The cover of The Majesties definitely caught my attention (seriously, look how cool that cover is). And when I saw that it was being marketed as “Crazy Rich Asians as written by Gillian Flynn, I was definitely intrigued. Because who wouldn’t want to read a thriller version of Crazy Rich Asians?
(All reviews are spoiler-free unless otherwise noted.)
Gwendolyn and Estella have always been as close as sisters can be. Growing up in a wealthy, powerful, and sometimes deceitful family, they’ve relied on each other for support and confidence. But now, Gwendolyn is lying in a coma, the sole survivor of Estella’s poisoning of their whole family.
As she struggles to regain consciousness, Gwendolyn desperately retraces her memories, trying to uncover the moment that led to this shocking and brutal act. Was it their aunt’s mysterious death at sea? Estella’s unhappy marriage to a dangerously brutish man? Or were the shifting loyalties and unspoken resentments at the heart of the opulent world they inhabit finally too much to bear? Can Gwendolyn finally confront the truth about who she and her sister really are, and the secrets in their family’s past?
Traveling from the luxurious world of the rich and powerful in Indonesia to the most spectacular shows at Paris Fashion Week, from the sunny coasts of California to the melting pot of Melbourne’s university scene, The Majesties is a haunting, evocative, and deeply compelling novel about the secrets that can build a family empire–and also bring it crashing down.
The Majesties has an extremely interesting premise. I do really enjoy thrillers and mysteries, and I also (sometimes) like reading about the ridiculousness of the über-wealthy. This book had so many elements that should have worked for me. Unfortunately, it just didn’t.
When I first started reading this, it felt like something I could get into. The writing is unique and interesting and it was slowly starting to pull me into the story. It starts out with the aftermath of Estella poisoning her entire family, and after that I totally expected this to be a book I wouldn’t be able to put down. And then we starting getting into all the description of how rich this family is. Which was just a lot. It was kind of fun in Crazy Rich Asians (because it was meant to sound ridiculous), but here, I kept thinking “okay, we get it”. And then it kept going. It was just too much for me. It pulled me out of the story, and honestly annoyed me a little bit. I was kind of disappointed, because I think I might have enjoyed this story a lot more if I wasn’t so distracted by the description of all the rich people things.
I don’t think The Majesties is a bad book, it just wasn’t for me. I thought the idea behind it was intriguing, it just capture my attention in the way I was hoping.
★★☆☆☆ – Unfortunately, I didn’t love The Majesties. I didn’t hate it, but I also didn’t love it. And was slightly annoyed by how much the author felt she has to reinforce the idea that the characters were super rich. She could have done with half the description and still gotten her point across.
I’m curious to see what other readers thought of this book. If you’ve read it, or are planning to, let me know your thoughts in the comments!
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This book was provided to me by NetGalley and the publisher. All opinions are my own.
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