Podcast #55: Full Share

Title: Full Share
Author: Nathan Lowell
Genre: Science Fiction
Released: 26 June 2007 – 26 September 2007
Located: Podibooks, iTunes, Author’s Site
Formats Available: Podcast only (soon to be dead tree from Ridan Publishing)
Rating: PG/R

Continuing our series of reviews focussing on The Master of NaNoWriMo, Nathan Lowell, we find ourselves looking at the third volume in the Golden Age of the Solar Clipper, Full Share.

Seriously, is there anyone out there that is listening to podcast fiction that hasn’t all ready heard these stories? Well, I have to hope there is, so that they might stumble upon these reviews and realize what they’re missing. And with that…

On to the review.

Synopsis: The Lois McKendrick runs headlong into trouble when a routine in-system transit goes bad. Ishmael and the rest of the crew must scramble to figure out what went wrong and how to fix it in order to keep the ship alive. Learn more about the officers and crew of the Lois McKendrick as they struggle to keep their ship and discover how Ishmael finds out how wrong he’s been about what it means to be a spacer in this latest Trader’s Tale. (stolen from Podiobooks site)

Production: Mr. Lowell’s production style is remarkably consistent. A piece of music is used to open and close a story, separated by a reading that is perhaps the single best example of a straight read that exists. I know there are many others that use this same style, and that Mr. Lowell was not even the first. However, this does not change the fact that in my mind he still personifies this type of read.

Grade: A

Cast: Nathan Lowell. Enough Said.

Grade: A

Story: Full Share is full of the same “stuff” that made Quarter Share and Half Share so good. However, it also contains elements that probably make it even more enjoyable to many listeners. One of the things that I enjoyed so much about Quarter Share was it’s lack of traditional conflict/resolution that exists in almost every other story I’ve ever read or listened to. I know from reading the reviews for Quarter Share that I’m not the only one that has noticed this. Most seem to agree with me that the story didn’t need it and actually was more fun for the lack of. However, there is a portion of the audience that complained about “nothing happening”. Full Share and it’s successors are more action oriented than it’s predecessors. That doesn’t mean that Nathan Lowell has morphed into John Clancy, but there are several action sequences in Full Share that had me glued to my earphones.

Still, the thing that made Full Share the story it is, is the continuing development of Ishmael Wang. In a nutshell, the Share stories have been one long character study. Hmm… you think that is why I liked them so much? Could be.

Grade: A

Verdict: Rarely do I ever include SPOILERS in a review. HOWEVER, I am going to discuss my reaction to Full Share here. So, if you haven’t listened. skip the rest of this, and just go listen.

Rarely has a story left so desolate as Full Share. I really was hoping that Ish would be with the Lois until he chose to retire. This is the last book to date (Owner’s Share has not been released at this time and I have no knowledge concerning how Mr. Lowell will end this wonderful series) that has Ish in contact with the Lois or any of her crew that we have come to know and love. We are saying goodbye to friends. And this is a good thing.

Ish is growing up. He is moving on. Things change. They hurt. They make Ish who he is. Mr. Lowell allows us to live this along with Ish, and I appreciate every bitter sweet moment. These truly are my favorite first person narrative stories in existence.

Disclosure: I completely forgot in last weeks review to mention that my review for Quarter Share ended up being quoted on Ridan Publishing’s site. I was honored, but was not paid or other wise induced for it, or any other review I’ve written concerning Nathan Lowell. Dang. When does the inducing start?

Comment Pages

There are 11 Comments to "Podcast #55: Full Share"

  • I’m humbled and gratified. Again.

    Full Share was a difficult book to write. Those who suffered through the re-writes on the last section understand just how difficult because I took out the original ending and completely re-did it — after the podcast had started but before I’d gotten to the parts that needed addressing.

    I discovered the problem only when I started writing the next book and realized that Full Share needed to end someplace different. The result was an extra 10k words or so and a final episode that’s about an hour long.

    The perils of writing a series!

    The “nothing ever happens” issue is one I struggle with. For most of us, nothing ever happens — and many people live charmed lives, but they don’t realize it. In the first three books of the Share series, Ishmael’s youth and inexperience burnish his life in a golden haze. As he gets older, the world doesn’t actually get darker, but he becomes more aware of it.

    I’m working with a writer’s group who are trying to convince me that stories are all about conflict, but I’m holding out for Joseph Campbell’s vision that stories are journeys and that conflict is a choice.

    Ah, well. Thanks to Odin and all the fans who keep helping to spread the word and offer such warm encouragement.

    • odin1eye says:

      Thanks Nathan… I completely concur. For your stories, the journey works exceedingly well. I have to admit, now I am uber curious about how Full Share originally ended.. any insight?

  • Laura says:

    I also was saddened by the ending, but in the same way I am saddened by transitions and goodbyes in my own life. Ish and crew have become genuine people in my heart, with full stories (I don’t always know) of their own. True art. Thanks Odin, for spreading the word and thanks Nathan, for sharing Ish with us.

    • odin1eye says:

      I’ll be sharing more on how much Nathan’s stories mean to me in the next two weeks, but yes. I agree. Moving on isn’t always enjoyable.

      Thanks for posting!

  • Terminusvox says:

    I don’t know if I really want to know an ending to Full Share that leads Ishmael in a direction other than where he does end up… though the conflict to come is some of my favorite uncomfortable reading. His early days on the Tinker are grim but also serve to make Ishmael who he is.

    I second most of what you’ve said here though I think your read may have been more thorough than mine. Looks like I’ll need to read the series again… I was just about to queue it up on my ipod anyway!

  • Katharina says:

    Odin made me promise to start The Shares NOW as part of a deal. At this point, I wasn’t sure if I had the time to listen to such long and so many books.

    That said, I now FULLY resent him for not telling me to listen to them sooner. About around the day we first talked on Twitter. You are well over EIGHTEEN months late!! #justsaying

    Needless to say; I love them. I refer to them. I looked at the people at my Viennese NaNo Write-In in surprise when they didn’t know what “1 Lowell” was… ignorant people 😉
    Only a handful days off of Mr. Lowell’s 50K in 12 days, I am cutting myself linguistic slack here.

    What I want to say is, that he set a standard we all aspire to. Everyone wants to be the kind of person of whom people say “stuff has to happen in your book — unless your name is Nathan Lowell”…

    @ Odin: Shame on you, for not making me listen sooner
    @ Nathan: this is my weekly “where is Owner’s Share?” reminder 🙂

    Now I need to relisten too…. 🙂
    Katharina

    • odin1eye says:

      lol.. by NOW, she means at a certain point in time, not as in today.. and you will remember that I tried to force them on you several other times, but you kept saying something about hating spaceships…

      Yes, we must ALL relisten now in order to be ready for Owner’s Share…

      • Michael says:

        I am now waiting until we have a firm date on the release of Owner’s Share before relistening… Mainly as I have listened to the whole series about six times this year already! 😆 I am worried I am turning into an obsessive fanboy 🙂

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