Fiction #30Drama #7

Magic is real. And it’s dangerous. It’s locked in books and relics imbued with power. But sometimes, whether by accident or by design, magic escapes and wreaks havoc upon the world. That’s when Team Three is deployed—known by their enemies as: The Bookburners.Tasked with identifying and neutralizing magical threats anywhere in the world, the Bookburners are a cohort of special investigators from wildly different walks of life—a New York City detective, a Guatemalan priest, an indestructible woman from China, a techno-occultist from Ireland, and an inquisitive scholar from the Ivory Coast.But each member of the Bookburners bears the scars of their own past magical trauma. What that means for the team, as they face horrors that threaten their sanity and their very lives, will cause them each to question their mission… and their faith in one another.Bookburners is a Realm production voiced by Xe Sands, created by Max Gladstone, and written by Max Gladstone, Margaret Dunlap, Amal El-Mohtar, Mur Lafferty, Andrea Phillips, and Brian Francis Slattery. Listen away.

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Recent Reviews
  • ChaoticDruid
    Genuinely one of the best narrative podcasts of all time!
    I happen to listen to a lot of podcast, and I’m especially fond of long term stories, and I can say this is without a doubt one of the best to ever exist. I’ve been addicted since the first episode, the action is well done and engaging, and even more than that the characters development, history, and interpersonal relationships will make you laugh and cry.
  • Enayti
    Interesting premise, tiresome characters
    I’ve listened to a good part of season 1 because I found the premise intriguing and enjoyed the various ways that magic is manifested in the world of this podcast. But after giving it a real chance, I’m not sure I’ll listen further. Overall, this feels like a missed chance to have a full-cast series, rather than structuring this as an audiobook. I don’t want to criticize the narration too much because this podcast gives the narrator a tough job. However, the strained voice used for male characters started to get irritating, and several of the accents are unconvincing, which is hard to forgive when they belong to important characters. On the plus side, it is generally easy to tell who is talking and to follow what’s happening in a scene. The biggest issues with the show, as other reviews mention, are the characters. A few of the core team have intriguing backstories, but a number of the side characters seem to be just cartoonishly evil. The main character, Sal, falls into the cliche of the brash, straight-talking American who has a problem with authority. She often displays surprising naïveté for someone who is supposed to be an experienced New York city police officer. The ethical gray areas explored by this podcast would be genuinely interesting, if Sal did not constantly do her best to flatten them with her self-righteousness. She constantly reacts with surprise and moral outrage at discovering that the new organization she is working for (the Catholic church) does some ethically dubious things. In all her years as a cop, has she really never withheld information from the public, never at least witnessed a suspect be threatened or mistreated, never dealt with internal politics and corruption? Has she ever heard what the police do in her city?? Has she ever read the news about the Catholic church abuse scandal?? Since these issues always seem to put her just on the verge of quitting, I can’t see how she could possibly have lasted as a cop with this attitude, unless the real fantasy of this show is that the police force contains only paragons of virtue.
  • Mpowers9
    Great pod
    Bread pod kind of annoying you don’t have a release schedule
  • amazed1009
    Creative and great characters
    Perry has really developed into my favorite character in this pod. As well as Liam! And Book Burners is my favorite podcast. Love the twist Perry’s character has taken! Don’t kill him off! He’s mysterious and adds so much!
  • TrueDeathAlchemist
    Great Show
    I love this story it’s well done and keeps you thinking about what ifs and who’s right or wrong.
  • AEA0412
    Great story
    I was skeptic at first, but hang in for an episode or two. It’s an addictive story line with some fun humor scattered about.
  • king_beedorah
    Transphobic character
    Liam is transphobic and it gets totally glossed over. Hard pass, which is sad, because it’s an otherwise fun story.
  • Darjeeling77
    Very good
    Good stories, good characters, great podcast to binge.
  • Biochem Biker
    Xe Sands’ narration is genius!
    Xe Sands’ narration brings the characters to life.
  • L.S.Taylor
    It’s engaging, but some of the characters are so annoying
    The story’s premise is interesting and the first season started out great. The twist was predictable, but still good. But, good lord, season 2! 🤦‍♀️ Asanti falling deep into her obsession with magic is to be expected, but the new character of FRANCES IS SO ANNOYING! The character is one dimensional, obsessed with magic, an Uber nerd, completely clueless and socially off-putting. And, given his distrust and loathing of magic, it doesn’t make any sense for Liam to be attracted to her. I find myself nearly hoping that she gets violently dismembered by a demon with each passing episode.
  • Kittydew
    (Great) Serial Audio Book, not an Audio Drama
    So I have come to amend my review with a bit of a mea culpa. Although I was a little slow to get into Bookburners at first, just because I so prefer full cast audio dramas to what is essentially a longform audiobook, my review was perhaps lukewarm at best. I have to say I have now fallen heavily into this story. The writing is so excellent and Xe really does do a marvelous job of crafting the characters with her narration. I would say this is the audiobook for people who don’t like audiobooks, lol. I changed my rating from 4 to 5 stars, and definitely recommend it. My old review follows… Since a lot of Realm’s stuff is audio dramas, (especially having just come off of Derelict) I was disappointed at first. But eventually I got into it. I’m not usually a huge fan of audiobooks, the “he said,” “they said” wording always pulls me out of the story. That’s why I prefer audio dramas. I basically want to listen to something that fully immerses me in the story. As much as I enjoy reading, books read aloud don’t usually do that for me. I have to admit though that I have listened to a couple audiobooks I enjoyed that were written specifically for audio, where they minimize that type of phrasing. This definitely falls into that category. The voice actor does a great job delineating the voices, it’s well written, and an entertaining story. But if you are looking for an audio drama with a full cast and immersive soundscaping, this is not that. It is a series of two-part serialized audiobook stories with a larger overarching narrative arc. I have reached a point where I’m enjoying it and will continue to listen, but it took a while both to get into the story and get over the fact that it wasn’t what I was expecting.
  • julymark
    I am enjoying it!
    At first I wasn’t sure but now I am invested!! Like the characters hope to hear more
  • Ahdawnis
    Love, love, love this pod!
    Titles says it all. Tuesday and Thursday are the best days of the week because of this pod - great way to start the days.
  • martin artifex
    One of the best i have heard
    A great show, well written, even if now and again plausibility is stretched a bit. The characters are interesting and the story is very good. Thanks! I hope more is coming. I will be waiting for season 3
  • &:409
    Absolutely fantastic! Perfect storytelling ❤️
  • ktp727
    All Time Fave!
    We’ll fine, guys!! The narration is SUPERB and the story is amazing!! Would love more episodes, although I feel like the story was wrapped up beautifully!! Excellent!!
  • brad in Omaha
    Good story, but way too many, “… said’s”
    Story is pretty good, but the writer(s) need to realize there are other ways to indicate who is speaking than ‘so and so said.’ It’s distracting at first, quickly moving to annoying, then to, ‘I wonder what else I could listen to?’ I said. Questions can be changed to ‘Sal asked’ or ‘Sal inquired’. Rebukes can be ‘Sal retorted!’ Etc. Please pick up a thesaurus and find dozens of other words besides said. It sounded like a 3rd grader wrote it.
  • spoodr boi
    I love it! Great story, compelling characters, just one problem. It’s the same with GUNDOG: it’s in audiobook form. I listened to Bullet Catcher and didn’t mind the one narrator because there were sound effects. This is a great podcast, don’t get me wrong, but if you make a season 2, adding sound effects would be the perfect cherry on top for this masterpiece! :)
  • Snorfulus
    These stories from Realm are such a treat! Well told, engaging, very entertaining.
  • Wootsy1
    Joined Realm+ just to binge this show
    Each episode is better than the one that preceded it. Hope there’s a second season.
  • Rupesh K Sloane
    Eyes rolling
    Can’t handle how they finish every single sentence with he said, she said, sal said, menchu said, apple said banana said. Ugh. If your going to change your voice for each character, you really don’t need to end every 5 word sentence with “it said”. I had to stop at the end of the third episode.
  • Bacon Ranch
    I loved everything about this podcast. The ideas were thought-provoking. The story was compelling. The writing was straightforward and artful. The narrator’s voice sounded like an old friend and was so consistent in the voices she gave to each of the characters. I was sad to reach the end. I am eager to hear more from this team!
  • Clara.N.P
    Amazing plot and great narration. I love the mythical aspects of the story, but it also has a very realistic feel to it. Great story!
  • MBDarsh
    So great!
    Reminded me of an audiobook. The narrator is awesome! She has narrated so many books as well. I’ve listened to it twice now. It’s like the show Evil mixed with the X-Files.
  • hughes kids
    Audio book style drama
    Good story. Some people complain about the one actor - audiobook style production. At first I was a little disappointed as well but after listening to the first one I believe it is a calculated choice. This is a story about innocent people being, sometimes literally, pulled into a book. Producing it in the same manner as you would an audiobook (with chapter numbers and the repetition of “said”) pulls the listener into the story in a way that mirrors a book as opposed to an audio drama (which in my mind is more like television). One thing I would like to see is more character development. But I think that’s coming. 🤞🏻
  • mono bb
    Interesting premise and a promising world ruined by how dull and flat the characters are, particularly Sal (who is the introductory character and audience surrogate of newcomer having everything explained to them). Anything that’s engaging is so despite them, but eventually it just becomes unbearably tedious.
  • NewPortuguese
    All over the map in record time.
    In about 10 minutes I am done. People I don’t know, have no relatioship to explode into unexplained action and I don’t care. It’s not a drama, but is read by one person. Sort of like being blasted with random people and actions. Introduce people. Who they are what they do and think. In 5 minutes I have met as many people and have the front door blown in and wake up in the hospital.
  • Lucritia
    One-voice narration?
    I’m 5 minutes in, and am already disappointed. The voice actor is fine, but that noun should be plural. It’s disappointing that Realm didn’t get multiple actors for multiple characters, as they do for other podcasts; otherwise this is an audiobook. Also, it’s *heavily* influenced/almost like the graphic novel, “Black Magick” by Greg Rucka and Nicola Scott.
  • Speech Matters
    Red Carpet
    I think this series could translate very well to film. I loved it.
  • Davelhazen
    Great Show! Love the concept, characters and sultry voiced Narration. Episode 15 it’s a tattoo MACHINE not tattoo gun.
  • Barry21210
    It’s great
    I am really enjoying the story and voice acting! Wonderful!
  • feyc_1211
    Really enjoyed listening to this so much!
  • Payulita89
    Love the first episode so far but I love the most that is a familiar voice. I was surprised when I heard the same voice from one of my favorite audio books. She has a great voice and can make many different voices which takes you deep in the story!!
  • BeeHis
    It's okay, could be better
    Pulls its plot ideas from several other shows/books, writing a bit redundant, (need to vary the format of the sentences especially), but not a bad plot overall. Just not super original and not worth paying for a subscription, tbh.
  • sunbee78
    Wrong Format, Good Story
    Just like movies get adapted from books, the producers failed to do that for podcast format. This is an audiobook, leave it at that. If you are moving it to podcast format then you should have hired voice talent to adapt from the audiobook. This is just someone reading a book to you. Disappointing because as a podcast it could have been so cool!
  • InfG35x
    Rather sub to a indie cast
  • Audionerd33
    So good
    Great storytelling! Love this podcast!
  • talulahqueenofthruniverse
    I want to love this!
    I want to love this but the format doesn’t do it for me 😭
  • Cole123-
    Love this show!
    Monster hunters yay
  • JaneBerlinH
    Ok so..Bookburners goes. Bookburners is not an audio drama. I mention this only to inform curious future listeners. My rating has nothing to do with that. I have no problem with audio books which is what this is. I like audiobooks a lot actually. My issue with Bookburners is that the story ends up being so dull. It’s a shame because the story does have potential but the characters in Bookburners are without question one hundred percent DULL!! Flat, lame..just bleh. I space out constantly while listening to Bookburners getting pulled back into the story ever ONCE IN A WHILE when they start doing something interesting. And I’m sorry maybe it’s just me but every single demon they fight feels just like the last one. Yawn. Really though it’s the characters in this story that make it all so boring. It IS great for putting me to sleep tho! I value that.
  • RP333333333333
    Amazing story!! Definitely subscribed to get more episodes!!
  • Snizbit
    Super stoked Realm finally released this as a podcast. I listened to it as an audio story direct from Realm last year. Here’s to hoping they release all 5 seasons in the podcast format.
  • Fred the Goatherder
    Love this
    A hostile magic mashup of X-FILES and DA VINCI CODE? I’m in!!! Some of my favorite writers are part of this, sorry I missed it during its original run on SerialBox/Realm but so grateful it’s available as a podcast now for my binging pleasure…
  • AKA Mae
    Color me intrigued!
    A mashup of The Librarians, Warehouse 13, and The da Vinci Code? YES PLEASE! Can’t wait to find out where this is going.
  • fictionchingu
    Giving me The X-Files vibes!
    Supernatural monster hunters trying to save the world. Very my jam and excited to keep listening!
  • Yagirlg702
    My New Favorite Podcast
    Been looking for a podcast to listen to this winter and it seems like I just found it!!
  • mollybbt
    my absolute fave
    A secret team of agents that hunts down dangerous books containing deadly magic… What more could you ask for?!!
  • belovedgarden
    Love a podcast with dangerous magic!!
    Got so into this story and the characters right away, reallyyy looking forward to seeing where this show goes
  • OBstan21
    Scary but not to the point I can’t listen before bed
    Incredible storytelling — sucked me in right away. Only warning: may make you slightly paranoid about your books trying to eat you.
  • bookmoviepod
    Our world but ~different~
    I'm a sucker for stories about secret worlds behind the scenes of our mundane one, so this is right up my alley!
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