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Publisher's Summary

Unwanted betrothals, assassination attempts, and a battle for the crown converge in Danielle L. Jensen's Dark Skies, a new series starter set in the universe of the YA fantasy Sarah J. Maas called "everything I look for in a fantasy novel".

A runaway with a hidden past....

Lydia is a scholar, but books are her downfall when she meddles in the plots of the most powerful man in the Celendor Empire. Her life in danger; she flees west to the far side of the Endless Seas and finds herself entangled in a foreign war where her burgeoning powers are sought by both sides.

A commander in disgrace....

Killian is Marked by the God of War, but his gifts fail him when the realm under the dominion of the Corrupter invades Mudamora. Disgraced, he swears his sword to the kingdom’s only hope: the crown princess. But the choice sees him caught up in a web of political intrigue that will put his oath - and his heart - to the test.

A kingdom under siege....

With Mudamora falling beneath the armies of the Corrupter, Lydia and Killian strike a bargain to save those they love most - but it is a bargain with unintended and disastrous consequences. Truths are revealed, birthrights claimed, and loyalties questioned - all while a menace deadlier and more far-reaching than they realize sweeps across the world. 

A Macmillan Audio production from Tor Teen.

©2020 Danielle L. Jensen (P)2020 Macmillan Audio

What listeners say about Dark Skies

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

not bad

story a little messy in places. Some of the male reading not matching the feeling with the words written but still better than some either I've listened to. (57 in 6 months) I love my Audible Books!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Memeke
  • 2020-06-02

Great Standalone Sequel

(Really close to five stars, but you'll find out why later in the review)

So, this is more of a companion book to Dark Shores where we get to follow Terianna’s best friend, Lydia. I super called it in my last review where Lydia had “main protagonist” written all over her, and I’m glad for it. There’s no need to read Dark Shores first. You can actually read Dark Skies first if you’d like.

Lydia was raised by her adopted father after she was found with her murdered birth mother. No one knew the origins of Lydia, and her adopted father took her in and cared for her like she was of his own blood. Unfortunately, Lydia was raised in the very Roman-ish Cel Empire, which means women are pretty much treated like property. In order to secure his daughter a safe future, Lydia’s dying father tries to marry her off to the worst possible person to get her married to—the evil and power hungry Lucius. Thankfully, Lydia is able to escape the murderous Lucius (that’s right, he tries to oversee her murder) but instead finds herself on the other side of the world—the Dark Shores, which were previously thought of as a myth. Lydia must get back to the Cel to save her father from an insidious plot and to save her friend Terianna, of whom Lydia may have accidentally doomed her entire people.

Oh, you think that’s it with the synopsis? Pfft, no! We get two POV’s.

Killian is our second protagonist. He lives on the aforementioned Dark Shores where the people worship seven gods/goddesses. These immortal beings “mark” humans they like, which gives these humans cool powers like an affinity for fighting, growing plants, or fast healing others. Killian is marked by the war god, so he should be okay with protecting the non-penetrable wall, right? Nope. Because the god of death/chaos sent his marked ones over to take the wall and capture/kill Killian. The wall falls, and Killian pretty much spends the rest of the novel trying to atone for not going with his gut instinct, which resulted in the fall of said wall. He’s supposed to be charming and good with the ladies (which is a ruse yet it’s never really displayed), but I got more of a “I have to atone” vibe from him, even before the wall fell.

But what did I think of the book? Well, I liked it. It was fun and well developed. Lydia grows from a girl who knows of the problems plaguing her world and doing nothing to heal those problems, to an adept and goal driven woman. Killian goes from a boy who is chained up by his marked to taking control of his life and being reliable to the people around him. I HIGHLY enjoy how Lydia and Killian were truthful with each other from the start. There are so many stories where misunderstandings and withholding information damaged a pretty good plot. I dislike how you know where the story will end up just because of someone keeping a secret. (Ex: I shouldn’t tell him about my past because he’ll hate me for it---->Oh no, he hates me for keeping the secret and not because of my past, I have to heal our wounded relationship now!) Thank goodness this story didn’t end up like that.

That being said, I ended up liking Dark Shores better. Terianna is a fun character. Super awesome and witty. I would have actually liked Terianna and Lydia to be romantically together than with Killian and Marcus. They have way more chemistry than they do with the two boys. I liked both plots, the growth in both novels, and basically everything pretty much at the same level. But there’s a smidgen of Terianna in this book so that’s why it comes in second.

Quick ramble: What’s up with brothers in these books hating each other? Where's the familial love?

I listened to this book on audiobook through Audible.com.

Johnson DeVante is not the best narrator for Killian. Don’t get me wrong. His voice is like melted butter mixed with a delicious batch of brownie batter---but that doesn’t go well with Killian. Killian who is, what, 19-years-old, and not the learned, deep voiced 30 something DeVante sounds like. There “are” some parts where Killian does exhibit that “rascal” attitude, but it’s lost on DeVante’s narration. (Still, I’d listen to DeVante if he was narrating a character closer to his voice range.)

Stephanie Willis was a great choice! I wouldn’t change her performance in any way.

Okay. Hope you had fun reading this. I had a great time reflecting. See ya with the next review!

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Ellie
  • 2022-03-10

Do dark shores first

The man narrator is the absolute worst. It is so hard to listen to his awkward pauses and bursts. It’s like a teenager was told to read out loud in class. Woman does fine.
Dark shores was awesome and now I’m addicted to the story but if I’d listened to this first I would’ve given up entirely.
The story is good. It’s the man narrator was a terrible choice.

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

Loved It

Book 2 in the Dark Shores series

Political Upheaval...Gods...Goddesses...Judgments...Love & Longing

Desiring hope. Wanting too much. Determining where you belong. Finding a purpose.

Once again I was pulled into the book from the beginning. I love reading the different people's stories in each book and seeing how they overall series ties together. At the risk of own life, the main characters continue to do all they can to preserve life.

"I choose this."

Can't wait to continue in book 3.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Bubba
  • 2022-02-15

Strong story; poor male narration

While I enjoyed the story, the male narrator, was distracting and without credence. No one speaks the way he narrated. And no actor would speak in the manner he narrated unless it was a trait of his character. He spoke in choppy, quick bursts of words conveying little or no emotion. If the story was not as soundly written, his portrayal of the character would have completely weakened the character. Am not looking forward to hearing him in the next book. The male narrator of the first book in this series was excellent.

The female narrator was excellent and was the only salvation for the performance aspect of the story. I recommend listening to the book on the strength of the story and the female narrator.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Lezlee Gunsolley
  • 2022-02-10

Great story!

This is an exciting, well written book with strong, well developed characters, that immediately sucked me in and jerked me around by the feels!
The only thing that kept me from giving 5 stars overall was the fact that the narrator has an unfortunate lisp that can be very pronounced & distracting.
It’s hard to immerse yourself into a story when the person telling it says things like “The home has the schrenth of a military schronghold, which seemed very schrange.”. I don’t mean to be insensitive, it’s just very distracting.
It is a wonderful book though, if you can get passed the lisp thing. I fully intend to buy the next book in the series, as long as it’s read by a different voice actor. If not, I’ll just get the printed version, because it is definitely worth the read!

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Anonymous User
  • 2021-08-26

Difficult to follow

I love this author, but this book was difficult for me to listen to. There were so many names and characters that weren’t really important and it made it confusing when they were talked about. I started and then stopped listening to this three times. Finally I had nothing else to listen to so I pushed through. I also did not like the male narrator. I don’t think I will listen to the second one.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 2021-08-13

Better narration than the first book.

much much much better narration. these were better actors for this storyline. also love this series.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • rosesofroyalty
  • 2021-06-30

Great!

I absolutely loved this book and all of Danielle Jensens works. My issue with this is the narration. I thought Stephanie Willis did a great job as Lydia. Her voice acting and accents were very good. You could tell the difference between different characters and was very understandable overall. DeVante Johnson’s performance, however was not my favorite. Sometimes he spoke too quickly and the words ran together. I couldn’t tell the difference between the men speaking, or the women speaking. I found myself not paying attention to Killians part of the story and I think it did a disservice to my experience of this book.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Ragnhild Daasvand
  • 2021-01-22

Male Narrator

The book is very good, but the male narrator tended to speak in a way that almost swallowed some of the words in a sentence. It sometimes took me away from the story.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • HappyCow
  • 2020-06-11

A Struggle

I can appreciate the detail in this book and how difficult it must have been to put it all down on paper and make it make sense. The hard work that went behind this story is definitely noteworthy. That being said, following along with this story turned out to be quite difficult. Book 1 was a struggle in the beginning. There were too many factions and names introduced all at once that it was hard to remember who was who and why they mattered. It took me a while to finally get to a place in the story where all the explanations taper off to focus on the main characters. With Book 2, I'm still reading somewhere after chapter 40, and I honestly couldn't tell you who half the characters are. The story is being told from Lydia's perspective so there's more politics and conspiracy going on. New characters are introduced, old ones make an appearance. However staying on focus with the actual goal of the story is flustering at best. The chapters tend to jump around a bit. In one chapter, everything is moving forward, then in the next, they're suddenly running for their lives. Why are they running? Did something happen that I missed? I have never backtracked so much in one Audible to try to figure out what is going on. It's like a whole chunk of a chapter was skipped over to as a way to push the story forward? I still don't quite fully understand what's going on. I can point out, perhaps three characters, the rest I'm figuring out just by contextual evidence whenever they pop up for whatever reason. There's lots of action and scenes filled with danger... but for the life of me, I can't tell you why those things are happening or where the characters even are. I've been patiently waiting for the story to become more streamlined the way Book 1 flowed but I have lost hope that it ever will. I may or may not pick up Book 3 because I wonder if I'll even be able to understand it. P.S. Both voice actors are great.

EDIT 6/21/20
I listened for as long as I could bare but I just couldn't connect with the characters simply because I can barely remember who most of them were and why their factions were fighting. I ended up giving up and jumping to the last chapter which explained all the key points I missed in the last 20. The Bridge Kingdom was such a great story, I'm really surprised this series isn't as captivating.