Title: Miranda and Caliban
Author: Jacqueline Carey
Length: 348 pages
Where Bethany’s Copy Came From: IndyPL
Plot Basics: Miranda knows only life on the island with her Papa, though she has fragments of memory from before. When Papa binds the wild boy — Caliban — to serve him, Caliban and Miranda become good friends. But their friendship stands in the way of Papa’s magical plans and it could threaten to destroy them.
Banter Points: If you haven’t guessed, “Miranda and Caliban” is a retelling of Shakespeare’s “The Tempest.” I think I saw a live production of the Tempest when I was in high school, but my memory is foggy at best.
I think not knowing the play actually increased my enjoyment of Carey’s retelling because I didn’t know what was coming. My recollection is that Carey’s book spends a ton of time before the Shakespeare story actually starts and the part that’s the play takes up just a fraction of the book.
Carey’s story is a beautiful picture of the innocence of early friendship and how the world can taint it. Miranda is lovely, Caliban is loyal, Prospero is deceiving, Ariel is tricksy — just as expected, but the way she tells the story, it’s all rich. I just sank into this book and wish I could go back.
Bummer Points: I don’t have much here, other than I wish it could have ended differently for the characters.
Word Nerd Recommendation: This is a strong, strong contender for a top 10 book of the year.
Bonus: Also, my May Reading Challenge Book! While I didn’t quite find it on the new book shelf, I had it on hold from Wowbrary from before it was released.