MINI REVIEW: IMPACT WINTER SEASON 2

A child of the winter...


After being so pleasantly surprised by IMPACT WINTER and Audible original audio dramas in general, I was thrilled to find out that a second season had been released this year. 

HOW I RATED IT 
4/5 The sophomore season for IMPACT WINTER didn't quite wow me the same way that the original did, but I still found myself really enjoying coming back to this vampire apocalypse and following Darcy and Hope as they try to find a way to overthrow the vampire queen. 

CONTENT
Things pick up after a short time skip since the first season. Hope and Penelope are acting as the primary enforcers for their hideout while Darcy and Felix have made a home within an old blood harvesting colony. A lot has changed for these characters, but the story for this season follows an almost identical pattern to the first. There is some initial intrigue that sets the stage, but a lot of time early on is spent on relationship drama. This does end up paying off in the end, but it all felt a little more dragged out than it needed to be and kind of killed a bit of the momentum that was set by season one's finale. Fortunately, things do pick up and there are some shocking twists toward the end. While not entirely unanticipated, the biggest of them will need a lot more explanation if it is going to make any sense at all given how it feels contradictory to the timing of the comet's impact. I would say that this season ends off on a much bigger cliffhanger which also tends to affect my enjoyment of a story's ending in a negative way. The good news is that it's clear that the creators intend to do at least one more season, so I look forward to when that comes out. There were also some fascinating new tidbits of information on the world lore as well as some added wrinkles into how vampirism works that I hope get expanded upon later.

AUDIOBOOK QUALITY
The quality is mostly on par with the first season. I didn't massively love a couple of the new voices, but none of it was bad either. There is a ton of highly recognizable voice talent in this full cast and I just continue to be impressed by how much storytelling can be done with only sound. There are a few more bits with actual narration, mostly under the guise of journal entries and the like, but it's probably worth noting that this series is very much an audio drama and not an audio book. So, if you weren't a fan of the original release, then there isn't anything here that's likely to win you over. For my part, I still love the way that the story is structured and how it unfolds over the course of different 20-25 minute episodes. Due to all the sound effects, this isn't the best listen for driving, but I enjoyed playing it during my bus/train commutes in and out of the city for work. I think they may have calmed down a little bit on the steep volume increases. Things felt a little more equalized even though the action scenes definitely still felt hectic and gruesome. 

CONCLUSION
I think IMPACT WINTER SEASON 2 is going to please fans of the original release. It's still a very distinct listening experience, but it's also one that has some impressive production value around it and a deeply interesting story to tell. 

(+) Full cast of  recognizable and (mostly) talented voice actors
(+) High production value with the sound effects and background music as well
(+) An epic story that's brimming with all sorts of fun drama
(+) Some very interesting developments in terms of the world lore and new twists on vampirism
(-) A slightly slower start
(-) An ending that didn't quite come out of left field, but also didn't fully make sense either

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