Podcast Review #122: Confessions of a Troll

Title: Confessions of a Troll
Author: Artemis Greenleaf
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Released: 20 November 2011 – 19 February 2011
Located: iTunesPodiobooks
Formats Available: Podcast and ebook

Rating: PG 13 for Violence and disturbing imagery

Twenty reviews back, I discovered a new story by a new author. Earthbound by Artemis Greenleaf. Not long ago I discovered that Confessions of a Troll by Artemis Greenleaf was complete at Podiobooks.com. That’s all the encouragement I needed.

So, on to the review.

Synopsis:

“It was just a simple computer prank. How could I have known that it would almost get us all killed?”

When sixteen year old Cai Peterson poses as an online troll to relieve the boredom after being grounded for drinking at a party, he tangles with a cyberstalker who’s not only willing to make his virtual life miserable, but his real life as well. As Cai searches for the stalker, it seems like nearly everyone in his sleepy Texas town has something to hide. Surrounded by suspects, Cai has to navigate a shifting landscape of treachery and truth to uncover a hidden enemy before he and his family pay the ultimate price. (Stolen from Podiobooks.com)

Production: Confessions of a Troll is a pretty straight forward production. There isn’t a lot in the way of effects or audio add-ins. A simple opening piece of music that is again utilized to close. This is a production model that many follow, and for good reason: its effective for producing a clean, professional listening experience.

Unfortunately, there are multiple instances of repeated lines and other small production details that should have been fixed but were left in, while not a huge criticism, it does jar the listener.

Grade: B

Cast: This is a single read story. Those of you who have listened to Earthbound will recognize the voice of the reader. Though not credited, this is not “Mr. Greenleaf”. It doesn’t matter because he has a mellifluous voice that succeeded in bringing the story alive for this listener. I really enjoyed the pacing and flow of this reading.

Grade: A-

Story: Though listed above as a Young Adult Fantasy, this is not exactly true. I would call it simply YA with elements of fantasy. It is a story about growing up in a large family being led by (effectively) by a single parent and struggling for an identity of your own. Cai, or young hero, makes some bad decisions in this quest and, unlike in many YA stories I’ve read, this comes back to haunt him.

This is the second story I’ve heard by Artemis Greenleaf, and I can verify that I felt that this was a better written story. However, as timely as Confessions of a Troll is, I found myself drawn to Earthbound more strongly.

Grade: B

Verdict: I enjoyed Confessions of a Troll and expect many of you will too. However, I also believe that Mr. Greenleaf’s target demographic for this story would probably have a stronger reaction to Cai. I mean, whom among us doesn’t remember the desire to start driving? Confessions of a Troll does bring in a bit of a mystery when Cai begins being stalked. At first, it seemed rather evident who the stalker was, but by the climax, Mr. Greenleaf has completely muddied the waters and reveal does indeed seem natural and works well.

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 have interviewed Artemis Greenleaf for the podcast version of the Earthbound review. Mr. Greenleaf is neither a Mr. nor a male, but that makes little difference when listening to well told story. I was offered nothing in return for this review.

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There are 2 Comments to "Podcast Review #122: Confessions of a Troll"

  • Thomas says:

    Thank you for impetus to get me to listening to this (or continue listening). I have been downloading episodes as they became available. I had been listening and enjoying it and got distracted by other podcasts and knew i needed to get back to it. A good story is a good story no matter the genre (except for maybe romance). I will get back to you on my opinion on this one (which more likely than not will be similar to yours)

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