Podiobook Review: Shadowmagic

What happens when you put a clever modern-day seventeen-year-old into the middle of a serious High Fantasy novel?

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Shadowmagic by John Lenahan


Shadowmagic is a rip roaring fun fantasy adventure novel by John Lenahan very loosely based on Irish mythology where every chapter ends on the edge of a cliff (or at least a high curb.) Join Conor as he grapples with typical teenage problems like, how to deal with a father’s high expectations, how to survive in the world on your own and how to woo a beautiful girl – that wants you dead. Shadowmagic a podcast novel for young adults from 12 to 112.

High Point

This book has a great sense of humor without getting silly or stupid. Often, High Fantasy gets a little full of itself and Shadowmagic shoves a spear right through it.

Low Point

Not sure about the ending. Can’t tell if Lenahan was going for a sequel or just didn’t know where to leave off. It’s ends well enough. Maybe I was just so engrossed I just didn’t want an ending.

The Scores

Originality: A very clever way to spin the old quest story. 5/6

Story: The story alternates from funny to serious with good transitions in between. Conor never loses his cheeky attitude, even in the face of certain death. 4/6

Imagery: Decently done. It seems best during action scenes. 4/6

Characterization: Like most first-person stories, it does a great job of revealing what the narrator is going through, but not much else. Though Conor is a reliable narrator and gives us a decent view of things. 4/6

Emotional Response: This is very good. Very funny. Very charming. You get attached to Conor and his adventure. 5/6

Production: Great job. Lenahan has a great voice and good recording style. Of course, Red Dwarf fans already know this. 5/6

Overall: It’s a good and quick listen and is great for the family to listen to. Lenahan goes out of his way to make sure the book is appropriate for “younger ears.” 5/6

Total Score: 32 out of 42

2 replies on “Podiobook Review: Shadowmagic”

  1. I just finished this last night and I have to say that it’s quite enjoyable. The characterization is excellent and the cliffhanger structure of each episode coupled with the average 20 minute length makes for some long walks with the pooch.

    It reminded me of both John Myers Myers and Charles de Lint, with a little bit of L. Sprague de Camp thrown in for good measure. Lenahan’s characterization is excellent, with Fergal’s death bringing some tears to the eyes, though I wasn’t surprised by it or the ‘twist’ that occurred right after it.

    These podcast reviews are appreciated TAM, keep them coming!

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