...[a] beautifully executed, bracingly original fourth novel in the Hogarth Shakespeare series ... What makes the book thrilling, and hugely pleasurable, is how closely Atwood hews to Shakespeare even as she casts her own potent charms, rap-composition included ... Like a masterful director, she has found ways to animate The Tempest afresh — even, remarkably, the parts that are always deadly boring — yet she has also traced glittering new patterns in its air.
...a brilliant retelling of The Tempest that is as enjoyable to read as it must have been for Prospero to watch the storm he created ... While there are some wild moments in Hag-Seed, Atwood’s writing is so skillful that it is easy to suspend our disbelief ... [a] brilliant tale.
...the decision to stage The Tempest within Hag-Seed can be read as something of a failure of imagination on Atwood’s part. It also marks an unfortunate transition. The novel to this point is a marvel of gorgeous yet economical prose, in the service of a story that’s utterly heartbreaking yet pierced by humor, with a plot that retains considerable subtlety even as the original’s back story falls neatly into place. But the prison production of The Tempest leads to some of the book’s clunkiest elements ... Hag-Seed is at its eerie, enchanting best when Atwood dwells on Felix’s relationship with his lost daughter.