Read an eARC from the publisher
Content warning: death, discussion of suicide, abusive relationships
Orpheus and Eurydice get the CW treatment in this retelling that puts the tragic couple in college. Both are music majors, and both have different goals for their relationship as well as their musical careers. A litany of questionable choices follow, told in the past in the music program and present in the Afterlife.
Really fun with delightfully messy relationships and excellent use of music references to move the story along.
An interview with author Jordan Kurella will be going up on release day, August 15th, 2022.
The prose is very assertive, having great command of both the “teen drama tone” while also honoring the source story. It’s a mix that works incredibly, even if the mash-up if unconventional. Kurella does a great job with characterization, with specific details that really make the characters stand out and keep them discrete even though the messiness of their relationships want to have everyone believing otherwise. Queerness is at the forefront, and calling everyone a “disaster bisexual” is only the tip of that iceberg.
I won’t spoil who the POV narrators are, but the switching between past and present is so effective. Seeing Eurydice through her own eyes and from outside is such a fascinating character exercise. We see her at all stages of her arc, which moved me in particular. The way this story captures the mess that comes with dating in college, especially dating among creatives, is unmatched. Are they dating? Are they open or committed? Does it matter if one person has an ego that’s behaves like a black hole? The narrative itself doesn’t give clear answers until the very end.
If you want something fairly light-hearted with a conclusion that makes you scream, “Hell yes,” definitely give this one a read.