There are stories I will never forget. The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien, Terminal by Brian Keene, A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole, Vacation by Jeremy C Shipp, and Tortilla Flat by John Steinbeck among a few others. And now I am adding Deep Blue by David Niall Wilson to that list. I have read (or listened to) a lot of good stories in my life, but Deep Blue, much like those others listed above, is one of those rare great stories. A story that leaves a mark (or marks) and touches you in ways you didn’t expect.
Deep Blue is the story of a group of musicians, a band if you like, who are drawn into the cosmic battle between good and evil most unwittingly by Brandt, the drunken guitarist and lead singer of the band. His chance encounter with a blues harmonica player in an random alley during the wee hours of the morning changes his life and lives of his friends forever. This change leads them through a series of supernatural music events to a showdown with the ultimate evil in the small religious town of “Friendly” California.
I will talk about the audio recording of this novel in a moment, but I have a few more things I want to say about the story itself first. This is the kinda story that can and should make some one’s career. The characters are deep and rich. The scenes and events flow into each other with precision. Nothing feels tacked on, everything makes sense together: music, religion, fate, pain, good, evil, coffee, patterns, etc. This just book works, and works well. I can’t say enough about it (and I did say more when I interview the author for my podcast, which will be released on August 31st 2010 at http://thesnarkyavenger.com.) (Yeah I just plugged my podcast, you got a problem with that?) So go get a copy audio, ebook, or print; and read (or listen to) it.
The audio recording of Deep Blue is top notch. Chris Patton, who is apparently a voice acting machine, did an incredible job reading this book. The reading is crisp and clean. All the characters have unique voices, and the voice’s for the female characters sound like women (not like a man with a five o’clock shadow and black chest hair in a strapless, slinky red dress and a blond wig trying to sound like a woman. Not that I am saying that Chris Patton wears slinky red dresses and blond wig or has a five o’clock shadow; or that I know anything about men who do.) The unabridged audio edition of Deep Blue is very good and, if you’re into audiobooks, should not be missed.
So I give Deep Blue 6 out of 5 snark bites for the story, and 4 out of 5 snark bites for the audio. (It would have gotten 5 out of 5 snark bite for the audio except for a few minor flaws and a few mispronounced words. Yeah, I’m a little picky about stuff sometimes.) And overall I would give it 5 out of 5 snark bites, so go check it out a Crossroad Press right now.