I liked this book, but it’s my Buffy the Vampire Slayer – I liked it but everyone I know whose taste I respect LOVED it. It should tick all my boxes (and as this is a story about the Greek Pantheon, there’s plenty of box ticking if you know what I mean), but it was just good for me, not great. I love Greek Mythology, I love revisiting classic tales from an ancillary character’s perspective, and I really love feminist reworkings of classic works. So why didn’t I want to immediately run out and buy all of Miller’s books?
I honestly don’t know.
Maybe it’s just that retellings of the Odyssey are a dime a dozen, so I sort of felt like this was well-trod ground. Maybe it was that the gods are written as a bit detached, which makes sense because, well, they’re gods. Maybe this just is an amazing book and I’m wrong.
One thing that I very much appreciated is that our main character is far from blameless even as she is the victim of her fellow deities’ cruelty. It’s rare to get a different perspective that’s not just out to right the wrongs of a previous tale – I’ve read wayyyyy too many feminist retellings of classics that had Strong Female Characters instead of fully realized ones. Circe is a real character with real flaws that made this a page-turning compelling read. I just was hoping for more. It’s possible the only real problem with this book was my too-high expectations.