Podcast Review #64: FETIDUS: The Damned Heir


originally published January 17, 2011

Title: FETIDUS: The Damned Heir
Author: James Durham
Genre: Zombie/horror/supernatural/crime drama
Released: 9 July 2010 – 11 January 2011
Located: Author’s Site, iTunes
Formats Available: podcast only at this time
Rating: R for sex, violence, zombie cannibalism

It takes me a while to get around to listening to podcasts sometimes. I don’t know about all of you, but occasionally I’ll hear of a podcast that I think will be interesting and then for one reason or another never get around to subscribing, or at the very least trying out an ep. For me, this was FETIDUS. Sometime around the end of October, I finally subscribed and started ravenously devouring the episodes. This wasn’t an issue because I believe at the time there were 16 episodes or there around. It became an issue in November. More on that later.

So, on to the review.

Synopsis: FETIDUS: The Damned Heir by James Durham is the first sci-fi/horror novel and original music score set in the grim and fetid alleyways of a post-apocalyptic Washington, DC, circa 2034. In this first novel, Art Blanchard, a jaded Washington lobbyist who works for The Foundation for the Ethical Treatment of the Innocently Damned, Undead and Supernatural (FETIDUS), takes up the blackmail case of a mysterious woman, which leads him on a twisted adventure filled with noir-humor, suspense and horror.

Production: The production of FETIDUS is really top notch. I make no claims to be a professional sound editor. When I make comments about production quality, I am not pretending to know all the ins and outs of that production. However, I have listened to enough to know what sounds good and what really needs some work. FETIDUS sounds good. VERY good. The music, audio and effects are all put together in a manner that enhances the story. This is a full blown audiodrama and all of these elements work together very well. Mr. Durham wrote the music for the podcast as well and each piece fits the mood of the narration very well indeed. Only one portion of the production bothered (read “annoyed”) me, and that was the opening sequences with the doubling (echoing) effect. Later eps were a bit better, and the effect sounded neat, but at times made it difficult to understand.

Grade: A+

Cast: I’ve never heard of most of the cast. They are not the usual suspects. The one exception to the rule is Matthew Wayne Selznick. However, it is one of the most professional recordings I’ve heard. Rather than list the rather full cast, I’ve decided to include a link to the cast page here. I don’t know if these were paid performers, as most of them list voice artist on their resumes, or whether they performed free of charge, but if you have a full cast podcast pending, you might want to check with these folks schedules.

Grade: A+

Story: A detective type story in a world inhabited with zombies, vampires and other supernatural beings and where government has gone crazy enough to legislate their treatment? Heck, I was hooked from the description. The story is decently written and each episode moves in a straight line towards the ultimate conclusion. And I will say, this story went to places I never anticipated. There are plenty of areas in this story that are inappropriate for younger audiences. This is also a case where the story is an exception to my rule. I didn’t really like any of the characters to a large extent. However, I would say that as an ensemble the characters all fit together well and worked for the world in which they live. Also, while not intending to “spoil” anything for anyone, this story really doesn’t end so much as set itself up for future development. Still, if you enjoy the story, this isn’t a bad thing.

Grade: B

Verdict: I liked FETIDUS. If you haven’t listened to it, I will recommend to the soft horror crowd. However, I think you get the better end of the deal as the release schedule here near the end was very long between eps. When I went to the site to compile the information for this review, I noticed that the author did leave updates there, but there were none placed in the stream, so for those of us that subscribed through iTunes and didn’t go to the site, we were left in limbo for quite a while. This is not your typical zombie, vampire, supernatural story, but it is done well and it’s uniqueness makes it quite enjoyable.

Disclosure: I don’t follow the author or any of the cast, and with the exception of Mr. Selznick (when I reviewed his very good story Brave Men Run), have never communicated with any of them.

~ by odin1eye on 10 January, 2020.

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