If you’re looking for some excellent podcast fiction, there are a variety of styles to choose from. You can go for the straight audiobook style, with the author (or, in rarer cases, a paid narrator) reading the book with no enhanced music or sound effects, and no voices other than the narrator’s vocal range. Other producers create more of an audio drama, giving their novel a cast, music, sound effects, and a full audio experience. Both have their positive and negative traits. But when you’re talking about a full cast, effects-packed audio experience of a novel, it’s hard to beat Christof Laputka’s The Leviathan Chronicles.
Dr. Macallan Orsel, a genetic scientist, searches for a cure for her grandmother’s strange illness and discovers secrets thousands of years old: she is descended from a race of immortals living secretly among us. Two factions struggle for power: the rebel faction, which includes Macallan’s family, and the original immortals, lead by an insane matriarch who receives the blessing of immortality and who keeps it (hence the strange illness hitting some immortals). Macallan discovers her family has bred her for one specific purpose: she is nearly a perfect genetic match to the leader of the other faction. As the leader is genetically tied to the key to immortality, this makes Macallan rather important to the rebels.
The Leviathan Chronicles is much like other podiobooks that came before it with full casts, music, and sound effects. Where it deviates is the fact that Laputka has hired pro voice actors to take the parts of his characters. He also uses custom-made bed music and the same web company that did the Harry Potter site to do a full Flash-based website complete with hidden hints about the plot. He’s made this production about as professional as it can get.
I love modern fantasy—is there a proper sub-genre term for it? Take our world and give us something hidden or never known before and I’m all over it. The Leviathan Chronicles does just that, dropping us into Macallan’s world of discovery, adventure and treachery. The story is rife with moral ambiguity; Macallan is of course told about the evils of the Other Side, but she later learns that her side has its share of atrocities.
The Leviathan Chronicles is told in two 25 episode seasons—they’re currently on episode 17 of the first season. Laputka is projecting to be done with season one in May, whereupon the whole first season will be available for purchase at Audible.com.