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Publisher's Summary

High seas adventure, blackmail, and meddling gods meet in Dark Shores, a thrilling first audiobook in a fast-paced new YA fantasy series by USA Today best-selling author Danielle L. Jensen. 

In a world divided by meddlesome gods and treacherous oceans, only the Maarin possess the knowledge to cross the Endless Seas. But they have one mandate: East must never meet West. 

A pirate with a will of iron

Teriana is the second mate of the Quincense and heir to the Maarin Triumvirate. Her people are born of the seas and the keepers of its secrets, but when her closest friend is forced into an unwanted betrothal, Teriana breaks her people’s mandate so her friend might escape - a choice with devastating consequences. 

A soldier with a secret 

Marcus is the commander of the Thirty-Seventh, the notorious legion that has led the Celendor Empire to conquer the entire East. The legion is his family, but even they don’t know the truth he’s been hiding since childhood. It’s a secret he’ll do anything to protect, no matter how much it costs him - and the world. 

A dangerous quest 

When an Empire senator discovers the existence of the Dark Shores, he captures Teriana’s crew and threatens to reveal Marcus’s secret unless they sail in pursuit of conquest, forcing the two into an unlikely - and unwilling - alliance. They unite for the sake of their families, but both must decide how far they are willing to go, and how much they are willing to sacrifice.

©2019 Danielle L. Jensen (P)2019 Macmillan Audio

What listeners say about Dark Shores

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

Slow start!

In the beginning I did not like this at all. The voices sounded like robots. after finishing The Stolen Songbird only an hour earlier, I was not impressed wuth the narrating or the story start I guess. But once into 4th chapter I was hooked. Looking forward to the next books in the series.!

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overall great start to the series

thought this was a great start to the series - good balance between world & character building, action & romance - loved all side characters as well. I do love that the romance was slow-burning and didn't have gratuitous sex scenes (not prudish) but I find sometimes "fading out" & leaving some things to the reader's imagination is perfect - no need for hard core erotica like SJM's series. Cant wait to read/listen to Book 2.

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    4 out of 5 stars

More Roman-Inspired Than Pirates But Still Great!

If you looked at the cover of this and thought "nice, a cool pirate story," you're in for a surprise. This is an Ancient Rome book - and I'm sure if you've read any reviews of this book, you'd know that by now. But I like going into books without having read anything about them, so it was a Shock to me, to say the least.

However, I really, really enjoyed this one. As I knew I would - Danielle L. Jensen has a style of writing that brings the emotions of the characters to life in a way that not a lot of other authors I've read can. The grit and rawness of the emotions of each of the characters really hit me every time they displayed it on the page. I loved watching these characters grow and expand to be trusting of each other (the best!!!!) in a way that not everyone always is.

I liked a lot of the layered worldbuilding to this - there were elements of Ancient Rome where you can see the amount of effort that went into reading about it and understanding it. The worldbuilding was probably the best part of this novel, if I'm being honest. I could effortlessly and seamlessly enter into the world and understand what was happening, where I was, and what the scenary looked like. Kudos on that!

In terms of characters, I really liked Teriana. She is a person grappling with the enormous guilt for cooperating with an invading enemy and the fallout of this with her people, including her mom. But things get even more complicated when she starts to fall for Marcus, the commanding officer of the Legion assigned to conquer the West.

Marcus is the commander of the Roman Empire-inspired Legion 37. Over the course of his career, he has killed and enslaved thousands of people. We start to see that he didn't have as much choice in the matter as it may seem. He will do whatever it takes to protect his family, and his men, from danger. This was the part that was accurate for the Roman Empire but still made me not enjoy the book as much as I could have otherwise.

But, I found it to drag at some points and I wish there was more to the imperalism. I did like that there were side characters and depictions of gay characters, different skin colours, and a variety of body types, shapes, and ages. However, this was mainly in the side characters and I would have liked more in that sense. And while our main female character was depicted as a woman of colour, it wasn't glaringly obvious that she was anything other than "white."

TLDR: I have the sequel already, so I'm definitely going to read it! I do really enjoyed Jensen's novels and think that she has a unique gift to really have her characters emote on the page. I can't wait to see what comes from the rest of the series and the fallout (and come back together) of our main characters.

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Awesome story with a wonderful narrators

This story is captivating and so well written it kept me hooked the entire time! The narrators did a wonderful job and were perfect for this story, I could wait to get the other books!

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average

its an ok story line if you like teenage love stories with no supernatural stuff it hinted at. The story was read by a male and female readers. At times the female reader sounded like Google dictation. And having to adjust to different voices for each character depending on who was reading that chapter. All that being said I will likely listen to book 2 hoping it gets better.

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Had me at the edge of my seat.

I started listening to this at work because it's slow, and the story was so good that I had to pause it when things would get busy as to not miss anything important to the story line. I did how ever get nervous, excited, and sad while listening to this so be prepared to feel likely emotions. Try not to bite at your fingernails too much. Loved the narrators their voices were smooth as butter and they did a great job at portraying the characters emotions. Will continue to listen to this series.

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So Enjoyable!

I got this title from this author after reading The Bridge Kingdom. And now I have to wait for 2 of her series to come out with book number two!!!!! I enjoyed the characters and the fresh and unique things about the story. Not surprised as the Danielle l. Jensen brings exciting and new ideas so its not the same kind of stories you always read. I enjoyed this book alot and my only complaint was I wish it was longer so I could spend more time with her characters. I also like the two different narrators and the views from both the main characters. One thing that's weird is that when pre-ordering book 2 it is not about the people in book one not sure how I feel about that

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Wow

This book has definitely made it to my list of favourites. Well written; wonderfully performed. I plan on buying the paper copy when it is available. Can’t wait for the next book.

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  • Memeke
  • 2020-03-01

I Had Fun

(More around 4.5)

**Slight Spoilers**

“Dark Shores” was a fun ride. Like the author pointed out on Goodreads, the marketing made this novel sound like it was going to be a swashbuckling pirate story, but it really isn’t that. It’s a story more about a world based on the Roman Empire and basically what happened to other nations and parts of the world that had the unfortunate happenstance to be acquainted with them. Teriana is part of a race of people who take it upon themselves to govern the ocean between Eastern Continents and Western Continents to uphold their 7 gods and goddesses wishes to keep the peace. But, you know, the Roman Empire side finds out about Teriana’s secret and wants to do the usual conquer thing.

I had fun listening to “Dark Shores” as an audiobook. There were two narrators, and I liked how each gave the story their own inflections. They were on par.

So, because I liked the story so much (Teriana was awesome, Marcus was nice and sad but trying to do better, and the side characters were memorable,) I can’t help but point out a few things that I would have liked to see or that interrupted my happy space.

I wasn’t much for Teriana’s mother. She seemed to be the “badass” mom, but the type of mom who would treat her child more like a student detached from her more than her actual flesh and blood. Obviously, she’s not a talk-it-through type of lady, and I just didn’t feel like she and Teriana had much of a connection.

I feel like Teriana is smart enough to know that Lily didn’t betray her. She knows that Cassius is a manipulative fart face, and she knows that her friend was someone she could share her deepest secrets with. There had to be some trust there, and I was hoping that Teriana would think of that at least in this novel. I’m also surprised that the reveal that Marcus “killed” Lily wasn’t brought up in the novel either. I really don’t like that it’s coming at some point. It will eventually happen, and there will be all sorts of drama and miscommunication.

Teriana also believed in Titus a little too quickly. Maybe she just wanted to have a reason to hate Marcus again, but she should have been able to know that was what was going on there. But despite all of this, I feel like Titus might actually be kind of nice? He wants to save Terianna, and he was disgusted with the criminals who were eventually sentenced to hang. Perhaps there is something more to do with him?

I do wish that the romance burned a little longer and came to a full culmination to the next book. I feel like leaving the declarations to the very end just…I dunno. It just fell a little short. I could have used a bit more platonic bickering. Actually, I feel like these two (Teriana and Marcus) would have been better as a strong, platonic friendship. Like a power friendship.

I also enjoyed the parts in the book the best when they were on the ocean and when the gods and goddesses showed themselves. It felt like the battle of Troy with immortals toying with mortals as they saw fit.

Anywhoozle, I overall really, really enjoyed “Dark Shores.” I plan on listening to the next book when it comes back.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Rachel Ashworth
  • 2019-07-26

I wanted more!

DARK SHORES was a good read (or listen), however the story seemed to end abruptly with much of the plot hanging in the air. Even the romantic plot is left on a cliffhanger. I loved the characters and the struggle, but felt like the story was unfinished for as many chapters as there were.

4 people found this helpful

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  • kdiz
  • 2022-01-10

Disappointed

Big disappointment from an author I like. Despite listening to the whole thing and really LOVING Bridge Kingdom, I just couldn’t get into this.

The world building was confusing not just because there was too much to keep track of, but mostly because it wasn’t explained well, especially at the beginning. Later on, so many new ideas are introduced it just feels both rushed and distracting from whatever the main plot is. Too many loose ends that got lost along the way.

Teriana’s personality is very juvenile, annoying, and whiney, and I just couldn’t relate to her. I find constant complaining hard to tolerate. Marcus was much more compelling. His backstory, motivations, and goals are well developed. Overall, he’s a great character. However, I couldn’t feel any chemistry between them and struggled to connect to their supposed “slow burn.” Could partially be the boundaries of YA approved content.

Overall this book, though creative, is very slow at times and rushed at others. The pacing felt wrong. Struggled to finish. Won’t continue this series.

Great narration.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Kristin
  • 2019-07-08

omg ...

So this book pulled me in and had the ups and downs. Marcus what a man. marcus is working bith ends trying to make sure people stay alive and also trying to make sure he keeps his men alive because one wrong move could kill either. but teriana and him are great. she hated his guts at first so would i. but she found to love him now i cant wait to figure out whats going to happen next. hurry up book 2

3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • A. Kaelin
  • 2022-06-06

Slow at first, then fell in love!

It was slow at first, but then I grew to love it! I wasn't sure how it would end... Now I NEED to get the next book!

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Norma
  • 2022-03-07

Good story...

I have read all of the other Danielle Jenson book series before this one. For me this was very hard to get into. Once I got like 7 or so chapters in it started to pick up. You have to follow all of the names and titles. Nothing about the prequel has anything to do with this book so that is confusing too. However...once all of that of figured out it gets better!

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Andra-homeschool mom
  • 2022-02-27

Loved It

"It's enough."

Politics...Family Loyalty...Protection...Desire...Redemption...Gods...Goddesses...

East vs West

Family isn't always by blood. Things aren't always what they seem. A good man has been pushed into the role of a villain.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Bela lacayo
  • 2021-06-11

Good Writing, okay plot

Although I liked the writing, it was just missing a little energy for me in the plot. I loved Jensen's other series The Bridge Kingdom, but this one fell a bit short for me. I wouldn't be opposed to finishing the series, but I it is not on my current list.

The narrations were good.

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  • Allison & Tristan
  • 2021-01-08

Slower Start than Bridge Kingdom But Captivating

Love this author, so I had high expectations for this series. Did not disappoint and can't wait to dive into the second one.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • T. Phillips
  • 2020-12-10

narrators make or break my enjoyment of audio book

loved the narrators that read Jenson's books. i may like the story but if i dont like the narrators style i will not listen..ill wait until i can read it and listen to the narrator in my own head