Miranda and Caliban by Jacqueline Carey
Star rating: ★★★★ ☆ 4/5 stars
Format: ebook galley
Summary: In a retelling of the Tempest, Miranda and Caliban grow up together as close friends. Both are lonely and seek company of the other stranded on an isle together ruled by Prospero.
Review: I received a copy for review from netgalley.
I thought this was a really interesting look at Miranda and Caliban and their relationship. I like the direction that Carey took this in, that they are life long friends who cling to each other as their only protection from the tyranny of Prospero. As they grow up they discover they have more romantic feelings towards each other.
I did feel like the language was pretty stilted. Carey tries to emulate to language of the period by re-using the same few words “mayhap”, “betimes”, and “hither and thither and yon” were the most common ones. I just think it’s unnecessary and it makes it difficult to read the book. It’s really interesting story and I liked it but the language used made it hard to get through because it’s trying to be something it’s not. It wasn’t written in Shakespeare’s time, it was written now and while yes some modern language should be avoided shoving in these words doesn’t work. Although, I will say that the older language did work for Ariel when he spoke. If it wasn’t for the language I think I would have rated this five stars and I would want to reread it. While I do like this book and story I don’t think I could reread it due to the language.
I think it was interesting to see the total control and abuse that Prospero had over the two of them, I think it’s a really good interpretation. The end was sad and i wish I could view it hopefully but I don’t think a happy ending is likely for the two together.
I wish there weren’t so many scenes with Caliban masterbating, I actually don’t think it would have bothered me so much if Carey didn’t keep calling his penis a “rod”. There are so many euphemisms for dicks that drive me nuts and rod is right there up at the top with member. Like can we not?
I did like the book though, I liked the slow build of the romance, I liked how Prospero’s abuse against Miranda slowly made her stop questioning to the point where when she meets the prince she hardly says two words to him. I liked how Miranda and Caliban were constantly looking out for one another, that Miranda used her last bargaining chip to make sure that he wasn’t punished.
Recommendation: Language issues aside, this is a really good retelling (or maybe companion piece is a better thing to call it) of The Tempest. I love that it gives Caliban and Miranda even more depth. I think if you like Shakespeare then I would pick this book up.