Readers’ Advisory 2: Nekropolis. Tim Waggoner

Quick Facts

Author: Tim Waggoner

Directed by: Ken Jackson

Starring: Ken Jackson, Katy Carcuff, Eric Singdahlsen, David Coyne, Steve Wannall, Sherry Berg, Rose Supan, Mort Shelby, Richard Rohan, Bradley Smith, Matthew Schleigh, Jefferson Russell, Nora Achrati, Colleen Delany, Jonathon Church, Scott Mccormick, Ren Casey, James Konicek, Joe Brack, Maboud Ebrahimzadeh, Andy Clemence, Terence Aselford, Nanette Savard, Lily Beacon, & Eric Messner

Published 2010 Graphic Audio. $19.99US

7 discs, 8 hours. 9781628510157.

Mystery, Urban Fantasy, Noir

Available in print, eBook, and audio

Why I Read It

I’d never heard of Graphic Audio before picking this up from the new shelf in my library. What really hooked me, though, was the tag “A movie in your mind.” Bonus points because it has a full cast and sound effects. I also needed something that would keep me and my best friend awake and engaged on a night drive to North Carolina. I wasn’t sure if this would, even though the premise is interesting, but it looked promising.

TLL’s Tag

Matt Richter, zombie, has stayed on the fringes of Nekropolis since his death, but he’s drawn into the city center, and a deadly plot, by a pretty girl.

The Rundown

Matt Richter, former member of Cleveland’s finest, has been dead for two years. He’s a zombie now, living the solitary life in Nekropolis, home to all Darkfolk, vampires, werewolves and the like. Since he’s not a cop anymore, but still has all the instincts and impetus for justice, he begins doing favors for his friends, or anyone who shows up at his door with a plausible story and the money to exchange for services rendered.

It is immediately after he has successfully fulfilled a favor for a friend that he is approached by Devona, a curator and caretaker of an immense collection. One of the most valuable items in the collection is missing, and Devona needs Matt’s help to find and return it. Oh, and the collection belongs to her father, Bloodborn (vampire) Dark Lord Galm. The missing item is none other than the legendary Dawnstone, which is concentrated sunlight, and deadly to all of Nekropolis. Matt initially refuses, not wanting to get involved in Dark Lord politics. The last time he did so, he ended up a zombie and his partner ended up permanently dead. But Devona is adamant. She needs to recover the Dawnstone before her father finds out.

Here’s what I think

This story was ok. It kept me entertained. I think the best part of the story is the sound effects. There is music playing throughout the audio, ratcheting up the tension and adding to the atmosphere. It makes the constant narration by Richter much more bearable. I would have stopped listening somewhere in the second disc if it had not been for the music. Waggoner also takes quite a bit of time to get to Richter’s back story. There are two discs of build-up before the story of Richter’s life before Nekropolis is revealed. It is also hard to imagine that the entire story takes place in about twelve hours. It feels a lot longer. While I enjoyed the literary easter eggs, Gregor Samsa, the Mariner, and others, I could have done without some of them. It felt as though Waggoner threw them into the story for fun. At the end, however, the reader comes to understand why the winding road to the finale, because the mastermind is a hive mind and prone to convoluted thought processes.

This story is the first in a series, and while I enjoyed it, I don’t think I’ll be reading the other entries.

Final decision

The sound effects and full cast really make this audiobook worth it.

3Q–Readable, without serious defects.

3.5P–Broad general or genre appeal

Readalikes, courtesy of NoveList Plus

Authors

Philip Pullman

Patrick Carman

Robin Jarvis

Titles

Faefever, Karen Marie Moning

Bloodlist, P.N. Elrond

Polterheist, Laura Resnick

Appeal Factors

Engaging, strong sense of place, witty, atmospheric, offbeat, suspenseful

Book talk ideas

How many literary characters can you fit in one story

The Dark Spire

The Grand Library

Sound effects and full cast

Book discussion questions

1) Did you catch all of the literary easter eggs? Which one did you recognize immediately?

2) Do you feel the Watchers were justified in their actions?

3) Which of the Dark Lords was your favorite? Least favorite? Why?

4) Waldemar is the librarian of Nekropolis. Is he the library itself?

Clues to the Future

Literary, the Watchers, Gregor, Matt Richter, Devona, Dark Lords, Nekropolis, Descension Day, Nekropolis, Tim Waggoner, Graphic Audio, full cast recording, movie in your mind

Awards and Lists

NA

Links to the Author, Interviews, and Reviews

Author Site: http://www.timwaggoner.com/index.htm

Angry Robot Interview: http://angryrobotbooks.com/2009/08/twenty-minutes-with-tim-waggoner/

Monster Librarian Interview: http://monsterlibrarian.com/interviews.htm#Interview_with_Tim_Waggoner

Strange Horizons Review: http://www.strangehorizons.com/reviews/2009/08/nekropolis_by_t.shtml

The SF Site Review: https://www.sfsite.com/11a/nk307.htm

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