The Cambridge Geek


You may or may not remember Gone, a podcast I listened to last month, about someone who found themself the only person left on earth, after everyone else vanished one night. The world they were left in slowly got foggier, and shapes began appearing in it. In general, something very spooky was going on.

This is similar, but reversed.

Whereas in Gone, everyone else disappears, in this it's the narrator who vanishes. She discovers one morning that she has become invisible, with no one able to see her. Her actions still create an effect, but those events are never tied to her. For example, she breaks a glass, and a moment later people recognise the broken glass, but they don't spot her pushing it off a table. If she nudges people, they move around her, but don't realise they've been moved.

Like Gone, this podcast delves into the psychology of isolation and loneliness, with our protagonist realising that her occasional whims for peace and quiet don't really prepare a person for a life spent entirely without communication. As you can imagine, it gets bleak.

There's also something else going on here, in that she begins to see gelatinous creatures attached to people's heads in a malevolent fashion. No one else notices them, even those who are carrying around this additional psychic load, but her investigation into what these monsters are is the main conflict of the series. (For the first season. It will presumably continue into season two.)

Part of me suspects that I wasn't as fond of this as I was of Gone due to how closely together I listened to them both, but this one certainly didn't grab me as much. Some of that is the delivery. It wasn't sufficiently exciting to make up for the fact that first you've only got a single voice, describing everything in almost a newsreadery style, and second that it's very much about the psychological cost of the adventure and not about the adventure itself.

It's not badly produced, but I found the music and overall soundscape a bit uninspired such that it's possible this would work better as an audiobook. That might allow a little more expansion of some of the points that I was most interested in, such as the early days of survival and what steps you need to take to keep yourself from going insane.

The mystery is somewhat enticing, but I'm unconvinced it's going to keep me hanging around for the second series. Neverwhere took a comparable premise and ran to some fun places with it. I suspect this this won't be as enjoyable.

Score 3

Tagged: Audio fiction Drama Monologue Personal recording Urban fantasy Serial