Synopsis: When a young woman is found dead on the altar in the wind god’s temple, Justix Iris Tharro, a human agent of the Goddess of Justice, has to investigate. But she’s not in this alone. Andy, a disgraced demigod trying to win back the favor of his sea-goddess mother, is more than happy to help. Iris is entering a dangerous web of Pantheonic politics, black market artifacts, exploited nymphs, and the ghosts of her own past.
Review: Created and written by Elizabeth Vail, Gods & Lies, Season 1 is a marvelous start to a new hard-boiled fantasy mystery series. Because the mystery is the plot, and the plot is the mystery, this will be a spoiler-free review.
Gods & Lies is an example of why fantasy authors write. They live for world-building and for character realization. Nexos is the country where Vail mixes noir tropes with a Greco-Roman inspired pantheon to explore both. I say Greco-Roman inspired because she puts her own twists on the stories mythology lovers know. For instance, the leadership within Nexos’ pantheon is matriarchal.
The divine beings in this universe aren’t ornamental; they are divine beings. That’s the whole crux of the story. They aren’t hiding in plain sight. They are an operational pantheon in modern society. They are fully aware of their history, and the history of the humans created to serve them.
Iris Tharro is the detective lead of this series — a priestess of Themia, the Goddess of Justice. She has the baggage a POV character needs to have in a world of this kind. Through her, and the characters around her, Vail explores themes of free will, justice, class, and immigration. The clues are organically sprinkled through the story, and the outcome is internally consistent.
Narrators Cary Hite and Sarah Mollo-Christensen are both excellent. They alternate as the point of view shifts between Iris and Andy throughout the story. I appreciated their nuanced readings. I also appreciated the way their voices were electronically treated whenever they read the part of a deity.
Gods & Lies, Season 1 gives listeners everything they need in an engaging series, and I can’t wait to find out what happens next.
On a final note, I’m new to Serial Box. I’d like to thank them for providing enlarged text as well as the audio narration. It’s all extremely helpful for a visually impaired genre fan like me.
You can buy Gods & Lies, Season 1 here. https://www.serialbox.com
- Audio Production9.5