Book Review: The Gorgon Bride by Galen Surlak-Ramsey

After getting crushed by a whale, Alex arrives in the Afterlife, only to end up getting entangled with a bunch of Greek gods and married to a gorgon. But it's not all fun, games, and happy married life---Alex will have to go into battle, make deals with the gods, and best them at their own games if he's going to get the girl and get himself out of the feud he's stuck in the middle of.

Book Review: The Gorgon Bride by Galen Surlak-Ramsey | reading, books, book reviews, greek gods
Title: The Gorgon Bride
Book Number: Book 1
Pages: 326
My Rating: 2.5 Stars
More Info: Goodreads, Amazon, Publisher


*I received an ecopy of this book via NetGalley. This has not influenced my review.*

This was one of those books that wasn’t all bad but just wasn’t for me and failed to make me feel invested.

Part of the problem was that I had the wrong expectations. I had imagined a guy getting marooned on an island with a dangerous and badass gorgon, but then she’d take a liking to him instead of turning him to stone right away, and they’d fall in love. Instead, it was about a guy getting mixed up with Greek deities, getting rushed into a marriage with a gorgon, and then having battles and going on mini quests. It was one of those stories about an ordinary guy who gets thrust into a crazy situation, turns into a badass, and gets the girl. The gorgon was basically just a damsel-in-distress who was hardly in the story at all, which disappointed me because she was the main reason I read this book. (I’ve heard from the author, however, that she’ll feature more in the next book.)

Another part of the problem was that the POV (which I think was omniscient) was very distant, and the story plot-driven. Not necessarily bad things, just not my preferences. I never felt close to the characters or really knew what their emotions were.

The other main reason I think I didn’t enjoy this as much as I wanted to was that it seemed like the book teetered on the edge of realistic and silly without fully committing to either, and that just didn’t quite work for me.

This was a fun, light-hearted kind of story though. Reading about Greek Gods is almost always fun. I feel like the author captured the “totally out of touch with humanity, bored, conniving, and a little bonkers” portrayal of them well. It also ended up having a nice, if slightly forced, message in the end about how *SPOILER* love isn’t just a feeling, it’s also a choice (as in, you have to choose to work on the relationship, to stay with that person). *END SPOILER*

Also, this was the first in a series, but it wraps everything up well enough that it works as a standalone if you want it to.

So overall, this didn’t quite work for me, but anyone who likes light-hearted, plot-driven, ordinary-to-badass stories with Greek gods may enjoy it more than I did.


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  1. Crystal @ Lost in Storyland

    I love books featuring the Greek gods. The premise is interesting. It’s good to know that this is more of a lighter read. (Though it’s too bad the gorgon plays more of a damsel-in-distress role.) I’d be interested in reading it when I want something lighter.

  2. Greg

    Oh my gosh that cover! Killing me. Love the snakes… there aren’t a lot of good gorgon covers. That would look AWESOME in hardback. Oh and can you imagine being married to a gorgon? I mean she’s attractive, sure, but all that hissing all the time… and would they stay on her pillow???? Course maybe the sleep when she does… anyway sorry this was meh. What a shame. After reading your review I think I like the sound of your premise (or your expectations) better, with her sparing him and them falling in love slowly? Also a book like this needs to have that gorgon front and center! Still, it’s good news that she’ll appear more in the second one.

    I may have to get this just for the cover, but the story doesn’t sound bad either, now I know what to expect.

    1. Kristen Burns

      It is a great cover! Lol snake hair would definitely be scary to go near. I like the sound of my premise better too, haha. But yeah, when you have a gorgon on the title and cover, she really ought to be in the book more. You might like it though if you have the right expectations!

    1. Kristen Burns

      Yeah, I really don’t think my expectations were unreasonable considering all the gorgon-ness in the title and cover and blurb, so it’s a bummer the book didn’t turn out that way!

  3. Anne @ The Reading Life

    “Ordinary guy becomes badass” trope? I don’t think I’ve actually heard of that or read that actually. Can you give me a more specific example? If it seems interesting, I might just check it out.

    Great review!

    1. Kristen Burns

      I don’t really know how else to explain it? Idk if it’s technically a known trope, but I’ve come across that in numerous books. In this one he was a normal guy and then he ended up battling gods and monsters and stuff.

  4. Tori @InToriLex

    yeah this sounds like it could have used alot more character development. I always have to force myself through books where I don’t know care about the characters. You idea of this book sounds like it would have worked better too.

  5. a.n.g.

    That is a little odd that the gorgon isn’t in it much considering the title is The Gorgon Bride. I kinda thought that would be the most interesting aspect of the book. I’m not much for romance, but I want to know how and why he was forced into this marriage and how exactly does it work out considering? It sounds like fun though.

    1. Kristen Burns

      Right? Considering she was on the cover and the in the title, I thought she’d be more in the book! But yeah, with the right expectations going in, it might be a more fun read 🙂

  6. Lola

    I am sorry to hear this book wasn’t quite for you. It does look interesting and I don’t think I’ve seen many books with gorgon’s. It’s always difficult when you go in with wrong expectations and the book isn’t what you expected. I had expected the gorgon to be more of a part of the story as well, especially as she’s on the cover and in the title.

    I am also not a fan of omniscient point of view, so I can see why that didn’t quite work for you. It can feel very distant indeed. Great review!

    1. Kristen Burns

      Thanks. It is disappointing sometimes when a book doesn’t meet your expectations. But exactly! You can’t put a gorgon on the cover and the in the title and then hardly have her in the book!

  7. Olivia Roach

    Yeaaaah as soon as I read the line ‘get the girl’ in the synopsis I thought – I don’t think is the kind of book I would want to read or be able to enjoy reading. It sounds like it was just a bit too rushed for it to be enjoyable and that it wasn’t what you hoped it would be :/ I hope your next read was better for you!

    1. Kristen Burns

      Yeah, I’ve read a few books with that general “ordinary guy becomes badass and also gets the girl” plotline, and it’s usually not for me either. I don’t think this was bad, it just wasn’t right for my tastes and not what I was expecting.

  8. Becky @ A Fool's Ingenuity

    Gah, not for me books are just ugh. You know they aren’t terrible but there’s nothing there which clicks so they are just meh when you think back on them. At least you tried it, it sounds like there was potential there but it didn’t work out.

    1. Kristen Burns

      Agreed. Like, I don’t want to be all, “Don’t read this!” It’s just that it wasn’t right for me. Yeah, I’m glad it gave it a try, just a bummer it wasn’t what I thought it’d be.

  9. Daniela Ark

    yesh I don’t do too well with omnipresent POV either. And yes I would have not expected the gorgon to be a damsel-in-distress either. I don’t like my regular human female characters to be DiD! so I would have very high badass expectations for a gorgon! 🙂