Review of the The Secret World Chronicle by Mercedes Lackey and Steve Libbey

SFFaudio Review

Fantasy Superheroes Podiobook -The Secret World Chronicle Book One Invasion by Mercedes Lackey and Steve LibbeyThe Secret World Chronicle – Book One – Invasion
By Mercedes Lackey and Steve Libbey; Read by Veronica Giguere
8 MP3 Files (podcast) – Approx. 10 Hours 16 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Podcaster: SecretWorldChronicle.com / Podiobooks.com
Podcast: 2006 – 2007
Themes: / Fantasy / Superheroes / Supervillains / Nazis / Communism / Invasion /

The Secret World Chronicle opens with a metahuman named Eisenfaust (“Iron Fist”) warning of an imminent Nazi invasion. Of course the invasion occurs (from another spacetime) and this forms the backdrop for the story, in which heroic deeds are done – if at the high cost of both civilian and metahuman lives. Echo is an organisation of ‘metahumans’ (a word which you can freely translate into ‘superheros’ for our purposes). There are Echo offices and campuses around the world, from which private individuals, non-governmental orginizations and governments can hire superheroes to do good deeds. The Echo mandate is “To support security and peace through intervention by and collaboration between metahumans and international law enforcement.” Comprising over forty separate bases of operation across six continents. This plot may remind some of Jeffrey R. DeRego Union Dues stories that have been heard on Escape Pod. Like DeRego’s tales, The Secret World Chronicle superhumans all have comic book names and costumes, Handsome Devil, Red Saviour, Shahkti, and Yankee Pride. At the end of “book one” there are unresolved story threads around the whys and wherefores of the Nazi invasion, but it just feels like more to look forward to. It may have improved the telling to get inside the lives of the ordinary people, to understand just how the phenomena of the metahumans impacts the regular folks – perhaps that will happen in later books. I can’t say I’m very familiar with either Mercedes Lackey or Steve Libbey individually, but together they tell a good story. Characters are reasonably well drawn and sufficiently believable, but don’t expect any in-depth character analysis. Don’t listen to The Secret World Chronicle to learn about yourself, or the human condition, listen for fun.

People have different ways of classifying the content they put onto their MP3 players. I typically use either ‘drama’ or ‘books’ – the latter consisting of anything that’s read by one person. I break this rule for The Secret World Chronicle. Narrator Veronica Giguere does mostly a solo act in telling the story, the result though is that of discrete characters with whom we can really identify. It is an immersive experience. Veronica Giguere’s pacing is flawless, the variety of intonations and accents sufficient for the story. She gets the story straight into the brain’s pleasure zone with her terrific performance.

You can subscribe to the podcast feed for the series via this URL:

http://feeds.feedburner.com/secretworldchronicle

You can also get the complete book one via this feed:

http://feeds.feedburner.com/SecretWorldChronicleBookOne

Posted by Nick Gassman

One thought to “Review of the The Secret World Chronicle by Mercedes Lackey and Steve Libbey”

  1. Easily one of my favorite podio book series that I have heard so far. I love the comic book like characters and how the story plays out in book one but later books really don’t tie up the whole Nazi invasion though I am looking forward to more. If you like Super Hero stories definitely give a listen to this one.

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