|Amazon Rating||4 out of 5|
|Goodreads Rating||3.63 out of 5|
|My Rating||2 out of 5|
The Silent Patient was one of my favorite reads of last year. In my opinion, Alex Michaelides knocked it out of the park when it came to his debut novel. Naturally, when I saw that he was releasing his second book, The Maidens, I had to read it.
If I had to compare The Silent Patient and The Maidens to Star Wars, I’d say the two books are like Episode One: The Phantom Menace and Episode Two: Attack of the Clones. The first movie is pretty exciting and has some mystery surrounding Anakin. There’s some great action thrown in there accompanied by an awesome musical score. When the second film comes out, you’re immediately in line to see it. Then all the intergalactic politics happen mixed in with characters making really dumb decisions.
That’s how I viewed The Maidens.
The story follows Mariana Andros, who is described as a “brilliant, but troubled group therapist” who inserts herself into a homicide investigation in Cambridge University. She does so because the murdered student is a friend of her niece, Zoe.
Mariana immediately suspects Edward Fosca, a Greek tragedy professor who has a weird cult of university girls flocking around him. The group of women are called “The Maidens.” It just so happens that the woman that was killed was part of that group. So, when a second person from that same group is murdered, Mariana is dead set on Fosca as the culprit. Pun intended.
So, Mariana decides to take Fosca down no matter what including contaminating crime scenes, hiding evidence from the authorities, intimidating witnesses, and more.
If Michaelides meant to write the perfect bumbling amateur detective, then he was on point because Mariana is the absolute worst. Normally, readers are supposed to root for the main character, but by the first fifty pages I really wanted the murderer to make Mariana the next victim. Besides her horrible impersonation of Sherlock Holmes, she’s got this weird trait where every. single. male. loves. her. It’s rather annoying and doesn’t really play into the narrative.
Let’s move onto the ending of the book. Don’t worry, I won’t spoil anything, but I think it has to be touched upon. The Silent Patient had a shocking ending that I didn’t see coming. It was glorious. Michaelides tried to do the same thing in The Maidens, but it really fell flat. To be fair, I didn’t see it coming. However, it didn’t make any lick of sense. It felt as if Michaelides had two story ideas, liked aspects of both of them, but only had time to write one novel so he mashed the two together. I say that because the ending didn’t fit the rest of the narrative. Michaelides didn’t give hints to the ending in the rest of the book, so the ending came out of left field. The ending is reminiscent of so many disappointing endings in movies by M. Night Shyamalan.
The pace of the story was so slow. It took me forever to slug my way through the first fifty pages. I will say that once I got past the introduction, the narrative did speed up a bit.
The only thing that I found exciting about this book was the inclusion of an Easter egg for his first book.
Overall, I don’t recommend The Maidens by Alex Michaelides. The slower pace, the idiotic nature of Mariana, and the horrible ending all result in a disappointing follow-up to The Silent Patient. I don’t understand why it has a 3.63 out of 5 rating on Goodreads. But hey, this is just my opinion. If you read The Maidens let me know what your opinions of it by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org.