novel by Neil Gaiman, but Strange Magic is very different in tone and execution to American Gods, and does not feature the deities with as much prominence. The incessant snark and first-person narrative reminded me of the Magic 2.0 series by Scott Meyer, though that may be because the narrator also worked on that series. (Something I hadn't realised until I plucked Off to be the Wizard out of my Audible library to double-check the spelling of the author's surname for this review.)

I was very pleased to note that despite reminding me of these other great books, Strange Magic never felt as though it was borrowing from them too heavily and - most importantly - did not pale in comparison. It held its own very well, keeping me engaged and entertained until the end, and I will certainly add the rest of the series to my wishlist if this one does well enough for them to become available in audio.

The narrator, Luke Daniels, has an enthusiastic, expressive delivery which suited the protagonist's snarky showmanship. There were times when the relentlessness of the dramatic, irreverent, quips became a little annoying but that had more to do with the character than the narrator.

I would recommend this audiobook to fans of the other books I have mentioned, and anyone who likes urban fantasy.

*I received this audiobook free of charge in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.

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2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Bad narration

definitely one of the worst audio books I've listened to. would return if I could

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