Arkham County is such a mixed bag, that if someone turned it into a movie, it would be either an instant classic or a stunning flop.1 Arkham County has many flaws that should render it a failure.1 I normally avoid buying books with less than four stars, as they are usually not very good.3 Arkham County has gained many bad reviews such as the review partly shown below.3 However, I took a chance and was pleasantly surprised, with Arkham County having charming wacky take on the horror genre.1

Astonishingly bad

Incoherent, babbling, disjointed, reliant on entire scenes of groaning noises to denote events,2

Unfortunately, many of the criticism of Arkham County are justified. With the authors Guy Adams and AK Benedict having simply tried to do too much. They had way too may plot threads and outlandish scene building, for the story to get lost in. It is such a shame that they allowed their imagination go wild and unchecked almost ruining the story. 1

artist impressions of a sci-fi world with air ship and a large clock covered by clouds in a city
Image 2

*Spoiler alter*

The biggest problem with Arkham County is the over use of subplots. Epically since many of them have no relevance to the overall plot. They take so long to get through that the ending has to be rushed. The end is such an anti-climax, with the ultimate danger being dealt with so easily, without any real danger. It is almost as bad as the preverbal; it was all just a dream ending. Being such a same after the pre-shadowing and unfolding mystery surrounding this moment over the preceding chapters. That said many of the subplots had good potential, with compelling plots and engaging dialogue. They were easily worthy of a book in their own right.1

To make things worse Adams and Benedict sometime use too little description leaving the listener wondering what on earth was going on. The problems seem to steam from the aim to create both a visual master pierce and a fast flowing adventure. To achieve this description was kept to a minimum to maintain momentum. This makes some sections seen a little rushed, with little enough being spent bringing their ambitious world to life. In fact, I would not be surprised if Arkham County was planned for the big screen. This would nicely explain the lack of description, as this would have originally been conveyed by the visuals.1

artist impressions of a sci-fi world. massive statue in a frozen climate
Image 3

The acting and sound effects in Arkham County are spot on and as good as any highly rated TV show. You can so clearly tell people put their heart and soul into the performance. The sound effects somehow manage to partly convey the mad world across to the listener. Unfortunately, two caveats must be added. Firstly, for some reason the sound department provides a pointless musical opening. It is probably were the opening credits would have gone in the movie? Secondly, due to poor casting some of the actors sound so similar, making it hard to tell them apart. Luckily, the similar sounding actors are not placed in the same scene.1

If you can look past Arkham County many flaws, you will find it a very enjoyable listen. The wackiness alone make Arkham County unique and maybe for that reason worth a listen.1

By Arran Wilkins © 2021 (text only)

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(1) Adams, Guy. And Benedict, AK (Aruther). And Annen, Davidetal. Arkham County: An Audible Original Drama (Audible Original, 2020) Amazon audible, Available at: audible.co.uk/pd/Arkham-County-Audiobook/B08JD8LRJ5?ref=a_library_t_c5_libItem_&pf_rd_p=7bf74090-5cb9-4f5e-bc6f-6ea28d055287&pf_rd_r=B6MV63BR7ZB8KB8Y48PY [Accessed on 25th February 2021].

(2) Lisasarcy. “Astonishingly bad” – 15 October 2020 [audible review]. Available at: https://www.audible.co.uk/pd/Arkham-County-Audiobook/B08JD8LRJ5?ref=a_library_t_c5_libItem_&pf_rd_p=7bf74090-5cb9-4f5e-bc6f-6ea28d055287&pf_rd_r=TSH5SY7VG2VF88TYR7YA [Accessed 2nd March 2021].

(3) audible, Arkham County: An Audible Original Drama. Available at: https://www.audible.co.uk/pd/Arkham-County-Audiobook/B08JD8LRJ5 [Accessed 6th March 2021].

(Image 1) Stefan Keller. Pixabay. Pixabay License. Available at: https://pixabay.com/photos/fantasy-landscape-elephant-man-2995326/ [Accessed 25th February 2021].

(Image 2) Enrique Meseguer. Pixabay. Pixabay License. Available at: https://pixabay.com/photos/steampunk-city-clock-clock-city-3006650/ [Accessed 25th February 2021].

(Image 3) Stefan Keller. Pixabay. Pixabay License. Available at: https://pixabay.com/photos/fantasy-wanderer-sculpture-monument-2925250/ [Accessed 25th February 2021].

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