Audiobook Review: Spider-Man: The Darkest Hours by Jim Butcher

By Nephrite 

audiobookHello everyone! I wasn’t intending to take another detour but I quite simply…had too much fun! I haven’t enjoyed myself this much since listening to Realmslayer! For clarification check my review here.

Audiobook Review: Realmslayer – Warhammer: Age Of Sigmar by David Guymer

Those of you who have followed my reviews for a while will be aware of the fact that I am something of a casual comic book fan – mostly thanks to watching the Spider-Man cartoon in the 90s. My three part dissertation of sorts on the History of Carol Danvers – Captain Marvel – is all the proof my readers will need. But I think its only fair I give a bit of my history with these Marvel audio productions.

They aren’t actually audio original superhero stories. There is a company which produces prose book adaptations of select comic book story lines ranging from Iron Man classic Extremis and other Spider-Man story line Kraven’s Last Hunt to recent super heroine superstar Kamala Khan – Ms. Marvel – and her introductory story line No Normal. But recently it was announced that Dreamscape Media would be releasing not only these and others in audio but producing new audio adaptations of the newer prose books. Strangely I had no awareness of these newer releases at first. I ordered this Spider-Man release out of curiosity, only to realise after the fact it was a Dreamscape release. Now let’s start the review itself with the plot.

Spiderman the darkest hours audiobookThings have been going well recently for Peter Parker. There’s been no world ending super villains hanging about, him and Mary Jane are peacefully enjoying married life and his job as a grammar school teacher has been going well. Naturally something has to come along and ruin it. The Rhino starts causing chaos in town – big stupid lug – and of course that means it’s time for Spider-Man to make an appearance! But there’s a big problem. The Black Cat – ally and good friend – warns Spidey that The Rhino is just a lure. Years ago Spider-Man defeated a vampiric hunter who hunted through some form of totemic magic. Morlun. And Morlun’s brothers and sister are out for blood! But how can Spider-Man, normal everyday Peter Parker stop beings called The Ancients? And how can he keep MJ safe while trying to stop hunters who care little for collateral damage?

This story is really entertaining. You don’t need to know tons about comic book history – or watch at least a dozen full length films – to get caught up in swinging along the New York skyline with Spidey catching yourself on the silver lining of the clouds. The story does a very good job at giving the gist of previous events so you feel up to speed without stopping to question everything. And the writing is very well done! This story  has captured Spider-Man’s quippy one liners and cheesy jokes really well whilst also managing to pull off the quieter moments. Breakfast scenes with MJ, small talk at work, even the occasional call to Aunt May. It all feels one hundred percent believable. I very easily found myself closing my eyes and seeing everyone of these conversations in my mind’s eye as well as all the action scenes. That makes sense since the story was written by Jim Butcher – author of The Dresden Files series – and I’d be more than happy to see him channel his inner Peter Parker once again. Especially when he is able to make the main villainess Mortia and her brothers chill the blood. She’s enjoying this chance for revenge just a little too much.

The narration was supplied by Jack Meloche and he does a very good job! He is a pitch perfect Spider-Man and his performance as Mortia really makes her feel like a remorseless huntress with only one thing on her mind. Blood. The comparison to vampires is more than apt! His Mary Jane and Black Cat are also very believable as I could easily lose myself in the world his narration provided. I hope to hear him again if Dreamscape do any more Spider-Man stories. Any superhero stories at all! I’ll be keeping an eye and ear out for Jack Meloche just like I do for Johnathan Keeble and Toby Longworth when listening to Warhammer.

The story really is quite the ride! I almost listened to the entire thing in a day because I lost all track of time. You know a story’s good when you look at the clock and can’t believe it! Even if you are only casually interested in superheroes and their ilk I recommend giving this a chance. It can be quite gripping! And if you have any family members who are Marvel Comics or Cinematic Universe fans or webheads? Buy this now! They’ll thank you for it I’m sure! I might just review a few more in future.

NephriteIn conclusion this story really is quite the package and I recommend it highly. I couldn’t stop grinning while listening or while writing most of this review. I’ll be back when I can but there may be a short review delay for a while. I’ll return as soon as I’m able to finally keep my promise and return to Good Omens!



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