Circe by Madeline Miller
"My chest was heaving. I shook with rage and humiliation. How many times would I have to learn? Every moment of my peace was a lie, for it came only at the gods' pleasure. No matter what I did, how long I lived, at a whim they would be able to reach down and do with me what they wished."
This book is everywhere! It was a Book of the Month April selection, it was #1 on the NYT bestseller list this week, it's been featured in magazines and on book lists and it was a highly anticipated read for me. I love mythology and I really enjoyed The Song of Achilles so I have been waiting with bated breath for the story of the goddess witch who seduced Odysseus and turned male visitors that came to her island into pigs. I settled in late one evening, ready to be wowed by the book that everyone I know has loved. But it didn't happen.
I am definitely in the minority on this one, but Circe just didn't work for me. At the 200 page mark I almost DNF'ed, but I pushed through in the hope that the plot would redeem itself. My biggest issue with the story was the way Circe was depicted. Here is this powerful woman, daughter of the Sun God, and yet I would have never known that based off the way she was written within the pages of this story. She was weak, indecisive and often times juvenile. I found myself talking to the book as I read saying things like "you are a witch for crying out loud! ACT LIKE IT!" It was almost as if her sorcerer abilities were an after thought and I was really disappointed in that.
The story did have its moments.... I enjoyed the birth of the minotaur and I LOVED how Daedalus was written - he was my favorite character in the book. I will say that the last 1/4 of the plot did pick up quite a bit and Circe's character finally began to embody what I was hoping to see from her from the very beginning. Initially I was between a 2 and a 2.5 star rating for this, but the last portion of the story pushed my final rating to 3 stars. Many thanks to Little Brown for providing me with an advanced copy in exchange for my honest review.