Podcast Review #46: Traitor

Title: Traitor
Author: Mark Eller
Genre: Science Fiction/Fantasy
Released: 13 May 2009 – 21 June 2009
Located: iTunesPodiobooksAuthor’s Site
Formats Available: Podcast, Dead Tree version, electronic version
Rating: PG for violence and sexual situations

Recently I made the statement that I really don’t enjoy the premise of someone from one world being magically or scientifically transported into another dimension and/or world. I don’t. I’ve just read to many stories where that is the premise of the book and it really never moves beyond that. I know it is an age old device, but I still find it weak. However, it seems like lately that is all I’m running into, and largely, these stories are done very well. Some however, are done better than others. This weeks review is yet another recommendation from Nathan Lowell. It isn’t that I only listen to stories he suggests, it is that he has suggested more stories to me than anyone else. (Maybe you all should change that.)

So, on to the review.

Synopsis: Last Chance – a small town set on the edge of the far frontier. It is a place of gentle manners and common civility. After all, it should be since more than three quarters of its residents are women. However times change when a Talent Master runs rampant, savages threaten war, and an illegal militia from an alternate universe plans invasion and empire. A hero is needed. A Savior. Meet Aaron Turner, the small unassuming man who runs the Last Chance General Store. He is this town’s–this world’s–only hope. Unfortunately for the town, Aaron also happens to be a soldier and Militia spy whose job is to prepare the ground for the Militia’s invasion. To help him with this task, he has a cellar filled with advanced weaponry and the unique ability to teleport between the two worlds. However after a year of living within Last Chance, Aaron is no longer sure in which direction his loyalties lie. (Stolen for Podiobooks.com)

Production: The production of Traitor begins less than average but ends up pretty decently. While listening to the first episode or two, I was aware of many little irregularities that didn’t seem to fit with the professionalism the rest of the story seemed to be leveling at. However, after several more eps, the quality of the story reached the regular levels of the story, which is a good thing. One thing in the production of this story that I did notice, repetitively, is that the lead in music just didn’t seem to match the story that well. That never changed. I still don’t think it was the best match of intro music I’ve ever heard.

Cast: Mr. Eller presents Traitor as a straight read. He does a very good job of it and is easily able to draw me in. His reading style is a bit different from the norm as he uses a bit of stylization with his voice work. Don’t get me wrong. He isn’t trying to do what Hutchins or Sigler does, but he is much more dynamic with his reading than most I’m used to hearing.

Story: As you can tell from the synopsis, Traitor is indeed another dimension/world changing story. However, neither of the worlds is Earth as we know it. One is based more clearly on science as we know it than the other, but neither function as would our world. Even if you’re not a big fan of this device, I would suggest you give this story a few eps because the changing is bit different than any other that I’ve run into.

Verdict: Traitor was easy for me to like. The characters, the story, the reading. Everything. I will say that the alternative world our hero visits seems more like the dream world of a pubescent male teen than a real world, but given that, the evolution of the society does make a modicum of sense. Much more than some I’ve read/listened to lately. I could easily believe the motivations and actions of both the protagonist and the antagonist. I’d also been looking for something a little less pure science fiction or fantasy for that matter, and Traitor fits that bill nicely. If you’re looking for a story that moves along at a good pace and will draw you in to the characters, you should give Traitor a try.

Disclosure: I once met Mr. Ellar in a bar back on Tatooine. He offered me a million credits if I would provide a favorable review of his story Traitor. I of course, being a man easily bought..

Sorry, the deviant in charge of writing the disclosures has been sacked.

Although if offered a million credits in a bar on Tatooine..

Sorry again for the disclosure. The individuals in charge of sacking the disclosure writer have been sacked.

Mr. Ellar has never met the writer of this review and neither follow either on Twitter.

To the best of our knowledge, neither has ever been bitten by a moose.

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