Audiobook and ebook serials every week. Old timey serials, like the movies, radio shows, even real good TV- that’s what SerialBox does. It brings you the choice of reading or listening (I’m waiting so the app allows both at once or that my Google Home will play it!)each weekly episode, then at the end, you can binge it however you wish. Which brings me to Gods and Lies by Elizabeth Vail.
First, the artwork is stunning. I was like, “Where’s my tarot deck? No, seriously, where’s my GaL deck? Earth, Sea, and Skymothers suits, major arcana from the deities and attitudes shown, plus the two main characters, Justix Iris Tharro and Andy, a disgraced demigod trying to work his way back into the SeaMother’s hood graces. This is a deck I’d support on Kickstarter for. I can envision the deck because the audio and story brought it alive.
Secondly, I feel Iris’ pain. Trust me, by episode five, you’re not thinking that Iris has a chip on her shoulder- you know exactly who chipped that shoulder and just how bad it’s damaged her. As for Andy, I may have a crush. It’s small, but by gods, you give someone a chance to have some mermaidish loving and dammit, it’s bound to happen! He’s a ne’er-do-well but he means well toward others. The background noises on the audio and the vocal switches for the point of view changes are spot on for the story so far. In fact, it gives the story a depth you wouldn’t notice any other way except by hearing it.
This investigation of murder was to protect a god from possibly being besmirched, yet…by all rights, the depth of depravity for which this murder occurred is enough to make you cringe. It also hurt so at the end of chapter five, you look around, “Go to next chapter. Do it.” But it doesn’t. Because it’s not out yet. My screams of being left without answers is ringing everywhere!
Elizabeth Vail knocked this story out of the park, past the pantheonic council homes. She took what many would considered a simple story and then lifted it another level with tiny, skilled details which shatter not just convention, but make you ask- Do you follow because it’s just how it is or do you do what’s right, even if you get hurt. These and other questions get you wondering just how much is going on behind the scene.
The voice work of Cary Hite and Sarah Mollo-Christensen moves you as you listen. You argue with them as new things come up, but their voices guide you expertly through the story, no emotion left untouched. The way they defer to each other at the point of view switches is so slick, it just slides you along before you realise.
I hope we get more of the Nymphs in the Garden. That setting pleases me and makes me so curious. There aren’t but a couple episodes left before binging is possible. So, grab your food and drink, yours gonna love Gods and Lies. It’s a perfect story for a winter’s day.
Written by: Elizabeth Vail
Narrated by: Cary Hite and Sarah Mollo-Christensen.
Produced by: Serial Box