Book Review: The Maidens by Alex Michaelides

“After all, everyone’s entitled to be the hero of their own story. So I must be permitted to be the hero of mine. Even though I’m not. I’m the villain.”

Alex Michaelides, The Maidens

Title: The Maidens
Author: Alex Michaelides
Genres: Mystery, Thriller, Contemporary
Pages: 337 (Hardcover)
Published: June 3rd, 2021

My Rating: ★★★
Read: 10/15/2021 – 10/23/2021


Mariana hasn’t had an easy time of it. Still dealing with the death of her husband and trying to maintain a handle on her therapy group clients, her life is upended once again when she receives word about a murder at her niece’s university. Rushing to be of support, Mariana is certain that she knows who the murderer is and takes it upon herself to prove he’s guilty.

Unfortunately, the investigation isn’t as simple as finding a piece of evidence against Edward Fosca — especially when the murders continue. What do Professor Fosca and ‘The Maidens’ have to do with all of this? Are they the victims, or are they the perpetrators? Mariana wonders how she will be able to protect Zoe.

Some knowledge of Greek Mythology will make this book more enjoyable for some, but for others, it could be considered educational in a way. However, these educational bits can be quite wordy and mess with the pacing of the story itself. The same can be said about the psychological aspect of the book. Regardless, the twists blew me off my feet by the end (even the parts I’d managed to predict). This ultimately made the excessive paragraphs that had little to no bearing on the story worth it.


Upon reflection, I might actually rate this between 3.5 and 3.75. I feel like too much time has passed to change it without reading it again. I think it was the creepiness of the plot that got to me in the end. I didn’t find Mariana particularly likable which didn’t help me connect to the story. Given the crime being investigated, though, perhaps that’s a good thing. Ultimately, the book achieved what I’m looking for in a thriller: To be completely shocked by the twist.

Where to buy the book:

I have since rewritten my review to post on BookishFirst. (October 2022)

Original Review:

Didn’t love it but didn’t hate it. A lot of prose which really boils down to personal opinion. For me, it was too much. I will say this: Kudos to Alex Michaelides for knocking me off my feet with the plot twist. I looked hard for it from the start, but not for a second did I think this. Yet, it made sense and I could see the signs looking back. Masterful! (October 2021)

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