Great ambiance, weak plot

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emilyvioletta Avatar


Dark academia is one of my favorite mystery sub-genres so I was excited to dig into The Maidens especially after reading The Silent Patient last summer. Michaelides does a great job at creating that spooky slightly sinister ambiance and I loved all of the Cambridge-specific details he sprinkled in.

Where this book lost me was the plot. Henry’s character was completely random and unnecessary especially when he shows up in Cambridge, is involved in one small subplot, and then is gone from the rest of the book. I also did not understand or like the final twist at the end regarding Sebastian and Zoe…personally it seemed out of the blue and unaligned with the rest of the narrative. It also left a bunch of plot holes regarding the Maidens, interaction between their professor and Carla, why Julian is so adamant about having a date with Mariana, etc etc etc. Fred’s character is sweet and a bit of comic relief but also doesn’t make much sense! He keeps showing up at opportune times that feel like they’ll have some deeper meaning but just…don’t.

Overall this was a quick and engrossing read but I can’t get past the plot holes.