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Drowned in Thunder
Christopher L. Bennett
Multi-cast production, adaptation
GraphicAudio, 5 hours

Drowned in Thunder
Christopher L. Bennett
Christopher L. Bennett has written several tie-in novels and short stories in the Star Trek and Marvel Comics franchises starting in 2003, as well as his first original novel in 2012 and several original stories for Analog Science Fiction and Fact and other magazines. He lives in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Christopher L. Bennett Website
ISFDB Bibliography

Past Feature Reviews
A review by Susan Dunman

It's just a typical evening for Peter Parker, swinging from skyscraper to skyscraper through mid-town Manhattan as Spider-Man. Always on the lookout for criminals, be they super-villains or the average devious crook, it doesn't take Spidey long to find and interrupt a robbery in progress. Working hard to prevent injury to by-standers, Spider-Man successfully delivers the would-be robbers to the police, but the next day's issue of the Daily Bugle paints Spider-Man as the real criminal. Tired of always receiving bad press from the newspaper, Peter begins to suspect that the paper's editor, J. Jonah Jameson, has ulterior motives for continually vilifying the well-intentioned web-slinger.

Before Peter can dwell too long on the impact of bad public relations on his crime-fighting career, Electro appears on the scene. Leading an attack on Manhattan with a horde of robots intent on stealing precious jewels from the Diamond District, the robots are almost more than Spider–Man can handle. Predictably, Jameson accuses Spidey of being the one behind the Robot attack and responsible for the numerous injuries suffered by New Yorkers during the rampage.

When robot attacks continue in the city without the presence of Electro, Spider-Man begins to believe that Jameson is behind the metal-monster assaults and Jameson is convinced they are the work of Spider-Man. Both decide to prove that the other is orchestrating these events, and that's when things get interesting.

This audio adaptation of the novel by Christopher L. Bennett offers a stellar production that combines multiple narrators, sound effects and music to tell the story. The result is a listening experience that transports listeners to the top of New York skyscrapers, the center of hard-fought battles, and the depths of guilt and self-doubt.

Tension builds throughout the story as the robots become increasingly powerful and no one can figure out who is controlling them. However, because the robots don't talk, there's not much banter between super-villain and Spider-Man -- dialogue that is particularly effective in audio. Ironically, even Spider-Man mentions that he misses the repartee during face-offs with the robots. Fortunately, this situation doesn't last because, as we all know, super-villains can't stand to stay out of the limelight for too long.

The dramatized style of this production really pulls listeners in, demanding their attention. I often drive while listening to audiobooks, but found I couldn't concentrate on driving while listening to this adventure. So I listened while preparing meals for the family. Of course, I couldn't concentrate on fixing the food either, but no one went hungry and no one became ill, so I considered my listening strategy a success.

This is the second Marvel Comics production for GraphicAudio and their dramatized audio style works perfectly for comics. All of the narrators did an excellent job, but my favorite was the voicing of Aunt May, which was perfect! The title is available in either stereo or a 5.1 Surround Sound DTS-HD Master Audio format. The relatively short length of five hours makes it a fun listen that requires nothing more than an enjoyment of comics and an appreciation for a certain webbed super-hero named Spider-Man.

Copyright © 2013 Susan Dunman

Susan became a librarian many light years ago and has been reviewing books ever since. Audiobooks and graphic novels have expanded her quest to find the best science fiction in Libraryland.

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