A hand holds a library hardcover copy of Ariadne over a gray blanket. A stack of books, including Circe and Percy Jackson, sits behind it.

Review: Ariadne by Jennifer Saint

Alexis:

It’s disappointing when you don’t end up liking a book you were looking forward to.

I love myth retellings, especially Greek myths. As someone of Greek heritage myself, I find it fascinating that my ancestors wove such intricate, and often brutal, tales about the world around them, and I’ve loved learning about Greek myths ever since my Percy Jackson days and my Latin classes! 

I almost DNFed this book 50 pages in, but decided to stick with it. Ariadne follows, you guessed it, Ariadne. In Greek mythology, and in this book, Ariadne is the Princess of Crete. Hero Theseus arrives in Crete after offering himself up to be sacrificed in place of a child to go through King Minos’ labyrinth, and face the Minotaur, a half-bull, half-human creature. For Ariadne, she falls in love with Theseus at first sight, and she devises a plan to help him make it safely through the maze.

The book is mostly from Ariadne’s POV, but also features the point of view of Phaedra, Ariadne’s little sister. However, the dual POVs did not work for me. The voices were too similar, and while I liked Phaedra’s storyline at first, it quickly did a nose dive. I felt like both she and Ariadne didn’t have good character development.

Despite being in first person, I didn’t feel like I got to know Ariadne as much as I wanted to. And honestly, though not too slow-paced, the story bored me. I felt like it kept leading up to something, to a big event, but it never did. 

And the ending. Oof. Saint definitely went the Greek tragedy route, without modernizing this story, telling a different version, or fleshing it out enough. Unfortunately, I don’t think this book added anything to Ariadne or Phaedra’s voices or stories.

VERDICT: ⭐⭐/5

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