I Got a New Review!

I saw a new review for my book on GoodReads! It was a “free copy in exchange for honest review” deal, but I am still quite flattered by the reviewer’s generosity and the honest, clear critique of the books flaws. That makes two reviews now, and a nice 4.5 (rounded up to 5) rating!

“I was immediately intrigued when I came across this book. I have to admit I’m a sucker for those stories where we get to hear the side of the “bad guys,” and it certainly seems like classical Greek mythology is in desperate need of a retelling from the point of view of the other side, especially when that other side is female. So I absolutely loved the concept right off the bat.

“The book is very detailed and well-researched, and for those of us with an amateur love of Greek mythology, it’s a lot of fun to encounter Ajax, Heracles, Helen, and so on and so forth from a different perspective (Ajax is a bashful suitor, Heracles is a drunken screw-up who takes credit for others’ deeds, and Helen is one of Medousa’s friends and protectors). The author freely admits in the afterword that all these characters are thrown together with no particular attention paid to their “actual” chronology, if such a thing can be said about mythological figures, but the effect is (for me at least) a series of delightful cameos by famous heroes. Medousa herself is a very sympathetic character, and her rehabilitation is welcome and overdue.

“My only problem with the book is basically that I think that it was good but it could have been great. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it, but I felt that it lacked a certain element of narrative tension. I’ve been trying to put my finger on exactly what that was, and the best I can do is that we know that Medousa is a tragic figure and that she is inevitably hurtling towards her (unjust) destruction, but in the book this is portrayed as being, to a certain extent, bad luck. Which is entirely realistic–people like Medousa are generally the victims of bad luck–but with the echoes of Greek tragedy reverberating in the background, it was slightly unsatisfying for me. Because we see everything from Medousa’s point of view, we never really get to know why Athena wanted to punish her, which left the story a little bit flat in my opinion.

“That being said, overall “Medousa” is an excellent revision of a number of classical Greek myths and well worth the read for those that enjoy myth-based fantasy. Furthermore, the fact that most of the main characters are female warriors of one sort or another as another very refreshing aspect of the book: instead of having a token warrior princess, practically the entire cast is made up of Spartan battle-trained women, Amazons, goddesses, Gorgons, etc. etc…we’re not used to having that many women in our books, and it was yet another good reason to enjoy “Medousa.”

“I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.”

 

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About Michael Butchin

I was born, according to the official records, in the Year of the Ram, under the Element of Fire, when Johnson ruled the land with a heavy heart; in the Cradle of Liberty, to a family of bohemians. I studied Chinese language and literature at Rutgers University, New Brunswick. I spent some years in Taiwan teaching kindergarten during the day, and ESOL during the evenings. I currently work as a faceless drone in a corporate call center, and am an unlikely martial artist. I have spent much of my life amongst actors, singers, movie stars, beautiful cultists, Taoist immortals, renegade monks, and at least one martial arts tzaddik. I currently reside in my dead grandparents’ house, alone, with an impressive collection of martial arts weapons, where I practice and train daily. I am not currently on any medications.
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