Podiobook Review: 7th Son: Descent by J.C. Hutchins

7th Son: DescentBack in April, I mentioned that I was very much hooked on the podcast novel 7th Son: Descent by J.C. Hutchins. I had started listening to the novel in preparation for having J.C. Hutchins on The Round Table and very quickly found myself drawn into the story.

Throughout the summer, I waited patiently for each new episode to appear in my personal feed from Podiobooks, and 7th Son shot to the top of my “Must Listen” list.

The story revolves around seven men who are abruptly pulled out of their normal lives and brought to a top secret facility where their true history is revealed. The seven men couldn’t be more different—from the hardcore marine to the musician to the computer hacker, the geneticist and the criminal psychologist—but they soon find out that they have more in common than anyone could have guessed. In fact, they are all clones of a man known as John Alpha, who engineered the recent assassination of the President of the United States.

Alpha’s intentions are unclear, but he leaves a trail of clues that only the clones—with their unique skills and their shared childhood memories—can decipher. Alpha has also kidnapped the clones’ “mother,” providing further incentive for them to unravel the mystery and follow their progenitor’s twisted path.

7th Son is a tight, gripping thriller with a healthy dose of near-future science fiction thrown in for good measure. Hutchins not only dives head first into cloning and its ramifications (one of the clones is Father Thomas, a Catholic priest who fears that he and his brethren have no souls), he also delves into memory transference and storing an individual’s personality and experiences in a massive supercomputer.

Descent covers a lot of ground, with tendrils of the story reaching out all across the United States and beyond, to military installations in the former Soviet Union. John Alpha has enlisted the aid of a mercenary named Doug Devlin, and in doing so has created his own personal army. To what end? The first book does not reveal the intricacies of Alpha’s plot, but there are two more installments to come.

Book Two, subtitled Deceit is set for release in late September. As with Book One, Deceit will be released in weekly installments, a format that has worked incredibly well so far. Every chapter ends on a cliffhanger, or with some new revelation that leaves the listener hungry for more. If Hutchins can maintain the momentum he built up in Descent, Book Two is bound to be one hell of an exciting roller coaster ride.

8 thoughts on “Podiobook Review: 7th Son: Descent by J.C. Hutchins”

  1. [Comment ID #3255 Will Be Quoted Here]

    I didn’t listen to Infection, only because I wasn’t sure I could handle being hooked into both a Sigler story and 7th Son at the same time.

    Okay, that wasn’t the only reason. I also hated the week-long wait between episodes when Ancestor was wrapping up, so I decided to subscribe to the Infection feed but wait until the story was complete to start listening. Now that I’ve got every episode on my iPod, I need only sit down and listen to it.

    Maybe I’ll do a marathon session and listen to Infection over the course of the next few days, then see if I can still get in on “Share The Pain,” which I understand ends on 31 August.

  2. I caught all the Infection references in 7th Son, but couldn’t find one of the 7th Son references in Infection.

    I’ll tell you though – Earthcore was awesome, Ancestor was good, but Infection is just freaking gory. It often had me cringing in my car on my commute to work. If you like that, then good. If not, beware.

  3. [Comment ID #3258 Will Be Quoted Here]

    I’ve downloaded all of Earthcore, but haven’t listened to it yet. I don’t mind a gore-fest, so I’m sure Infection will be right up my alley.

  4. Never heard of podiobooks before this post; so that’s what all the cool kids are doing now? 😉

    I got the first chapter of Seventh Son, but it didn’t particularly grab me. On the other hand, I’m quite enjoying Taken Liberty: The Arbiter Chronicles and How to Succeed in Evil from the same site.

  5. [Comment ID #3337 Will Be Quoted Here]

    Well, 7th Son certainly isn’t for everyone. For me, the first episode was enough to keep me coming back for more and I really enjoyed the novel.

    Whatever your opinion of 7th Son, I’m glad to have turned you on to Podiobooks in general. There’s a lot of really good content there, and I think that most folks will be able to find something they’ll enjoy.

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