Podcast Review: Shadow Magic

Some months ago, actually it was more like two years ago, a friend recommended a podcast to me. I had only just discovered podcasts and she thought I would enjoy this one. However, having to listen to them on my computer proved to be annoying as I can’t work and listen at the same time, so I left the email containing the link in my inbox, waiting for a more convenient time.

That time never came, but the email remained in my inbox.

Then, earlier this year I bought myself an iPod Touch (as you are no doubt sick of hearing about by now). For the first several months I couldn’t get enough of ebooks. But then I also rediscovered the world of podcasts (which you are probably also sick of hearing about). By this time, the email had become part of the furniture and I hardly even noticed it when I checked my email. Until a couple of weeks ago, when I was doing a clean up.

I followed the link provided by my good friend, Sherry, and then I followed another link to the author’s website and from there I followed another link to iTunes. Brilliant! The entire book was promptly downloaded to my iPod Touch and within days I was listening to the podcast.

Shadow Magic by John Lenahan is simply brilliant. It is read by the author, who is a writer, comedian and magician. It is a fantasy story based on Irish Mythology, so you’ll hear names of people and places that ring a bell. It’s about an eighteen year old named Connor, who has lived in our world his entire life. He has a cheeky personality and a loving spirit. Although he never knew his mother, Connor has been raised by a caring father, but he doesn’t have any other living relatives. Then one day he discovers he has an aunt. But the discovery is made after his aunt tries to kill him and he is taken to The Land!

John brought the characters alive with his telling of the story. So much so, in fact, that part of me is glad I listened to the podcast rather than purchased the book. The reason I say this is because the author is so easy to listen to and the storyline is so well crafted that I simply couldn’t hear enough of it. It’s funny, serious, gory in places and filled with emotion in other places. The world is vivid. The characters strong. The plot believable. I truly did enjoy it. At the risk of repeating myself, which I know is strictly not good for a writer, the story is brilliant!

This one is highly recommended.

The podcast can be found at iTunes or head over to the author’s website to find out where else you can download the book.

Podcast Review: ThrillerCast

Following on from my last post, I want to continue talking about podcasts. This post relates to non-book podcasts.

Book podcasts are much like audiobooks, the reader is telling the listener a story. Non-book podcasts are different as the reader is giving the listener information. The information can be about anything, but in this case, the reader (or should I say hosts, as I doubt they have a set script in front of them) are talking specifically about writing. Writing thrillers, in particular.

ThrillerCast is new to the podcast world. The hosts, Alan Baxter and David Wood, are published authors. They talk amongst themselves regarding writing thrillers, reading them and getting them published.

The first episode was a good, sound introduction. The hosts work well together, are easy to listen to and had me chuckling out loud at one stage (which was embarrassing as I was on a crowded train at the time).

The second episode is about ebooks. They discuss the past, the present and what they predict for the future of digital publishing. I found their insights to be well thought out and inspiring. They made me want to get to work and get more publications out there so that I can be a part of it.

The third episode is about size – short stories, novellas and novels. The information isn’t new, but I liked the way they put it across. It made me realise there is a place for novellas in today’s market. Anything that makes you revise your opinion has to be good. And…as for the cat’s fifteen minutes of fame…I loved it! You’ll have to listen to the podcast to find out what I mean.

I have a feeling these two authors will share a lot of useful information in the future and I look forward to future episodes.

I recommend this podcast to all writers…and you don’t have to be a thriller writer to gain something useful. Visit the ThrillerCast website or go to iTunes to download and subscribe to the podcast.

Podcast Review: Shadow Hunter

In October 2006 I wrote my first post on podcasts, it was called Introduction to Podcasts. I started listening to Shadow Hunter then. I listened to about 16 episodes and then, for a reason I can’t clearly remember, I stopped. I think it had a lot to do with changing service providers and having a lot less download megabytes available to me.

Anyway, four years later, I rediscovered podcasts through my iPod Touch. Suddenly a whole new world opened to me. I didn’t have to suffer eye strain as I read books VERY early in the morning on the train. I could see back, relax and listen to someone tell me a story. It’s absolutely brilliant.

It’s not surprising that this revelation sent me back to Terrence McLean’s website to find out if I could listen to Shadow Hunter in this new (for me) way. I was happy to discover I could.

Luckily for me, there was a recap episode which brought the characters and setting back to my mind and memory. Then I listened to four or five episodes that I had previously heard and then I went on to listen to the rest of the story.

Shadow Hunter is pure fantasy. There’s magic, necromancers, battles and a cast of complex characters. The author and reader, Terry, does a fine job keeping the listener interested. The story is fast paced and always kept me guessing what would happen next.

I have already listened to half of the next serialised podcast by Terry, which is called Buried in the Sand. I will review it upon completion. And there are two other books by Terry loaded on my iPod, waiting their turn.

Podcast books, audio books, ebooks and traditional paperbacks. There are so many forms of reading that we cannot possibly ever get bored again. If you haven’t tried a podcast book, try it. You’ll enjoy it.

Get Shadow Hunter and Terry’s other books through iTunes or the Never Was Website.