Podcast Reviews Kickstart – PodCastle’s A Hunter’s Ode to His Bait

I was curious what my readers would think if I were to do an occasional podcast review. I suppose you fine readers don’t have a choice over the subjects I decide to cover, but your clicks give you away.

To kickstart, I will start with one of the most controversial, most gorey, most pretty podcasts that I have listened to. It is “A Hunter’s Ode to His Bait” (text version here, podcast here). Before reading or listening, you readers should be aware it is rated R, (I think for violence) though it is not explicit and I think it should be rated “Not Intended for Children”.

Critics have ranted about this since it first came out. Granted, the concept is that the main characters are unicorn hunters, and I think that is alone sours the crowd who are strict believers in unicorns as some sort of heavenly creature. I think the author, Carrie Vaughn, portrayed the unicorn simply as a creature of the forest, something not inherently good nor evil.

Carrie Vaughn was shocked by the initial reaction to her work, as she thought she had written a lovestory, albeit with Stockholm’s syndrome tendencies. While I was ignorant of Stockholm’s syndrome, I agreed. However, there are very particular circumstances that must occur for Stockholm’s syndrome to take place, and this story meets none of the requirements. I would more compare the love to a simple master-slave twist, but that’s me. In any case, I am in love with this story.

The reading was wonderfully done, and I thought it captured the voice of the writing and of the main character very well—it was cool, detached, and entirely a cover for the softness underneath. I can’t read the text without hearing the narrator’s voice, and to me that means he nailed it.

The story is engaging, intriguing, and quite original. Vaughn’s voice is strong, her description is perfectly placed, and the adventure is tangible. Having been around horses myself, I can say that she wrote in accurate descriptions of the behavior of unicorns (supposing they were to behave like horses). The motives of both main characters are questioned and answered, and watching the relationship unfold is subtle but builds tension. I love Vaughn’s pacing, characters, and plot. What else is there to say? It made me happy to have those two making love against the carcass of a unicorn.


And if you think that’s twisted, wait until I do a DrabbleCast. “Strange stories, by strange authors, for strange listeners”.

Please don’t comment until you have read or listened to A Hunter’s Ode to His Bait. Much of my oddness will be explained then. I do not screen comments based on opinion—we all have them, and I value that—though I do not allow trolls under my bridge!


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