The Huntsman Legion 101: The Good Stuff

The first episode of the Huntsman Legion shows promise with it’s futuristic setting and detective tropes. It’s hard to say whether the rest of the series we’ll be as good, but the “new guy” to the audio drama field knocks  episode one out of the park.

The sound effects aren’t on par with some of the more veteran production companies, but for a first attempt, there’s barely any awkward sounds that sound like they don’t belong in the same room as the characters. A common problem with newer companies.

As for the story itself, it’s a cross between noir and science fiction. There’s elements of a mystery in this particular episode, but often the information is handed out without too much trouble. That’s fine, as it’s not the primary focus of the story. What is the main plot of the story has to do with a illegal operation involving alcohol, hence the title: “The Good Stuff”

All in all “The Huntsman Legion” is something to be on the lookout for as an up and coming series from Crusader’s Media.

4/5 Stars

The Seventh Key

This was a wonderful story with an ending that didn’t quite bring it home. Without going into too much detail, the “what really happened” ending felt overly complex for the sake of being complex, rather than to enhance the story. Twists are a great tool for short stories, but audio seems to hardest medium to tell this kind of story. It can be done well, as in Alone in the Night.

The ending aside, this story hooks you right from the beginning. If you’re a writer, then hearing the protagonist struggle with trying not to rehash the same old stories will hit a cord deep inside and give you immediate rooting interest. Even if you’re not a romance author, like Ms. Applegate in the story, the problems she’s going through are ones which ring true for all fiction writers. If you aren’t a writer, it still gives an interesting insight into the thought process of the average writer.

That alone is worth the price of admission: time.

4/5 Stars

Alone in the Night

This audio drama has been sitting on my computer for awhile. Part of the Wavefront Anthologies series, from Electric Vicuña and starring Jack Ward of the Sonic Society, Genevieve Jones, Tanja Milojevic (from Pendant Productions’ starring role in “The Line”), along with David Ault and John Bell, this hour long short has both emotional resonance and a twist which rivals the one found in “The Sixth Sense.”

The first quarter of this story is getting the reader up to speed and, at times, it can get tedious. The main character informs the audience via monologue. In the story itself, he is recording himself. The setting is outer space and the ambience and sound effects clearly establish this piece of world building.

The story picks up once the protagonist meets the love interest and the interest arcs upward until the twist, which blew my mind. It was perfect for the medium of audio.

5/5 stars

Audio Drama Reviews: 3 Years, 100 Reviews – Coming Soon (September 28, 2014)

To celebrate the 100th review, I’m re-releasing an updated version of Audio Drama Reviews Collection One. It can be found here with its new cover and title already live. If you’ve already downloaded the Kindle version, the updates should take effect within 72 hours after I hit publish (which will be on on 27th of September at 11 PM Central). Hopefully the updates take affect sooner, but I just wanted to throw that out there.

Amazon will probably send an e-mail out to people who bought the book to tell them about the newer version. However, you will need to turn on automatic book updates. I believe it’s set to on as default, but just in case here are the instructions.

1.  Visit the Manage Your Content and Devices page
2.  Select “Automatic Book Update” from the left navigation bar.
3.  Click Turn On.

For the other platforms (Kobo and Smashwords), Simply e-mail me to receive the updated version. I’m not sure if they do updates the same way Kindle does.

Again the release date is 9/28/2014. So I won’t be sending out advanced copies until that date.

The Philadelphia Xperiment

My first listen from Camp Fire Radio was a wonderful treat. Great story, acting, and a tale that made me wince in fear and disgust—but in a good way. What I found most fascinating was the hypnosis scene. The way it combined the “blind” medium of audio with John Doe closing his eyes and remembering the past was ingenious. I felt like I was John, as scary as that thought might be given the ending.

What makes the tale scary isn’t the gruesome sound effects—even though they are extremely visceral. It’s the fact that it’s based on actual history. Well, more like conspiracy type history. You can find more about the Philadelphia Experiment on its wikipedia page.

Overall I thoroughly enjoyed this tale. Short and sweet, but packed with tons history, horror, and imagination.

5/5 Stars

The Table Round Episode 3

By far the darkest episode, the third chapter of “The Table Round” takes the story told thus far and provides a common denominator for the series to follow.

Before now, the episodes seemed too episodic. There were loose connections, but nothing concrete enough to say that these stories were related. The reveal in episode three about Kind Arthur and the force which would one day take the thrown away from him tied in the first two episode and by the end, the story had taken a darker turn for the better.

One can only hope that the next episode isn’t as dark, because while certain aspects of the King Arthur myth are gritty and unpleasant, a lot of what people remember are the positive things like the Knights of the Round Table. (Or maybe that’s thanks to Monty Python). Characters like Mordred and Morgan La fey give fans of the mythology a reason to squee, while others will find their introduction to be a great development for the story regardless.

 

5/5 Stars

The Table Round Episode 2

The second episode is leaps and bounds better than the first in terms of production value. There’s still some parts that perhaps could’ve been better, but as the episode progressed the sound quality let go of the wheel and hopped in the passenger seat. leaving the driving to the story and characters.

If getting over a rough beginning is hard, you may not make it this far. I hope you do, because episode 2 shows the talents of the cast and crew much better than the first episode. That’s not to say they weren’t good in that chapter, but the amateurish sound quality hindered the overall enjoyment.

The scene where Arthur receives Excalibur is the best one out of this episode. I can’t wait to see what the this series has in store as it’s only getting better; not only as each new episode is released, but during the episodes themselves.

4/5 Stars

The Table Round Episode 1

An Arthurian full cast production finally makes the pod-air waves and it sort of disappoints in terms of the production value. The first episode didn’t have good sound effects. This would be good for when audio drama first resurfaced, but nowadays it’s considered sloppy quality. For a first time go at an audio drama, this is still good. It’s the sound level issues that are the main problem.

This is also an interesting take, not on the King Arthur legend, but on audio drama. It both educates and entertains the listener. This is made clear at the end of the episode, when someone comes onto the microphone and tells the listener what happened during the events they’ve just experienced. Don’t worry it comes after the episode is complete and more of a pre/post credit teaser. Obviously there’s no factual history here, aside from the legends and writers who greatly influenced and added to the King Arthur mythology.

Regardless of whether there was a King Arthur, this first episode of an ongoing adventure recounting his adventures (real or not), shows some promise. The acting was good, but the quality of some people’s microphones was poorer than I’ve personally come to expect from independent audio productions nowadays. Still I will listen onward, keeping my optimism high.

Rating: 3.5/5

Mistborn: The Final Empire (Part 3 of 3)

I remember being unsatisfied by the ending of Mistborn: The Final Empire when reading the book/listening to the audiobook. I thought the way the protagonist killed the bad guy was lukewarm. It wasn’t until reading the author’s annotations on his site that the ending suddenly received weight in terms of its resonance. Needless to say, I went into this 3 part audio drama/audiobook hybrid knowing what to expect in terms of the beats. Graphic Audio did a fantastic job of making the book come to life to another part of my imagination and brain.

It goes without saying that reading and listening to an audio drama both depend on the individual’s imagination more than the visual mediums like television and film. It’s why the idea of a combination is so kick-ass. I said in the review of part one that I found the narration annoying. I tolerated it in part two, coming to expect long passages of the narrator just describing the setting and the characters acting or reacting within it. By the end of the book, it was barely noticeable.

The “real plan” reveal, when I first read it did not have much emotional weight. The actors and actresses performances of the scene after this plot twist occurs was outstanding. I was on the verge of tears at the actresses’ of Vin response. Sometimes experiencing the story in a different light is all one needs to truly understand it.

5/5 stars

Mistborn: The Final Empire (Part 2 of 3)

The middle (part 2 of 3) of this audiobook/audio drama hybrid is easily forgettable. That’s probably due to the lapse in listening I took and because having read/listened to the book, it was hard to differentiate what happened in what part. An event that happened in the beginning of part three could’ve happened at the end of part two. It’s not important, but it does make reviewing these hard. People who listened to this without a 1-2 month gap have larger attention spans than I do. While I enjoy political intrigue, all the ball scenes felt out of place. The tone was too different from the rest of the story. I realize it was necessary for having the plan established in part one to work, but the way it was handled could’ve been better. The sound effects were great. Each metal had a distinct sound, but sounded familiar enough to each other that it could be identified as allomancy. For example, Iron and steel are both external metals, but have opposite effects. One pulls objects towards you, while the other pushes them away. Their sounds are both similar and different, thus adding a certain ambience to the world through the SFX.

Rating: 3.5 stars