Book Review: “The Maidens” by Alex Michaelides

Rating: 4/5 stars

Goodreads Synopsis: Edward Fosca is a murderer. Of this Mariana is certain. But Fosca is untouchable. A Greek tragedy professor at Cambridge University, Fosca is adored by staff and students alike—particularly by the members of a secret society of female students known as The Maidens.

Mariana Andros is a brilliant but troubled group therapist who becomes fixated on The Maidens when one member, a friend of Mariana’s niece Zoe, is found murdered in Cambridge. When another body is found, Mariana’s obsession with proving Fosca’s guilt spirals out of control, threatening to destroy her credibility as well as her closest relationships.

Review: After reading Michaelides’ “The Silent Patient” I knew I just had to get my hands on this book! I enjoy his writing style and the way he can pull you into another world. He wrote “The Maidens” in 2020 when COVID was kicking off which was shortly after his debut novel grew widely popular. I sympathize with him. He would’ve felt a lot of pressure when writing this book after his first book was such a great success. I personally think that “The Silent Patient” is the best psychological thriller I’ve ever read. I’m not sure if this is a spoiler but he does reference characters from “The Silent Patient”. I thought that was a nice touch. He should make this whole psychological thriller world into a series of some sort maybe …

There are references to Greek mythology as most of the book is based at Cambridge University. So if you enjoy books with a dark academia aesthetic, this book is definitely up your alley. I felt like there was this constant moody feel as I read this book.I love books that can make you feel like you’re actually inside their world experiencing the ambience and every scene that’s being described. This book did that for me. There were times when I felt so immersed in the story that I hadn’t even realized how fast I was reading. However, I will say that I thought the story to have a bit of slow start. But many books are like that when characters and settings are being introduced.

If you’re not aware of the transcendent, if you’re not awake to the glorious mystery of life and death that you’re lucky enough to be part of – if that doesn’t fill you with joy and strike you with awe … you might as well not be alive.

My reason for the 4 star rating, though, is because I predicted the “villain” pretty early on. I’m not sure if maybe it’s just my obsession with thriller novels that’s qualified me as somewhat of a fictional detective but I do enjoy my mind being blown at the end of a novel like this. But I did enjoy the writing and the plot was well formatted which made reading it enjoyable. You will find sections that you can almost relate to your own life, just quotes that you might find relatable. Michaelides does this in a way that makes you feel like you’re connected to the story in someway which makes you grow attached to the characters. I think this is how he’s able to draw us into his fictional world. He makes it relatable. He will keep you on your toes and you won’t want to stop reading!

It’s important to keep looking ahead. You mustn’t forever look back, over your shoulder. Think about the future.

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