Modern Fae follows Diya Greenberg, a young woman looking for a fresh start after her former life fell apart. The tiny South Texan town of Encrucijada seems like the perfect destination, and she finds work as the manager of the local bookstore.
What Diya doesn’t know is that Encrucijada is home to all sorts of mythical and magical beings. Between the changelings, sirens, and millenia-old warrior women, there’s a lot more to the town than meets the eye. Oh, and there’s also something stirring in the shadows that might threaten the town and the entire world.
Modern Fae takes the “human adapting to living side-by-side with legends” element of Mount Olympus University and mixes in the “mythology of the week” structure of Here Be Dragons. Through Diya, we slowly learn about the various colorful characters that live in the town. And though the mythology is interesting, the characters are the most compelling part of the story. I’m not even sure I’d label the villainous characters “the bad guys.” Everyone is complex and trying to adapt to the world around them.
There’s a slight issue with sound quality, where it’s obvious when certain characters have lower-quality microphones than others. However, this didn’t hurt my enjoyment of the story and improves over time.
I enjoyed the exploration of the idea that power comes from belief. It felt similar to Gaiman’s American Gods, where formerly god-like beings are only as powerful as the people who believe in them. I also loved the theme of reinventing oneself, of consciously changing one’s trajectory in life. Diya is the best example of this, but her presence in Encrucijada slowly affects everyone around her, too.
This is a fun, (mostly) feel-good story that focuses on characters first and mythology second. There may or may not be an end-of-the-world threat looming on the horizon, but I’m more invested in how the characters react and adapt to that threat than any larger plot ramifications.
Modern Fae is a free character-driven mythological audio drama available through iTunes or wherever you find podcasts. Check out its website for more information or listen to the first episode now: