Today I’m dropping a review of the podcast novella Scrolls. It’s part of Paul E. Cooley’s continuing Garaaga’s Children series. It’s a blend of psychological horror and historical fiction. The podcast can be downloaded here and you can download it as an unabridged audio book and e-book here.
Synopsis: Rashim the Hunter killed the beast.
The Keepers kept the legend alive.
The Macedonians uncovered the ancient book.
And now, in the Library of Alexandria, the greatest storehouse of human knowledge, one scribe discovers the truth about the god Garaaga–this is not a legend.
Scrolls, volume four in the Garaaga’s Children saga, ties together the previous tales in a fiery conclusion.
Production: Paul, as usual, does a straight read. His gravely voice is put through its paces as he lends each character its own voice. He does a fine job of that. The sound is clean as always and there are minimal sound effects.
Cast: Straight read by Paul
Story: The thing I appreciate about Paul and this series is that he’s doing something fresh. He’s built an alternate history (at least I hope so) and is examining places and times that few if any authors are. To that mix he’s added his own horrific twist in the guise of this demi-god Garaaga and his offspring. This tale is takes place in Alexandria and he imagines what the great library could have been like. I found the whole thing believable. I certainly can’t speak to the historicity of it, but it strikes me that he’s done his research. More important than that to me is the fact that this is a tight story filled with good characters. This is less about the blood and gore and more about a search for truth and the dark places that can take you. The horror here is more about the things people are willing to do to one another to advance an agenda and one man’s fear and how he faces it.
Verdict: It’s no secret that I love Paul and his work. Even if you aren’t into horror per se you might think about checking this series out. It’s not about psycho killers, evil supernatural forces, or cannibalistic freaks. While those elements are here (It’s Paul after all) he’s stretching out into other genres and you may enjoy this even if his other works aren’t your cuppa. And hey, it’s free. You’d benefit from going back to listen to all of the entries in this series (though I don’t know that it’s required). I hope you enjoy it!