A Knight Adrift is the story of a warrior called Aveline who has to fight an archwizard. If that sentence grates, this isn’t the podcast for you. If you’re in the market for a LOTR/GoT type storytelling podcast, could A Knight Adrift (AKA) be worth checking out?
It’s written and narrated by a dude called Devin McKernan, and he’s got a pleasant voice. He talks over some piano music, which is mostly soothing but sometimes swells and overwhelms his narration. Weird and unnecessary. So in terms of audio quality it’s very good but not flawless.
The main problem is with the story. When I started listening to episode 2 I couldn’t remember anything from episode 1. It had just been a lot of world-building and names and places and so on. Rather like a history lesson from a teacher wearing elbow patches (and not wearing elbow patches in a cool, meta, ironic type way). Compare that to the first chapter of Game of Thrones (which I listened to the other day) – a handful of characters are introduced, we take an instant dislike to one and are sympathetic to the others. They are forced (by their annoying boss) to investigate some creepy goings-on. There’s action, conflict, unbearable tension, and along the way we learn a lot about the Game of Thrones universe from what the characters say and do.
Another flaw in the AKA storytelling is the preponderance of description. The demon isn’t doing an experiment, he’s doing a nefarious experiment. Locations are ‘accursed places’, ‘desolated hellscapes’, ‘blighted effigies’. The rule seems to be tell, don’t show. I wish he’d let a good editor take a read, though the same could be said of the later Game of Thrones books.
We featured ‘The Once and Future Nerd‘ and my conclusion here is similar. It’s well-made, it’s great that people have an outlet for their creativity and can find an audience, but I won’t be in that audience. If McKernan is getting some good feedback and paying attention we can hope that the writing in later episodes tightens up. Personally I’d be more interested in his next project, because he’s got the raw materials of being a quality podcast creator.
Verdict – Pass