5 stars · book review

Circe by Madeline Miller – Casual review notes

5 stars | Goodreads review

Madeline Miller’s writing owns my ass.

I don’t have any major points to go over, so please settle for some casual observations and notes from me 😀

– I was surprised my Circe’s naivete as Miller established her and how late of a bloomer she was compared to her siblings. This is justified, I suppose, since she appears more mortal than the rest of her family.

– Miller skillfully incorporates the motif of how myths are created all while having Circe wanting to be in control of her own narrative. She doesn’t want to be *just* a spectacle or a story men tell about her (and will inevitably twist) and it was so gratifying to finally see her confide her whole story to someone by the end. To Kill a Kingdom should take notes from Madeline Miller. This is how you incorporate hearsay and legends without constantly banging the reader over the head with telling them how this is a story within the story.

– There was so much subtle sass. I was living when Circe told Hermes off and apparently so was Penelope. Speaking of Penelope, I love her. Even if I love her, Madeline Miller still had her character face the consequences of her supposed strengths. I love that characters who are highly praised by others still have their vices and sometimes those vices stem from their strengths.

– Odysseus’ hubris was properly served.

– Circe clearly has a type lol. If you see her go from Hermes, Daedalus and then to Odysseus… I honestly really like how Hermes is portrayed here (given I don’t know much about him besides what he looks like in Hercules the animated movie lol). He’s an asshole only interested in his own entertainment, but the book unabashedly tells us this anyway. A little too real, because I’ve met people like that irl and rarely do I get the satisfaction of someone telling them off, so good on Circe.

– I’ve never seen the contrast of immortality and mortality done so well in fiction before. The ending is rather open-ended, and I like that. I generally like having a clear-cut ending or message, but it seems the message here is open ended too. Circe is truly in control of her story and she doesn’t give us the satisfaction of us the reader thinking we have her all figured out.

– You don’t need to read A Song of Achilles before reading this, but if you have you will enjoy some nice easter eggs about Patroclus and Achilles here, courtesy of Odysseus.

And obviously, the events of this book may or may not follow the consensus of Greek myth completely, but … like these stories were told orally over years and years so there are multiple versions of them anyway.

CW – rape, mentions of war, beastiality, general assholery from the Greek gods



2 stars · book review

review: Heart of Thorns by Bree Barton

2.25 stars | Goodreads review

I got this copy from Fairyloot and I honestly considered pawning it.

Imagine hate-reading 80-90% of this book only to find out the last 10-20% was actually almost good if not for the contrived shift in quality. It’s like I complained all this time only to have my concerns addressed almost point-by-point at the very very tippy tip end of this book. I don’t know whether to be more annoyed that I think I was played or that Barton purposely made the first 80% of this book stupid only to make the ending seem amazing in comparison.

Continue reading “review: Heart of Thorns by Bree Barton”

2 stars · book review · Uncategorized

The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner

2 stars | Goodreads

I don’t get it.

That’s it?!

My god I should have known I’d be disappointed if Laini Taylor and Bardugo blurbed this because my taste often clashes with their creative (and in my opinion medicore) decisions and NOW I KNOW WHY HHKLJFDS.

Gen is not a bad character. Sophos isn’t bad either. But damn, this book was too full of walking and horse-riding and non-essential details about geography and olive farms. I wish the entire book were like the last chapter, because I am not one for delayed gratification and waiting almost 250 pages to make sure any of the aforementioned non-essential details were relevant to the ending. Intent does not absolve impact. If the intent were to make a gripping story with an unrealiable narrator throughout, the intent was there, but the impact was not.

The inclusion of so many details in the writing lacked focus, so the ending and reveal may seem like it came out of nowhere. A book that ends with a predictable ending can still be satisfactory, because it builds up the readers expectations and lets them enjoy the journey there. The journey to the end of this book was like floating in an ocean floating in no particular direction and gasping for sweet, sweet land when you inadvertently find it. It’s over. Thank god.

If you’re anything like me, you thought watching the Lord of the Rings movies was tedious and didn’t get past the part where they just walk over landscapes for what felt like hours. This was the same for me.

Lemme know if it gets better please. If the rest of the series is so beloved, there better be a drastic improvement from the Thief.