Podcast Review #14: The Dreamer's Thread

Title: The Dreamer’s Thread
Author: Starla Huchton
Genre: Fantasy
Released: 22 August 2009 – 31 January 2010
Located: PodibooksiTunes, Author’s Site
Formats Available: Podcast only at this time

By this time most of you have heard of the tragedy that greeted the family of a good friend of many of ours, Tee Morris. The pain suffered by many during the month of January 2010 has been intense.

As in so many cases, pain brings together strangers and they leave being friends.

Through the pain of that time, many like minded people ended up creating new contacts through Twitter. That is how I met Starla Huchton (@riznphnx on Twitter). She wasn’t the only one I was introduced to at this time, but she was the only one (to my knowledge) that had a current work of fiction being podcasted, so I decided to give it a shot.

So, on to the review.

Synopsis: Everyone Dreams.

But what would you do if you suddenly found out that you were one of the few who creates dreams for the whole world? Would you use your power to harness the light and weave it into beautiful tapestries of magic and wonder, or would you fall prey to the seductive siren song of darkness and nightmares?

For tattoo artist Aura Mayville, this becomes a reality as she is ripped from her life of art and music and thrust into a realm where good and evil struggle for control over the minds and hearts of men.

With a sarcastic sorcerer, a mercenary, and her Spirit Guide as her only companions, Aura must journey through the dream realm to discover both her power and where her heart truly lies. In a place where anything is possible, can she find the strength to hold on to herself, or will she be lost to the shadows forever? (stolen from Podiobooks site)

Production: In every episode of The Dreamer’s Thread, you will hear credit for the production being given to Jamie Jordan. If that name sounds familiar, you’ve probably listened to Playing for Keeps by Mur Lafferty (reviewed in Podcast Review #9). Mr. Jordan does a very nice job with the production, and this is even more impressive when you look at the scope of the production. This is a full cast podcast (more later) with many layers of audio, effects and music. The theme, Natalie Walker’s Waking a Dream is entirely appropriate for this podcast. The slightly discordant chimes set the mood perfectly. Whether due to Mr. Jordan or Ms. Huchton, I am also happy to report there was no “The Story So Far”. There was only one production element I would change. Each episode contains promos for other podcasts. That in itself is very good. However, they were placed before the story each week. I would MUCH prefer they be placed at the end. Again, this is just my take, but when I start a podcast, I don’t want to hear anything but the story, though I’ll usually listen through promos at the end.

Cast: Ms. Huchton assembled a cast that is amazing in its scope and talent. Very rarely have I heard a podcast that from the first episode you’re left wondering, “Is this truly the author’s first effort?” I have been assured it is, but I can guarantee you this: it doesn’t sound like a first effort. This is pro stuff. The cast contains many of the hallmark names of podcast fiction as well as many newcomers, blended flawlessly together into a finely woven vocal tapestry.

Story: In a rare departure from my norm, I subscribed to The Dreamer’s Thread without even reading the synopsis and had no idea what the story was about or where it would take me. I was quite prepared to ask myself, “What the heck is this crap?” That never happened. I will admit, however, that not having any clue where it was headed, I was surprised when the story took a left turn in Albuquerque and ended up in the dream realm, but I am quite happy it did.

Verdict: The Dreamer’s Thread is a well written, well scripted, well performed romp through the dream world. A world, that by it’s very name, doesn’t exist in the light of day. We’d all be better off if it did. The Dreamer’s Thread contains themes that could be understood by many young adults as well as adults, and I feel Ms. Huchton made a conscious effort to keep the work appropriate for this audience. All in all, I can happily say The Dreamer’s Thread is recommended and I hope that Ms. Huchton continues to write and podcast stories like this for years to come.

Disclaimer: I currently follow Ms. Huchton on Twitter. She is funny and somewhat opinionated. Both good qualities in a person. I was not asked to write this review and received nothing in the way of compensation.

*UPDATE* – In the spirit of full disclosure I will admit that the above review was written before I was able to listen to the last ep. You see, Ms. Huchton is a west coast person. I am not. I REALLY wanted to get this review out this week and didn’t believe the last ep would change my review in any way. Unfortunately, it has. It changed my recommendation from a “Recommended” to a “Must Listen”. Interestingly, this is true even though it ended in a way that I was hoping it wouldn’t. This really is a lush, beautiful story and I realized that it is one of the first written by a woman that I’ve heard that really focused on the feminine point of view. Maybe it was the fact it was written in the first person (which has to be REALLY well done for me to enjoy). While I still would have preferred Aura to have opened door number two, door number three had beauty behind it that I had not anticipated. Good show, Ms. Huchton. Good show indeed.

Next week: Archangel: Through the Valley by Scott Roche

FRXWWDCXFFN2

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