• Shadows and Crows

  • The Lost, Book 2
  • By: Peter Nealen
  • Narrated by: Mark Boyett
  • Length: 10 hrs and 44 mins
  • 4.8 out of 5 stars (128 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Brotherhood. Honor. Duty.

After surviving the initial horrors of the strange new world he finds himself in, Staff Sergeant Conor McCall and his Marine Recon platoon - or what’s left of it - have come to a safe haven where they and their newfound allies recover from the most brutal op of their lives.

But with MIAs left behind, there is unfinished business back in the Land of Ice and Monsters to the north.

Before the Marines can mount a rescue, the king to whom they are indebted reminds them that alliances go both ways. An ancient evil has raided the Elven kingdom and carried off a priceless treasure. Only Conor and his team have any hope of recovering it.

A brotherhood was forged between the Marines and Elves while in the north. For the sake of that brotherhood, Conor and the other Recon Marines will voyage across the sea, through dark, trackless, and cursed wilderness….

To the lair of evil, in the Land of Shadows and Crows!

©2022 Peter Nealen (P)2022 WarGate Books

What listeners say about Shadows and Crows

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Meh, It's not for me Chief.

I really did want to enjoy this series. But the lack of world building aside from the epilogue and the scattered details shoe horned into the story to create the world... feels... hollow. Yeah we get some pretty badass military vs medieval fantasy tropes scenes, but that about it.

Over time it start to sounds more like a rant about how to shoot the natives and to not trust the natives then an actual story lol.

I'm stopping my journey here, others may find joy in this story and that cool too.

1 person found this helpful

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Really good stuff, has 40 minutes of an "AAR"

I'll get out of the way and say i don't like after action reports, or much of the like, so i skipped it. Just felt it good to note that the book is technically 10 hours long, and not 10 hours and 44 minutes.

Bookkeeping out of the way, i quite enjoyed this second book in the series. The first book had me a little wary that it would follow trends of other books in this genre that i have heard, where worldbuilding and fantasy are set aside for just blowing everything up, but i did quite enjoy this entry. I will say my biggest gripe so far is we are no closer to figuring out why the group was dragged in through the mist, why this world is the way it is, and why so many questions we are posed aren't c lose to being answered. I enjoyed the aspect of the tuatha, with them having basically adopted the group. I found comments in the first book about not having a magic machine that would keep them fully supplied somewhat skewered by the magic cauldron that does just that.

The narrator is really, really good. My docking of one star is that personally he gets into this flow that makes it somewhat easy for me to zone out, however i'm pretty sure that is something that is far from universal. His voices and pace are beyond great, and i will be looking out for books narrated by him in the future as well. All this said, i quite enjoyed this book comapred to the "forgotten ruins" series which i found to taper off quite quickly by book two. I only compare it as they seem to be from the same people.

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All the promises of awesome of book 1 is fulfilled

I love book one and I wanted to know what Peter's trick was going to be. I wanted a military verse fantasy where they got to keep their guns and everything seemed to point that Peter has a good trick up his sleeve for that. it's everything I could hope for and morehen there's the rest of the book. incredible potential for sci-fi and fantasy incredibly well written while the whole time strangling yah by the huevos with it's balls to wall action. These books do not relent. I love it and you will hopefully too.

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  • Ed
  • 05-02-22

Bad audiobook

It would only play chapter 6 after that it would not play at all no matter what I did!

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book 3 please hurry!!

this is a great military fantasy story. I'm more into military sci-fi but liked the preview of ice and monsters and thought I would give it a try worth the credit for sure. non-stop action non-stop monsters and mayhem who could ask for anything more.

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Mark Boyett brings this book to life!

These are the kind of stories that legends are made from. Another epic adventure into the realm of wizards, sorcery and men of might. Not for the faint of heart. This book is a series of struggles facing all manner of evil magic. Only those who have the heart and the strength can accomplish what needs to be done. Excellent performance by Mark Boyett.

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Liked this book better than the first.

First of all, Mark Boyett is great.
I would argue this book was better than the first and I really loved the first book. This book is also more dark than the first book.
The plot thickens and I’m ready for the 3rd book coming up late April.
Thanks Pete for such an enjoyable escape from what’s going on in the world.

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Zero disappointment, high satisfaction

I was not disappointed with this second book in the series. This was not a book that brought you into a load of exposition on the who, what, where, and why. This was being thrown into the next mission, and the ensuing fights taken to complete that mission.
I will say one thing. The feel and grit of the writing is OBVIOUSLY coming from a veteran, which low and behold, it’s written by a former Recon Marine. There was no blundering around with weapon characteristics of someone writing about something they knew nothing about. This author wrote from experience, and it shows.
I was apprehensive about how the author was going to resupply Recon Marines with ammo, but in my opinion, this was done expertly, and taken from actual mythology. I loved the adaptations to this story, and the world the author communicated. I like the characters, both good and evil. This is no glittering flash dance stripper on a pole. This is a hard, gritty story, and I found it to be excellent.
The narrator did an amazing job keeping the feel from the first book. There was no loss of story focus.
HIGHLY RECOMMEND. 5 out of 5 stars in all three categories.
Waiting for book three to go on Pre-order

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The real conflict is within each man's heart

Shadows and Crows: The Lost — Book 2 by Peter Nealen is a dark and otherworldly adventure in a haunted world that sits right at the edge of familiarity. Like the spectres that lurk in the gloaming, it feels like if you listen long enough, you might recognize something you know. Alas, you will then probably discover that you have been sucked in and there is no escape.

Shadows and Crows is Peter Nealen’s second book in the WarGate style series The Lost. I feel like Nealen really hits his stride here, the pacing of this book was excellent. I always wanted to listen to just a little bit more, no matter what had just happened. I also enjoy Mark Boyett’s voice work, from the gravelly gunnery sergeant to the Irish-inflected Tuacha.

When we left off in the last volume, Conor McCall’s Recon Marines had narrowly escaped the Fohorimans, men twisted by dark sorcery, monstrous and misshapen. In the process, they found new allies, the Tuacha, who provide them refuge from the many dark things that lurk in the world they have found themselves in. Fortunately for Conor and the rest of the Marines who escaped, the bounty of the Tuacha includes the ability to resupply them will all the instruments of modern mayhem that an infantryman might desire.

In book 2, their services are required when the Isle of Riamog is attacked by something even more foul than the Fohorimans. You might think that their job is going to be straightforward, as they enjoy home field advantage and they have been re-armed. This is where Nealen gives the Marines a worthy enemy, one who can use the dark magics of this world to counter the advantages of man-portable machineguns and 40mm grenade launchers. I won’t spoil the fun here, as I found the whole thing so well done.

In the aftermath of this attack, the Tuacha discover that a sacred artifact has been taken from their lands, along with the holy woman who was its guardian. Neither the Tuacha nor the Marines can abide such a thing, which is the event that sets the rest of the book in motion.

You might think you know what you are going to be in for here. The Marines and their Tuacha allies will use their martial skills to hunt down whatever eldritch trespasser violated their new home, rescue the damsel in distress, and frag/ventilate anything that gets in their way. In a general way, these things can be expected, but there is more to this book than it might first seem.

The reason why is that Shadows and Crows is a Gothic adventure. I am going to take a detour to explore what this means, as the term Gothic can have a variety of meanings ranging from the architectural to the aesthetic. In this case, what makes Shadows and Crows Gothic is that getting killed by a monster in the dark isn’t the worst thing that can happen to a character.

The worst thing that can happen is a character can lose their honor, and their soul. That they can side with Evil against Good and abandon their principles in the pursuit of power. When Conor and his platoon were transported into this world of ice and monsters, the veil was torn, and many things that were hidden in our world were lain bare.

In a Gothic adventure, the conflict is not only between men and monsters, but within each man’s heart. The fault line between good and evil lies there, and the true struggle is within even as the visible servants of darkness must be vanquished without.

Yet, there are compensations for the unclean things that roam the world freely. There are not merely hints of holiness, but shining exemplars of heroic virtue that confound the wicked things with piety, meekness, and humility. With faith like a mustard seed, nothing will be impossible to them. The discipline and sacrifice of the holy ones amazes Conor, as it should. It is easy to write a book where the heroes deliver kinetic violence to the wicked. It is far harder to write one that plausibly leaves those competent in breaking stuff and killing people in awe of a man whose weapons are prayer and fasting.

This is what elevates Shadows and Crows above your average mil-sf. At least to my outsider’s eye, Nealen gives the verisimilitude expected of a book that wants to explore how modern military tactics and weapons could be used against things that go bump in the night. Where things get far more interesting is when Nealen brings in hope, and the possibility of redemption for even the most wretched.

I am enjoying this series immensely, and I wish Nealen continued success.

I received a review copy from the publisher.

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Thats how you keep the fun going!

Great follow up to the first book, the world opened up and the action kept right on going, I'm hooked and excited for more!

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  • Peter Odukwe
  • 04-21-22

Absolutely Brilliant

This is second book in the series, always a tough one when the first is really really good. Peter Nealen has just nailed it. Absolutely Brilliant. Just get it!!