Podcast Review #18: The Rookie (Remastered)


Title: The Rookie
Author: Scott Sigler
Genre: Science Fiction/Sports
Released: 7 October 2009 – 2 November 2009
Located: iTunes, Podiobooks
Formats Available: Limited edition hardback, podcast

One of the first author’s I found when I started listening to podio fiction was Scott Sigler. I’ve listened to all of his podcast fiction, some with a greater interest than others. The stuff of his I’ve liked, I’ve really really liked, the others, meh. (The plaid tanks will soon be rolling down my street, I know. Oh well, truth is truth.)

When I first heard of The Rookie, I almost passed on it completely, for reasons explained below. However, it was a slow period between other podcasts, so I decided to give it a listen. (Point of Order: The links above point to The Rookie Remastered. I believe it is a much better edition.)

So, on to the review.

Synopsis: Set in a lethal pro football league 700 years in the future, THE ROOKIE is a story that combines the intense gridiron action of “Any Given Sunday” with the space opera style of “Star Wars” and the criminal underworld of “The Godfather.”

Aliens and humans alike play positions based on physiology, creating receivers that jump 25 feet into the air, linemen that bench-press 1,200 pounds, and linebackers that literally want to eat you. Organized crime runs every franchise, games are fixed and rival players are assassinated.

Follow the story of Quentin Barnes, a 19-year-old quarterback prodigy that has been raised all his life to hate, and kill, those aliens. Quentin must deal with his racism and learn to lead, or he’ll wind up just another stat in the column marked “killed on the field.” (stolen from the author’s site)

Production: The production of the remastered version of The Rookie is very good. Even the production in the original version gave me very little to complain about. There are several notes however. First, Mr. Sigler always has a sponsor who gets a spot at the beginning of his eps. This is no problem for me. I like to think that in some way the author of any podcast, whether I love it or hate it, is gaining at least a little remuneration for the time they put in trying to entertain me. The only issue I have with the sponsor promos in The Rookie, is that they sound better than the story. Well, better is subjective, but brighter. Less filtered. However, if the ep would have run without the promo, I would have never had the comparison and no complaint. Still, if that is the worse you can say about production, that isn’t bad. And it is the worse, because Mr. Sigler went WITHOUT a The Story So Far!! Happy dance!

Cast: The cast is huge for this story, just as it is for all Scott Sigler novels. I can hear you now, “WAIT.. what are you talking about, Scott always does a straight read!” Yup, you’re right, and The Rookie is a straight read too with only Mr. Sigler behind the mic. However, I figure when you’re the FDO™, you are in actuality a cast of millions. (Don’t know FDO™? Give any of Mr. Sigler’s stories a listen, and you will.)

Story: Mr. Sigler is better known, perhaps, for his science fiction/horror stories than he is as a sports fanatic. However, football is a recurring rant of many of the characters in many of his books, so it came as no surprise to me to find out he had written a novel consisting of football in space. However, this game is played between teams consisting of multiple lifeforms that make our current earthbound form very look very gentle in comparison.

Verdict: When I first heard of The Rookie, I was initially tempted to skip it all together. Why? Sports SciFi? Well, I can’t say as I’ve ever read one, but most of the ones I’ve “watched” suck. Add to that the fact that the sport in this scifi is football, and I almost definitely would have rather gone to the dentist. (I live in Texas, but I wasn’t raised here, and don’t buy into the football hype. Sorry. BASEBALL is a real sport.) However, as I’ve stated before, I am CHARACTER driven, and I really enjoyed getting to know Quentin and watching him evolve. Add to that, that The Rookie does for football what Rocky did for boxing (i.e. make it palatable for even those that don’t enjoy it) and you have a bonifide hit on your iPod (or iPhone as my case may be). I really think that most people that have a competitive spirit will enjoy The Rookie. It is truthfully much more than “just” football in space.

Disclaimer: I do not follow Mr. Sigler on Twitter (@scottsigler), although I’m sure many of you would chastise me for this. I did not receive anything as recompense for this review, nor was I asked to make it. However, I do plan on purchasing a signed hard copy of the novel soon, for which I will pay full price.

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~ by odin1eye on 1 March, 2010.

12 Responses to “Podcast Review #18: The Rookie (Remastered)”

  1. I not only enjoyed The Rookie but also learned to enjoy (finally) football and watched & LOVED my first Super Bowl ever this year. Thanks Scott.

    • LOL! Thanks for the comment! It isn’t every podcast that can claim to corrupt your viewing habits!

  2. I too enjoyed The Rookie, and I agree that the character, Quentin Barnes is one of the strongest pieces of the book. I didn’t actually listen to it, just bought the hardcover, so I can’t speak to the audio. My favorite Sigler is still Infected (also read not listened to) but The Rookie is a pretty close second.

    • I am looking forward to the Hardcover print edition. Regardless of what tech I enjoy and consume (including ebooks) nothing will ever compete with the ability to hold that dead tree in my hands as I enjoy each word.

      Thanks for the post!

  3. So what you are trying to say is that you liked this Podiobook, right? 😉 *Ducking & running*

    Thanks for another cool review 🙂

    • LOL… yup.. this one was a good one. I enjoyed the complexity of the characters (yes, again with the characters) enough that it made the football interesting. Even to me. 😉 Thanks for the comment sir!

  4. This is by far the Sigler that interests me the most. I look forward to consuming it!

    • I think you’ll like it. It is very different from the rest of his portfolio (at least his podcasted novels). Let us know what you think!

  5. AHHH, Sigler, say no more.

    OH WAIT! the Rookie, not his usual fare. I totally enjoy it, good review. Sigler likes to create interesting people then puts them in outlandish environs. Works for me.

    • You’re right. This one is unique. While Sigler should write what he wants, I hope he decides to write more like this.

  6. I’ve been listening to this while working out. I finished Chapter 13 today, and Quentin is still an idiot. But it is a great podcast to listen to while working out. And the production values really convey the feeling of being at a game.

    • Yeah, Quentin is a idiot. Sometimes I become as interested in a character that needs thrashing as I do when I fall in love with one. I have to believe though that many of the athletes at professional levels probably maintain this type of arrogance, if not the “bigotted” behavior. Or course, that might just be envy speaking.

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