Audiobooks are something that has grown on me since the pandemic. Sometimes I need something to listen to that’s not bombarding the rest of the house. At other times, they’ve helped redirect my anxiety because they don’t require so much attention that I can’t engage, but it’s just enough to help pull my brain to focus on something else. Every so often, it’s just nice to have something to listen to in the parent pick-up lines for the two different school pick-ups I do, or I want something to listen to while I do household chores. With a family Audible membership, and a growing list of titles, the minute I heard that Felicia Day was behind an Audible Original, I knew it was going to be a release day buy. That story, Third Eye, dropped in October and is now listed as one of Audible’s Top 15 Fantasies to Listen To.
Warning: Remainder of this article can contain potential spoilers for Third Eye.
Third Eye is the story of Laurel Pettigrew (Felicia Day), a Chosen One of the magic community that was supposed to have a hugely heroic destiny backed up by her ability to control five types of magic. Unfortunately for Laurel, she hit a bad case of Gifted Kid Syndrome and when her big day came she failed. Big time. The dark wizard Tybus (Christopher Judge) defeated her in combat and took over everything—including cutting anyone off of magic who doesn’t support him. Her boyfriend Ben ended up frozen into a giant paperweight and things have mostly gone downhill from there.
Laurel now runs Third Eye, a magic shop, and is backed up by her few remaining friends: Sybil, the sassiest fairy BFF ever (London Hughes), and vampire Frank (Sean Astin). Things seem like their usual shade of awful as Laurel lingers in the self-doubt of her failure as well as the literal public ridicule that Tybus sets up every year—it’s a whole event—until a teenage “Normie” named Kate (LilyPichu) shows up. Kate seems to know all about Laurel and seems to have some sort of powers of her own that have somehow not been discovered by Tybus. Kate also comes with a complicated destiny as Laurel keeps seeing flashes of how events involving her might unfold. Laurel has some very careful choices to make if she wants a second chance at redeeming herself.
It’s a fun story, told in a delightful way with a certain cheeky humor to it highlighted, no doubt, by the fact Neil Gaiman provides the narration. The cast is a ridiculously amazing collection of names and also includes Carolyn Seymour, Laraine Newman, Wil Wheaton, Danny Pudi, Alan Tudyk, Nyima Funk, Hudson Yang, Amir Talai, Sean Giambrone, Jade Hykush, Janet Varney, Lila Sage Bromley, Amy Okuda, Phil LaMarr, Steve Agee, Kate Miccuci, Jeff Lewis, Troy Baker, Harvey Guillen, “Weird Al” Yankovic, Kristian Nairn, and Jonah Ray Rodrigues. The cast list alone is full of so many fun names that you could easily justify downloading it based on that alone. Having been fans of Felicia’s and Wil’s for years, I was particularly pleased to see she got Wil for this project. Wil gets to do what he does best (playing snarky antagonists you love to root against) to the delight of any fan of his work. There were also some names new to me, like London Hughes, who is absolutely a force of hysterical comedy and plays off of Wil so well. Sean Astin’s looking-for-love vampire and his attempts to woo Kate’s guidance counselor Delia (Carolyn Seymour) are a morbid riot.
Laurel herself is played by Felicia Day with an awkward self-doubt that leaves you rooting for her. I love that her story is about a Chosen One who failed at their destiny and has to learn that failure isn’t permanent (a real struggle many Gifted kids have). Her journey from failure to hopeful heroine again is well done, especially as it collides with her complicated feelings about Kate’s abilities. Laurel struggles from wanting magic again at Kate’s expense to trying to support Kate in a way her own overbearing stage mom of a mother never could do for her. The world in Third Eye is built up enough that further stories could very well be possible (and very welcome). Even if Laurel’s story remains a one-shot, I would love to see Felicia Day develop another fun story like this backed up with a cast full of geek favorites.