Podcast Review #93: The Heavenfield (Book 1)

Title: The Heavenfield
Author: I G Hulme
Genre: Science Fiction/Horror
Released: 2 February 2009 – 22 April 2010
Located: iTunesPodiobooks, Author’s Site
Formats Available: podcast only I believe
Rating: R for language and violence

I admit, I think I’ve heard of The Heavenfield before last Monday. Heard of it. That’s about it. Perhaps I remember seeing the announcement on Podiobooks that it would be released. Perhaps someone once asked me about it. Regardless, the name was familiar when Tee Morris asked me earlier this week if I had listened to it. Well, I hadn’t. I haven’t even seen it being discussed on Twitter. I had iTunes all ready open at the time, so I quickly searched for it and found it was only 21 episodes long, so I downloaded them all and jumped right in.

So, on to the review.

Synopsis: The FIRST of Four parts in the HeavenField story.

“…The world has changed forever; we have opened the door to something which we don’t understand, and that door cannot be closed. I only hope we can change with the world.” The man had a fevered stare, and Thomas found himself mesmerised by his words, obscure as they were.
The man suddenly stiffened, as if hearing a distant noise, then leaned close to Thomas once more.
“They’re coming,” he whispered.

When Grace Palmer and her team of research scientists discover a way into a mysterious world they name the HeavenField, they trigger a devastating chain of events. Bizarre, unexplained murders and attacks on the Project leave scientists trapped in the Field with no way to return. As their air supplies run low and their equipment begins to fail, their nightmares begin to play out before them…(stolen from podiobooks.com)

Production: I have no idea what Mr. Hulme does for a living. Truthfully? I’ve never even heard of him before. However, it wouldn’t surprise me to find out he does something in film or audio. This story is very cleanly produced. It is minimalistic in that all the effects happen well under the audio, and yet, each one completely adds to the story. It is rare for me to give an A+ to production, and a professional might be finding things here that I’m not. I can simply state that The Heavenfield was a joy to listen too.

Cast: Mr. Hulme does The Heavenfield as a self read. Long time readers of these reviews will all ready know, that when done well, I’m a huge fan of the self read. Mr. Hulme does it very well. I enjoyed his telling of his story immensely. If there was one thing that kept me from giving the reading top marks, it is simply that Mr. Hulme’s voice is so relaxing, it had somewhat of a soporific effect on me. Of course, that could have been just me coming off of 2 weeks of vacation and heading back to 10 hour work days. In fact that is quite possible. However, this isn’t a story that you want lots of distractions occurring as you listen. Between my drooping eyelids and the children, I found myself rewinding on more than one occasion.

Grade A-

Story: I’m not entirely sure how to grade the story here. You see, I truly believed The Heavenfield was complete. Well, and truthfully, at least the first three parts are. Mr. Hulme has broken his story into books. When I originally looked it up in iTunes, it had 21 eps. It still does. However, that is a culmination of those first three books. So, while I’ve read the first three books, after having read the synopsis above, I’m guessing a fourth is coming. With that in mind, I’m only going to review book 1 at this time. However, be advised: all 3 books (to date) flow together seamlessly and if you had not been told the story was in parts, you wouldn’t know.

Having said all of that, the story is very good and gets you going from the first chapter. I really don’t usually make up my mind from the first ep, but with The Heavenfield, I was immediately intrigued enough to listen to the rest. The story is split into several threads, and I will say I found one thread less interesting at the beginning, while this is natural, it still felt like I was being kept from what I wanted to hear each time the thread switched back to the referred to storyline. Perhaps this isn’t a negative on the storyline in question, but a positive to the one I was enjoying so much.

Grade B+

Verdict: The Heavenfield was a very interesting and enjoyable science fiction thriller. I, personally, wouldn’t classify it a horror story, but I know some that classify certain eps of Doctor Who or the X-Files as horror. The Heavenfield is only horror when looked at in that vein. I will say that if book 4 never gets written, there are some plot holes and questions that are not answered to my satisfaction, but even with those, I definitely recommend it.

Disclaimer: Until I looked up The Heavenfield, I’d never heard of Mr. Hulme. I have never conversed with him in any manner. I will be following his writing and podcasting in the future though.

Comment Pages

There are 4 Comments to "Podcast Review #93: The Heavenfield (Book 1)"

  • Thomas says:

    Yep, i totally agree with you on this one, except, without the fourth installment, I fell like this is not complete. This one is captivating and a really good read. I enjoyed it and am STILL waiting for the fourth part of the story.

  • Jeffrey Hite says:

    I really enjoyed this, burned through the first 3 books in a weekend. I am eagerly awaiting book 4. I completely agree with you assessment. Thanks.

  • Darren says:

    The 4th book has been written so it’s only a matter of time before it’s released in audio form. I’ve read it and I can’t recall feeling like anything was left up in the air. I loved this series, it was different from anything I had read before.
    Thinking about how you would classify it, with the material, I reckon if you took two different film directors, one could make a science fiction film and the other, a horror film.

  • John mierau says:

    The Heaven Field is an apat perfect listen! I have a bit of a problem with chopping up one story into multiple ‘books’ but I adore this story and tea so much I can shelf that concern.

    I’m also in agreement that Mr. Holme has a great voice for podcasting. MESMERIZING. conjures images of demonic hellishness… And alternately put me to sleep with it’s soothing nature (grin).

    Great review! I’m eagerly waiting podcast part the fourth!.

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