Welcome to Night Vale
Written by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor. Narrated by Cecil Baldwin. Music by Disparition
As I stated last week we have never review a podcast before on the site, but this is an unusual podcast. Welcome to Night Vale is based in a the small desert town called Night Vile, the entire podcast is a cross between Local NPR and Lovecraft. The events in each episode can sometimes be broken up as “more information becomes available”. I started with the first episode/podcast but after listening to the first 8 episodes think you can pick it up where ever want. There is no real story that flows from one episode to episode. It more like building up lore about the town, such as the Secret Police, The Dog Park that no must enter or know about with the hooded figures, and who/whatever is owns the radio station that never comes out of its office.
One of the nicer things about this podcast is the local weather. They never give a weather report it they just play random song. This is never noticed ( or at least where I am in the podcasts) by the radio hoist.
This podcast is hosted/ narrated by Cecil Baldwinand and various in length from 20 to 30 mins. Cecil Baldwinand does a great job of sounding like a small town radio host that is vaguely creeped out by what he in seeing in his town but trying desperately to hide that fact from his listeners and whatever management is.
Over all this is a great podcast especially if you dont have time for a full book, IE quick trip to the store. Or if you’re listening with stitcher you can just go ahead and put it on and it will play episode after episode.
Overall 8.5 out of 10
Story 9 out of 10
Narration 8 out of 10
That’s right io9 has the full audioplay on their site to stream for free.
Review of the audioplay to come on Friday.
Let’s get this out of the way first – this book is slightly cheesy. Not that that’s a bad thing. It’s cheesy and in a really enjoyable sci-fi way. To starts off, the title of the book The Android’s Dream is a reference to Philip K. Dick’s Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep.The entire premise of this book revolves around looking for a specific genetically-engineered breed of sheep for intergalactic coronation, the bread being called “android dream.”
Even though I consider the story slightly cheesy, John Scalzi did an amazing job telling the story. There’s never a dull moment in the story. It jumps from plot point to plot point seamlessly without being too predictable. Characters all seem well-rounded and as believable as the they can in a story like this.
This 10 hour and 34 minute book was narrated by Will Wheaton. As much as I loved Will Wheaton in Star Trek, he is a real hit or miss narrator. Sometimes he is great and sometimes he falls flat on his face. Luckily, this is one of those books where he really excels. I don’t believe this has to do with the material. I previously tried to read Redshirts by John Scalzi, which he narrated, and I was not impressed. In fact, it was so bad I put down the book.
Overall 7.5 out of 10
Story 8.5 out of 10
Narration 7 out of 10
Next week we are going to have a double feature. I’m going to review the new reading of Ender’s Game before the movie comes out, as well as reviewing a podcast. We have never done that before, but Welcome to Night Vale is a special podcast. You should really enjoy it, especially if you love HP Lovecraft and Cthulhu.
My next book I will be reviewing is The Android’s Dream by John Scalzi. Read along with me and comment on my next review.
For those of you not familiar with the METAtropolis books, this is a book series that was started in 2008 by Audible. METAtroplis is a collection of short stories written by several different people. All stories in this collection take place in a futuristic dystopian environmental disaster world.
One of the things I liked about previous books in this series is that each story told me more about the world and how different people deal with different problems caused by our misuse of the environment. Green Space strays from this formula as most of the short stories revolve around the single story arc. While the story was interesting, I really miss the “What’s next” feeling of one story ending and the next beginning. Not that the story was bad, just not what I wanted when I picked up this book. The stories also seem to have a much darker feel about them compared to the previous books in this series.
The 14 hours and 6 minutes of this book was narrated by Dion Graham, Robin Miles, Mark Boyett, Scott Brick, Allyson Johnson,Sanjiv Jhaveri, Jennifer Van Dyck, Jonathan Davis. One of the nice things about the previous books in the series is that the book editor announced and explained how the author came up with the idea and how it fits in to the world of METAtropolis before it was read. One of the reasons that this may not have happened was the editor may not have been as involved with this book as previous books and in the series. He/She was not listed on the Audible or the Amazon pages.
As with any compilation this book had multiple narrators, sometimes more than one per story. I did not find the narration these stories terribly bad but they weren’t exceptionally good either. I did enjoy Scott Brick’s narration, but that could be a personal preference. I find people either love him or hate him. I say overall the narration of this book was on par with the writing. It really didn’t add to any of the stories but it wasn’t a distraction from them either.
Overall I enjoyed this book, I wouldn’t just pick the series up here because you’re going to miss all the fun of the world building in the first two books.
What of the nice things about the previous books in the series is that the book editor announced and explained how the author came up with the idea and how it fits in to the world of METAtropolis before it was read. One of the reasons that this may not have happened was the editor may not have been as involved as with this book as previous books and in the series. He/She was not listed on the Audible or the Amazon pages.
As with any compilation this book had multiple narrators, sometimes more than one per story. I did not find the narration these stories terribly bad but they weren’t exceptionally good either. I did enjoy Scott Brick narration, that could be a personal preference, I find people either love him or hate him. I say overall the narration of this book was on par with the writing, it really didn’t add any to the stories but it wasn’t a distraction from them either.
Overall I enjoyed this book, I wouldn’t just pick up the series here because you’re going to miss all the fun of the world building in the first two books.
Overall 7 out of 10
Narration 7 out of 10
Story 7 out of 10
Well I’m back, as you can see we have a new look to the site, I ditched Blogger for WordPress. I’m will be reviewing one book a week at this point. I’m hoping to have my first review up on Friday and have one up every Friday after that.
This Friday’s books is going to be METAtropolis: Green Space. This is the 3rd book in this series, I truly enjoyed the first 2 book and I hope the 3rd lives up to the earlier books.
As always I’m looking for suggestions for new books to review.