All the Books! – Book Riot

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If you’re a book addict like me, there’s a good chance you’ve already heard about Book Riot. If you haven’t, I highly recommend that you go check them out immediately. You can find them here.

Back before I knew Bookstagram was a thing, or that there were other people out there who were as fanatically obsessed with books as I was, I discovered Book Riot. It was a whole website created by a company full of employees who were just like me! They talk obsessively about books, they write about them, they have podcasts about them; they sponsor Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook accounts dedicated to BOOKS.

I quickly followed them and all of their contributors that I could find on every social media platform I participate in. I felt like I had found a community of likeminded bibliophiles, and I wanted to make each of them my BFF.

Liberty Hardy is one of my personal favorites, and her social media presence is what finally pushed me to create this blog that I had been dreaming about for so long. She works for Book Riot, sends out a monthly newsletter about books, has a blog dedicated to books, and (as I was delighted to recently find out) has a podcast about, you guessed it, BOOKS. She is basically living my dream life, and I hope one day to be fortunate and brave enough to have the privilege of living my passion like she does.

I’ve known about the All the Books! podcast for a while, but only got around to listening to it yesterday. The fact that I only started listening to it yesterday, but am already putting up a review about it, should help illustrate the feels this show makes me feel. It’s hosted by Liberty Hardy and Rebecca Schinsky, and they just sit and talk about the books they are reading and what they think of them. It’s a simple enough premise, but their fun chemistry and conversational tone  make this podcast such a joy to listen to. I feel like I’m sitting down for coffee with two great friends, gushing over words.

You guys. I LOVE this podcast. I love it. I’ve already added several books to my TBR (sorry babe) and I’m just a few episodes in. Some of the books they’ve talked about recently that I’ve been the most intrigued by are:

Several of these I had already read about and was considering, but listening to these ladies discuss them pushed me over the edge! The only downside to this podcast is that I feel the need to jot down notes when one of the books sounds particularly compelling. This wouldn’t be so bad if I weren’t up to my elbows in dishwater, but what can you do?

¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Final Thoughts: This is the perfect podcast for book lovers. Go check them out!

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We’re Alive – Wayland Productions

From the website:

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For Army Reserve Soldier Michael Cross, the world as he knew it ended in an instant. One minute, he’s in college, and in the next, rioters are roaming the highway around him, breaking into cars, and literally tearing people apart. This is the day the dead walk. This is the world of We’re Alive.

We’re Alive: Features chapters packing performances and sound effects that rival movies and prove that modern audio drama is undead and well. Join our survivors as they band together, struggle to fortify a safe haven known as the Tower, and discovers that zombies are far from the worst thing in a post-apocalyptic Los Angeles where the rules of human decency no longer apply.

Little food. Little water. Little hope. Who is lucky enough to say “We’re Alive?”

You know that emoji that looks like it’s ugly crying? Eyes closed, sagging eyebrows, and a large, open downturned mouth. You know the one.

Can you picture it?

That was my face this morning, when I got in my car to run an errand, and realized I had finished this podcast the night before. I sat in my car for a few minutes trying to decide what to do next before just slowly backing out and driving to my destination in silence.

I’ve been listening to it for weeks, and it has been my go to whenever I drive anywhere or do any housework or other unpleasant and mind numbing task. The story has been exciting and compelling, and I’ve developed attachments to all of the characters. I normally dread the end of the day when I have to clean the kitchen and put the house back together after it has been ransacked by four small children. (That ugly cry emoji I was referring to earlier? That was my face every night before I got started.)

But the past few weeks, I’ve actually been looking forward to it. I became so immersed in the experience of listening to the show, that I would forget I was standing and washing dishes, or sweeping the floor, or folding clothes.  Sometimes, I would sit down and keep listening long after I was done because I couldn’t bear to pause it until the next day. It was like reading a really great book that I couldn’t put down.

I am having such a podcast hangover right now.

And this podcast is actually finished. I got to listen to the whole thing beginning and end. Unlike the Leviathan Chronicles, which you can read about here.

This story never lets up from the first couple of minutes of episode one, right until the very end. The characters all have such big personalities, and the voice acting is top notch. I loved hearing about Saul, Lizzie, Burt, Riley, Datu, Victor, Kelly, Michael, and Tanya. And that’s not even ALL of the characters. Those are just a few of my favorites!

This is a post-apocalyptic zombie podcast, so there is a lot of violence and gore, but again, this medium makes it a lot more palatable for me. I would never watch a show like this, but I cannot get enough of these audio dramas. It was thrilling, creepy, and sometimes downright scary and I loved every single second of it.

(Except for the part where they collect their sweat and put it in jars. GAG. I don’t like sweat so that part was super hard for me. But the rest was awesome. )

Final Thoughts: I’ve already told everyone I know about this podcast, and now I’m telling all of you. Listen to it right away, you will not regret it! If you’ve already listened to this one, PLEASE tell me if you’ve found any others like it. I’m a sad and directionless panda right now with nothing to listen to.

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BONUS: I visited their website, and it looks like they are about to release a companion miniseries! The first episode of We’re Alive: Lockdown, will be released on April 25th! I cannot wait to revisit this cast and the story!

The Leviathan Chronicles – Christof Laputka

From the website:

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The Leviathan Chronicles is a revolutionary science fiction audio drama podcast featuring the voices of over 60 actors, professional sound effects and an original music soundtrack. The story is centered around a hidden city called Leviathan that lies deep within the dark trenches of the Pacific Ocean. The city is home to a community of immortals that sought to create a utopia over 1,000 years ago. For a millennia, they lived in peace and secrecy, gently influencing world events to aid the advancement of mankind. But a terrible secret has been kept deep within the catacombs of Leviathan that threatens the existence of the immortals, and quite possibly the entire world.

One woman named Macallan Orsel, a young genetic scientist in New York, discovers she is descended from a group of immortals that rebelled against Leviathan and are now waging a civil war around the globe. As the immortal war spills into the realm of mortal man, Macallan realizes that she holds the key to stopping the battle and bringing peace to Leviathan. But a clandestine government agency called The Blackdoor Group is trying to exterminate the immortal population and has identified Macallan as their critical target.

I feel obligated to preface this review with the fact that this podcast is unfinished, and very likely abandoned at this point. The last episode was released on October 8th, 2013. Since then, Laputka has addressed fans on the site page imploring them to be patient and promising a conclusion to season two, as well as confirming a third season. That was almost two years ago. Since then, it’s been complete radio silence from Laputka and team.

Going into this, I had absolutely no idea that it was unfinished. I found this podcast while looking for recommendations after finishing Limetown. It got really great reviews and so many people were recommending it so passionately. When I downloaded the episodes, I could see that there were 38, and that the last one was released several years ago. 38 episodes! Wow, this was the longest podcast I had ever seen! It never crossed my inexperienced mind that with so many episodes released so long ago, and having such enthusiastic fans, that it wasn’t complete. Lesson learned.

The show creators bill it as an audio adventure, and the narrator says it at the beginning of every episode. I’m a pretty cynical person, so the first time I heard that it made me immediately skeptical and I thought it was a pretty cheesy description. Just a couple of minutes in I realized how wrong my first impression was. It was like listening to a movie, complete with soundtrack and sound effects. Despite enjoying it, I did feel like the first couple of episodes were a bit campy. But by episode 3 I was fully invested, and totally hooked. I messaged a friend and told him he should check it out right away. I don’t normally recommend anything that I haven’t finished, and won’t repeat this mistake again. Another lesson learned. Sorry D!

Despite all of that, I’m really glad that I didn’t know this podcast was unfinished. Had I known, I never would have started it, and that would have been a mistake because I enjoyed the hell out of it. I don’t regret listening to it even for a minute. It was so well done, with really thrilling writing and stellar character development. The voice acting on the whole was superb, and I’m really bummed that they don’t have a cast list posted anywhere. I’m pretty positive that they changed actresses for the main character at some point in season two. It’s one of my life’s greatest mysteries and it drives me bananas that I won’t ever solve it.

I highly recommend listening even though you will likely never know the conclusion. The ambiguity is totally worth getting to be a part of this creation. It has action, drama, romance, sci-fi, humor and so much mystery. I miss the characters and being a part of their adventures. I miss listening. I do NOT miss the music… yikes, that was a pretty big miss. But I’d listen to that shitty music on repeat for a week if it meant another episode. I really hope it comes back. Being realistic, I think it has less of a chance than a popsicle in hell, but I’m holding out hope. Laputka has one hell of an imagination, and it would be a damn shame if he isn’t able to share more of it with the world.

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