Podcast Review #32: Half Share

Title: Half Share
Author: Nathan Lowell
Genre: Science Fiction
Released: 29 April 2007 – 2o May 2007
LocatedPodibooksiTunesAuthor’s Site
Formats Available: Podcast only (soon to be dead tree from Ridan Publishing)
Rating: PG/R There is much in the way of sexual innuendo and some sensuality.

As many of you are aware, Mr. Nathan Lowell recently had the first of the Golden Clipper series books, namely Quarter Share, released by Ridan Publishing in a variety of formats. (I hope you have made your purchase all ready.) I purchased it and slowly read through it over the last week. Well, okay, three days. BUT, I can guarantee you that I made myself ration it out because it was just as good in print as it was with Mr. Lowell reading it. And if you have ever purchased one of your favorite podcast turned dead tree, you know how large that satisfaction can be. (Of course, if you have had the alternate experience, you know why this satisfaction is so, well, satisfying.)

After reading Quarter Share, I of course had to listen to the whole Golden Clipper series again. Come on, how many of you did the same? Be brave, fess up. Naturally, that led me to fall in love with Mr. Lowell’s universe all over again and I couldn’t refrain from providing this long over due review of Half Share.

So, on to the review.

Synopsis: After Ishmael Wang is promoted to the environmental section, he’s caught in a swirl of mystery, doubt, belief, lust and a really nice fitting pair of jeans. He has to come to grips with what it means to be a spacer while he’s still trying to figure out what it means to be a man. Join Ishmael, Brillo, Pip, and the rest of the crew of the Lois McKendrick as they help the newest member of the crew adjust to life in the Deep Dark.Half Share is the sequel to Quarter Share, also available at Podiobooks.com.Note: Some scenes in Half Share involve adult themes, nudity, sex and references to religions not based on Judeo-Christian traditions. Listen at your own risk. (stolen from Podiobooks site)

Production: I must reiterate from my review of Quarter Share, Mr. Lowell is a master of less is more when it comes to production. No one, and I do mean no one, does a narrated, straight read story better. For this style, this is as good as it gets. Very simply, a brief piece of music provides an introduction to the story, Mr. Lowell provides the chapter title, which tells us where Ishmael is, and the story commences. So simple. Such Genius.

Cast: Mr. Lowell has proven his narration skills time and time again. I introduced (yes, I take the credit whether deserved or not) one of my Twitter circle to Mr. Lowell in Ravenwood. Being a self proclaimed voice snob, she validated my proclamation of Mr. Lowell’s abilities (Yes, K, I do mean you).

Story: As is par for Mr. Lowell’s Golden Clipper stories, there really is no conflict in Half Share. It is more a process of self discovery on the part of Ishmael. I’ve never been fond of this type of story, but it works for Mr. Lowell, and it works in such a way as to leave no doubt that he shouldn’t change a thing. I must also say that until reading my copy of Quarter Share, I can honestly say I never even noticed the stories were written in 1st person narrative. I hate 1st person narrative. Except when Mr. Lowell writes it (okay, a few other exceptions, but I can guarantee, they are very few). Again, I wouldn’t want him to change a thing.

Verdict: Half Share is my least favorite of the Golden Clipper stories. Yes, you can flame and hate me now. In fact, please do. I love discussion. That being said, it is still one of the best ten podcasts I’ve ever listened to, and the Golden Clipper is in the top two series ever. I’d even put it up against Lord of the Rings in my list, and if you know me, that says a lot. But you see, if you listen to more than one story (or read for that matter) by an author you by nature most likely prefer one to the other. It doesn’t mean they’re not both good, just one isn’t your favorite. This was Half Share for me. I loved it, just not as much as the others. Why? Well, I’ve never been called a prude or a Puritan, oh wait…. I have. And that is your answer. However, even with that fact, all the adult situations in Half Share go to providing a good background for making Ish the man he is/will become, so I’m happy to have been allowed to see it. In closing, let me state now, I’ve all ready got my order in for the signed hardback (by which I mean I will sign up as soon as it becomes available.).

Disclosure: I currently follow Mr. Lowell on Twitter. He will always answer questions and is very affable. I was not asked to write this review and received nothing in the way of compensation. He is one of my very top favorite authors and I am thrilled to be able to buy his books in dead tree form.

Comment Pages

There are 8 Comments to "Podcast Review #32: Half Share"

  • O.K. Odin1Eye may be a bit too much of a fan boy in this review. It seems like his typical objectivity may be lacking just a bit; so I will try to provide a more objective counter-point.

    ….

    Darn you!, Nathan Lowell, but everything Odin is saying I have to agree with whole heartedly. *grumble grumble* 😉

    There may be people who don’t love the Golden Clipper stories as much as Odin and I do. I would say that if you enjoy “Quarter Share”, this sequel should not disappoint. It’s worth listening to in order to get on to the other novels in the series; but this is no laborous trudge to endure, but a delight to enjoy. The main and secondary characters continue in their development and the quality from “Quarter Share” is likewise continued.

    The great thing about these podiobooks that Odin1Eye reviews is that they are free to enjoy. The Golden Clipper series of books are worth as much as any series of fiction I have ever put money down to buy, so I’m looking forward to buying the print and ebook versions as well. If you only want to invest the time to listen, I feel like you are getting a great bargain with this podiobook. 🙂

  • Nate says:

    There’s a lot not to like about HS. One of the themes I wanted to explore here was the relationship aspect of life in the Deep Dark. The subtheme of “the clothes make the man” feels like it came out of left field somewhere, but looking back at QS, I can see its roots.

    The “belief” theme was another one that I was working on and I’m not sure I didn’t flog that one too much. We’ll see what happens with the revisions, but the paper version should be smoother and a little richer.

    Of all the books, this one had the most complaints about the music and the pr0n. Personally, I wrote this with the idea that my kids would probably be listening and I didn’t want to have to explain too much so there’s a lot of innuendo and reference that adults should get, but kids not so much.

    I hope.

    As for the music, I really loved the old time concertina. This was clipper ship music being played by somebody who was actually sailing on the clipper ships. In hindsight? I mighta picked something different. 🙂

    Thanks for another positive review, Odin.

  • Scott Roche says:

    How dare you have a favorite! 😉

    Good words as always. Can’t wait to see this in print.

  • John McKee says:

    Both Odin and Richard are sadly mistaken if they think they’re enthusiastic appreciation of these stories separate them from the rest of the population. The biggest problem with Nathan’s work and style is that it is so darned addictive.

    I spend a lot of time teaching people about audiobooks, podiobooks and ebooks. QS in particular, followed by the whole Clipper series is always number one on my list of perfect examples to get people started. The major downside to this is that most other content fares so poorly compared to these works.

    Fortunately, Nathan Lowell is sufficiently prolific that he provides lots of examples for others to chase.

    I have not yet re-listened to the entire series since QS came out in print. I did, however, download QS in eBook format so I could start reading while waiting for my copies to arrive in the mail.

    So, Odin and Richard, don’t think you’re alone. Is there a support group for this stuff?

    • Oh, I know we are not alone in our appreciation for the awesome Nathan Lowell. I was just acknowledging that it is theoretically possible that some other sentient life form might not be the total Lowell fan-boys that we are 😉 *hehe*

      Thanks for your blog comment! And I personally am glad that you are out there spreading the word about audiobooks, podiobooks, and ebooks in general; and Nathan Lowell in particular. 🙂

  • kmaimer says:

    Voice snob? ME? ….. uhm. ok. 😀

    But I agree. As usual. *sigh* Love Nathan’s voice.

  • Orion says:

    Just having finished listening to Half Share I have to say I enjoyed the first of the series more. Here I grew weary of hearing “Young Ishmael” describe nearly everyone based on what his mom would have said. Also, everyone’s face seemed frozen in an “incredulous” expression as I’ve lost track of how often the adjective is used. Oh and everything sold on station is “stunning”, “striking” or both.

    Now I feel emotionally invested in watching Ish and Pip develop and will begin the next story in the series.

    Fingers Crossed,
    Orion

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