Podcast Review #91: A Dance with Demons

Title: A Dance with Demons
Author: Jeff Offringa
Genre: Fantasy
Released: 21 December 2009 – 29 October 2010
Located: iTunesPodiobooks
Formats Available: Podcast and ebook

Rating: PG 13 for Violence and mild language

As a kid, I lived in a fantasy world. Well, I mean I read and lived in the fantasy genre. I cut my readers teeth on Tolkien and had book cases full of Eddings, Brooks, Feist and others. Some of these were well written and actually dealt with “deep” subject matter, others (most?) were just fun and stirred a boys imagination. When this podcast was suggested to me (by @JSterlingS, I think) I ran on over to Podiobooks.com and read the synopsis (yes authors, they do matter) it was a pretty easy decision to slip back into this comfortable genre for me.s

So, on to the review.

Synopsis:

Tarn Nohmal doesn’t want much out of life. Food on the table, a roof over his head, and privacy. But when his old commander shows up and needs someone to track a band of orcs, what should be a simple mission turns out to become an endeavor to stop disaster from spreading across the entire realm of Averim.

Not only is the kingdom threatened from within by a civil war, but the lack of troops on the eastern border seems to be making the orcs bolder. And to top it off, a demon is slaughtering orcs and humans alike. And it’s up to Tarn and his companions; Nyla, a half-elven wizard, and Logan, a human priest raised by dwarves, to stop it before it comes to their home town and slaughters everyone there.

But will there be a home town to return to? The Earl keeps calling troops west to support him in the civil war. The orcs can’t be that big a threat… right?

Step into the world of Aromathus, the creation of author Jeff Offringa, and experience swords and sorcery, military maneuvers, and political intrigue in a place where magic abounds, knights charge gloriously into battle, and the orcs may not be as stupid as they appear…
(Stolen from Podiobooks.com)

Production: The production of A Dance with Demons is erratic. At times it is quite good, at other times it is barely adequate. The approach used is minimalistic with opening and closing music with story between. Some episodes however, sound like you are listening on old vinyl, with pops and hisses beyond what should be expected. Other episodes are free of these distractions and allow you to fully immerse yourself in Mr. Offringa’s world. I do understand how difficult it is to produce a consistent sound, and usually don’t comment on episode by episode changes. These distractions, however, are far from regular.

Grade: C

Cast: This is a  single read story. It is read by someone other than the author, and to my shame, I don’t recall the name. I also cannot find it on the web. I will try to update this post when I have a chance to put on my headphones and relisten to the opening credits of an ep to get the readers name. Regardless, he did quite a nice job, giving life to each of the major characters with accent and inflection.

Grade: B+

Story: A Dance with Demons is pure fantasy. Orc hordes. Demons. A quest by a small hand picked band of adventures. But it also seemed to have elements to me of a story written by someone that has a gamer background. As in Dungeons and Dragons. The company is made up of a half elf girl who is a fighter/mage, a gritty warrior and a cleric. Other mages and fighters join the party for small amounts of time, but the core of the story revolves around the above. It is a simply told story, but that in no way detracts from it.

Grade: B+

Verdict: A Dance with Demons is a big story. If you plan to listen, remember it has 51 eps. Most or these eps are in very easily listened to bites, but 51 is still a lot. I enjoyed A Dance with Demons. With the info I provided in the opening, and the information provided in the review, it should be easy to understand why.

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: I don’t follow Mr. Offringa on Twitter and I don’t believe he follows me either. I’ve also never had a conversation with him. Nothing was offered or excepted in return for this review.

Comment Pages

There are 8 Comments to "Podcast Review #91: A Dance with Demons"

  • Thomas says:

    I do believe I have started this one more than once and was about to drop it off my iPod. I shall en devour to give it one more try. Our tastes in story are very similar, so i will trust your review and suggestion (you haven’t let me down yet).

    • odin1eye says:

      Fingers crossed that trend will continue! Truly though, the story is pretty straight forward. If you didn’t care for it to begin with, it isn’t likely to grow on you that much during the telling.

  • Lucie Le Blanc says:

    Sometimes production of a podcast really annoys me to the point of not being able to enjoy the story… This is unfortunately one of these cases. And sometimes it takes me a good review like this one to go back to a story, sit on my nerves and enjoy it for the entertainment. I will really try hard to disregard the audio. Thanks. 😉

  • TerminusVox says:

    This is a sprawling novel aspiring to ‘epic’ status. With some editing it could be a trilogy. With some really good editing AND rewrites it could be a really tight novel approx one third to one half the length that would knock your socks odf. So, while I do acknowledge that there is a good story there I don’t think it’s in final publishable form.

Cancel Reply

Write a Comment

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

Please note: Comment moderation is enabled and may delay your comment. There is no need to resubmit your comment.

  • View from Valhalla Podcast

    Available at View from Valhalla
     
    Available at

    Powered by TalkShoe