Podcast Review #10: Max Quick 1: The Pocket and the Pendant

The Pocket and the Pendant

Title: Max Quick 1: The Pocket and the Pendant
Author: Mark Jeffrey
Genre: Young Adult Urban Fantasy
Released: 25 March, 2005 – 23 June, 2005
Located:PodibooksiTunesAuthor’s Site
Formats Available: Podcast, eb00k (multiple formats including .pdf), iPhone app, and both paperback and hardback dead tree version, all formats linked to from the author’s site.

Mark Jeffrey’s Max Quick 1: the Pocket and the Pendant is the first podcast that I listened to in order to review. All previous reviews were for podcasts that I had all ready listened to and enjoyed. I had asked on Twitter what podcasts would the people I follow on Twitter recommend. Mark Jeffrey’s name came up and I realized, that although I had known of Mr. Jeffrey, I had never listened to anything by him, and decided I needed to rectify that.

Before we get started with the review, let me sidetrack a bit in case there are some among you that are unaware of who Mark Jeffrey is.

Way back in time, almost a full 5 years ago (not quite, but getting closer) there was a world without podfiction. It was a sad world. It was a cold world.

Podcasts had begun to be more prolific and even Apple jumped into the new market by making iTunes a suitable podcatcher back in June of 2005 with version 4.9. Still, podcasts were usually “talk radio” for geeks, by geeks. I mean, do you know how to make iTunes subscribe to a podcast that isn’t available in the iTunes store? (Yes, I do, but I’m a geek! It isn’t hard however.)

And then came the genesis of podfiction. The more or less recognized BIG THREE. Names you probably know. If not, you should. Tee Morris with Morevi, Scott Sigler with Earthcore, and Mark Jeffrey with Max Quick: The Pocket and the Pendant. If you listen to and enjoy podfiction, you might want to say thanks to one or all of the above. Also, don’t forget Evo Terra for coming up with the idea of a repository for all of these wonderful stories. Namely Podiobooks.com. (Now, if I have any of this history wrong, PLEASE feel free to flagellate me about the head and shoulders, or at least drop me a comment with a correction.)

So, on to the review.

Synopsis: WHEN TIME mysteriously stops, young Max Quick must travel across America to find the source of this ‘temporal disaster’…

Along the way, he and his companions encounter ancient mysteries, quantum Books, and clues to the riddle of stopped Time.

But the more Max learns, the more it seems that his own true identity is not what he once believed. Now he must race against a clock that can no longer tick, before the very world itself is altered forever… (Stolen from the author’s site.)

Production: Max Quick: The Pocket and the Pendant is one of the first pieces of podfiction I’ve ever listened to that has a constant soundtrack going, rather like a movie. Contrary to what I first imagined, it is not a distraction, although, I don’t know if I can say that it truly enhanced many of the elements of the story. The starting theme is used throughout and is nicely done. I can also do another little happy dance a la Snoopy because Mr. Jeffrey went without a The Story So Far.

Cast: Mr. Jeffrey keeps it simple with a straight read. Occasionally, I’ll listen to a story that would have benefitted by an audio drama format due to the fact that you can’t tell which character is speaking. Although many of Mr. Jeffrey’s characters sound similar, this never was an issue. It was done well and was quite enjoyable to listen to.

Story: The Pocket and the Pendant was enjoyable for me on many levels, but I did have one small issue with it. I categorized it above as Young Adult. That in and of itself wasn’t my issue. I like many young adult novels. I like the simplicity of the characters motivations or perhaps it is just the straightforward telling. Regardless, this is where my problem comes in with Max Quick. Maybe, rather than calling it a Young Adult novel, I should call it a Family novel. What is the difference? Well, some of the concepts are a bit difficult to follow and as a father of a young adult (well, barely pre-teen) I know that some of these concepts would require a bit of explanation for him and many of the 12 year old crowd I have taught over the years (yes, I have been a teacher too).

Don’t get me wrong. I enjoyed the story. I really did, but at times the audience was in question, at least for me.

Verdict: Mark Jeffrey’s Max Quick series is now on it’s third book. After having listened to The Pocket and the Pendant, I will definitely be listening to the next one in the series (at this time, the third in the series has not been turned into a podcast). What better verdict is there than to say the first one in a series makes the sequels a must listen? (I pray to God that the sequels don’t turn out to be a Matrix mistake.. ewww!)

Disclaimer: I have never met Mr. Jeffrey. I have never tweeted with Mr. Jeffrey. In fact, before writing this review, I didn’t even know that he was on Twitter. (According to the author’s site, he can be found on Twitter @markjeffrey.) Nothing was offered, or accepted, as compensation for writing this review.

Next week: Chasing the Bard, by Philippa J. Ballantine.

~ by odin1eye on 4 January, 2010.

6 Responses to “Podcast Review #10: Max Quick 1: The Pocket and the Pendant”

  1. I haven’t listened to the Pocket & the Pendant, but now I’ve read your review, I’ll give it a go! Thanks, Odin! 🙂

    • My sole reason for doing these reviews is to help people find things they will hopefully enjoy. You have no idea how much pleasure it brings me to read a comment like yours. Thanks!

  2. History is close enough for my tastes. And I was there!

    • Wow… Thanks Evo for the comment, and thanks for stopping by to read the review! And more than anything, thanks for all the work you do with Podiobooks.

  3. Just to clarify Scott Sigler’s EarthCore was before “Ancestor”

    • Ahh… thank you sir… Duly noted and corrected. My only excuse is I listened to Ancestor first so my FDO timeline is a bit skewed. Thanks again!

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