Review copy was received from Author. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Villains Return by M.K. Gibson
Narrator: Jeffrey Kafer
Series: The Shadow Master #5
Published by Indie on October 05, 2023
Length: 11 hours, 15 minutes
Amazon, Audible, Libro.fm, Apple
Following the events of VILLAINS DEFEAT, Jackson Blackwell—the minor god and former Shadow Master—is dead. His empire toppled, his entourage dispersed, and his stain upon the cosmic landscape wiped clean. And that is exactly what Jackson, the newly graduated Titan, wants Eris Pence and the gods of the multiverse to think.
After two years of secret training, Jackson is ready to begin his rampage, his mission of sweet revenge. The only things standing between him and his dark desires are a few pesky personality tests and a Titan named “Frank.”
VILLAINS RETURN is the fifth book in the award-winning Shadow Master series and something of a whirlwind tour of Jackson’s greatest hits. This action-packed dark comedy calls back to several beloved locations, ties up more than a few loose ends, and forces Jackson to see beyond his immediate goals. Growth, it seems, can come at any stage in a person’s life. Even a right prick like Jackson can become a better man—or villain.
I’m always ready to go back into the Shadowmaster world with Jackson Blackwell. He is just such a fun character. He always tells it like it is as he sees it. It’s been two years since the previous book (both in the book world and in real life). I was chomping at the bit to get back to this story. Jackson has been missing from his friends and family for all this time, while he learns his new titan powers. And a lot has changed since he last saw his minions.They are all scattered across several different multiverses.
This book has everything that we have come to expect from Jackson Blackwell. He is still very much a villain with a very snarky side. He also still only sees things from his own perspective, though he does come to see others through this book. I love seeing Jackson become more human, even as he becomes less human. He learns to not take his friends and family for granted. He even teaches his former boss about how vengeance can be very self destructive.
I would not start with this book, if you’ve never tried Shadowmaster. This is a series that is meant to be read from the beginning. I will say this story does pull in a lot from previous books, reminding Jackson where things once were. There is also a large number of pop culture references, a huge amount of humor, and internal monologue.
I’ve always loved how Jackson speaks directly to the listeners. I also love how Gibson changes things up for the audiobooks and adds some stuff specifically for us. I keep saying I’m going to try an ebook, just so I can see the differences, but it has yet to happen. The audiobooks are just too fun.
If you haven’t tried this series, I highly recommend it. It always makes me laugh. And this came at a time when I could use one.
Jeffery Kafer always does an amazing job when he narrates a book, but I have to say, I love when he performs the snarky ones best. I think he does such an amazing job bringing Jackson to life. I don’t think I could just read one of these books, I have to listen. And even if I did read, it would be with Kafer’s voice in my head.
There is also a blooper reel at the end of this audiobook. I think all snarky books should include them. I felt it made the jokes even better. I’ve often wondered how narrators would get through some of these scenes without laughing. The answer, several takes.
Listen to a clip: HERE
- 🎧 Moon Cops on the Moon by C.T. Phipps @CT_Phipps #AlexFreeman #LoveAudiobooks @AudiobookMel - February 23, 2024
- 🎧 FantasticLand by Mike Bockoven @MikeBockoven #AngelaDawe@luckylukeekul #LoveAudiobooks @AudiobookMel - February 9, 2024
- 🎧 Forbidden Island by Jeremy Robinson @JRobinsonAuthor @JeffreyKafer #BreakneckMedia#LoveAudiobooks @AudiobookMel - January 26, 2024