A Listener Reviews: Splintered Caravan
Episodes: 9 episodes
Length: Generally around 25-30 minutes
I’ve listened to… All there is so far!
The Premise: Delve into the world of caravans, groups of enhanced humans (and AI) that team up to complete jobs that err on the shady side. Caylek is unsure of them, but agrees to try it out when Triten–her partner? mentor?–encourages her to give them a shot so that they can complete a job. But, as you might guess, things go sideways and what should have been simple gets complicated.
My Review: I was not sure at first on this one. It seemed interesting, but was I up for this sci-fi, cyberpunk, black market, little bit of everything kind of blend? And I gave it a couple episode before I was completely hooked. The characters are not always likable, and that is one of the greatest strengths. They manage to bring to life realistic characters who make me so angry, but also manage to keep me critically interested in their well-being and survival. They have realistic flaws that end up propelling the story forward. They aren’t superficial flaws, but complex characters whose strengths and weaknesses are what make the show engaging.
Not only are the characters rich, but the world is deep; far deeper than they’ve fully explored so far. But the exposition of information has been handled well. There might be a few moments where it veers too far into explaining, but as a listener, I’m kind of grateful at times. Having Caylek as an outsider to the caravan system provides excellent opportunities for convincing in-universe exposition. I do wish some more of the details and scope of the story was a bit clearer at this point, but I’m willing to go along for the ride.
The written dialogue and acting has been consistently good. There are a wide range of voices, making each character unique in personality, tone, and motivation. Sound quality has been great, which I am always thankful for when listening in the car. From a technical standpoint, I have no complaints. I wish there was more of it to listen to, but I figure that’s just going to be the story for a lot of audiodrama.
Finally, the story is complex and deals with heavy topics, but knows how to lighten it up. There have been a lot of twist and turns in the short 9 episode run so far, and I am still working to piece things together. I would certainly not call it predictable; rather, it keeps me on my toes, eager to hear how things will unfold next.
You can probably tell, but I’m a big fan. I was excited to learn about a new episode coming out, downloaded it right when I woke up, and listened to it first thing in the morning. So it has me hooked. If any of what I’ve mentioned sounds interesting to you, then Splintered Caravan definitely deserves a listen.
You can find them here: Splintered Caravan (I could not find a direct website, so here’s their Patreon.)25-30