Updated: May 25, 2021
Today I have a book review of The Maidens by Alex Michaelides. I read The Silent Patient earlier this year, so I was aware of the author’s writing style and while there are similarities between both novels, I preferred this one a lot more. All thoughts, critiques, and opinions are my own. Thank you to NetGalley and MacMillan Audio for the advanced reader copy of the audiobook.
Let's get into it!
Publisher: McMillian Audio
Publication Date: June 15, 2021
Rating: 4/5 stars
Length: 10 hours
Trigger warnings: abuse, murder, violence, stalking
This is the second novel from Alex Michaelides. Mariana Andros is a group therapist in the midst of grieving her husband. One evening she receives a call from her niece, Zoe, who is away at college stating that there has been a murder on campus. Mariana must now return to Cambridge, where she met her late husband Sebastian, to help Zoe. There she learns of Edward Fosca and his group The Maidens. Convinced of his guilt, Mariana decides to launch her own investigation into the murder and the Maidens. Soon her investigation spirals to an obsession that she’s willing to do anything for.
This novel had a lot of great qualities and a few short comings. I enjoyed the switch between Mariana’s third person limited view. We as the readers only know what Mariana knows and what the man’s voice reveals to us. It established that Mariana could be an unreliable narrator, a theme in both of Alex Michaelides’ books. I also really enjoyed the setting. I think the turn of fall in Cambridge sets an interesting location for the story. I also really enjoyed the use of Greek Mythology in this book. Unlike his previous novel, there was not as many psychological terms which I appreciated. The choice in voice actors for each section of the novel was great. They really made the story come to life. Although The Silent Patient was not my favorite novel I thought it was interesting that both novels take place in the same universe and there were overlap in characters. It was interesting to see how the characters that flowed over
As for the negatives, the novel took a long time to gain speed. It felt like the first chunk before the second murder could have been more condensed. The plot didn’t really take off until much later in the novel. I also felt that the plot twist came out of nowhere. There were so many red herrings that I was convinced one character was the antagonist until the reveal at the end. My issue is that there didn’t seem to be any sort of hints to the ending, and it was incredibly shocking and a bit out of character. There were so many red herrings that at the end of the novel I was convinced I knew what was going to happen but when the truth was revealed I was flabbergasted. It makes you want to go back and see if you can pick up any clues you missed. I personally don’t like endings like that. Sometimes the author nails it and sometimes it feels so blindsiding that it ruins the novel.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book. The themes, plot, setting and characters all really connected together to a nice cohesive story. The only reason it didn’t receive five stars was the shocking antagonist. I really enjoyed this book. If there is another book set in this universe, I definitely plan on picking it up. Again, thank you to NetGalley and Macmillan Audio for the advanced copy!
The Maidens is out June 15th, 2021 I will link websites where you can purchase the hardcover or audiobook.
Once again thank you to MacMillan Audio and NetGalley for the ARC of the audiobook.
Until the next post!