Book Review: Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir

Release Date: Sept 10, 2019
Publisher: Tor.Com

Why didn’t I read this sooner?

Had I read it in 2019, when it was released, it would have topped my ‘best of’ list, for sure.

‘Gideon the Ninth’ is all necromancy, politics, and snark. Two out of three of those things are so outside my reading preference that I didn’t even recognize myself for reading (*listening) to this.

Gideon is a misfit in the Ninth house. She hopes to find a way to successfully escape the dark and skeletal planet but she seems to be constantly thwarted by Harrowhark, the reverend daughter of the Ninth. During her most recent attempt, Gideon is manipulated to stay behind for just a bit longer with the promise that she will get everything she has ever wanted in exchange. Spoiler alert: Not true. Because Harrowhark is the nastiest ‘head’ necromancer you’ll ever grow to love.

I don’t even know what I listened to. But I can tell you this: I loved Loved LOVED it!

The Emperor Undying calls all the houses to travel to the First House where their necromancers and cavalier prime’s will take on creepy challenges/puzzles that may or may not lead them to become lyctors. What does any of that even mean?! For someone who absolutely does not ever read this type of literature, it is confusing as heck at first.

Harrowhark and Gideon have a history of hating each other. Some of the greatest scenes in this book are when they are going at each other. Gideon is snarky and doesn’t give an eff what Harrowhark thinks. Harrowhark is simply focused on her mission and needs Nav to pretend to be her cavalier in order to achieve her goal.

There are a billion characters in this. And just as many weird names. It was hard for me to follow at times. I blame my slow uptake on not reading these types of books. At about chapter 30, I think I felt solid with it all.

The storytelling was super fun. A lot of really intense scenes. My favorites were Harrowark conjuring up lots of skeletons to tire Gideon out. Harrowhark sucking the life force out of Gideon. Harrowhark and Gideon taking a refreshing swim. And of course the end battle where if this were a video game, I probably would have had to use cheat codes to win because the boss was THAT insane!

People were dropping left and right. This became a classic whodunit in the same vein as the movie ‘Clue.’ OK, I’m dating myself here.

I apologize for this review being all over the place. I wasn’t entirely sure how to review it since this is not my usual genre and also because anything I want to say would be a spoiler.

Just know that this was the most entertaining book I’ve read (*listened) to in a very long time. It was longer than the bible and I still didn’t want it to end. And I want to give a shout out to the narrator, Moira Quirk. She voiced all of those crazy characters like she honestly had split personality. So good! I know this is Gideon’s book. But I fell in love with Harrowhark. And part of that is because of Quirk’s snotty way of voicing her. I’m generally not a huge fan of audiobooks, but this one is fantastic!

I recommend this to anyone who likes to read multiple genre style, sci-fi, mystery, suspense, paranormal, fantasy, kind-of-romance, horror, sword fighting, magic, spells, wards, great banter, and keys.

I can’t stop thinking about this book. I want a discussion forum to talk about it!

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