You know her name, you know her story. Just not the right one.
Within the depths of the Underworld the formidable snake-haired Gorgon has finally had enough. Tired of being eternally and unjustly brandished a villain, Medusa has found the courage to face her tragic past and speak out. Determined to expose the centuries of lies surrounding her name, Medusa gives unparalleled insight into her cursed life, from her earliest memories and abandonment at birth, right through to her tragic and untimely death at the hands of the hero Perseus. Through telling her story, Medusa finally reveals the lost truth behind antiquity's most infamous monster.
Medusa breathes new life into an ancient story and echoes the battle that women throughout millennia have continued to wage - the opportunity to simply be heard.
A Note From the Publisher
For those requesting MEDUSA, please note you must be willing to leave a review on both Amazon and Goodreads.
Average rating from 96 members
🐍 Medusa 🐍 You know her name, you know her story. Just not the right one. This book is a straight up 200/10 for me, ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️. Rosie Hewlett has finally done it, she’s written a story that finally gives Medusa not only the story that she deserves, but justice. If you’re familiar with Medusa tale then you’ll know she’s always portrayed as a monster who “deserves” to be killed, but what you don’t know is that she was only the product of her misfortune and the cruel fates. Medusa was a beautiful mortal, not a monster. She was a victim of rape, not a monster. She was a victim of women blaming other women instead of men, not a monster. In this beautifully written novel we get to read Medusa’s events of her life for her point of view, not that of a man. And the most surprising, heart warming part of her story was how she and Perseus became friends before he had to kill her. This was a WONDERFUL take on her myth. I’ve fallen in love with this book and I can’t wait to make everyone I know read it so that people will finally FINALLY be telling a version of her myth that shines the light on the two problems of her story; Poseidon and Athena. If you haven’t got your copy of this wonderful novel, please go and get one. Run, do not walk. I read this book in one sitting because I couldn’t put it down. It captivated me and just wouldn’t let me go until the end. I hope Rosie writes more Greek myth novels because I’m here for it. Bravo Rosie, bravo.
°•Firstly I'd like to say a massive thank you to Netgalley and Rosie for sending me a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review•° ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Honestly, this story was a delight. I loved this so much that I finished it in a matter of hours!! (Which is a rarity for me) I love mythology, I always have. I find all the tales and creatures so fascinating & Medusa is no different. Her story is probably one of the most popular Greek myths out there and reading this version was just so powerful & refreshing! Loved everything about this & I cant wait to read more from Rosie! If you love greek myths then you need to read this!
When others say you can devour this book in one sitting, they are not kidding! I read this so quick, i just had to know what happened! Most of that is due to the whimsical writing style. I loved reading a different POV. Villians really are not born, they are made! I was angry for Medusa..... angry at Poseidon, i mean, isn't he Percy Jackson's DAD???!!!??? and even worse is Athena... i have no words... she is awful. Loved this, amazing writing, hard hitting story!
Very poetic and a lot of inner monologue. Really gives you an understanding of how she must have felt. Even though this is a retelling. It felt like it could have actually been her story. Great writing.
Oh my gosh, this book was incredible! Read it in one sitting. One of the best Greek mythology retellings ever written! It bears resemblance to the Penelopiad, but is ten times better. Full review to come very soon, but I am seriously considering buying a hard copy. Loved it!
Medusa by Rosie Hewlett is mind-blowingly good and will leave a lifelong mark on me. It’s a solid 5/5 as It has not only found its place on my shelves but also in my heart. This beautifully written story grabbed my attention from the very first sentence and retained it all the way to the knowledgements page. I felt like I was sitting next to Medusa hearing all about her astonishing life. Every turn of a page was like me asking Medusa to go on talking because I needed to know everything she had to say. I loved learning about how she grew up, her adoration for Athena, her suffering, how she became one of the world’s most famous monsters, and everything that unfurled after, which I will not spoil for you. Rosie’s word choices and attention to detail are not that of an author writing her debut novel, which is something I am seeing more and more having recently read and loved Ariadne. I highly recommend this book whether you’re a fan of Greek Mythology or not. I definitely encourage you to read it if you enjoyed The Song of Achilles, Circe, Lore, The Silence of The Girls, and/or Ariadne. To the author: thank you for pouring your heart into this book, I felt it, and will carry Medusa’s story always. Looking forward to your next book!
If, like me, you instantly fell in love with Circe and have ever since been in a state of despair wishing for Madeline Miller to next give a voice to Medusa, another villainised and silenced woman, I’m telling you Rosie’s Hewlett’s Medusa is a perfect antidote. I don’t use Miller lightly, I see ‘for fans of...’ constantly thrown about for any Greek mythology piece of work in the last few years but Hewlett deserves it. I’ll start with my only criticism of this book first - it’s much too short! I devoured this book in one sitting at just over 200 pages but I could have stayed with Medusa for hundreds of pages more! But this is a minor point, this book also isn’t dragged out, gratuitous or self indulgent. Hewlett clearly knows what she’s talking about and various God’s and mythological characters are slipped into this book seamlessly, it’s not thrown at the page to demonstrate the research and it’s also incredibly easy to digest while not feeling like a text book to revise. This is a very Miller quality. Also, as I said above, this book is not gratuitous at all, Medusa’s rape is not devoid of her dignity, you know what happens, you know how it makes her feel and yet it’s both sensitive and respectful. I read a retelling by a male author last year that was entirely the opposite and it felt like a further violation of not just Medusa (fictional or not) but all other survivors. This book is not that. This is a beautiful feminist book, with some stunning, provocative quotes about rape apologists, the cost of entitlement and ownership that comes with beauty, love, family and healing above all else, healing. But it never feels intense or overwhelming, it just flows, with some even light hearted moments like Medusa referring to Hermes as a prick :D Each character is formed so well, you get Intimidation that comes off Poseidon, the cheekiness that comes off Hermes, the hard shell of Athena, Medusa’s sisters Euyale and Stheno, the fresh take on Perseus and his story as a product of rape. Medusa herself goes on a huge emotional journey in this book, you follow her through fear, disgust, self loathing, anger and vengeance and the end of her story of acceptance and healing. I never thought a book about the wronged character Medusa could make me smile and feel a sense of hope at the end and yet this book left me with a very wonderful feeling. Thank you NetGalley for the copy to review.
If mythological retelling is your thing, then this book is for you! I devoured this book in a single sitting because it's both good and short - doesn't happen a lot of times. This also happens to be my first ARC from NetGalley and even though I barely read ARCs, I got obsessed with this book just by looking at that gorgeous cover and reading the blurb and knew that I had to request a copy. So glad I did! This book is a retelling of, as the name suggests, the monstrous Medusa from her perspective. The story unfolds from the very beginning when a feeble mortal girl is born to the Sea Gods, Phorcys and Ceto, who are instantly disappointed by her mortality and abandon her right away. We then pay witness to the gruelling journey that this poor child takes from her abandonment to her death and the circumstances that made her one of the most feared monsters of the Greeks. Rosie Hewlett does a fine job of this feminist re-imagining. The Medusa she creates is unconventional, sarcastic (oh yes!) and a survivor who would be loved by all those who give this book a try. The only drawbacks to this book were: (a) its length, I honestly wanted more detail and this only felt like a sneak-peak into Medusa's life, and (b) the uncanny similarity with Circe, probably a little more detail would have brought out a sharper contrast between the two books. Despite these drawbacks, I loved Hewlett's incredible writing and would love to read her future works, especially retellings from a female POV. Overall, I'll recommend this book to anyone who identifies as a feminist with an interest in Greek Mythology. 4/5🌟. TW: Sexual Abuse, Death.
This was an incredibly poignant retelling of Medusa's tale, told from her own perspective. The horrors inflicted upon her were outlined for the reader, as were her anger-fuelled responses. Each were depicted in a raw and honest style, laying Medusa's story bare for the reader's unreserved judgement. I really appreciated the style used to narrate this story. It was told in Medusa's own voice and she often broke the fourth wall to converse directly to her audience. Aspects of this were written with a haunting and sorrowful beauty and others in an almost colloquial and informal tone. These two styles blended together to seamlessly deliver this timeless story of torment and suffering, betrayal and revenge.
I have to thank Netgalley, Rosie and the people behind this book for the ARC. Well, I'll start by saying: I DIDN'T EXPECT IT TO BE SO PERFECT! I mean, yes, the cover is a beauty, but you don't read a book just for its cover, you read it for its plot,and boy, did Rosie know how to do that. We all know the story of Medusa, or well, at least we know that the gods cursed her and suddenly her hair sprouted snakes and wow, yes, she was the enemy of Perseus...but...this retelling was full of mysticism and at the same time a raw reality. We can be in Medusa's shoes and know that she was not a character who broke the rules, but that all actions led her to do so. I loved the parts where we could read her relationship with the gorgons, I loved the cruelty with which she began to act. I loved Rosie's writing so much and I'm looking forward to sequels to this book or a series based on Greek gods, it would be phenomenal (oh, please Rosie, you have to do it, only you could write about Persephone, Artemis, Aphrodite and other goddesses) ✨.
I really enjoyed this book and its retelling of Medusa from a different standpoint. It was well written, had good flow and narrative and well-developed characters. It told Medusa’s story not as the monster that we know her as but as the person she was and what happened to make her become who we know her as. I have read other stories with this retelling but none that were done as well as this book. I would highly recommend and I will definitely be looking out for more from this author.
Greek Mythology is one of my favourite things and I am absolutely loving the retellings that are being published. Medusa is the perfect subject for a retelling. It was so refreshing to hear Medusa's story from her point of view. Viewed as a monster by most, here we learn that Medusa was, in fact, a victim. I read this one in one sitting, compelled by the narrative and the easy writing style. I particularly enjoyed that by making Medusa a victim, the author didn't need to make Perseus the bad guy. A book for all fans of Greek Mythology and anyone who loves stories of strong female characters. A huge thank you for the chance to read Medusa in exchange for an honest review.
4 Stars When I saw the cover and the blurb, I knew I had to read it. The book is 204 pages long but feels even smaller. I could finish it in 2 hours (though it was divided into two days) and must say I'm impressed by the author's voice. The story is written in the first-person narrative, with Medusa tells us her version of history. The Stream of Consciousness worked very well as the story progressed. It made the narrator's voice stronger and clear. We've seen and read different versions about Medusa, and all of them show her as a monster who went on a killing spree. She has been a fascinating part of mythology for centuries. This book ticked almost all boxes and provided me with an intriguing version of Medusa. Retellings are always tricky. There's a thin line between a hit and a miss. This one is a hit because the narration held my attention from start to finish. I enjoyed the growth in the relationship between Medusa and her sister. The underlying introspective tone was another plus. Yes, I do wish there was more depth to the details. But guess the author would have had to tinker too much with the original. And research is never easy with topics like this. Also, there's the risk of turning the book into an emotional drama rather than the assertive version of what it is now. For a debut author, this is an impressive work, and I look forward to reading more from her. Maybe she could cut down a few adverbs in the next book. I do like the strength of the narrative. Overall, Medusa has been a lovely retelling, a feminist version with a controlled voice (not something I see in all feminist works). Thank you, Netgalley and Silver Wood Books, for the ARC.
A big thanks to NetGalley and the author Rosie Hewlett for providing me a copy of this book! You can find a detailed review on my blog. When you hear Medusa's name, what first comes to your mind? A seductress? A monster with snakes instead of hair? A Gorgon who turned men into stone statues with her stare? Do you know how she became a monster? This is one of the most well-researched books I have read in recent times. In under 200 pages, Rosie Hewlett manages to brilliantly portray Medusa's pain, suffering, anger, and fear. Raised by a priestess in Athena's temple after her family abandoned her, Medusa has a very innocent and sheltered upbringing. But when she turns 17, she notices men's lustful attention on her and is bewildered. She thinks she is safe being a priestess but she captures the eye of Poseidon who rapes her inside Athena's temple. Athena curses her surprise surprise for getting raped! Here starts the story of Medusa the monster. I really like the part with Perseus, even though he is the one who finally manages to slay Medusa. Told entirely from Medusa's perspective, this book is on par with the recent famous Greek Retellings Circe, A Thousand Ships. The only loss was the length of the book. I wanted more!! A brilliantly feminist retelling, which is a must-read for all Greek Mythology lovers.
Thank you to Netgalley and the publishers for this EARC in exchange for an honest review! I have such a soft spot for Greek Mythology and retellings and I got very excited when I saw Medusa, and I am so happy to say it did not disappoint! It felt as if I was reading Medusa’s diary and it was heart felt and special to read. It was also super bingeable and easy to read. I read it in one night. If you are a fan of Greek mythology, and enjoy reading stories about strong females then you will enjoy this book.
I’ve been seeing a lot about this book, and it immediately became one of the top books on my TBR. The premise of this book is that it is a retelling of the myth of Medusa, bringing a fresh new perspective to the story. I totally adored Rosie Hewlett’s writing. She writes in the first-person point of view, and I’ll be the first to admit that this type of POV is not my favorite, however, the author managed to turn the character’s voice into such an interesting and compelling experience that I couldn’t put the book down and read it in one sitting. Medusa’s voice is so enthralling and profound, she talks to the readers breaking the fourth wall and addressing us as “you” inviting us closer, so we can feel and experience her journey with her, so we can feel all of her pain and suffering, and all that the world took from her. I felt unquestionably invested in the narrative, I cared deeply about Medusa as a character, she is vulnerable, real, well constructed. It is so easy to relate to her. I absolutely loved the fact that this retelling told the myth in the perspective that Medusa was abused by Poseidon, following in the steps of a lot of researchers and academics of greek mythology of our recent times. The book does not shy away from inscribing such a dark and dense theme into its pages, and the author works it tremendously, her character is deeply affected by it, and utterly changed afterward. Athena’s character was infuriating to me and what a greatly constructed character, to the point that you shudder in anger to think about them. I loved seeing what Medusa became. I loved seeing her origin story and the fact that as she narrates for us her tale, she tells the reader she has been wronged many times, including in how her story has been told to the world. Medusa is multifaceted, she is complex, she is a victim, a survivor, and ultimately a protector. I am so glad I had the opportunity to read this book and I will definitely be checking out other myth retellings from this author.
I’ve been waiting for a retelling of Medusa and had hoped it would be written soon so I was delighted to see this and secure an ARC for it! What we have is essentially a feminist retelling and reimagining of Medusa, told from her perspective and almost written in a ‘trail of thought’ journal like manner. We learn about the trauma endured by Medusa and the ways in which she has been wholly misunderstood. This is her opportunity to set the record straight. What Hewlett has done is admirable, and shows incredible potential for her future career as a writer. There are many perspectives offered, and on occasion, what we hear from Medusa as our narrator can offer insight into our own lives should we be open to it. The book reads as a ‘conversation’ with the reader, and something felt a little off for me throughout the book. I so wanted to deeply connect with Medusa, but I found it so incredibly hard to do so! It was almost like she didn’t actually want me to understand her deeply, despite saying that was the purpose of telling her story many times. Extremely intimate details were shared - but it felt like there had been no development of the relationship with the reader. I appreciate that Medusa is pissed off about being so misunderstood but it would have been helpful to feel like the character actually wanted me to be there reading her story. The questions she asked, directions she gave and many assumptions she made about me as a reader came off almost like a petulant teenager with an attitude - rather than an empowered woman who is a survivor! This book could have drawn the reader into a powerful and deeply affecting relationship with the reader, and all the content and potential was there to do so, but it just didn’t. For me at least. I think maybe this aspect of the book needed far more development. The content is there for there to have been a sacred connection (especially given this is Greek mythology!), but it wasn’t, for me. Aside from that, this really is an excellent debut novel and certainly worth the read.
🐍🐍 MEDUSA by Rosie Hewlett 🐍🐍 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ I would like to thank @gee.booksandlife for bringing this book to my attention and to anyone and everyone who asks for a book recommendation in the next few months apologies the answer will be Medusa regardless of the question! Within the depths of the Underworld the formidable snake-haired Gorgon has finally had enough. Tired of being eternally and unjustly brandished a villain, Medusa has found the courage to face her tragic past and speak out. Determined to expose the centuries of lies surrounding her name, Medusa gives unparalleled insight into her cursed life, from her earliest memories and abandonment at birth, right through to her tragic and untimely death at the hands of the hero Perseus. Through telling her story, Medusa finally reveals the lost truth behind antiquity's most infamous monster. The writing in the book is exceptional, you feel as if Medusa really is talking to you from the Underworld. I adored her, she was funny, self-deprecating, honest and feisty. The scene written between her and Poseidon I thought was sheer brilliance, given it was depicting such a horrific event the way in which Hewlett covered it was astounding. The similes used between the sea and the attack portrayed the power and fear of the characters in an incredibly sensitive way. Not only does this seek to provide Medusa with a voice and rewrite the history books it also caries strong feminist values, in particular the way in which women are treated in respect to sexual abuse and rape. I loved the way Medusa in reflecting on her story also observed and provided commentary on our current world. “You cannot look like that and not expect attention. She is asking for it, surely? She must secretly want it, mustn’t she? Because all women do, right? “ “I was not the first woman to be blamed for a man’s flaws and I certainly will not be the last.” So in conclusion this book gets all the stars I can possibly give out and I implore you to read it! Thank you @netgalley and @medusa.book for this copy 🐍💜 #medusa #netgalley #netgalleyreview #bookstagram #bookreview #bookblogger #northernbookbloggers #greekmythology
This has been the year of Greek retellings, starting with Ariadne in April. I was super excited when the author placed Medusa on NetGalley. Thanks to Rosie Hewlett for approving me for an honest review. Let me tell you, I zipped through the book in the best way. I really appreciated how the book handled first person POV. Frankly, I waffle a lot on that particular device. But it works here. Imagine Xena from her perspective, her looks, at the end of the show reflecting. Same kind of care. I loved how Medusa's morality and humanity wavered as she struggled to handle what happened. Let's be clear: Poseidon's rape of Medusa is a major point in this book. It's a well developed arc that isn't about edginess. You empathize with her pain at Athena's indifference and anger at something outside of Medusa's control. Nothing of what I'm adding is spoilers as it's clear in Medusa's basic mythology. The use of gods and heroes really highlights the disparity of gender roles in Ancient Greece. Like Ariadne, Medusa is harmed because of the actions of men. Hewlett takes the time round out the capricious and cruel nature while making sure to not erase the pain Medusa also caused. Cause and effect still has repercussions. I will say I wish the book had been perhaps 40 pages longer to establish the darker actions of Medusa and her sisters. The trio really made me curious about their interactions in more detail. The Gorgon sisters and the build up made me crave more. And I would have loved more background on her relationship with Theia, the older priestess who raised Medusa. Even naming her. Both saving and condemning her to misery. I just wanted a bit more of a dive, so when she was facing the anger of the gods, I could really see the reel. That almost knocked it down a half star. I was charmed by the narration, I let it slide. I was just that engaged and invested. Another top read of 2021 for me.
In a Nutshell: This book shows you why you must give a chance to indie writers too. There are some real gems in the indie world. There must be hardly anyone who hasn't heard of Medusa. One of the most feared of the Greek monsters, this gorgon sister is known for her gaze that could turn any man into stone. But here we have a book that reveals the other side of the picture. Why and how did Medusa become Medusa? Is she really a monster or a victim of her circumstances? In terms of its writing, this book is outstanding. The way the narrative progresses fluidly from one scene to the next leaves you hooked. At a mere 200+ pages, this book can easily be completed within a couple of hours. You don't need to know the classics in order to grasp the story. The author gives enough of a background into all the key characters to make sure that your reading flow isn't affected. There are some wonderful quotes in the book, with one of my favourites being "The most powerful revelations are the ones we discover for ourselves." I want to especially mention the feminist angle that the story takes at times. This could have been further developed upon but it was still a laudable attempt, especially considering how Greek myths glamorise only male heroes. Overall, this was a fast-paced and enjoyable read and I loved getting a behind-the-scenes look at Medusa. Definitely recommended to everyone looking for a quick break in between intense books. 4.5 stars from me, rounding up to 5. Thank you to NetGalley and SilverWood Books Ltd for this ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Anyone who knows even a little bit about Greek mythology is familiar with Medusa, the snake haired gorgon. But what do you really know about Medusa? This is her story told in her own voice. Did you know she was once a beautiful young girl, a mortal born to lesser gods? Did you know that her transformation into hideous gorgon complete with hissing snakes was the result of a god's vengeance? Told to the reader in a very conversational tone this is Medusa's own story from birth to death. A must read for anyone interested in this time period. Highly recommend. #Medusa#NetGalley
This was a heartbreaking look into the story of Medusa…. From the first chapter in you can not help but feel for her and all that she went through. The parallels between her story and what women today deal with were very apparent. I thought the narrated style of story telling would not read very well, but I actually really enjoyed it. This book has a very nice flow to it. The way she broke off from the story to address the readers felt very natural. Every emotion Medusa felt came blaring out from the pages to smack me in the face. The last few chapters had me in tears knowing it had to end a certain way but not wanting it to. I would definitely recommend this book and look forward to purchasing my own copy.
This is a page-turning read with perhaps something of a young adult tone, but I found the story of Medusa’s life, from her youth as a beautiful priestess in Athena’s temple, through her being cursed and her meeting Perseus, engrossing. I really enjoy seeing the gods depicted on the page, and this interpretation of Medusa’s experience made her a sympathetic and well-rounded character.
Medusa by Rosie Hewlett I give this book 4.5 stars Determined to expose the centuries of lies surrounding her name, Medusa gives unparalleled insight into her cursed life, from her earliest memories and abandonment at birth, right through to her tragic and untimely death at the hands of the hero Perseus. Through telling her story, Medusa finally reveals the lost truth behind antiquity’s most infamous monster. I’m fascinated with Greek mythology and was excited to get a chance to read this beautiful and engaging book.The author brings Medusa to life as she tells us her story,in a way that cleverly drew me in. l loved it and my only criticism was ……..l so wanted the book to be a longer read! Highly recommended debut novel,will definitely be looking out for more. With thanks to Netgalley,Rosie Hewlett and Silverwood Books LTD for my chance to read and review this book.
This isva brilliantly written fast paced story of the Greek mythology but in Medusa's perspective. I really enjoyed this book specially the writing style used to narrate the story. You can see alot of research and effort gone into this project and her characters reflect that. I absolutely love this book and highly recommend.
I love a good mythology retelling. Medusa fit the bill for me. I feel connected to her story on many levels but especially because as a curly-haired strong-willed woman - I was called Medusa in high school (a compliment as far as I am concerned). Reading something from Medusa’s point of view was moving and compelling. I cannot wait to buy this for my colleague who teaches all the myths! Thank you to Netgalley for this arc ebook!
4.5 tw: rape, victim blaming. Favourite quote: “I find that monsters are made, not born. Perhaps you should remember that next time you encounter one.” I recommend this for: If you like greek mythology, retellings and morally grey main characters, then this is the perfect book for you. What I liked: I have been wanting to read a retelling of Medusa for a while, so when I found out this book existed and it was on NetGalley, I couldn’t pass up the offer. This retelling was exactly what I was hoping for, a morally-grey Medusa, who, like many women in greek mythology, was unfairly mistreated and made a villain. I adored seeing her growing up as she navigates the complicated relationship with her sisters, her family and eventually the mostly unexpected character you think she could he ever be friends with. I was honestly really surprised at how much I liked it. The character voice is poignant and strong. The narration pulled me in immediately and made me forget everything that surrounded me. It’s been hard for me to just sit and read lately, but I devoured this book in one day, so I think this is very telling. I don’t do these comparison often, so when I do, it’s because I’m certain, but the beautiful, compelling, lyrical writing style reminded me of Madeline Miller’s one. I know, it’s a bold comparison. What I didn’t like: Certain parts felt unbalanced in length, the ending drags a bit and feels slower in comparison of the other parts. I wish some parts were longer. Final thoughts: Overall, this is a fantastic retelling that I would strongly recommend, especially if you’ve been looking for a Medusa story, this one will not disappoint you.
Don’t judge a book by its cover……….. except this one. This one lives up to that gorgeous masterpiece. Medusa is a bold, unflinching reimagining of the Greek myth. It’s a fresh take on the story—an investigation into how monsters are made. Hewlitt’s Medusa is strikingly layered—she’s snarky and sympathetic, fierce and kind. Cinnamon roll Perseus and their friendship was everything, and Medusa’s relationship with her sisters is layered and refreshing. For a book that deals with some dark topics, there are sweet moments woven in about family and friendship, all the more beautiful in contrast. I ached reading this plausible tale of a girl transformed to a monster. Trigger warnings for sexual assault (non-graphic), death, and a wee bit too much feminist commentary. Thank you Rosie Hewlett and the publisher for an e-arc of this book! -Ande
"Medusa" is one of those books you don't want to put down... but you don't want to get to the end either! It's an incredibly gripping re-telling, told from Medusa's point of view. It's told perfectly! The writing is wonderful, the characters are brought up-to-date while still keeping the age and feeling of myth intact, and obviously the plot is great, too! I can't wait to see what Rosie Hewlett writes next!! My thanks to the author, publisher, and NetGalley. This review was written voluntarily and is entirely my own, unbiased, opinion.
Rosie Hewlett's Medusa is an exhilarating look at Medusa. My interest in this book stemmed from my love of Medusa. It was a lot of fun -- the story is engaging and intriguing. It would be interesting to learn more about the characters and lore of this story. The narration was very poetic and I enjoyed the inner monologue.
Beautiful, clever, heart breaking . Hewlett managed to make Perseus a character I enjoyed and I enjoyed the re imagining of him. But the story of Medusa and her sisters was just wonderful. Medusa came alive on the page and rose above what she’s been previously relegated to as a “monster”. Thank you Netgalley and Silverwood Books for the copy!
I loved this book. I devoured it in one sitting. Never really read much mythology before but I will be reading more now. I don't have much knowledge to draw from but loved this retelling can't wait for more by this author. Thank you #netgalley #RosieHewlett #silverwoodbooks for this ARC.
Thank you to Rosie for allowing me to read this through NetGalley! We’ve all heard of Medusa, the infamous gorgon monster with snakes for hair and a fatal stare in Greek mythology. Medusa’s story has been passed down in generations, as much of Greek mythology has, but we never heard her side of the tale. Well now, that’s changed… I’m a massive fan of Greek mythology and it was so refreshing to read a different version of such a famous myth, I loved it! The villainous depiction of Medusa is challenged, allowing to see how a mortal woman became a feared “monster”. It is written through Medusa’s first person narrative; I really connected with her character as the story unfolded. Not only did it give Medusa a voice, a voice that women in history have often been denied, but highlighted misogynistic views that are still present in the 21st century. Medusa is an empowering protagonist who advocates that the true monsters are those that endeavour to silence others. Rosie clearly did a great deal of research on Greek Mythology and this is perfectly woven into a retelling that provides a feminist perspective. A brilliant debut and I can’t wait to see more of Rosie’s writing! TWs: sexual harassment, rape, murder, death, sexism, victim blaming
The narrative style of this book really took me by surprise and it took a while to get used to. The author has Medusa talking to a modern world audience from presumably the underworld. It distracted me slightly from the actual story that was being woven in the first few chapters but I think that says more about my preferred style of narrative rather than the authors writing abilities. To build on this, throughout the novel, the author writes as if Medusa herself is telling this tale, and so sometimes ‘Medusa’ as the narrator goes off topic and then will say “anyway” and put herself back onto the tale. I think it’s clever because it does sound as though we are being told the story as if it were an autobiography; however sometimes it feels like the person telling her tale is a teenage girl rather than someone who has supposedly seen centuries pass since. I also came to this novel not knowing much Greek mythology further than a few of the names and titles of the gods and obviously the infamous snake hair of Medusa herself. If you are already familiar with more than a couple of the gods, it may be tedious hearing each of them referred to as their name and title. It was a little distracting and felt a little forced at times, explaining each of the characters. Though, I do think it was necessary for those of us without the in-depth knowledge, and did push the story along. Again, it’s a small thing but it might put some readers off. However, the good parts of this novel heavily outweighed the bad. I found that once the author delved into the story, I found it incredibly hard to put down. I loved the angle that was taken here; with the interwoven feminism and relating it back to the modern day audience. I enjoyed how Perseus had his story told too, and the underlying themes of misogyny and toxic masculinity. I really felt like I could relate to Medusa, as a woman, knowing how even women can support the patriarchy and tear down other women. I liked how the author ‘Medusa’ lamented on how different her story could have been had Athena showed her sympathy. I also liked how at every opportunity the author chose a specific myth to follow, for instance that her sisters had been cursed after standing up for her, because each time it helped to recreate the story that so many women are familiar with. It really pushed the narrative of how good people can become bad people because of circumstance and the life that the “fates” have chosen for them; but equally that people are worthy of redemption. Even though Medusa had her sisters on her side, telling Athena she was raped, they still all suffered for telling the truth. The gods never received their comeuppance, just as many of those in power now do not. But in the end, she found someone who understood her, who heard her speak her truth and believed her. I really did enjoy this book and would recommend it to my friends. I would definitely read this again.
As a reader I have always been fascinated by myths and the myth surrounding Medusa especially, I loved this retelling from her pov. It was well writte with evocative descriptions that allowed the reader to notonly read what was happening to her but to feel it too, alongside her. This book will stay with me for a long time and will be one that i read over and over. Highly recommended.
"I have found a small corner of history and claimed it as my own, not as a monster or a victim, but as a survivor, a protector." "Medusa" is a mythological retelling of the story of Medusa, a woman who was cursed to be a terrible monster that turned men to stone. This is a dark, heavy tale with a strong recurring theme of sexual assault. From her resting place in the underworld, Medusa finally feels ready to step forward and share her side of the story. I have always had a lot of love for Medusa, & Hewitt reweaved her story in a way that broke my heart in both new and familiar ways. With so much time to reflect, Medusa has evaluated the path she took in life. I loved hearing her reasoning for doing what she did, while also expressing remorse for her emotion-fueled actions. I thought this was a beautiful feminist retelling of one of my favorite Greek myths. I never would have thought I'd walk away from this book loving both Medusa and Perseus. I gave this 4 out of 5 stars on Goodreads. Many thanks to NetGalley and Silverwood books for providing me with a digital copy in exchange for my honest review!
Medusa by Rosie Hewlett Full feature for this title will be posted at: @cattleboobooks on Instagram!
4 ⭐ The story of Medusa was originally written to justify the actions of men, but now this story is being reclaimed and retold. Hewlett masterfully took the original myth of Medusa and transformed it, casting Medusa as a survivor and protector, instead of just a monster. This is a very short, captivating, raw, and honest read. But before reading this book please look into the TRIGGER WARNINGS.
Rosie Hewlett's debut was a splendid retelling and reimagining of the myth of Medusa, who tells her story with her own voice. I really liked her narration, because I felt sympathy for her from the start and I followed her story with great emotion. She was a great character, and her evolution through the story, how she went from innocent girl to villain and then to selfless protector, was fascinating and sad. The ending made me tear up a bit. Apart from her characterization, what I enjoyed most about the story were her relationship with her sisters and especially her unlikely friendship with Perseus. I thought it was such a perfect idea and it worked beautifully. I also really appreciated how, despite being a retelling of an ancient myth, the book also used Medusa's story to talk about rape victims, victim blaming and so on. It was really poignant and well done. A fantastic read, highly recommended to everyone!
Most people know Medusa’s tale…or do they. Medusa takes us on a journey of her life, reimagined through the authors eyes, showing her part as a victim in her story. Abandoned, sexually assaulted and betrayed, Medusa struggles through life and begs us to look at some of the Gods’ stories with a different perspective. I am not usually attracted to mythology type stories and rarely enjoy them, but I love villain origin stories, so I decided to give this one a try. I was surprised to find I devoured it! This is such a fresh outlook on this age old tale and I am more intrigued by the legend of Medusa than I ever was before. The writing was beautiful and I had to read it all in one sitting. I was spellbound. Although everything was wrapped up beautifully, I actually wish this book was a little longer, just because I enjoyed it so much!
Really enjoyed this book, thanks to Netgalley for the advanced copy. Most people know the story of Medusa, but this retelling really sheds a new light. A real page turner, i read it in a day!
This book was everything I wanted and more. I've always been so intrigued by Medisa's story so as soon as I saw this one I knew I had to read it! It was so intriguing to read about Medusa before she became the villain, how she had been abandoned, how she struggled in life only to be treated poorly by the gods. I really loved hearing Hewlett's perspective and retelling of how the battle between Medusa and Perseus went. It was so different to what I've read before! I recommend this to anyone who is a fan of Greek Mythology! Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest opinion!
I always love the myth of Medusa and feel that it is a perfect example of how history can change based on who tells it. This reiteration continues to support this as Hewlett shares yet another facet of the Gorgon myth.
Hewlett does an amazing job at introducing the heart-wrenching story of Medusa to an audience who wouldn't know the intricacies of the myth. This is a must for mythology lovers, and an absolute delight to fans of Medusa who have been waiting for a retelling that reminded everyone that was not a monster, but a victim. I highly recommend this book and the storytelling abilities of Rosie Hewlett.
4.5* Wow! This books was stunningly written and I was utterly absorbed the whole time that I read it, I even shed a few tears! This was such a refreshing insight into Medusa, I really really enjoyed this debut novel and am excited to read more of Rosie's work in the future. Now I am off to buy the physical copy as it definitely deserves a place on my bookshelf. Thank you to Netgalley and the publishers for this ARC.
When you hear the name Medusa an image of a scary monster with snakes as hair, who turn people into stones, comes to mind. But after reading this story, you see that she’s not a monster but rather a victim. This book gives you a glimpse of her life and how she came to be this feared entity. This was such a fun read! I really enjoyed it! It was a quick read. I was able to finish it in about a day. I thought the writing was great (sarcastic and a bit playful). It isn’t overly descriptive, which actually worked as the voice of Medusa. She’s a no nonsense person so why would she feel the need to describe the way the sun felt on her skin, the coolness of the water, blah blah blah. The story was captivating and flowed well. No dull moments. This is perfect for any Greek mythology fan or anyone who enjoys a good story.
Amazing debut! Short, crisp and painfully true! The Medusa story we've been waiting for! Definitely waiting for more from this author. And the prose was very nice, which is important for me in a book.
Medusa is a short book. But it is right to be. Medusa is always depicted as a monster. But similarly to many monsters in Greek mythology, she was an innocent victim who was wronged by the gods. This is a wonderful retelling of Medusa's origin story. The author did a great job of giving Medusa and Perseus humility. The reason I say it's good that it's short is because Medusa's origin story was always cut short and I'm glad this book doesn't waffle around the edges of needless Greek mythology information like a lot of these style books do because it's not needed. This is great. It's badass. It's powerful. Powerful Medusa!
Rosie’s Hewlett’s Medusa is seriously everything that I didn't know I needed in a retelling. It is more appropriately a reclaiming of Medusa's story. Medusa, like many female characters, has been unfairly maligned and villainized by many authors simply to further the development of a male protagonist. Hewlett doesn't do Medusa dirty like that. She doesn't write basic stock female villains or victims. She gives Medusa an authentic voice that allows the reader to see the complex, multi-dimensional woman through her own words. Medusa is a relatively quick and very satisfying read, so it is perfect for one of those days when you just feel like curling up and getting lost in a book. I highly recommend this book to readers that enjoy Margaret Atwood, Madeline Miller, and Mary Renault.
Medusa is a retelling of Medusa's full story from her origin and to her death. I've seen Medusa as a character before in the Percy Jackson series, but it's interesting to see her story taken in a different approach. Kind of like reading Grendel after Beowulf. This story follows her mythological past more than Rick Riordan's more modernized approach. However, the story is uniquely told like Medusa is talking to us through the Underworld in 2021, trying to set her record straight. I enjoyed the fact this book touches on a very difficult subject that is still debated on to this day. Even though this problem has been around for thousands of years, some people can't get the memo. I don't want to spoil it, so if you know her origin, you know. It's an important subject that I haven't seen discussed in books often, so I appreciate it. I think books talking through difficult topics are good to bring that discussion to people. I will admit that the book kept reminding me of a Tumblr discussion I saw on Pinterest recently. It also discussed Medusa's story, but it took a different spin on how Athena's part in her story could be interpreted. So, when seeing Athena so different in this book, I kept being reminded of the opposite. The only thing that really stuck out to me was that sometimes the tone felt off. I feel like after a couple of more editing rounds, it would be all smooth. It would just jar me for a second before I'd continue reading. Overall, this book is a quick read that discusses difficult, old topics in an enjoyable, modern way.
I devoured this book in 2 days. This retelling of Medusa makes Medusa the narrator of her own story and Rosie Hewlett has given her a powerful and compelling voice. Of course we all know what happens in the end but I found myself wishing that it could be different for Medusa and she could dodge the inevitable. Of course she couldn't but the ending is actually hugely satisfying and somehow gives a peaceful conclusion to Medusa's turbulent life. Super brilliant writing. Absolutely in my top 5 books so far this year. Well done Rosie Hewlett for penning a great read.
Medusa Genre: mythology, feminist, retelling, NA fiction/ fantasy Age range: 16+ Overall: 5/5 Characters: 5/5 Plot: 5/5 Writing and Setting: 5/5 Content warning: *rape, emotional abuse, family manipulation/ gaslighting, victim blaming The gist of my review: Although this is a retelling of the classic myth of Medusa, this book highlights very modern issues surrounding the female experience in a male dominated world. It challenges ignorant behaviour and doesn’t allow for rape culture to be swept under the rug. This book is Medusa’s ‘Me Too’ moment and it highlights that sharing one’s experience about sexual and emotional abuse, rape, victim blaming is never easy, its never pretty, but it’s important for some women in cathartic sense and also so their narrative isn’t lots to the change of story or dulled in any fashion. I really admire how Rosie Hewlett handled some very delicate and sensitive topics with the utmost respect and passion. This book is a testimony to her feministic strength and should serve as in inspiration to all women. I cannot recommend this book enough. Some of my favourite quotes… “I also often wonder how different my life would have been if I were born a man. Would Athena have protected me then? Would Poseidon have respected me? I claimed earlier that beauty was my first curse, but perhaps it was actually being born a woman.” “To this day I am still amazed that women all around the world are able to tear themselves apart to form life. And yet men still think that they are the stronger sex… I mean, honestly.” Characters: 5/5 Medusa is our main character. She is a very relatable, strong willed, yet kind woman, who was relentlessly preyed on by the Gods. Throughout the entire book I felt a profound level of compassion and want for a better life and fate for her. Throughout myth and history we see Medusa as being a crazed monster, hellbent on ruining the lives of people, but I believe that she strongly lives up to the meaning behind her name, ‘Protector’. The depiction of Medusa is, to this day, used as a way to identity women’s refuge shelters. Plot: 5/5 The plot closely followed alongside the myth that has been passed down through the generations. Hewett added in her own spin on the narrative itself and this served to keep a storyline in which I already knew the outcome of fresh and exciting. Writing and Setting: 5/5 The majority of the novel was written in first person through Medusa’s view, however later in the novel there is some third person narration. The writing used to capture Medusa’s voice was eerily life like in my head. It’s a strange concept but I honestly felt as if I was having unlimited asses to Medusa’s thoughts and perspective. The settings were spectacular. Hewlett had done well to capture the essence and the factual aspects of Ancient Greece. The settings were not a hugely pronounced part of the book, and that’s because Medusa’s experience was the main focus of the story and simply because the character moves around a fair bit through the course of the novel.
Poetic, whimsical and utterly engrossing. Medusa is captivating, incredible and one of the best Greek mythology retellings in existence. I can't recommend this highly enough.
4.5/5 I am ONE HUNDRED PERCENT here for all the mythological retellings lately - and I've been waiting for a Medusa one for soooo long. I enjoyed this so so much! Told from Medusa's POV, speaking directly to the reader, this was a fast-paced tale of betrayal and revenge told in a beautiful and simplistic way. Medusa tells us the horrors levied against her, the injustices she suffered and endured, and how she became the Medusa we know of today. IT WAS SO GOOD. And I cried at work finishing it. And the cover's gorgeous. That's all. Buy this book xxx Big big massive thanks to NetGalley, the author, and SilverWood Books Ltd for the e-ARC!
Medusa is an absolutely fantastic book by debut author Rosie Hewlett. I have long been a fan of novels base on the Greek Myths and Medusa is a character that has often been villainized for her ability to turn men into stone but there have been few decent books about how the girl became the feared and demonised gorgon and the dreadful curse she was forced to endure through no fault of her own thanks to something as small as a simple, yet dreadful, misunderstanding. Told through Medusa's own word we get to learn about the woman behind the myth and how the curse affected every part of her life, it actually makes for a very sad tale indeed. This is truly heartbreaking tale and Medusa is the total anti-hero of her own story. A fantastic book and a great addition to anyone's Greek Mythology library.
I was so excited for this Medusa retelling! Not only am I a huge fan, but I’ve never read a tale from her point of view! It was really interesting to see how history will portray the story the way those in power want it to be remembered, not the way it really happened. It was really cool to experience Medusa’s backstory from her own self. It was a good read, not too long or drawn out, and I hope to read more from this author!
This was a retelling from medusa's point of view. It is so well told that you are drawn in and next think you know you have finished the book. "The reality is, the world will hear what it wants to hear. History will remember what it wants to remember." This quote is very true and having a story being told by the main character perspective pushes for their story to be heard. "I claimed earlier that beauty was my first curse, but perhaps it was actually being born a woman." Given what happens in medusa's story you can certainly feel her pain, troubles and certainly given the various treatment you could argue that if she wasn't a woman her treatment, punishments etc would have been different. If you like greek mythology, reading about a persons thoughts and reactions, or a strong women i really recommend this book. I would happily have read more, and will certainly be looking out for more books by this author. Thank you so much to Netgallery and the publishers for proving me with an ARC for an honest review.
This is a first Medusa retelling/reimagining of Medusa for me, and it was a great experience. It is a quick read, took me about three hours to finish it. It's fast-paced, the language isn't too floral or complex to follow, so you can just breeze through it. We read and follow Medusa's telling of her life. The author writes a feminist reimagining of the myth and it's always great to get this perspective. Medusa we learn about here is ordinary, smart, humble and even sarcastic and fun at times. It's easier to understand her and see another side of to this story; her as the victim and not just the vicious monster that all the tales portray her to be. I feel like it would have been even better if it was a bit longer, more detailed. If you enjoy reading Greek myth retellings, feminist reimaginings, and books that you can read in one sitting, then you'll enjoy this one.
This was a really interesting and thoughtful representation of Medusa. Everyone knows the story of Perseus and how he removed her head of snakes, this version is told from Medusa's perspective and it highlights our belief in what we are told must be the truth. You are introduced to Medusa as a child and see how she became a beautiful priestess to Athena. I haven't read the Greek myths since childhood and couldn't remember how she became a Gorgon in the first place. It's all explained in the storyline with a few unexpected twists and turns. An enjoyable read and I give the book 4 stars.
An interesting take on Medusa's tale. This story showcased more of her early life before her change into Medusa. I wasn't a huge fan of the writing style but it was still a really good story. Thank you to netgalley and the publishers for providing me with an arc for an honest review!
I can absolutely see why this book won the International Rubery book of the year award for 2021! A stunning debut by Rosie Hewlett. Medusa has long been a favorite mythological figure of mine. I learned in college that the vilified version of her character had a lot of backstory, but I never really saw anyone put it out there in a feminist way until I came across this book. A quick read, you will be totally engrossed by how Medusa was rejected by her birth family, left alone when her sole caretaker passed and then preyed upon, assaulted and punished by spiteful Gods. There is little wonder she used what small powers she had to exact revenge. The bonus side to this book is that we also get her perspective on the effects of her terror and that she doesn’t come out unscathed by her own actions. Overall, you don’t have to be a scholar of Greek mythology, this is well researched and you can just enjoy being inside the head of one of the most feared monsters in all of creation. You may even find that you like her! Thank you to @netgalley and @silverwoodbooks for this gifted review copy.
Thank you to NetGalley and the publishers for this copy. There are no words for how much I loved this! I'm always a sucker for Greek Mythology, but this surpassed my expectations. Medusa has finally received the story she deserves. I've also read Ariadne this year, which gave me similar vibes - in how women were always held responsible for men's mistakes in Greek myths: Medusa was not a bad person. She was not a monster. She was simply a girl who was the victim of an assault, and she was the one punished for it. The real monsters here are men and Athena. I thoroughly enjoyed finally reading Medusa's story from a woman's perspective (her own), rather than a man's, and I hope Rosie Hewlett treats us to some more retellings soon!
I did really love this book, it was definitely the retelling that Medusa needed and deserved but there was something about the way the book was written that was slightly unappealing to me. The content, however, was phenomenal.
A truly unique and fascinating take on the well-known (or not?) story of Medusa. This book is narrated like a memoir and details the events of how a quiet young woman became the most feared monster of her time, ultimately leading to her death at the hands of Perseus. Medusa is a fantastic main character, the writing style is quirky but lends itself beautifully to the story. I always loved Medusa and this wonderful book reminded me why.
Medusa is an interesting take on the Medusa tale. It's a first person account of her life. I enjoyed the book.
𝒴𝑜𝓊 𝓈𝑒𝑒, 𝓌𝑒 𝒶𝓇𝑒 𝒶𝓁𝓁 𝓉𝒽𝑒 𝐹𝒶𝓉𝑒𝓈’ 𝓋𝒾𝒸𝓉𝒾𝓂𝓈 𝒾𝓃 𝓉𝒽𝑒 𝑒𝓃𝒹. @medusa.book I adored this!! It’s absolutely heartbreaking, soul stirring stuff. I’ve always loved the tale of Medusa, she was one of my favourites to read about - now I love her even more. A true story of hardship, sisterhood, friendship & what it means to be a mother. Congratulations Rosie, it’s just wonderful! Thank you to @netgalley for my ecopy in return for my review.
For me, reading Medusa was a Greek mythology high. There’s a fair bit one covers through art and travel, but reading brings alive a myth, a legend in a totally different way. Medusa by Rosie Hewlett is the retelling in, interestingly, a first person POV. The formidable, snake haired Gorgon whose stare turned men to stone has had enough. She finally finds the courage to speak out against the injustice meted our to her. Born human, Medusa is abandoned as a child by her mother. She is faulted and punished for being beautiful, for ‘inviting’ trouble! The Goddess Athena, whom Medusa worships, curses her and her form changes into hideous, with snakes in place of hair. Throughout the story, Medusa underlines the fact that ‘monsters are rarely born, they are made’. ‘There was a time when I could not bring myself to speak of my past, could not even think about it. But these days I am tired of running from the pieces of myself I cannot escape.’ A modern dimension can be seen through paralleling ancient trauma with the 2017 #MeToo movement. There is a narrative along feminism. Being beautiful does not come with the tag of ‘owing’ anyone anything. Medusa’s bonds with her sisters and the support she receives to withstand Athena’s behaviour is one of the high points as is her relationship with Perseus (which makes her death at his hands so tragic). Hewlett writes in a straight forward style and keeps you involved without the mythology getting overwhelming detailed. Any coin has two sides. This is Medusa’s story. ‘ I have been called many things in my time: Seductress Liar Monster Killer Rape victim People seem to forget the last one. But history is written by the winners. Or, more simply, it is written by men.’ Thank you Rosie Hewlett and Net Galley for making available the digital copy of the book. Opinions expressed are mine.
guys the fact that this book isnt blown up is a disservice to the bookish world. we all know the famous tale of medusa well strap in because this book is a wild ride that you will start and not put down until you are finished that is how fast it grabs ahold of you! I cant wait to push this book onto every single person i talk to.
Who doesn't love a feminist re-telling of the old myths?! This book reframes the Medusa myth perfectly, showing us more to who she is than what we usually get from films and the like. It's a lovely short read too at just over 200 pages, so easily finished in one decent reading session. Absolutely adored it.
Was sent this book on NetGalley for an honest review and I loved this book so much. Big fan of Greek mythology re telling sand I was thrilled to read the tale from Medusa’s perspective. Her honesty with all she endured and her feelings just felt so raw and it was laid bare for the reader, you could understand and empathise with Medusa and her hardships. Was written and laid out beautifully, amazing debut 💕 Will be adding this to my Greek mythology re telling collection. Highly recommend!!!
Medusa is a beautifully written, sombre tale about a very misunderstood Greek 'outcast'. I think the best thing go takeaway from this story it's explicit opportunity to offer insight and perspective. I would gladly recommend this book to any reader, not just those interested in the divinity of mythology. I think short stories can often have much more impact than a longer one; medusa is very direct in what it wants to tell you, but giving the reader the freedom to explore their own interpretation. The way in which Hewlett chooses to deliver her story further reflects and embraces the emotion and meaning of the tale; bitterness, pain and times of happiness. Although it may sound like a very powerfully written short story, it is not necessarily difficult to read and is a nice choice to pick as an 'on the go' read or between books etc.
I've always loved the ancient Greek myths and I love retellings, so this was one for me! This is the story of Medusa, telling Medusa's point of view. It's a quick read but well written and I really enjoyed it. I would recommend this to readers who also loved Madeline Miller's Circe and Emily Hauser's Golden Apple trilogy.
good. for. her. this book is so whimsically dark and i enjoyed every single page. medusa is a bildungsroman narrated by medusa as her life progresses and i loved the writing style. medusa’s life is a true tragedy and getting to experience it from the start was so sad but so good. did i say good for her when she started killing men and turning them into stone? yes. and i’ll do it again. the gods. ugh, the GODS. so many people forget that the greek gods are immortal beings with mortal vices and shy away from ‘human’ depictions of them in retellings. here, hewlett writes them as savage, playful, vengeful and cunning people with extraordinary means. the savagery of medusa’s SA by poseidon is horrific and the onslaught of cruelty that follows by athena and the people (*cough* men *cough*) is so awful. also - THE TWIST on medusa and perseus’ story was so good and i didn’t see it coming. i love medusa. she deserved so much better and i loved this portrayal of her. i sincerely hope that rosie hewlett will publish more in the future as this was a lovely read and mythological retellings are my life force. thank you so much netgalley for this e-arc! all opinions are my own.
I have received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Medusa was such an easy book to devour. Mostly because I don't think I've ever read a book just about Medusa. The other gods? Yes. So I was really intrigued to see what her story would be like and I honestly didn't expect the emotional roller coaster while reading this. Medusa was a pretty interesting character. I didn't really see anything that annoyed or frustrated me when it came to her. She was a girl who was abandoned twice by her family. Her own mother was completely horrible and I despised her. Then she ends up losing the only person in her life that she considered family. Throw in a rape and an awful punishment.. and I'm pissed. After this happened, I wanted to throat punch a certain god for doing the awful deed. Then I wanted to throat punch Athena because she was being completely horrible to Medusa. It didn't even stop after doing what she did either. I just wasn't a fan of her for the entire book. The whole wanting Medusa dead made no sense to me because she did nothing to Athena. Not a damn thing. Other than that, it just felt like Medusa was really lonely and I felt bad for her. The ending was definitely bittersweet to me and I might have shed some tears or something. I just wanted her to find happiness and peace.. and I think she has that now. Definitely an easy book to devour and a retelling to dive into.
I'm a huge fan of Greek mythology and I also have a thing for misunderstood females, so this was right up my alley. As soon as my friend told me about this book, I knew I had to read it. I thought I had no chance of getting approved on Netgalley, but lo and behold, I actually got the ARC. This book is quite short, you can finish it in 2- 3 hours maximum. I've grown up reading Rick Riordan books and I had some knowledge of Medusa beforehand. But even if you don't know anything, you can still read this one as the author has explained the background very simply. I highlighted so much of the book because I could really resonate with it. Medusa is known to everyone as the monster with snakes that turns everyone to stone with her deadly eyes. But this book talks about different aspects of her personality, her childhood, her faith, her love, her family, her revenge and her death. She was not just a monster, she was a victim, a survivor and ultimately a protector as well. The book was written in first person from Medusa's POV which was really cool. The narration often spoke directly to the reader, breaking the fourth wall. It had strong feminist undertones. It was re-telling that stuck to the original but also strayed far away from it. You need to read the book to understand. This was written by a debut indie author and I can't wait to see what she comes up with next. This is truly a literary masterpiece that needs to be read by everyone. I also felt like Circe and this book had similar vibes. Medusa is must read for everyone who likes strong female leads.
This is my first time reading Greek mythology and from everything I have heard, Medusa is always shown in a negative role and is perceived as a monster. This book however is written from Medusa's perspective which helps everyone understand the truth that nobody wants to listen to and is hidden from everyone. This story takes us from Medusa's birth till her death and afterwards. Everything from her POV which makes it very pragmatic. The story shows the injustices that happened to her, the reason for her becoming a monster, her sufferings, pain, sacrifices, her relationship with her family, her death and beyond. The story is narrated beautifully and all the characters were strong and bold. The relationship of Medusa with her sisters and her friendship with Perseus was precious. The story is fast-paced with brilliant characters and an excellent plotline that kept me hooked throughout even though this is my first Greek mythology book. I loved Medusa's character and her story is heart-wrenching. I felt very angry at Athena and Poseidon for everything they have done to Medusa and I loved how, despite the struggles and injustices, Medusa remained strong and brazen. I'm so glad to have read this book. I can't wait to read more books by the author and also on Greek mythology. I loved this retelling and it's highly recommended for everyone who loves this genre.
Read if you like: Circe by Madeline Miller, mythology retellings. - A short book from the perspective of Medusa, who is telling her story. She wants to tell her story from her point of view to show that she was not the monster everyone thinks she is. - This book shows that women are punished for the actions of men, as well as the role that beauty plays in society for women. - While I liked that it was so short, I wanted a little more from the story just because I was enjoying it so much! - CW: sexual harassment and assault, rape, violence, death and murder.