If you haven’t listened to Season 1 of the Limetown podcast, I highly recommend it. It’s a creepy, fictional Serial-type podcast, where a journalist named Lia Haddock investigates a research community where over 300 men, women, and children disappeared, virtually overnight. One of the scientists was uncle, Emile Haddock. The second season’s just started, and there are only six episodes in the first season, so you have time.
The Limetown novel, written by the podcast’s creators, is a prequel that works as a YA crossover novel. Lia and Emile Haddock are the central characters here; Lia is a teen at the time of the novel, which takes place in two time frames: Lia’s adolesence in the immediate aftermath of Limetown, and Emile and Jacob’s – Lia’s father – adolesence and early adulthood. We learn about the roots of Limetown, and Emile’s path in getting there, and we get the formation of Lia’s burgeoning journalism career, what led her to investigate Limetown, and allusions to her being part of the Limetown event.
There are some glaring inconsistencies between the book and the podcast which didn’t sit right with me, to be honest. Lia seems to end the book with a lot more information than she starts out the podcast with, and at points, the narrative tends to lag. Lia’s mother emerges as a fascinating character that I want to learn more about in future episodes of the podcast. I liked discovering characters from the podcast in this novel, but would rather have had a prequel about Limetown itself, rather than have it merged with Lia’s story. Maybe that’s in store for another book? If you’re a fan of the podcast, give the book a shot.