Podcast Review #45: Call of the Herald

originally published September 07 2010

Title: Call of the Herald
Author: Brian Rathbone
Genre: Fantasy
Released: 6 May 2009 – 20 May 2009
Located: iTunes, Podiobooks, Author’s Site
Formats Available: Podcast, Dead Tree version, electronic version
Rating: PG for violence

There are times I hear people in my network talking about a certain person or podiobook with great esteem and interest that I know little to nothing about. I am always open for a great new story and especially like those “sleeper” hits that are just starting to become popular, or maybe haven’t quite made it yet.

This seemed to be the case with Brian Rathbone and his Dawning of Power series. So I downloaded book one, Call of the Herald, and dove right in.

So, on to the review.

Synopsis: Echoes of the ancients’ power are distant memories, tattered and faded by the passage of eons, but that is about to change. A new dawn has arrived. Latent abilities, harbored in mankind’s deepest fibers, wait to be unleashed. Ancient evils awaken, and old fears ignite the fires of war. In times such as these, ordinary people have the power to save the world . . . or destroy it. (Stolen for Podiobooks.com)

Production: The production of Call of the Herald isn’t the best I’ve heard, but it is FAR from the worst. If production values alone keep you from listening to a podcast, you have no reason to avoid Call of the Herald.

Cast: Mr. Rathbone provides a straight read version of his novel here. (It seems to have been a while since I’ve done a full cast review.) Mr. Rathbone provides little in the way of intonation or voicing for his characters, but I really didn’t find that to be an issue. You’re almost always sure which character is speaking.

Story: Call of the Herald is a typical fantasy questing novel with the characters holding secrets and eventually becoming greater than they ever thought they’d be. If you have ever read a fantasy questing novel, you know what I mean. If you haven’t, you probably still know what I mean and have avoided them for a reason.

Verdict: Okay, so, I guess I need to just make a clean slate here. No beating around the bush. I didn’t hate Call of the Herald, but it was close. The best I can say about it, is “meh”. The characters never grabbed me, and some of them I actually disliked (and not the ones that I was supposed to either). The plot was two dimensional at best and I never was truly surprised by anything that happened along the way. The narration style in the first couple of eps is exceedingly painful. I don’t know if I became immune in later eps or if the style improved. If Mr. Rathbone did change his style, it would be to advantageous to go back and re-record these early episodes.

With cardboard cutouts for characters and a cliché plot line, I have to say I can not recommend Call of the Herald. As a caveat, I will say the rest of the series is a bit better, however, I only ever review a single story at a time.

Disclosure: I have never met or tweeted with Mr. Rathbone. I really have heard some nice things about him and what he is doing in the publishing and podcasting areas and respect these efforts very much. I was not offered nor did I accept anything from anyone in return for this review.

~ by odin1eye on 9 January, 2020.

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