Podcast Review #67: The Spiral Tattoo

Title: The Spiral Tattoo
Author: Michael J Parry
Genre: Fantasy crime drama
Released: 12 September 2010 – 3 October 2010
Located: PodiobooksiTunes
Formats Available: podcast only at this time
Rating: PG-13 for violence and sexual situations

The Spiral Tattoo is a fairly recent addition to the canon of original fiction at Podiobooks, but I remember when it came out thinking it I should give it a listen. Of course, then I immediately forgot about it until recently when I was reminded about it from two sources.

So, on to the review.

Synopsis: When you’re six inches tall and can fly, life can be tough in a big persons world. What better then than to be partnered with a seven foot troll. She’s the brawn and I’m the brains, and if you believe that I have a castle to sell you. She joined the guard to gain respectability, I joined the guard to escape. I’m Gurt and she’s Elanore Fursk. Don’t forget it.

In the darkened alleys of Delvenport the discovery of a naked corpse sets off a surprising chain of events. Leads will unravel at every turn, although Elanore appears to know what’s going on. I just tag along for the ride. With the rising tide of drugs, magic and ambition that threatens to engulf our city, trouble will lurk in our every shadow. But as long as no-one puts a knife in Elanore, or calls me a girly voiced fairy then the bodies won’t be piled too high.

Otherwise all bets are off!

Production: The Spiral Tattoo is a bit better than most first efforts as far as the production goes. Considering I really do consider a grade  of “C” to be average (although few have hit that, yet), you should consider this production to be quite respectable. I noticed one issue at the end of Episode Two where some or all of the closing information was repeated. As I didn’t go back to verify this, I’m not willing to grade heavily against due to the fact that it might have been a glitch in my hardware. However, throughout the podcast, their seems to be a filter that is a bit heavy on taking the “sparkle” out of the highs. The best example I can give is this: Remember cassette tapes in late 80’s right before CD’s came out? Remember the “Dolby” switch that took out a lot of the noise, but also deadened the sound? That is exactly what I felt had happened here. Still, commendable over all.

Grade: B

Cast: The Spiral Tattoo is a straight read performed by the author’s wife, Kylie Parry. Ms. Parry is a New Zealander. If you have issues with her accent, get a life. I’m sorry, I’m quite tired of hearing complaints about accents. Nobody is forcing anyone to listen to anything and if listening to someone that sounds different than you bothers you, go read a book of poems to yourself in the closet. Having said that, Ms. Parry does an adequate job reading The Spiral Tattoo. Her voice is pleasant and while she doesn’t “act out” each characters lines with her voice, she is far from “dead”. I had no issues here.

Grade: A-

Story: I found The Spiral Tattoo to be a good story. It was one of those books that I could easily listen to at the same time I was listening to other things as well. It didn’t demand my utmost attention and yet it was easy to comeback to when I was ready. I do think a good editor would/could make it even better, but I’m sure this is true of most works.

Grade: B

Verdict: Do you like Law & Order SVU? Do you like trolls and faeries? If the answer to both of those questions is yes, then Mr. Parry wrote this book for you. Seriously, it really is about that easy. If you don’t, I’m not going to say you won’t like it, but I suspect that most of the fans of this story are at least fans of one or the other.

Disclosure: I have followed Mr. Parry on Twitter for some time now. He is affable and usually fun to engage in conversation. He dm’d me a while back asking if I had any plans to review his book. I replied I’d check it out, not realizing at the time that he had written The Spiral Tattoo. (Note to authors: it never hurts to ask as long as you don’t mind my honest take IF I choose to review your work.) Mr. Parry was also one of the winners our one year anniversary drawing.

Comment Pages

There are 17 Comments to "Podcast Review #67: The Spiral Tattoo"

  • Scott Roche says:

    Excellent! Sounds like one well worth checking out.

    • odin1eye says:

      Thanks Scott! I hope you enjoy it, if you don’t, or if you find something you think needs mentioned that I overlooked, feel free to drop a comment at a later date as well!

  • Sue says:

    I already have a bunch of podcasts in the que to listen to. That said, one of the problems I have with many of the fantasy ones is I need to really concentrate to keep characters separate. I’m not a huge fan of fantasy to begin with which might have something to do with this. I am, however, a huge fan of LaO SVU. I will definitely put this near the top of the list of next listens. (And, I’m a sucker for an accent. People complain about that? Pfffft!)

    • odin1eye says:

      This story also has a nice tight character list. Very few unnecessary “voices” to muddy up the listening. Funny you should mention that. Look forward to that appearing in a review in the near future.

    • Michael says:

      Too many characters is a common problem with both the fantasy and mystery genres. This is why the “closed room” murders in mystery novels work well as stories as there cannot be too many characters. I made a very conscious effort to restrict the cast to avoid just that.

  • I’m only partway thru The Spiral Tattoo but I’m enjoying it a lot.

    I’m listening on my phone with a bluetooth ear bud so *everything* sounds a little flat. I didn’t notice it here. So far, I’m finding the blending of fantasy and police procedural to be quite a lot of fun and definitely a *different* take — very much in line with Simon R. Green’s Hawk and Fisher “Haven” books, which I also enjoyed a great deal.

  • Michael says:

    Thanks Odin 🙂

    It was a learning experience indeed podcasting this. Now we know a lot more I should probably look Kylie back in the cupboard and get her to re-record it, and iron out some of the production issues. That might happen later…. 🙂 I will check out episode two as if it is doing that, it is easily corrected…

    Yeah I would love to have it edited professionally, I am hoping to sell it to publishers at some point, so we will see. I am thinking that if I can’t get it on the desk of an editor that way by the end of the year I might pay an independant editor and self publish.

    BTW one correction for your review it’s Parry, not Perry.

    Aynhow thanks for the review 🙂

    • odin1eye says:

      ARGGHH.. I HATE it when I get the author’s name wrong. I think this is the second time. Two times too much. Thanks for the fun story and thanks for the comment! Hope you gain a few listeners!

  • Yep, The Spiral Tattoo by Michael PERRY (LOL! ooops sorry Odin…) will go onto my long list, a bit more toward the top. As far as the accents go, I love them! I wish I could have done them for The Fox, but at least it is out there! This sounds like fun, and very wise keeping the characters to a limit. It really is easier to read/listen to fantasy that way. I am listening to one that has many and not all appear in every chapter. I have to try to remember who is whom, and I may give up soon.
    Oh, and Michael, if you lock Kylie up in a cupboard, be sure to send in some bread, wine and good cheese with her–she is in total control in there, you know…. LOL

  • Sterling says:

    When I heard that the Spiral Tatoo had a Troll in it, I HAD to listen.

    I am a HUGE fan of Trolls, especially the non “Hulk SMASH” variety. While t hey don’t have to be the most intelligent race out there, I do believe that they trolls have been getting a bad rap for way too long.

    Mr. Perry has done a great job at showing us a different and unique side of them that we too rarely get to see. I would never have thought of a Troll policeman, but why the fairy dust not/?

    Elenore was clearly the muscle of the duo, but she also had a shrewd analytical mind that often surprised even her partner.

    There is just one small problem with the Spiral Tattoo, one that hopefully can be fixed in the near future. Mr. Perry did such an excellent job creating realistic and fleshed out characters that I want MORE. While this can easily be a one off book, I am desperately hoping that there will be far more to come from this unusual pairing of troll and fairy.

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