This audio drama attempts to walk the line between episodic content and one full-length audio production. It doesn’t do a fantastic job, but it isn’t bad. The way this audio drama plays out, the chapter-by-chapter structure hurts the impact of the overall story. One episode will focus on one thing and introduce a mystery all in the 20-30 minutes per episode. The answer to the mystery is answered a few chapters later and it loses the “oh my god” impact that most mystery resolutions need in order to resonate or satisfy the individual experiencing the story. That’s not to say they didn’t occur, it just could’ve been stronger. The best reveals came at the end. The reveals and twists towards and during the climax were along the lines of “wow, I knew it.” (I don’t mean that in a bad sense. The plot with the mysterious voice, I figured out about a minute before Bruiser was aware. That is a great way to end a mystery. Having the reader figure out whodunit a page or paragraph before the characters is one of the best experiencing an author can give someone. Audio Drama is no exception.
Iron Man 3 (I’ll link to a review of it on my personal blog, if and when it’s written) handles the “twists along the way” structure quite well. Then again it is a movie and not broken down into smaller chunks—other than Hollywoods traditional three-act format. Unlike Iron Man 3, however, the climax of Hothouse Bruiser more than made up for the semi-low resonance level throughout. If you believe the end of a journey is greater than the adventure itself, then you’ll probably enjoy the ending of Hothouse Bruiser immensely. However, if it wasn’t for that ending, this would have been too episodic for my liking.