Science Fiction Book Review | Medusa in the Graveyard by Emily Devenport
Tor Books ▪️ July 23, 2019 ▪️ 304 pages
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Medusa in the Graveyard is a grippingly provocative science fiction novel that is hard to put down. Continuing the story of Oichi Angelis and her partner Medusa, we travel from the generation ship, Olympian, that was the setting for Medusa Uploaded, and visit other worlds that provide a diverse and mysterious backdrop for the dramatic story.
The use of elements commonly found in Greek plays adds classical and mythical undertones to the story. From the use of a chorus and music, the many references to Gods and Goddesses, and the ongoing theme of the sin of hubris, all these Greek play references work together to create this undertone and implies to the reader that they are reading a story of great importance. This device is rarely found in stories today, and I appreciated the throwback to plays of long ago.
Oichi Angeles and Ashur are a good team, a yin and yang type pairing. Oichi is a fighter. She was created to be an Insurgent. Ashur is young, but he is more of an inventor and diplomat. Together, they make the perfect team, each one providing something that the other one lacks. As a reader, you can’t help but root for them as they follow their heroic journey to awaken the Three.
The minis add a touch of whimsy and fun. They are pets that can talk and interact in ways that pets as we know them cannot. They are a much-needed break that keeps the story from becoming too dark or heavy.
The villains were developed more fully. The characters discuss the villains, but they are rarely featured in a scene, so the reader doesn’t have a complete picture of what the Olympians are fighting against and for. It is hard to be emotionally involved without that understanding for what you, the reader, are routing.
Baba Yaga had played a more significant role. The Baba Yaga character was so witty and wise, yet also interjects humor into the story. I wanted to see more of her and would love to know her story.
The character descriptions had been more detailed. I had a hard time visualizing what the characters looked like because descriptions of them were so sparse. This lack of description causes a bit of detachment from the story when the reader needs to be immersed in suspending disbelief.
This novel is a wonderful example of an accessible science fiction novel but be prepared to put your thinking cap on.
Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.