Podcast Review #141: Rogues of the Black Fury

Title: Rogues of the Black Fury
Author: Travis Heermann
Genre: Fantay
Released: 21 Aug 2011 – 27 June 2012
Located: Podiobooks, iTunes
Formats Available: podcast
Rating: R for violence, language, adult content

Here’s a little poorly kept secret: If I review you even marginally favorably once, chances are I’m going to listen to you again. At least once. I listened to (and reviewed) Mr. Heermann’s Heart of the Ronin a while back and enjoyed the story. So when Mr. Heermann released Rogues of the Black Fury it was a natural that I would subscribe.

So, on to the review.

Synopsis: When a band of shadowy fanatics abducts Javin Wollstone’s little sister, Bella, from his care, his only hope to bring her home is turning to a hard-bitten band of special warriors, Commander Rusk and the Black Furies.
The Black Furies are infamous for their bloodthirstiness, their amorality, their unconventional tactics—and for their success.
Javin follows Rusk and his men as they charge through a maze of political intrigues, religious fanaticism, and centuries of racial distrust in a headlong chase across the high seas to save the girl’s life. Little do they know that little Bella Wollstone’s fate could be the spark that sets off a war of Armageddon. (Stolen from Podiobooks.com)

Production: Mr. Heermann produced this podcast himself and I have to say, it’s a bit uneven. Listeners that follow one episode with another will notice definite changes to the sound. This is obvious even within eps from time to time. Guest voices also suffer from drastically different recording environments.
Grade: C-

Cast: Mr. Heermann decided to do something a bit strange here. This is not a full cast audio drama. It’s a self read with an occasional guest voice. For me, this really didn’t work. Especially with the aforementioned issues with production. Each individual voice worked fine on their own, but bringing them together actually lessened the listening experience.
Grade: C as a whole. B+ for individual efforts.

Story: As the synopsis states, this is a quest/rescue story. We have a training period, a travel period, and a confrontation period. One flows into the next pretty well and the story fits together fairly nicely.
Grade: B+

Verdict: Hmmm. To be honest, I’m not sure. I did enjoy the story overall, and I think it was more production decisions and delayed eps than anything that would occasionally have me grinding my teeth.

I initially thought this sounded like one of Glen Cook’s Black Company books, which I enjoyed quite a bit.

In all fairness, the outside of the military elite mercenary theme does follow both books, but there is much less of the supernatural in Mr. Heermann’s books.

This story I would definitely recommend for adults as the language and violence can be a bit heavy. If this doesn’t offend you, give it a listen, and then tell us what you think.

Disclosure: I have had several discussions with Mr. Heermann over the last couple of years. I can’t say I really know him however, and have no vested interest in this book.

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