Young Blood – Goldhawk Productions – for Audible Original

Tea in the Sahara

Kev – Fiction Podcast Critic

Launching on the 20th Oct, coincidentally Halloween month – Young Blood – created by Brett Neichen & John Scott Dryden, a Goldhawk Production, arrives to the masses via Audible Original. And yes, yours truly is on hand to base jump into another sneak-peak fiction review.

Once again, Brett & John, thank you gents for continuing to share your early masters with me for review – I know that you are both incredibly proud of this particular personal project – and rightly so chaps.

The anchorage point for Young Blood centres around a brief encounter in Central Park with Damon Ellis, and a mysterious seventy-year-old woman who looks forty, but runs like Usain Bolt. Who was it that said running was supposed to be good for you?
This momentary encounter sends the lead character Damon (Geoffrey Arend), on an outrageous adventure that poses the BIG question about our own obsession with mortality. You see, Damon, a hack for The New York Times believes this chance meeting offers an opportunity to break a story which will resurrect his ailing career, and possibly win him The Pulitzer Prize – all before turning forty!

Like any quest every good lead character needs a worthy sidekick, right? Joined on this wild goose chase is Damon’s best pal Brett (Jon Gabrus), who adds a touch of black comedy to keep the gang grounded and offers much-needed sarcasm to balance out the serious bits within the show. With their mission accepted, our duo endeavours to unravel the truth about Calypso, a shady Boston biotech company that has apparently unlocked the elixir of eternal youth – or have they?

As you can guess with all of that action the tempo for Young Blood is not exactly route one clear-cut. Personally, I was hooked from the first episode, however, for me, it wasn’t until the midway point that it felt like that scene in Jurassic Park where the Raptors open the kitchen door that led me to have an – oh sh*t – moment for how genius this show is.

Characterization-wise, Damon is quite a complex chap — the easiest way to describe him would be as someone who fails to live in the present, and is desperate to achieve some form of greatness instead of living out his best life. Sadly, this is something more common than not in a world of TicTok, and Instagram filters. Damon also provides narration, breaking the fourth wall rule to guide us listeners, through the plotline – adding superb first-hand frame of reference.

Kev’s conclusions

So is Young Blood worthy of your Audible credit?

From my POV, the compelling reason I connected with Young Blood so instantly was because of how relatable the writing was to this particular critic. Having reviewed a few of Brett & John’s previous podcasts that centred around youth, it was refreshing to have a plotline that caters for those of a particular vintage – myself included!

You also don’t have to be 35+ to fully enjoy this audio drama. As I have come to expect from Brett & John’s writing there is tons of intrigue, and open-ended questions within the fabric of Young Blood to comfortably satisfy most sci-fi thriller fans. Young Blood nestles quite nicely into the Neichen & Dryden cannon, offering the listener a welcomed adult direction in tone to get immersed within.

Overall score – 4.8/5

Young Blood can be found at Audible for your listening pleasure.

If you enjoyed this review of Young Blood — and like Brett & John would like your fiction podcast considered for review by Tea in the Sahara please get in touch – or via my socials. Cheers, Kev.

An Audible Original, produced by Goldhawk Productions
Created by Brett Neichin
Written by Brett Neichin & John Scott Dryden
Original Music – Sacha Puttnam
Sound Design – Steve Bond
Producer – Emma Hearn
Directed and Executive Produced by John Scott Dryden

Damon – Geoffrey Arend
Brett – Jon Gabrus
Maya – Annie Parisse
Alice – Karibel Rodriguez
Simon – Theo Ogundipe
Cammy – Carin Chea
Cyrus – Kerry Shale
Takashi – Aki Kotabe
Alan Gimble – Henry Goodman
Paulina – Dolya Gavanski
Greer – Gianna Kiehl
Sheila – Karole Foreman
Janice Dufort – Jennifer Armour
Dr Brazilia – Raad Rawi
Dr Juan Traverso – Denis Giron
Akshay – Vivek Madan
Dr Irina Ivanchenko – Albane Courtois
Carlo – Raury Rolander
Damon’s Mom – Janice Hall
Police Officer – Eric Meyers
Jason – David Menkin
Bookstore Manager – Christopher Ragland
Bookstore Employee – Lola Ogunyemi
Desk Girl – Sarah Pitard
Kelvin – Eric Siriakian

Assistant Producer – Eleanor Mein
Editing – Adam Woodhams
Sound Engineer – Paul Clark, Tony Diaz, Juan Martin del Campo
US Casting – Lori Malkin
UK Casting – Emma Hearn
Script Editing – Mike Walker

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