Plot/Idea: The author presents a clever premise that will captivate readers familiar with Medusa's story but still brings to life an engaging read for those who may not be as invested in mythology, weaving in a modern-day subplot that only adds to the fun.
Prose: This is a well-written work by a skilled author who demonstrates solid command of language and narrative ability. The story unfolds at a steady pace with just the right balance of dialogue, action, and description.
Originality: Despite using an age-old myth as the underlying premise in this work, the author has managed to craft a unique and inventive story, offering readers a new perspective into Medusa and her legend. The blending of ancient and modern is particularly well executed.
Character Development/Execution: The author does a superb job with characterization, giving Medusa a new and expanded story in this enlightening new work. The author humanizes her and evokes the reader's pity for her tragic plight.
Date Submitted: June 23, 2022
As noted in a sensitive author’s note, Medusa broaches painful subjects, such as spousal abuse and rape, demonstrating with some power how urgent and distressingly familiar these issues have remained over millenia, and how easily the perpetrators of such outrages can find excuses for them—and even societal support. In Medusa’s narrative, the abuse comes from what gods feel they’re owed, whereas for Chloe it comes as punishment when her husband sees her true bisexual self as an affront to God, his brutal behavior excused by her pastor and mother.
Transmuting tragedy into something inspiring, Fisher shows that even the bleakest moments don’t have to limit one’s possibility of future happiness, even as one must still bear the pain. Medusa learns to live with her curse rather than let it destroy her, and when she meets Chloe her own history becomes something she can draw on for good: to help a stranger who’s struggling with a similar weight. The lesson of standing up for yourself and unconditionally loving others is a powerful and positive message that’ll leave readers feeling heartened.
Takeaway: Mythology, fantasy, and empathy power this story of Medusa and millenia of abuse.
Comparable Titles: Madeline Miller’s The Song of Achilles, Jennifer Saint’s Ariadne.
Design and typography: A
Marketing copy: A-