Impact Winter Review

By Ben Wright (@iamzavagno | www.xgeeks.co.uk)

This review is spoiler-free.

Synopsis:

It’s the near future and seven years since a comet hit the earth and blotted out the sun. The world is a dark, frozen landscape. And then, beastly creatures emerge and take over. Can they really be vampires?

In the British countryside, a band of survivors forms a resistance in the fallout shelter of a medieval castle. Darcy is a battle-tested vampire hunter who is at the front line leading the charge to save humanity. Meanwhile, her younger sister Hope wants life to return to normal so she can go above ground and know what it’s like to live again. And she just might be willing to risk it all.

From the mind and pen of Travis Beacham, the man who brought you Carnival Row and Pacific Rim, comes a tale of survival in a world where man must fight against vampires in the aftermath of an apocalyptic comet strike that has sent the world into darkness – welcome to Impact Winter

As a story, Beacham does a fantastic job in allowing you to be thrust into this world and drip-feeding you the exposition that you need as each episode passes – but it’s very easy to get up to date with the current state of the world and there are no real accessibility issues. As for the other elements that make up the main story and sub-plots, there are plenty of beats and tropes that will be very familiar from other media, so again, it’s very easy to fall into the story and characters. The action and drama elements are really strong throughout, and there are some really nice moments of tension that stems from the horror aspects, but this is not really a story that has a focus on being scary – far from it! It’s not really chilling either, but there are plenty of horror flourishes that do enhance the action and drama elements.

The production throughout the series is incredibly strong, with exceptional sound design and editing. The sound effects and music really enhance the listening experience as does the quality of the voice recordings. Make no mistake about it, the production quality is extremely high and in comparison, to other full-cast productions, this is one of the best!

In terms of the cast, there are a plethora of outstanding performances! Holliday Grainger (Animals, My Cousin Rachel) takes the lead of the series as Darcy Dunraven and puts in a colossal performance, shifting from strength to fragility seamlessly. She is a strong female-lead worthy of any audiobook, TV series, or film! Her younger sister Hope, played by Esme Creed-Miles (Hanna), is quite the contrasting character and, it’s this contrast and balancing act of personalities that really give this duo a compelling relationship dynamic.

The wonderful Liam Cunningham (Game of Thrones, Masters of the Universe: Revelation) plays Jepson Belgrave, the grizzled leader of a group of human survivors, and father figure to the Dunraven girls. As you’d expect Cunningham adds a real sense of gravitas to the production as does the brilliant Indira Varma (Game of Thrones, Obi-Wan Kenobi) as Kallistrata. As for the other supporting roles, there are fantastic performances from Himesh Patel (Yesterday, Tenet) as Felix Molloy, Bella Ramsey as Whisper (Game of Thrones, The Last of Us), David Gyasi (Carnival Row, Annihilation) as Rook and Caroline Ford (Carnival Row, Free Rein) as Penelope Chambers.

With phenomenal performances and stunning production, Impact Winter is a full-cast audiobook masterpiece that sends the listener on an exciting journey to a post-apocalyptic Britain, where the last remnants of humanity must fight for survival in a dying world and against an ever-growing vampire menace.

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