Podcast Review #85: Enemy Lines

Title: Enemy Lines
Author: John Mierau
Genre: Science Fiction
Released: 21 September 2010 – 7 June 2011
Located: iTunesPodiobooks, Author’s Site
Formats Available: podcast only

Rating: R for violence, language, alien and terrestrial drug use and (terrestrial) sexual situations

I have no idea why I’m following John Mierau on Twitter. Seriously. I mean, this is one of those cases where I’d never heard of an individual, I don’t even remember hitting the “follow” button, so I’m guessing he followed my rules of engagement by consistently providing feedback to tweets in my stream. Regardless, once I did start following him, I found him to provide a stream I quite enjoy.

I can say much the same about his story, Enemy Lines. I can’t quite remember why I started listening. By that I mean, I can’t remember whom it was suggested by. I would hazard a guess that at least 90% of what I listen to is something that has been suggested to me or is a sequel to something else I’ve enjoyed. Also, in September in 2010, when Enemy Lines debuted, my lovely bride and I were four months into expecting our little princess. Those days are somewhat of a blur. Regardless, I subscribed (and I do suspect it might have been Mr. Mierau himself that suggested that I listen), and the rest is history.

So, on to the review.

Synopsis: In the near future, an alliance forged by powerful men will challenge the US government for control of secret technology. As their machinations gear up, the true owners of that technology will face a challenge of their own, deep in the asteroid belt. At stake? The future of the human race. ENEMY LINES is a science fiction adventure about conspiracies, spies…and aliens… in a future where the lines aren’t as clear as you think. (Stolen from Podiobooks.com)

Production: For the most part the production of Enemy Lines is very good. The music theme selection is perfect. The vocal levels are spot on. The strange Canadian pronunciations of some words is almost hidden (good humored poke at a good guy and our cool northern neighbors), and the vocal rhythms carry the story quite well. One area of the production that is at issue are the repeated lines that show up in the dialogue. Now that I’m podcasting these reviews, I know how many times you end up repeating a line as you record. Mr. Mierau might be exceedingly better at recording than I am (at least I never hear HIM gulping for breath like a beached carp) but in a large percentage of the eps, at least one repeated line makes it through to post. This is a bit jarring, but takes little effort to stay with the story.

Grade: B+

Cast: Mr. Mierau does Enemy Lines as a self read, and he does a very nice job. However, I do have an issue with stories such as Enemy Lines being done as a self read. That issue is simply that there are so many characters, that even when the author does an adequate job of reading each in a unique way (as Mr. Mierau does) it is very hard to differentiate them until you’ve heard enough eps to learn each character. This is somewhat alleviated when these types of stories are done as a full cast. I know that sheer number of multiple voices would make the chore HUGE, and I understand why not all authors choose to go that route. Simply stated, with the epic size of this story, and the large number of characters, I got lost on more than one occasion and had to pause the story while I thought back. Of course, this perhaps wouldn’t be as large of an issue if you wait until podcasts are complete to begin listening and then mainline the story. Of course, you might also have fewer issues if your memory is superior to mine.

Grade: B+

Story: This story is pure scifi and very much an action story that is still character driven. There are plenty of situations where the story could have gone in a direction that would have ended in disappointment, and yet Mr. Mierau adroitly maneuvers around these and keeps the story heading down the straight and true.

Grade: A

Verdict: I really enjoyed Enemy Lines. Very much in fact. I have no trouble recommending you listen if you have not to this point. Mr. Mierau tell’s a great story and one that deserves to be heard. Do yourself a favor, and if you enjoy a good science fiction story, give Enemy Lines a shot.

Shameless plug: Don’t forget, if you send an audio comment to me at Odin1eye at viewfromvalhalla dot com, I’ll include it in the podcast version of this episode next weekend (or when I receive it). You can also leave voicemail, for this or any other story, at the Valhalla Hotline simply by calling 956-307-ODIN (6346)

Disclosure: As I have mentioned, I do follow Mr. Mierau on Twitter. We’ve chatted there on many occasions. However, nothing was asked for or offered in return for this review (although I do call dibs on Alex’s Mustang).

Comment Pages

There are 2 Comments to "Podcast Review #85: Enemy Lines"

  • Orion says:

    Ok, fine, I’ll bite — you mention connecting with Mr. Mierau via twitter twice. Care to share his username? Or are you hoarding him and failed to get high marks in preschool under “Sharing with Others”

    🙂

    Oh, and as usual a nicely crafted review.

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