Podcast Review #53: The Leviathan Chronicles

originally published November 1, 2010

Title: The Leviathan Chronicles: Season 1
Author: Christof Laputka
Genre: Science Fiction
Released: 20 April 2008 – 26 May 2010
Located: iTunesPodiobooksAuthor’s Site
Formats Available: Podcast
Rating: R for adult content and violence

I have something unique planned for the month of November, something I’ve never done before. It deals with NanoWriMo and one of the authors that has used NanoWriMo to good effect. However, the series of reviews will only need four parts, and as November has five Mondays, today’s review won’t fit in with the rest. I’ve been meaning to review The Leviathan Chronicles for some time now, but other projects kept jumping in line. So, with no more delay…

On to the review.

Synopsis:   A hidden city called Leviathan lies deep within the dark trenches of the Pacific Ocean. The city is home to a community of immortals that sought to create a utopia over 1,000 years ago. For a millennia, they lived in peace and secrecy, gently influencing world events to aid the advancement of mankind. But a terrible secret has been kept deep within the catacombs of Leviathan that threatens the existence of the immortals, and quite possibly the entire world.

One woman named Macallan Orsel, a young genetic scientist in New York, discovers she is descended from a group of immortals that rebelled against Leviathan and are now waging a civil war around the globe. As the immortal war spills into the realm of mortal man, Macallan realizes that she holds the key to stopping the battle and bringing peace to Leviathan. But a clandestine government agency called The Blackdoor Group is trying to exterminate the immortal population and has identified Macallan as their critical target.

The Leviathan Chronicles is a revolutionary science fiction audio drama podcast featuring the voices of over 60 actors, professional sound effects and an original music soundtrack. For more information and additional audio content, visit our website at http://www.leviathanchronicles.com. (Stolen from the Podiobooks.com.)

Production: Simply stated, The Leviathan Chronicles has the most lavish production of any podcast I’ve ever heard. This is the summer blockbuster of podcasts with all that big budget visual special effects effort being dumped on your ears. Seriously, if you have never heard an episode of this show, you might be unaware of what a podcast can sound like. The closest thing to this level of professionalism I’ve heard elsewhere is J. Daniel Sawyer’s Down from Ten, and The Leviathan Chronicles even surpasses DF10 with this aural blitzkrieg. This is no one man job. Much effort, and I expect a good some of money, was expended in making this production. One area of the production that I didn’t enjoy was the amount of “meta” discussion that occurs. It seems like there was usually about 10 minutes at the end of most eps that was conversation concerning the delay in episodes or other topics of interest to the author. Besides this, there are “soapbox episodes” regularly delivered in the feed which is more of the same. However, the production of the Leviathan Chronicles remains the highest level of professional production I have ever heard.


Cast: As the synopsis states, over 60 actors contribute to season one of The Leviathan Chronicles. I remember from one early episode listening to the author discuss having auditions for the many parts he wanted casted. I know many podcasts are happy to get volunteers. The Leviathan Chronicles sounds like what it is: a professionally produced and acted vocal drama.


Story: In a nut shell the Leviathan Chronicles is a questing story. Right as the story began to interest me a bit, it was derailed by flashback episodes spanning millennia. Occasionally, flashbacks are necessary, I get that. However, I am still not a fan of flashbacks. I never have been. I feel like it shows a lack of preplanning on the part of the author. I know this is unfair because quite often they are used to give the backstory once the reader/listener/watcher is hooked. In this case though, I really don’t think it worked. Besides the flashbacks, and more importantly, the story had no sense of cohesiveness. As is the case with some of those summer blockbusters, the pace becomes so harried that the audience is carried along not really being able to internalize, or care, what is happening. The last several episodes of the season began to get a bit more interesting, but perhaps in the realm of too little too late.


Verdict: I have many issues with The Leviathan Chronicles. The entire premise of the story is advanced science. However, whenever they begin talking about advanced science they completely show they have no understanding of the topic. Lead paint on holsters keeping guns invisible from x-ray machines? Try again. I also have to admit I cringed every time there was a scripted fight sequence. My advice here: hire a trained fight master. Or at least the black belt chimpanzee. Something. Anything. Please. Yes, my own background as a martial artist might be making me more picky than most, but see, there is the rub. As a story teller you never know what your audience’s background is. I know The Leviathan Chronicles has many fans. I am not one. Bury this story in the depths of an underground city hidden away from humanity and I believe you would be doing us a favor.

Disclosure: I do not follow The Leviathan Chronicles on Twitter. Earlier this year I do believe I allowed them to follow me (yes, allowed. Protected account and all). I have never corresponded with anyone connected to this production. I was not offered, nor did I accept anything in return for this review.

~ by odin1eye on 9 January, 2020.

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