I’ll begin this review by stating I’m all ready breaking my own rules. As I stated in the previous post, “And Now for Something Completely Different” I will be focusing my reviews on podcasts that are complete. So, why am I all ready going against the stated intent? Meh, because I want to. And because Tumbler’s author, Brand Gamblin (@brandg on Twitter), asked earlier this week (late last week?) if anyone would be interested in reviewing his podcast in return for a free .pdf of the story.
A good virtual friend of mine Richard Asplund Jr. (@rasplundjr), and a wonderful blogger, all ready presented his take on the story over at Random Pimpage. He does a nice comparison with another podcast that will eventually end up here as well, namely, The Gearheart. (Apples and forks.. LOL)
Back in May of this year, another good friend of mine on Twitter (Tee Morris – @teemonster) recommended a podcast to everyone: Tumbler. Trusting Tee, I decided to give it a shot. At the time there was only one episode out so I downloaded it and gave it a shot. Ever since I’ve been waiting anxiously for my regular dose of Libby & Co.
So, on to the review.
Synopsis: I don’t do synopses, they feel to0 much like a sixth grade book report, but I understand that if you’re not currently listening to the podcast, you might need a little background. With that in mind, here is what the author has to say about his story: Libby Carter wanted to get away from it all, so she took a job mining asteroids as far out into the inky blackness as possible. However, her escape turned into a trap, leaving her stuck in indentured servitude, living on a tiny rock in space. As she tries to dig herself out, she gains friends and finds adventure. (BTW, I personally like Richard Asplund Jr’s synopsis from Random Pimpage just as well: Tumbler is a gripping tale of a young woman trying to make it on her own in space after she’s lost everything.)
Production: You know, I have listened to podcasts where the cast was simply stunning and the story was top notch only to be ruined by the production. That always kills me because when the story is good, I am FORCED to listen regardless of anything else, and when either the production or the cast are subpar, it makes it extremely painful. Thankfully, that is NOT the case with Tumbler.
Tumbler is a straight forward affair with little in the way of sound effects or music. And that suits me just fine. As this series of Podcast Reviews continues, this is something that will be continually brought up. I would MUCH rather have a straight forward reading by a competent reader then to be annoyed by over the top but interfering production. All the audio is at an appropriate level and each episode can be heard above the sounds of my cars engine. That is all I ask for.
The only issue I have with Tumbler’s production is one I have with many podcast novels. The Story So Far. I’ve always hated them. Always will. For a long time I believed they were a necessary evil. Lately though, I’ve listened to a few podcasts that are NOT providing a TSSF intro. I much prefer option B. It is the author’s choice of course, and one I’ll respect as it doesn’t annoy me for long before the story begins. (Additional note, as long as we’re on my preferences if you must include a TSSF, I much prefer the author doing it themselves or editing a compilation of previous scenes.)
Cast: This one is easy. There is only one member, and her name is S.V. Allie (@svallie on Twitter). I don’t know if you’ll ever read this Ms. Allie, but kudos. You are awesome. Your voice embodies Libby Carter for me.
When I first listened to episode one, I was unsure whether this pairing was going to work. It does. Finer than frog hair.
Again, I love a straight forward reading with a single voice when done right. Tumbler is that, done very right.
Story: Mr. Gamblin has done his job well (to this point). I have never found him predictable. Rather he has thrown a curve or two taking the story in a direction I would have never anticipated while remaining true to the character and her motivations. Excellent job.
Verdict: with the story being unfinished, I cannot give it an unqualified “Must Listen”, but I can say that even if ends terribly (which I doubt) I can say that I have greatly enjoyed it to this point and that I am comfortable with: Give it a shot, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.
I have never met Mr. Gamblin, nor Ms. Allie. I just recently started following them on Twitter. I plan on not excepting the proffered .pdf as I prefer to wait to find out what is happening to Libby by hearing Ms. Allie inform me. I will buy the book when it is published.
NEXT REVIEW: Antithesis Book One: Predestination and Other Games of Chance, by J.D. Sawyer — Just a note: I started this week with two Podcast Reviews, I anticipate that schedule will greatly slow down to maybe one a week. Look for Antithesis early next week.