Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This was such a trip of a story. It flows from a sarcastic adventure to genuinely emotional moments of feelings no one actually wants to have and back again. I had so much fun reading this book, trying to figure out bits of mystery, enjoying little bits of combat and necromancy, and then actually getting way too emotional for the last half of the book.
I really loved the way the author lets all the emotional punches out little bits at a time. We really get the opportunity to reevaluate our opinions on nearly every character and it’s fantastic. The pacing was just right for this too. I never felt like anything dragged out or changed too suddenly.
Full Review with Spoilers
Like nearly everyone I know, I was instantly drawn into the description “lesbian necromancers in space.” This book delivered so much more than that. Gideon and Harrow have one of the most interesting relationships I’ve ever read. The absolute hatred they feel towards each other in the beginning is balanced so perfectly with the fact that they need each other. I love how well what’s really between them is slowly revealed to Gideon over the course of the story because really, she doesn’t even understand exactly what’s there. I was so sure I felt one particular way about Harrow. She comes off like a complete ass, especially to Gideon. In the latter half of the story though we, and Gideon, get to learn why. Harrow is so much more complex and deep than she lets on it it just works so well.
While Gideon and Harrow are perfect, there’s a rather large cast of characters that are all unique and interesting in different ways. I even found myself gravitating just as strongly to some, particularly Palamedes and Camilla of the Sixth House.
The pacing is terrific as well. The book start out a bit slow, building up without bogging it down with a lot of exposition. This does sadly add a minor issue to the story. It’s a bit light on worlds building so it can be a bit disorienting. I felt like I needed to read the entire book to fully feel a part of the world. Normally I think this would be an issue and take away from the story, but it worked well for this one. The setting becomes more comfortable as you read and you have focused so much on the story anyhow that you sort of forget that you don’t know as much as you would normally. Once I realized this is how everything was coming together it was just one more thing that kept me hooked. (As a side note, the additional content that is included with the paperback does help if you need a bit more guidance.)
Even though this is a spoiler potential review I can’t actually bring myself to talk more than just briefly about the ending. Everything takes a HUGE sharp turn and is just full throttle with shock. I can only recommend reading the book to find out. It’s completely worth the journey.
This was a fantastic book that was different and refreshing. I can’t stress enough that it does a great job of pulling you in and gives you such great characters you can’t help but get way too attached to.
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