Podcast Review #15: Archangel: Through the Valley of Shadow

Title: Archangel
Author: Scott Roche
Genre: Fantasy
Released: 31 July 2008 – 23 August 2008
Located: Author’s Site (previously found on iTunes)
Formats Available: Podcast only at this time

I’ve been following Scott Roche on Twitter (@spiritualtramp) for some time. Quite a while back, I asked what podcasts people were listening to, and Scott, like any good author, pimped his podcast Archangel. Having followed Scott, who never is shy about sharing his religious beliefs and never backs down from a good debate, I was curious about his story. So I decided to give it a shot.

So, on to the review.

Synopsis: A podcast novel about a man who’s personal demons have plastic explosives. (Stolen from now defunct iTunes listing)

Production: If memory serves me right (not a guarantee by any stretch of the imagination) I believe the production was split between Mr. Roche and Shawn Murphy (@sidfaiwu on Twitter). Regardless, the production was wholly adequate and the story always stood front and center. The production really is a minimalist approach which works very well for this type of story.

Cast: In this, the first of the Archangel stories, Mr. Roche performs a straight read of his story, compared to the second book (which is also being podcast and will EVENTUALLY come to a close (I assume)) in which Mr. Roche utilizes an entire cast. Although this is no reflection of the cast for the second book, I much prefer the straight read provided here. Casting a podcast is one of those things that I can’t quantify why I have a preference. I just do. Some I prefer a cast, some I prefer a straight read. Here, I am glad Mr. Roche went with the straight read.

Story: Do you remember the 1995 flick, The Prophecy? You know the one… where Aragorn is Satan and Christopher Walken is Gabriel? Yeah, I loved that movie (yes, I know, many holes, but so what?). Chances are, if you enjoyed The Prophecy, you should at least give Archangel a try. In no way am I trying to imply that Archangel is a ripoff or even remotely related to the movie. It isn’t. However, it does take Christian theology and twists the precepts in a way that most would think strange (and a few at least would probably think blasphemous). Mr. Roche makes no apologies for having strong beliefs, but his works of fiction (to this point) have never become sermons in disguise. This is fiction. Pure and simple. It is being presented with the hopes to entertain.

Verdict: I enjoyed Archangel. I also have devout beliefs, but have always been able to read (or watch) fiction without feeling that my beliefs are threatened. If you find yourself avoiding stories like the Da Vinci Code because of the religious controversy (rather than they just sucked) then I would suggest you avoid Archangel as well. However, if you liked The Prophecy and enjoy mythology based on belief systems, you might want to give Archangel a shot. It is unique among the podcasts I have listened to in the issues that it addresses.

Disclaimer: I currently follow Mr. Roche on Twitter. He will always answer questions and is quite ready to debate any and everything including the color blue if you’re so inclined. I wasn’t offered anything to write this review, however, I was encouraged to do so by the fact that recently Mr. Roche has asked for incentive to complete his second podcast which is beginning to have a seasonal release schedule (as in, ONCE a season).

Next Week: 7th Son:Decent by J.C. Hutchins

~ by odin1eye on 8 February, 2010.

2 Responses to “Podcast Review #15: Archangel: Through the Valley of Shadow”

  1. I’ve recently been following Scott on twitter as well. I listened to just a bit of the first episode, and the story seems pretty good, though the audio quality is really bad. But I heard it gets better down the road, I’m going to stick with it because the story is good so far, and that’s the most important thing, isn’t it?

    • Yes, the audio started off horrid, but does improve, and I really enjoy fiction built on Christian mythos. Thanks for the post sir!

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