The Raven’s Toll: Episode 1, The Raven’s Dream. R.E.M. Verberg

Epsiode 1 – The Raven’s dream: The Raven tries to deal with a recent loss, but receives a rude awakening at the hands of his old friend, The Sparrow. Writing: R.E.M. VerbergNarration: Diana MooreMusic: Alex Lew

The story opens with Raven entering a dream… a dream of what the world once was. But he’s met by a friend, Sparrow. They are high beings who shared the land and the world with humans, even going so far as to mentor them. One ward in particular was near to Raven’s heart and mind and he will suffer from that memory, that idea of what could or should have been. A short backstory is given about how and why the world was split and what led to the land-destroying war. Sparrow has met Raven for a reason, and the story will continue…

I was struck first by Verberg’s use of metaphors. They are key to evoking all the qualities of the characters and the darkness of the setting. There are few physical descriptions of the characters, so this is primarily a cerebral tale so far, one that invariably will set up reasons for the power referenced to be unleashed. I liked this opening, and only really had two criticisms: I think this first episode relied a bit too heavily on worldbuilding and not enough on some sort of action to initiate the listener to the characters. I also thought the narrator could have distinguished between the characters a little more. Other than that, this story has a lot going for it. A good cliffhanger sets up nicely for the second episode.

At just over 10min, this is a quick listen to embark on a new mission with mysterious characters in a dark and foreboding world. Check it out!

Listen to the first episode here.

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