book review

Miranda and Caliban by Jacqueline Carey || ARC Review

Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher (through NetGalley) in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Miranda and CalibanTitle: Miranda and Caliban

Author: Jacqueline Carey

Published: 14. February 2017

Edition: Tor Books

Kindle Edition, 336 pages

Genre: Fantasy | Retelling | Romance


Miranda is a lonely child. For as long as she can remember, she and her father have lived in isolation in the abandoned Moorish palace. There are chickens and goats, and a terrible wailing spirit trapped in a pine tree, but the elusive wild boy who spies on her from the crumbling walls and leaves gifts on their doorstep is the isle’s only other human inhabitant. There are other memories, too: vague, dream-like memories of another time and another place. There are questions that Miranda dare not ask her stern and controlling father, who guards his secrets with zealous care: Who am I? Where did I come from?

The wild boy Caliban is a lonely child, too; an orphan left to fend for himself at an early age, all language lost to him. When Caliban is summoned and bound into captivity by Miranda’s father as part of a grand experiment, he rages against his confinement; and yet he hungers for kindness and love.

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◄ 2 OUT OF 5 STARS ►

This is a retelling of The Tempest by William Shakespeare. You don’t actually need any prior knowledge of the play to get the story (everything is nicely explained within), though if you already love this play there is a high chance that you are going to love this book as well. Personally I just didn’t enjoy the book and The Tempest isn’t one of my favourite Shakespeare plays either.

I didn’t enjoy the writing style all that much. I felt that too many words were piled on per sentence, the same thing could have been said with a lot less words. It just felt as if the author was trying too hard to make it sound poetic. That in turn felt very forced. Though I think this comes down to personal preference, as I’m sure there are a lot people who enjoy this type of writing.

I also found the story to be rather boring. In the beginning I was actually interested in what was going on, but as the story progressed I got more and more bored by it. By the end I felt detached from everything surrounding this book, I was just happy to be done with it. I think the writing style contributed a lot to this, I felt that there were a lot of words used for very little that was actually happening.

I honestly didn’t care much for the characters. Though I did feel for both Miranda and Caliban, they both have had awful childhoods yet they managed to persevere to the best of their abilities. Prospero is a character that I hated, he was seriously awful, there were so many instances that I was uncomfortable with him being in the picture. In general this book made me uncomfortable, there was Prospero but there were a lot more things that bothered me (which I can’t get into because of spoilers). I didn’t feel the romance between Miranda and Caliban either, it felt very lacklustre.

All in all this book just wasn’t for me. Personally I wouldn’t recommend it.

Have you read Miranda and Caliban? What did you think of this book?

Thank you very much for reading my review and I hope that you have a wonderful day!


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9 thoughts on “Miranda and Caliban by Jacqueline Carey || ARC Review

  1. Yeah honestly it’s not one of my favourite Shakespeare plays either. It’s a shame about the writing style as well- I hate when things sound forced. It’s a pity the story was boring too. And I honestly don’t like Prospero in the play- so I’m not surprised he’s unlikeable here- but it’s a pity it was hard to get invested and the romance was lacklustre. Great review!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. What’s your favourite Shakespeare play? It’s seriously a shame when the writing feels forced, it impacts the whole book. Yeah, I didn’t like Prospero in the play either, but he felt a lot worse in the book. Probably because the book was so much longer and you had to read more about him. It’s really a pity about this book, it sounded very interesting but it ended up being disappointing. Thank you!!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh gosh hard question!! It wavers between King Lear, Richard III and Macbeth (I know, very decisive of me to choose three, but it was almost 4 😉 ) What’s your favourite?
        Yeah I definitely agree with you. hehe that’s impressive that he was worse tbh 😉 Darn that is a shame! You’re welcome!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Haha, I completely understand – picking favourites is the hardest! Mine is Hamlet, but then again I haven’t read too many plays by Shakespeare. Though I plan on reading Macbeth soon-ish, as it’s going to be on an exam that I’m going to have. 🙂 (And I have a feeling that I will enjoy it a lot!)

          Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve read this book almost a year ago and I don’t remember a lot about it… my memory is not so good, sadly, but I liked it, even if I read a lot of Carey’s books and this one is the worst among them. I was bored during the reading too, in some parts, but all in all I enjoyed the reading and I liked the idea quite a lot 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t think this book was that memorable in the first place. I’m already starting to forget a lot about it and I just finished it this month. Yeah, this book tended to get really boring. And I agree, the idea behind this book was very interesting. I’m glad to hear that you liked it! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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