For those unfamiliar with the podcast, it is a reported/interview style narrative series that debuted in 2015 and focuses on unraveling the mystery of Limetown, a town that popped up and then disappeared without a trace. Lia Haddock, who feels personally invested in the story (and has deeper ties to it than first disclosed), narrates as she interviews those connected to the town.
Warning: If you have not listened to the podcast, one of two things will happen while reading the book. One, you will be either be completely lost or two, many of the major season one reveals will be spoiled. So, I wouldn’t recommend starting Limetown: The Prequel to the #1 Podcast without listening to the first season beforehand.
Limetown: The Prequel to the #1 Podcast alternates between timelines and perspectives - Lia as a fresh high school graduate; Emile as a high schooler, a lost, mid-twenties social outcast, and then as an estranged uncle and brother.
The book doesn’t cover much about what happened at Limetown (that’s up to the podcast) but it does provide much-needed background information about Lia and Emile. It’s the type of book that's perfect for re-reading; when you do, everything seems so obvious. After finishing the novel, I listened to the podcast again to see if I could uncover tidbits of information that I might have missed the first time around.
While I did enjoy reading the prequel, I was disappointed that it could not be a standalone book. I am a big fan of the Welcome to Night Vale series, which started as a podcast and now has two spin-off books about the town, along with two books with the podcast written out. I didn’t listen much to the podcast, but the books hold up so much on their own that it wasn't necessary. I had the same expectation for the Limetown book, but it fell extremely short.
Read at your own discretion.