Bloomsbury. Dec. 2023. 208p. ISBN 9781639732685. pap. $17.99. F
Burton’s (The Muse) third novel retells the myth of Perseus and the snake-haired Gorgon from Medusa’s own point of view, and from a feminist perspective. The protagonist’s young age and heavy focus on romance will make this book most appealing to older teens and young adults, while the poetic phrasing and dreamlike atmosphere may remind some adult readers of Madeline Miller’s The Song of Achilles. Older readers may wish for more from all the characters, as few of them other than Medusa and Perseus get much in the way of development, and it comes largely in the form of telling their backstories to each other. The instant attraction between Medusa and Perseus also reads as unrealistic in an age of well-fleshed-out romances that have largely moved past insta-love.
VERDICT Recommended for New Adult collections where there is a heavy interest in new versions of mythology; otherwise, with so many feminist retellings of various myths, this doesn’t stand out in the crowd.
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