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Gideon the Ninth

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Gideon the Ninth is the most fun you'll ever have with a skeleton. The Emperor needs necromancers. The Ninth Necromancer needs a swordswoman. Gideon has a sword, some dirty magazines, and no more time for undead bullshit. Tamsyn Muir's Gideon the Ninth unveils a solar system of swordplay, cut-throat politics, and lesbian necromancers. Her charact Gideon the Ninth is the most fun you'll ever have with a skeleton. The Emperor needs necromancers. The Ninth Necromancer needs a swordswoman. Gideon has a sword, some dirty magazines, and no more time for undead bullshit. Tamsyn Muir's Gideon the Ninth unveils a solar system of swordplay, cut-throat politics, and lesbian necromancers. Her characters leap off the page, as skillfully animated as necromantic skeletons. The result is a heart-pounding epic science fantasy. Brought up by unfriendly, ossifying nuns, ancient retainers, and countless skeletons, Gideon is ready to abandon a life of servitude and an afterlife as a reanimated corpse. She packs up her sword, her shoes, and her dirty magazines, and prepares to launch her daring escape. But her childhood nemesis won't set her free without a service. Harrowhark Nonagesimus, Reverend Daughter of the Ninth House and bone witch extraordinaire, has been summoned into action. The Emperor has invited the heirs to each of his loyal Houses to a deadly trial of wits and skill. If Harrowhark succeeds she will become an immortal, all-powerful servant of the Resurrection, but no necromancer can ascend without their cavalier. Without Gideon's sword, Harrow will fail, and the Ninth House will die. Of course, some things are better left dead.


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Gideon the Ninth is the most fun you'll ever have with a skeleton. The Emperor needs necromancers. The Ninth Necromancer needs a swordswoman. Gideon has a sword, some dirty magazines, and no more time for undead bullshit. Tamsyn Muir's Gideon the Ninth unveils a solar system of swordplay, cut-throat politics, and lesbian necromancers. Her charact Gideon the Ninth is the most fun you'll ever have with a skeleton. The Emperor needs necromancers. The Ninth Necromancer needs a swordswoman. Gideon has a sword, some dirty magazines, and no more time for undead bullshit. Tamsyn Muir's Gideon the Ninth unveils a solar system of swordplay, cut-throat politics, and lesbian necromancers. Her characters leap off the page, as skillfully animated as necromantic skeletons. The result is a heart-pounding epic science fantasy. Brought up by unfriendly, ossifying nuns, ancient retainers, and countless skeletons, Gideon is ready to abandon a life of servitude and an afterlife as a reanimated corpse. She packs up her sword, her shoes, and her dirty magazines, and prepares to launch her daring escape. But her childhood nemesis won't set her free without a service. Harrowhark Nonagesimus, Reverend Daughter of the Ninth House and bone witch extraordinaire, has been summoned into action. The Emperor has invited the heirs to each of his loyal Houses to a deadly trial of wits and skill. If Harrowhark succeeds she will become an immortal, all-powerful servant of the Resurrection, but no necromancer can ascend without their cavalier. Without Gideon's sword, Harrow will fail, and the Ninth House will die. Of course, some things are better left dead.

30 review for Gideon the Ninth

  1. 5 out of 5

    Chaima ✨ شيماء

    “What greater debt could be accrued than that of being brought up?” There’s an invisible collar rested around Gideon Nav’s throat, its leash leading back to the Ninth House, the claws of its heir fastened tight in her flesh. Harrowhark Nonagesimus, the sole daughter and secret ruler of the Ninth (and Gideon Nav’s executioner by increment), wore her destiny like a noose. She kept the frailty of her house guarded, locked-down, putting up a masterly front, but a chance at competing for the presti“What “What greater debt could be accrued than that of being brought up?” There’s an invisible collar rested around Gideon Nav’s throat, its leash leading back to the Ninth House, the claws of its heir fastened tight in her flesh. Harrowhark Nonagesimus, the sole daughter and secret ruler of the Ninth (and Gideon Nav’s executioner by increment), wore her destiny like a noose. She kept the frailty of her house guarded, locked-down, putting up a masterly front, but a chance at competing for the prestigous role of Lyctor is the only way to save the Ninth from careening into a fearful darkness. It was a last resort, and one the necromancer couldn’t consider without Gideon Nav’s wiliness to fill the role of her cavalier. Freedom stood unshackled in the bloodied light of Harrow’s coercive offer, and Gideon felt its lure like a hook behind her heart. She would serve as Harrow’s bodyguard in the trials, and then flit out the Ninth like a loosed bird. Gideon would no longer waste the years of her life as an outsider, inside; doomed to grim survival in a world that wasn’t her own. But once summoned to the decaying Canaan House where the trials are held, the heirs of the nine houses find themselves confounded, given only the barest scrapings of information about the competition, tied to a stake and baited before they embarked on the wretched business of being murdered one by one. Gideon and Harrow must fight back against the shadowy machinations of those who wished to sever their existence from the world…before the Canaan House becomes a slaughter-yard. The more you struggle against the Ninth, Nav, the deeper it takes you; the louder you curse it, the louder they’ll have you scream. You don’t really know how high your hopes have been until you watch them plummeting earthward, and you grappling around in the wreckage. Gideon the Ninth snagged at my attention, and I was beguiled by the promise of an atmospheric, Gothic-flavored chiller, packed with catacombs and sarcophagi, resurrections and revelations, fantasy and horror. Unfortunately, the novel’s allure faded into the sky unmarked within the first few chapters. Gideon the Ninth gets off to an uneven start. We are immediately faced with thickets of unexplained jargon so dense it was difficult to find the other side, and it was like guttering around in the dark, with ink poured in your eyes. For a while, I waited for the dangling threads and wandering pieces of the story to be shepherded into a straight line, as confidently as Dr. Watson observing the actions of his more prodigious friend, but my continuous attempts at making sense of Gideon the Ninth became blighted, abortive things. For one, the worldbuilding is thin, and my imagining of it was worn and tattered with holes, like a mouse-chewed cloth. The novel is not particularly cogent, or focused, or informative about the actual setting, and I was confused, as though I’d walked in on the middle of the wrong movie. The explanation of the different planets and the different castes and people who inhabit them is blurred to insignificance. Some micro-flaws in the logic also feel sloppy; there are copious pop-culture references (to Mean Girls and The Office) but, oddly, some characters don’t even know what a sink is. It’s not until a little over halfway through—when the many strands of the narrative are held together by the unfolding closed-circle mystery—that my interest begun to stir again, feebly. The whodunit becomes the driving force of the novel, with conflicts coming to a head and silent tensions finally boiling over. What seemed at first to be a random patchwork coalesces into a grander, madder pattern, and I felt like a lost sailor suddenly handed a compass. If Gideon the Ninth had stuck to this relatively straightforward plot from the beginning, it would have made for a solid, winning read. But the plot comes too late, and by then, I was so bored I barely managed to squint the words into focus. To the author’s credit, they write Gideon’s inner and outer dialogue with flair, but mostly skimp on showing in favor of telling. Gideon’s voice feels conspicuously flat at points, particularly in her stilted banter (or maybe her sense of humor just doesn’t jell well with mine), and in her contribution to the book’s larger arguments, which are very few. As Gideon and Harrow’s journey becomes stranger, so does the novel’s voluminous cast of characters, most of whom only show up when most convenient, their personal conflicts relatively slight. Not that these characters aren't arresting enough to warrant books of their own, because they are. Unfortunately, that only underscores how really underdeveloped Gideon is. What saves the book, however, is the ultimate, bloodcurdling conclusion that is as sickeningly satisfying as it is opportune. I’m also a sucker for the enemies-to-lovers trope, and this book knew just which buttons to push. Harrow and Gideon’s relationship is a pickled thing, as though it’d been preserved in vinegar, only to be pulled out to act as garnish to their artfully plated arrangement to be Necromancer and Cavalier. The tension between them is a constantly low-simmering fire—one errant breath of wind could fan it—and I snatched hungrily at those scattered moments between them. Gideon the Ninth was pitched to me as “queer necromancers in space”, giving me a bellyful of false hope. It’s not exactly an inaccurate claim—just rather…flimsy. There are necromancers, Gideon is most definitely queer, the space part leaves much to be desired…still I wish I haven’t rested my expectations upon such a beguiling premise. ✨ wishlist ✨ blog ✨ twitter ✨ tumblr ✨

  2. 4 out of 5

    Melanie

    ARC provided by Tor in exchange for an honest review. “The more you struggle against the Ninth, Nav, the deeper it takes you; the louder you curse it, the louder they’ll have you scream.” Hi, my name is Melanie, and this was a really hard review to write for many reasons. First, I think I have hyped this book for all of 2019, and I have been very vocal about it being my favorite book of the year, and the best debut I’ve ever had the privilege of reading. Next, how do you write a review on the book of your hereview. ARC provided by Tor in exchange for an honest review. “The more you struggle against the Ninth, Nav, the deeper it takes you; the louder you curse it, the louder they’ll have you scream.” Hi, my name is Melanie, and this was a really hard review to write for many reasons. First, I think I have hyped this book for all of 2019, and I have been very vocal about it being my favorite book of the year, and the best debut I’ve ever had the privilege of reading. Next, how do you write a review on the book of your heart? The book that feels like it was crafted for you? The book that has lit up the darkest places of your soul? It’s hard, friends. Truly. Lastly, I know nothing I say here will do this book justice. But I suppose I should give it a try regardless, aye? Gideon the Ninth is a book about a swordfighter named Gideon who is my favorite literary character of all time. Gideon is so witty, so funny, so charming, and such a thorn in Harrowhark’s side. Harrowhark is a necromancer, while also being the main ruler of the Ninth’s planet. Both of these characters are harboring a few secrets of their own, but they are both so unsure of their pasts and their futures for so very many reasons. That is, until one day the Emperor has invited all eight necromancer heirs, from all eight loyal Houses, to compete in unknown trails to possibly ascend into something that will make them immortal, but the costs of losing can very well be their lives. No necromancer can compete without a skilled cavalier by their side, and Harrowhark has no choice but to get Gideon to help her and save the future of the Ninth House. “You are the honoured heirs and guardians of the eight Houses. Great duties await you. If you do not find yourself a galaxy, it is not so bad to find yourself a star, nor to have the Emperor know that the both of you attempted this great ordeal.” But once Gideon and Harrowhark arrive on the Emperor’s planet, they soon realize that the tasks are going to be much more mysterious and much more difficult than anyone could have predicted. Especially when cavaliers and necromancers from the other houses start getting murdered. Gideon is not only tasked to help Harrowhark, she also has to ensure that she keeps breathing herself, while also trying to figure out who is doing the unspeakable things to other competitors. Tamsyn then leads us on this beautiful adventure, where twist after twist occurs so seamlessly that you can’t help but feel completely enthralled. The writing is so beautiful, so intelligent, and so very impressive. And the way the entire story is told is so very transportive! I mean, this book has one of the scariest settings I’ve read all year, but I felt like I was right there battling for my life, with a goofy smile on my face. And the atmosphere and constant chill while reading? It’s unparalleled and truly an experience like no other. “Maybe it’s that I find the idea comforting . . . that thousands of years after you’re gone . . . is when you really live. That your echo is louder than your voice.” I love this book for many reasons, but I also love it because it’s over the top, and has so many one-liners, and it’s painfully romantic, and the girl gets the girl at the end. And it’s what’s I’ve been waiting my whole reading life for. This is a better, and way more unique, and 100% more impressive version of what straight, white dudes have been publishing in SFF forever. I keep seeing people say that they feel this book is too confusing, the characters too over the top, and the world too complex, but I just don’t feel that way at all. This is the story my sapphic loving heart has been searching for in epic fantasy my whole life. Gideon the Ninth is my queer, literary loving heart’s anthem, and I plan to play it on repeat forever. This book has the best enemies to lovers romance I’ve ever read in all of my years. Yeah, you read that right. In my whole freaking life, this is my favorite. I’m talking OTP for the rest of my days. I didn’t exist before this ship sailed in this first book. And this book also has such a central theme of trust, and what it means to put your trust in another. Also, what it means to be trustful, and the privilege of having someone put their trust in you, unconditionally. And this book also has an amazing discussion on power dynamics and imbalances, and how important it is to be aware of these things while putting your trust in yourself and in someone else, simultaneously. “You are my only friend. I am undone without you.” Overall, this really just felt like the book I’ve been waiting my own personal eternity for. This felt like the book of my dreams and my hopes. All I want is ownvoices queer books, with f/f relationships, with cutthroat girls putting themselves first, but allowing themselves to be vulnerable enough to maybe let someone else get to see a softer side of them. Almost like I’ve been reviewing books for five years now, preparing myself to read and review Gideon the Ninth, even though I know no word combination or sentence structure I could ever come up with could do it justice for this story. Basically, I know this book isn’t going to be for everyone, but if you feel like you have similar reading taste to me, then I implore you to give this one a try. I mean, if the tagline “Lesbian Necromancers in Space” isn’t going to sell you, hopefully my emotional, bleeding heart self can. This book means everything to me, and I hope you enjoy if you pick it up. Blog | Instagram | Twitter | Tumblr | Youtube | Twitch The quotes above were taken from an ARC and are subject to change upon publication. Content and Trigger Warnings: graphic violence, gore, murder, mass murder, human sacrifice, many conversations about suicide, death, death of children, talk of depression, grief depiction, trauma depiction, loss of a loved one, lots of blood depiction, self-harm to get blood, and mentions of cancer. Also, I was so blessed, and I was able to meet Tamsyn at BookExpo and she is honestly the sweetest necromancer in the world, and she truly made my entire convention! 🖤⚔️

  3. 4 out of 5

    Emily May

    “Maybe it’s that I find the idea comforting . . . that thousands of years after you’re gone . . . is when you really live. That your echo is louder than your voice.” Ugh, I wish I hadn't taken so long to sit down and write a review of this. I prefer writing a review when everything is fresh in my mind, but I do actually have things I want to say about this dark, dense, totally unique fantasy. One thing I think it might be helpful to know when starting this book is: you're going to just have to make pe “Maybe it’s that I find the idea comforting . . . that thousands of years after you’re gone . . . is when you really live. That your echo is louder than your voice.” Ugh, I wish I hadn't taken so long to sit down and write a review of this. I prefer writing a review when everything is fresh in my mind, but I do actually have things I want to say about this dark, dense, totally unique fantasy. One thing I think it might be helpful to know when starting this book is: you're going to just have to make peace with not totally "getting" it for a while. If you're anything like me, when you read something you don't really understand, you read it again and again until it makes sense. In my experience this can lead to book slumps, and I just don't think it's that helpful when it comes to Gideon the Ninth. Things get painted in over the course of the whole novel, so just accepting I didn't understand it at first made it much more palatable. Because this world is dense and complex and, with a little patience, absolutely fascinating. Nobody can accuse Muir of a lack of imagination. This surely has to be one of the most detailed and unique necromancer fantasies ever written (though connoisseurs of that niche might be able to tell me different). In this world, the Emperor has a representative of each of the nine houses (with their accompanying cavalier) compete in a series of weird and dangerous trials in order to determine those most worthy of being a servant of the Resurrection, complete with power and immortality. The plot is simple; the world-building and writing are anything but. However, more than either of those, what made this book shine so so much for me was Gideon. Well, really, a number of the characters, but mostly Gideon. How to explain her... She's a snarky lovable badass but with none of the standard heroine, fits-a-perfect-mold kind of badassery that I've grown so tired of. She's just really cool and funny. And somehow relatable, even though I can honestly say I've never been a swordswoman in space (no, really). Honestly, as a character she really stands out as someone unique. Which is saying a lot because I've read a ton of fantasy books and most of them are obviously recycling characters at this point. Here, working through the author's challenging prose and world-building was easier because I cared so much about Gideon. This book really proves how much characters make or break a book. Without Gideon, I am sure this would have gone to my mental "not for me" pile. Muir's ending hit me in the feels, too. The book surprised me by having a bunch of sad and sweet moments amid the darkness. I'm almost afraid to read Harrow the Ninth, but hell am I going to. Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Youtube

  4. 5 out of 5

    Petrik

    ARC & Review copy provided by the publisher—Tor.com—in exchange for an honest review. Gideon the Ninth is a damn fine example of why readers’ reviews are incredibly important. If you have been active on bookish social media, you should know by now that Gideon the Ninth, Tamsyn Muir’s debut and the first installment in The Locked Tomb (or The Ninth House in the past) Trilogy, has been tor.com's most hyped book of the year. The buzz and praise for Gideon the Ninth has been immense to say the least. Knowing nothing other than the fact ARC & Review copy provided by the publisher—Tor.com—in exchange for an honest review. Gideon the Ninth is a damn fine example of why readers’ reviews are incredibly important. If you have been active on bookish social media, you should know by now that Gideon the Ninth, Tamsyn Muir’s debut and the first installment in The Locked Tomb (or The Ninth House in the past) Trilogy, has been tor.com's most hyped book of the year. The buzz and praise for Gideon the Ninth has been immense to say the least. Knowing nothing other than the fact that “Lesbian necromancers in space” was stamped on the front of the gorgeous cover art (illustrated by Tommy Arnold), I gave the ARC a try a few months ago only to find myself disappointed by how much it didn’t work for me back then. If I may be brutally honest, I DNFed the novel around 120 pages in on my first read-through. Since then, readers’ reviews have started pouring in, usually resulting in absolute love or disappointment; there’s almost no in-between. But there’s one common consensus shared by both factions: the second half improved significantly. After receiving another copy of this book, a limited edition with black sprayed edges and many goodies, it was only fair that I give it one more try. The result? I enjoyed it remarkably more than I did on my first try. I truly believe that knowing the right things to expect out of this book ahead of reading it will improve the reader’s enjoyment so much more. Picture: The book and the goodies I received! Gideon Nav—or Gideon the Ninth—prepares to escape again but she can’t do it without doing one last service for her childhood nemesis: Harrowhark Nonagesimus. The Emperor of the First House has sent an invitation to all the heirs of each one of his Houses to attend a trial of wit and skill; the winner will become a Lyctor—an immortal and a direct all-powerful servant of the Emperor. Each heir needs a cavalier, a bodyguard, to help them win the trial and this is where Gideon comes in, serving as Harrow’s cavalier. Gideon the Ninth isn’t an easy book for me to review because of the opposite reaction I had in the reading experience of the first half and the second half. Several readers—myself included—have mentioned that the first half of the book was difficult to get through and I really can’t blame them. In my opinion, the first half was a struggle to read because of how annoying and tiring Gideon’s voice can be to read, which became even more intolerable when the vow of silence was put on Gideon by Harrow and Harrow herself wasn’t in the scenes to act as a counterbalance against Gideon’s attitudes for almost 100 pages. Gideon acted and talked like a juvenile trying way too hard to be funny and edgy and it became annoying quickly. The side characters—excluding Harrow—also took a while to remember and warm up to. Please remember that there’s a character glossary at the beginning of the book to help you remember who’s who more easily; put it to good use. But here’s the important thing, these minor complaints from me, somehow, existed only within the first half; the second half turned the book completely around and headed into a significantly better direction for me. I honestly didn’t think a turnaround was possible. However, once the story entered Act 3, and the genre shifted more to a murder mystery, I found every single aspect of the book so much better to read. Gideon the Ninth is a bizarre book that doesn’t fall into one specific genre properly; it’s like a hybrid between sci-fi, fantasy, and mystery. I highly enjoyed reading the second half of Gideon the Ninth, because the murder mysteries elements were captivating, Muir’s prose became much easier to follow, the action sequences were awesome, and most importantly the character development—especially for Gideon and Harrow—was terrific. A huge part of why the sudden positive change in reading enjoyment was possible is due to Harrow’s role in the story. I loved Harrow and personally think she’s a much better character than Gideon. What made this even more incredible is that Harrow doesn’t even have a POV to follow; the narrative was told entirely from Gideon’s perspective and yet, Harrow stole the spotlight for me. “Anyone can learn to fight. Hardly anyone learns to think.” Also, I have to give tons of praise to Muir’s imaginative action scenes. The deathly army of bones and visceral swordplay unleashed throughout the novel were darkly delightful to read, but the final 40 pages exceeded everything that came before; it was simply glorious. I’m not kidding, a maelstrom of bones, gripping revelations, and cinematic scenes full of twists and turns, flashy swordplay, and extraordinary necromancy created a memorable final sequence that made me incredibly excited to continue to the next book as soon as possible. I want to read more of this necromantic whirlwind. Picture: Construct by Tommy Arnold As you can probably guess, I have a contrasting opinion regarding the first and second halves of the novel. However, and this is very important, it’s worth noting that the superbly thrilling second half won admiration and my utmost interest to continue to the sequel, Harrow the Ninth, which obviously will feature Harrow (yay!!!) as the main focus of the story. Imbued with intriguing mysteries, terrifically written swordplay, explosive final sequences, and a lasting impression, needless to say Gideon the Ninth has become one of the most original SFF debuts I’ve read so far. It’s bizarre, complex, imaginative, genres-defying, and distinctively memorable; I am very much looking forward to reading the continuation of Muir’s imagination in Harrow the Ninth. You can order the book from: Amazon UK | Amazon US | Book Depository (Free shipping) You can find this and the rest of my reviews at Novel Notions

  5. 5 out of 5

    karen

    oooh, goodreads choice awards semifinalist for BEST SCIENCE FICTION and BEST DEBUT NOVEL 2019! what will happen? ”You want to fight it.” “Yep.” “Because it looked…a little like swords.” ”Yop.” okay. so. usually when i write a review, i am writing it for some nameless, faceless reader who is deciding whether or not to read a book and looking for some information to help them make that decision, so i’ll do the whole plot-point, pull-quote thing—giving an overview of the book so they know what to expect, to know if it’s their kind of thing or not.swords.”happen?”You oooh, goodreads choice awards semifinalist for BEST SCIENCE FICTION and BEST DEBUT NOVEL 2019! what will happen? ”You want to fight it.” “Yep.” “Because it looked…a little like swords.” ”Yop.” okay. so. usually when i write a review, i am writing it for some nameless, faceless reader who is deciding whether or not to read a book and looking for some information to help them make that decision, so i’ll do the whole plot-point, pull-quote thing—giving an overview of the book so they know what to expect, to know if it’s their kind of thing or not. those are the reviews i find the most helpful to me, so that’s what i put out there. this time…just, no. there’s no way i can explain the premise of this book. i envy and respect anyone who attempts it, but i can’t be that girl this time. this book is…a lot. it’s got a ton of characters, a complexly-constructed world, and a genre mash made up of space opera, murder mystery, horror, and whatever the literary term is for where it’s like a magic-and-science-based scavenger hunt at the olympics, but where some people are expected to die. i’m not gonna lie, i got lost a couple of times. helpful dramatis personae pages are helpful but i would also suggest you bookmark the page where the characters gather for the first time, to memory-refresh the personality details of the eighteen competitors, because some of them got blurry for me. there are a lot of working parts here, and the worldbuilding is thick, but like the House of the First itself, it’s a little bit ramshackle, with unexplained bits and leftover pieces. but just go with it, plow right into the whole bone-cladded thicket of it, because it’s a romp of a book, and it’s propulsive enough to carry you through the story without understanding every little thing. in fact, the lingering mysteries will only add to your appreciation. it’s a ridiculously fun book, sad and funny and irreverent and suspenseful, with all the dramatically satisfying themes of honor and heroism, loyalty and betrayal, piloted by gideon, a snarky firecracker of a heroine who declares “that’s what she said,” not once, but TWICE, which is—to me—the height of comedy and a phrase certain to win my love. try it, you'll like it! i'm already hungering for books 2 and 3! oh, and someone give danny elfman a copy of this book. and, since you’re already there, tell him i need an oingo boingo reunion tour. ******************************** thank you, i DID! ******************************** okay, let's do this. ********************************** my stack of "books i am drooling over and need to read immediately" is the cursiest blessing... come to my blog!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Nilufer Ozmekik

    I cannot actually believe my hands declared their independence from the auto-control of my brain and gave 3.5 stars and rounded it down to three stars! I can shout at my hands and tell them they are ungrateful! They should have clapped this author’s creativity for this controversial, unique, fantastic plot and good characterization but well, my hands made the right decision! You know why! Okay keep reading and stop yawning in front of me! I already started my happy dance and dropped this book se I cannot actually believe my hands declared their independence from the auto-control of my brain and gave 3.5 stars and rounded it down to three stars! I can shout at my hands and tell them they are ungrateful! They should have clapped this author’s creativity for this controversial, unique, fantastic plot and good characterization but well, my hands made the right decision! You know why! Okay keep reading and stop yawning in front of me! I already started my happy dance and dropped this book several times as I performed Travolta’s classic hip and point move because I started one of the most anticipated books of the year and it deserved to be celebrated with my over exaggerated dance moves (at least I gave an quiet amazing show to the neighbor’s kids who got bored from their Fifa tournaments on play station) How can you resist to a plot about necromancers and well rounded, intriguing badass heroine characters. But when I started to flip pages, my thoughts completely changed. I read 150 pages…Nothing happened… I treated this book as patient as I could (I’m aries, patience is not my best virtue) and I read 50 pages more. Nada… Another 50 pages more…Still nothing… I started to think maybe Jerry Seinfield used a different pen name and wrote this book about nothingness as he’d done with his TV show “Seinfield” Well 50 pages later…Still nothing happened and I cuddled with the book and took a break because I got also lost with the technical terms of the book. I even tried to order a dictionary about necromancers to understand their terminology. But no publishing companies released this useful source! I also had hard time to understand true natures, attributes, motives, back stories of characters because they were more 15! There are nine houses and I prepared schematic to match the characters with its houses like I’d done with the time tables of character’s aging when I was watching enigmatic German Netflix series named Dark! I was so bored and suffering from lack of energy. I couldn’t even lift my glass so my husband helped me drink my Chardonnay with a straw (I know, I disgusted with myself, too!) And after 300 pages later, something magically happened! THE STORY’S PACE SUDDENLY FASTENED! The story turned into a great combination of space opera, thriller, mystery and sci-fi. It was sad, funny some parts are too edgy, gothic and irritating. Actually I appreciated writer’s effort to create this amazing and extraordinary concept. However the creativity and visualization defeated by complex, long, slow-paced writing and unlikable characters. Especially heroine acted so immature and annoying little brat who deserved my tones of slaps. If it wasn’t for the first 300 torture, I could give this book 5 stars for the author’s success to bring out something different, shiny, capturing, special but in my opinion, book was needed reductions and polishing of characterizations before the release date! I still enjoyed so many parts but I felt like I watched three times the first 28 minutes of Saving Private Ryan! I got really exhausted as if I ran 10K marathon or 10 bottle Chardonnay drinkathon! Intentions, originality, high efforts of the author but maybe I lately read too long books and my timing was not right to start something needs to much energy, concentration. So unfortunately this one didn’t work for me,too.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Chelsea Humphrey

    Well, I finished. If nothing else, at least I received closure that it wasn't the timing that was off for me surrounding this story. I could go through a long list of why this book didn't work for me, but instead I'll just leave it at that, it didn't work for me. Chaima wrote a fantastic review that expresses my thoughts 100% HERE, so if you'd like an alternative, unpopular opinion that is well written and fairly offered, please check it out. *Many thanks to the publisher for providing my review copy.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Elise (TheBookishActress)

    the blurb of this quite literally contains the phrase "lesbian necromancers" like thanks Tor you know you’re the only publisher I trust anymore

  9. 5 out of 5

    Hamad

    This review and other non-spoilery reviews can be found @The Book Prescription ARC provided by the publisher in exchange of an honest review :D “Two is for discipline, heedless of trial; Three for the gleam of a jewel or a smile; Four for fidelity, facing ahead; Five for tradition and debts to the dead; Six for the truth over solace in lies; Seven for beauty that blossoms and dies; Eight for salvation no matter the cost; Nine for the Tomb, and for all that was lost.” 🌟 I am pretty sure this will be a huge hit when it is out. I can already see the Wh This review and other non-spoilery reviews can be found @The Book Prescription ARC provided by the publisher in exchange of an honest review :D “Two is for discipline, heedless of trial; Three for the gleam of a jewel or a smile; Four for fidelity, facing ahead; Five for tradition and debts to the dead; Six for the truth over solace in lies; Seven for beauty that blossoms and dies; Eight for salvation no matter the cost; Nine for the Tomb, and for all that was lost.” 🌟 I am pretty sure this will be a huge hit when it is out. I can already see the Which House do you belong to quizzes, people getting tattoos according to their house and quotes being shared too! I developed a hunch over the last 4 years of which books work and which don’t. And although this one did not work for me, it will for many readers! That’s why you may want to take this review with a grain of salt! Here is some salt to do so 😛 🌟 So let me get straight to the point, what determines whether you like this book or not is the writing style. A friend who I BR this was (He’s a real expert at Fantasy) could not relate to the story and DNF it early. I did not like it either but it was not bad as to make me DNF so I pushed through and after 300 pages, I could finally get into the story! If you like the writing style from the start then I assure you that it will be a very fun ride. Also is this supposed to be funny? I saw some attempts at that and knew I was supposed to laugh but I just… didn’t? I don’t easily laugh but I didn’t even smile. I can see some readers laughing so that should be good. 🌟 The characters were also hard to relate to for me, I did care about a couple of characters and at the end I did care about the MC somehow! There are 9 houses and hence the name of the series and in each house there are at least 2 characters. That means a lot of characters!! I appreciate the glossary at the beginning containing all the houses and characters in them, if it was not there then I would have DNF it from confusion. There is something that I would have done if I were the editor of this book and that is consistently using the name or family name of characters and not just throwing them randomly. I mean there are over 15 characters and when the characters suddenly decide to use the family name I was confused AF and had to keep going back and forth between the glossary and the page I am reading. 🌟 The plot however was good and I don’t think I have ever read a book with necromancers so it was a good and new experience, I have to admit that I was confused about some technical terms and about some scenes but after page 300, I was invested in the story and read it in a whole new spirit! 🌟Summary: Despite all the negative things I said, I really appreciate that the effort that was taken to write this book as it did show from the cover till the last page! I can say that the first 300 Pages were not the best but after that I really enjoyed it and my rating actually approached 4 stars but I could not ignore the first 300 mentioned pages and decided to go for a rating in between. I am currently interested in the second book after thinking about this for a few days so I might actually give it a chance! I also think that many readers will like it so don’t let this review discourage you. The first few chapter are available online for free as I recall, try reading them and if you liked them then you will LOVE this! My first buddy with King Petrik of the House Leo, the First of His Name, King of Fantasy and the First Reviewers, The rightful king of the Seven Genres and Protector of the Books, Petrik of novel notions, Breaker of ARCs, Father of Dragons and regent of Goodreads

  10. 4 out of 5

    Holly (Holly Hearts Books)

    I've been sitting on this DNF for a couple months now. For those of you who are avid YouTube watchers of mine, you know I could not get through this book. I wasn't going to rate it but I feel SO strongly about this 1 star rating. This book suffers from the Tor hype as did The Ruin of Kings by Jenn Lyons which I also highly disliked. The writing is a mess. Characters names are "neiowhgiewongow".. The main character is an absolute ass. She gets the chance to get off the planet and her literal I've been sitting on this DNF for a couple months now. For those of you who are avid YouTube watchers of mine, you know I could not get through this book. I wasn't going to rate it but I feel SO strongly about this 1 star rating. This book suffers from the Tor hype as did The Ruin of Kings by Jenn Lyons which I also highly disliked. The writing is a mess. Characters names are "neiowhgiewongow".. The main character is an absolute ass. She gets the chance to get off the planet and her literal response is “go suck a dick” This book tried so hard to be edgy and goth, with skellies and DEAD DEAD DEAD and absolutely failed.

  11. 4 out of 5

    megs_bookrack

    SWOON. I need this yesterday. Look at that cover! Just LOOK at it. Behold its beauty and then read the synopsis... I know, right!?!?

  12. 4 out of 5

    Tatiana

    Pretty much what karen said. I haven’t worked this hard trying to grock a book since Ninefox Gambit. The world building is dense and elaborate, and I honestly had no idea there was so much to know about necromancy. Is all necromancy stuff in this book a total Tamsyn Muir invention? Or is this a commonly known lore? Am I just not reading the right books? ‘Cause this is fascinating. If you put the complication of the world building aside, the plot is fairly simple - the Emperor of this necroman Pretty much what karen said. I haven’t worked this hard trying to grock a book since Ninefox Gambit. The world building is dense and elaborate, and I honestly had no idea there was so much to know about necromancy. Is all necromancy stuff in this book a total Tamsyn Muir invention? Or is this a commonly known lore? Am I just not reading the right books? ‘Cause this is fascinating. If you put the complication of the world building aside, the plot is fairly simple - the Emperor of this necromantic world is trying to recruit new assistants by having a representative of each of eight necromantic houses and his/her bodyguard (cavalier) compete in a sort of test/trial/game to prove their worth. When the participants of this trial start dying out, things get interesting. If the characters of this book weren’t so dope, I am not sure I would have had the strength to get through the narrative. Muir’s language is not exactly a breeze. I had to look words up in a dictionary! But I love Gideon and Harrow and their twisted relationship. It’s kind of sad that the book didn’t entirely deliver on the lesbian part of the Charles Stross’s “lesbian necromancers in space” blurb though. The ending made my heart hurt. I am up for more heartbreak and more stories about this mysterious world. If you liked the intricacy and weirdness and strong women of Ninefox Gambit, Archivist Wasp, The Fifth Season, Gideon the Ninth must be your next pick. P.S. If there are awards for best covers, the artist of this book’s cover should totally get it. This is SO GIDEON!

  13. 4 out of 5

    destiny ♡⚔♡ [howling libraries]

    As RIDICULOUSLY pumped as I was to read this... I'm just... not in the mood for it right now, and it breaks my little queer heart. :( I'll pick it back up and try it again in a few weeks because I truly, 100% believe it's me, not the book.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca Roanhorse

    Stunningly good. A brilliant and original mash-up of genres, the story is brimming with memorable characters, acerbic dark humor, a unique magic system, space travel, decaying technology and layers upon layers of mystery. It is the Gothic space adventure I didn't know I needed.

  15. 4 out of 5

    sofia (sam willows)

    so i filmed a video about why people should read this book: https://youtu.be/2Ue8EgZ3y9g I LOVE IT OKAY 90th book of the year. fitting, right? reread: yep. still cried like a baby review: so, i loved this book. it wasn’t perfect, by any means, but in the end i loved it all the same. even though this book is a new favorite of mine, i feel obliged to spend some time talking about what i didn’t love for the sake of people who will pick this up when it comes out. the worlduilding i’m pretty so i filmed a video about why people should read this book: https://youtu.be/2Ue8EgZ3y9g I LOVE IT OKAY 90th book of the year. fitting, right? reread: yep. still cried like a baby review: so, i loved this book. it wasn’t perfect, by any means, but in the end i loved it all the same. even though this book is a new favorite of mine, i feel obliged to spend some time talking about what i didn’t love for the sake of people who will pick this up when it comes out. the worlduilding i’m pretty used to high fantasy worlduilding, where you’re thrown into a complex, made up society and you have to figure out how it works as you go. i can usually grasp the basics and how things work from the get go, but with gideon the ninth that wasn’t the case. i spent a good 50% of my reading experience asking myself “wait what’s happening? who is that?” and having generally no clue what the fuck was going on. still, even in the midst of my confusion, i managed to grasp a few key plot points and characters that i got really attached to, and almost made me forget how much of the book i didn’t understand. also, for context: english is not my first language, and my vocabulary is not that extensive. so besides my being extremely confused, i still had to pause mid-reading quite a few times to search for the meaning of certain words -- something i haven’t had to do in the past 100+ books in english i’ve read in the last few years. so that might have to do with my fluency, or with some weird choices by the author, but i can’t tell you which. magic system the magic was something i wish was explained more extensively. because while we definitely got extensive and varied use of necromancy, we as readers didn’t really understand it. granted, neither did gideon, so there is a valid excuse there. but even though i was amazed by how cool necromancy is, while reading, i would definitely wonder how exactly it worked. gideon never asked, so we never learned. overall even though there were things i wish were done differently, i still couldn’t help but be under gideon the ninth’s spell. i was fascinated by necromancy, and the competition, and most of all, gideon and harrow’s dynamic. i loved reading about those two, and i couldn’t get them out of my mind. their relationship dynamic was fascinating under the weight of their history together, and every time they interacted i couldn’t help but over-analyze every single word, every single glance. gideon the ninth thrives under its subtle politics and nuanced relationships, and the sword-fighting lesbian necromancers, are, at the end of the day, just the cherry on top of an amazing story. please pick this up when you get the chance. E-ARC provided by edelweiss.plus in exchange for an honest review. first thoughts at 2:30am : ive been sobbing nonstop for the last 30 minutes. i beg anyone and everyone to read this when it comes out. rtc

  16. 5 out of 5

    Hollis

    So listen. The only reason I'm not giving this five stars is because sometimes, while reading, I would feel a little lost. Confused, even. It's been awhile since I read an adult science-fiction novel, particularly one as complex as this, with such a large cast, and during the over (!) two (!!) weeks (!!!) it took me to read this, between slumps and life chaos and other ARC deadlines, it was just.. a lot. "I would have thought you would be happy that I needed you. That I showed you my girlish and v"I So listen. The only reason I'm not giving this five stars is because sometimes, while reading, I would feel a little lost. Confused, even. It's been awhile since I read an adult science-fiction novel, particularly one as complex as this, with such a large cast, and during the over (!) two (!!) weeks (!!!) it took me to read this, between slumps and life chaos and other ARC deadlines, it was just.. a lot. "I would have thought you would be happy that I needed you. That I showed you my girlish and vulnerable heart." "Your heart is a party for five thousand nails." But I never stopped having fun. Gideon would've sworn there were tears in her eyes, except that no such liquid existed. Harrow was a desiccated mummy of hate. The characters in this series are.. just, everything. Gideon is a riot. I spent most of my time, confused and non-confused, reading this book and giggling. Snorting. Cackling. Highlighting. This isn't a comedy but is comedic af. The author, through Gideon, is snarky and sarcastic and just.. relentlessly relatable. For all that she's the cavalier, swords-person/bodyguard, of a necromancer, in space, who is battling to riddle out puzzles of which the end goal is to make them immortal and all-powerful. You know, totally relatable. "I cannot and will not read your thoughts, control your body, or look at your most intimate memories. I don't have the ability and I certain't don’t have the desire." "It's for your own protection, not mine. I imagined Crux's butt once when I was twelve." I've seen this pitched, and even pitched it myself, as 'lesbian necromancers in space' and that does such an injustice to the scope and breadth and complexity of everything, plot and characters, of this book. But it's one hell of a great hook and if it's what pulled you in, fantastic. Just buckle the hell up and know there is so much more to this. "I'll still do it." "Why?" "Probably because you asked." "That's all it takes, [..]? That's all you demand? This is the complex mystery that lies in the pit of your psyche?" "That's all I ever demanded, you asswipe." This book is spooky, funny, heartbreaking, hilarious, rich in 'I'm too dumb for this' science, and even weirder magic. The cast is vibrant and diverse and while sometimes I wish I had taken notes on who is what and why and what are the Houses.. even confused, I was happy. Truly. This is a book that needed more time than I had to give it and that's on me. Even though, yeah, okay, it's on me but I'm also knocking down a star. "Why was I born so attractive?" "Because everyone would have throttled you within the first five minutes otherwise." But. "Nav, show them what the Ninth House does." "We do bones, motherfucker." I will say, brace yourselves. This isn't the standalone I thought it would be. And I was u n p r e p a r e d for the end of this book in many many ways. I may have cried. Well, okay, welled up. But regardless I need book two yesterday. The good news is I'll definitely reread this before the sequel (is it a duology? a trilogy?) so I hope to a) maybe have a better handle on things earlier on in the unfolding of the story and b) maybe, hopefully, round up. Gideon was experiencing one powerful emotion : being sick of everyone's shit. Regardless, if you're comfortable with adult sci-fi, prepared to hunker down with a long book, and want hilarity alongside diversity? You need this. The fact that this incredible title is a debut just blows my mind. Just the way the book itself did. Infact, just putting this review together, and pulling the quotes, actually makes me want to just.. start reading it all over again. And that almost never happens to me. So I hope that says it all! Even though I said.. a lot. Already. "You are my only friend. I am undone without you." Oh, did I mention there's a hate to love f/f romance? Hm? Did I? You definitely need this one in your life. ** I received an ARC from Edelweiss and the publisher (thank you!) in exchange for an honest review. ** --- This review can also be found at A Take From Two Cities.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Meaghan

    I’ll be honest, I don’t even know how to summarize this book. I don’t even know how to review this book. All I know is that Gideon the Ninth may just be my favorite book in 2019, maybe ever since Strange the Dreamer. This book took me by complete surprise, especially as I was originally put off by the beginning few chapters. This book kind of just drops you in this large, extensive world without a guide, and while I was originally quite lost, you very quickly learn to just go along with th I’ll be honest, I don’t even know how to summarize this book. I don’t even know how to review this book. All I know is that Gideon the Ninth may just be my favorite book in 2019, maybe ever since Strange the Dreamer. This book took me by complete surprise, especially as I was originally put off by the beginning few chapters. This book kind of just drops you in this large, extensive world without a guide, and while I was originally quite lost, you very quickly learn to just go along with the characters and plot and trust the author to give you the pieces as you need them. Even after finishing I don’t have a clear picture of the world and how it’s set up, but I believe the intrigue is quite important to the story and how it will develop later on. There was also a lot of in depth necromancy talk, which was sometimes like reading a science textbook too high above your level, but it was understandable enough to get the story + it wasn’t necessary to fully get it either, as the character you’re following doesn’t get it all either. The characters were also all quite well-rounded and haunting in how real they felt, you came to understand all of their motivations (even if you don’t agree with them all), and you come to feel for their pain and their mistakes. Almost every single character was explored and given an in depth background, meaning you were always aware of the people at play in scenes and situations. It all also tied well into their actions and emotions, making the story feel overall consistent. Our two main characters, Gideon and Harrowhark, also had such an interesting relationship, and the exploration of that alone made this book fantastic. The prose, while being something to get used to, was also beautiful in a quite unique way. It was quite dense prose, describing almost everything and using long chains of large paragraphs and stretching sentences, but was constantly broken up by Gideon’s trademark sarcasm. While snarky and sarcastic characters are very quickly getting old, Gideon was her own brand of witty, and there were many serious moments made hilarious by a small snide comment on her end. It was just fantastic. The plot was also fantastic, as it kept winding and twisting throughout the entire novel, never truly settling in any one place. It was a journey both for the characters and the reader, even as they stayed in one place. It was also just an extremely well-constructed plot, the answers to every question hidden in every part of the storyline. While some reveals were shocking, none were pulled from nothing and everything had more than enough build up and time to truly form. It was also just an extremely thrilling and gripping plot. From page 200 onwards I couldn’t stop reading, and I was on the literal edge of my seat at points, rushing through to see what would happen next. Gideon the Ninth, while gruesome and full of skeletons and death and the ghosts of the past, was also just a beautiful book. It explored the relationships of the living through these ghosts and through death while also just constructing a lyrical and moving story. I couldn’t get enough of it, I still can’t, and I’m honestly debating reading it already.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Ashley

    Star Rating: —> 5 Stars! My heart hurts. It ACHES. SO INCREDIBLE. I literally cried when it was over... and as it was ending. I mean that ending? And this whole damn novel? Brutal AF! Perfection. Truly. Im so confused as to some readers’ complaints that this was extremely confusing & didn’t follow a solid plot line (incl subplots) that made sense... hmm. (You can skip over this part if you aren’t interested!) ***BUT! before I go into any more detail... I have stumbled Star Rating: —> 5 Stars! My heart hurts. It ACHES. SO INCREDIBLE. I literally cried when it was over... and as it was ending. I mean that ending? And this whole damn novel? Brutal AF! Perfection. Truly. Im so confused as to some readers’ complaints that this was extremely confusing & didn’t follow a solid plot line (incl subplots) that made sense... hmm. (You can skip over this part if you aren’t interested!) ***BUT! before I go into any more detail... I have stumbled upon the PERFECT way to experience this novel. Through suffering the flu & needing something to sub for physically reading when i felt too sick to, I found that the audiobook (which is one of the best I’ve ever listened to, btw, EVER) is an absolute necessity as a companion to READING the book! I know it isn’t the most cost effective way to read, BUT, it is SO. WORTH. IT WITH THIS BOOK; GUYS... It was SO WELL DONE & captures everything perfectly. Plus, I don’t think I would’ve truly gotten to know Gideon, or Harrow, for that matter & be able to honestly say that I TRULY understand either of them as their unique selves, without listening to it! Plus if you’re someone who was or is having any sort of trouble with/ the book, I say give it a second chance with “my” method!*** ANYWAY; I felt that the novel was SOLID. The main storyline is pretty straight forward; Necromancer & Heir to the Ninth House, Reverend Daughter Harrowhark Nonagesimus, & her Cavalier Gideon Nav, answer the call of the Emperor to compete against the other Houses heirs for a chance to win the place of Lyctor, an immortal, all-powerful servant of the Resurrection. The events that occur within & around this are yes, complex & messy, but they’re messy in the best way possible... with a fascinating arcane-like, necromantic science that is so original & interesting. There are secrets & mysteries abound in the palace (GOTHIC PALACE IN FRIGGIN SPACE!). The story was beautifully executed & extremely, extremely creative, but purposefully messy, sort of like a Picasso painting, but with more secrets held within, like a Van Gogh. It screams out, as if to remind us that writers are artists, too, without trying too hard. The imaginative, eccentric, anything goes, artistic aesthetic of this science fantasy novel has IMO, proven without a doubt that it is a TRUE piece of art! It presents itself effortlessly. The character development was incredible. I was so incredibly impressed! There were SO MANY characters, and if you aren’t paying full attention you might get lost. I loved Gideon Nav from freakin start to freakin finish, (I sometimes had to listen to the audiobook when i was busy... and it. WAS. FRICKIN. FANTASTIC ! I recommend 100%... you truly get a taste of who Gideon is... they do SUCH a good job. I adored it.) and she has, and this does not at all do her justice, a CRAZY. ASS. personality. I ended up LOVING Harrowhark as well. She isn’t who she seems per se, and i think this really did well by her, prepping us for her being the lead in the second book of the trilogy ! I can’t wait; I really just LOVE HER SO MUCH! They are the PERFECT PAIR! Above all else this was just FUN AF. It never takes itself too seriously, and is so over the top that its just a joy to read. Absolutely hilarious, as well... it had me laughing my ass off for most of the novel. The audiobook online intensifies the hilarity ENDLESSLY! ...and i actually just had an epiphany! This needs to be talked about as an opening, because it could really solve some readers’ issues w/ the novel... ...So; by now you’ve already read what i have to say regarding the audiobook, above. Haha. AND you got you witness just when i had my epiphany haha. Omg what history you’ve gotten to experience 😂😂😂. Just a reminder... you’re missing out without listening to at least some of it! BUT although I do way prefer readingvto audiobooks, this book imo was meant to be an *experience*- & the switching between reading & listening really added that extra something & the narrator did SUCH AN EXCELLENT JOB! If you’re one of those who’s not yet read it but knows they will start out super critical of the book due to negative reviews... use the audiobook a lot throughout the beginning of the book, as the characters are being introduced, and then switch back and forth as you please. But I truly think ANYONE would have their best Gideon The Ninth experience with a little audiobook added in! Sorry if this was repetitive, i don’t know yet because, well, I quite literally haven’t written the edit up top yet 😉! *time warp!* ;-) Anyway... I recommend 100%. This book made me FEEL. It had me completely enthralled; I loved it so, so, much. Also, to those of you who’ve read: Anyone else notice MAJOR hinting at & foreshadowing regarding Gideon that I am absolutely (sort of) sure will develop into something that will make (most of) us extremely happy! I don’t understand it completely yet, because anything goes in this crazy universe... BUT in addition to hints fresh in my mind, when reflecting on my reading experience, i ended up recalling quite a few clues & puzzle pieces that were scattered throughout the novel, as well. They make me hope that something... bigger will happen. I certainly know SOMETHING will occur, the comments made are certainly not nonsense, they’re there for us to speculate ! (Trying not to say too much, lol, sorry if that wasn’t... particularly... coherent 😉).

  19. 5 out of 5

    Boston

    I’m writing this review at 2am so bear with me. This book is everything I have ever wanted. Necromancy? Here for it. Lesbians? Always down. A badass fantasy/sci-fi turned whodunnit? YES. This book was casually riding the 4 star train up until I hit 75%. At that point I planned on going to sleep (reader I did not go to sleep). I stayed up for an extra 2 hours (I think) to finish this book. The end plot twists had me shouting in my bedroom (sorry dad) and stopping to take deep breaths. The charact I’m writing this review at 2am so bear with me. This book is everything I have ever wanted. Necromancy? Here for it. Lesbians? Always down. A badass fantasy/sci-fi turned whodunnit? YES. This book was casually riding the 4 star train up until I hit 75%. At that point I planned on going to sleep (reader I did not go to sleep). I stayed up for an extra 2 hours (I think) to finish this book. The end plot twists had me shouting in my bedroom (sorry dad) and stopping to take deep breaths. The characters are absolutely fantastic and the storyline is so original and fresh. Everything about this book is one big *chef’s kiss*. If you take away anything from this review I hope it’s the urge to preorder. Because you absolutely should. (Special thanks to the publisher who sent me an e-arc to read and review and also to Rhiannon for all but putting this book in my hands)

  20. 5 out of 5

    Mary ~Ravager of Tomes~

    I heard Necromancy & Queer & I didn't need to read anymore to know I need this 🤞🏽🤞🏽🤞🏽

  21. 5 out of 5

    Lea (drumsofautumn)

    PLEASE STAB ME WITH YOUR RAPIER, GIDEON, IT WOULD HURT LESS THAN THIS ENDING Buddy read with Madalyn 🖤 Gifted to me by Melanie 🖤

  22. 4 out of 5

    Phrynne

    I am giving this five stars because, although it was far from perfect, it was still such a brilliant read! I am not going to go around recommending it though. This one is only for people who love fantasy, really enjoy weird, and can overlook an awful lot of gore and bad language. Gideon is a wonderful character. She is the one pictured on the cover and it fits her description perfectly. Her interactions with her partner and necromancer, Harrow, were the highlight of the whole book. I I am giving this five stars because, although it was far from perfect, it was still such a brilliant read! I am not going to go around recommending it though. This one is only for people who love fantasy, really enjoy weird, and can overlook an awful lot of gore and bad language. Gideon is a wonderful character. She is the one pictured on the cover and it fits her description perfectly. Her interactions with her partner and necromancer, Harrow, were the highlight of the whole book. I enjoyed the fantasy, the story and the magic system. Necromancy is always horrific stuff and this author did not hold anything back! It turned into one of those books which is impossible to stop reading and I raced through the last half in record time. The ending was devastating. How long until book 2???

  23. 5 out of 5

    Shaun Hutchinson

    This book was unexpected. The plot itself was fairly straightforward, but the characters and the writing were all fresh and wonderful. The book had humor and heart and adventure. I probably wouldn't have picked it up (I'm not usually fan of crossing sci-fi and fantasy elements—space/technology and necromancy in this case) but I'm always here for the queer books, and Gideon the Ninth did not let me down.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Spencer Orey

    Ha that was a great time. The book starts pretty dense and there are a ton of characters. But things really get moving about halfway in. The language is an amazing mix of fantasy and contemporary snark. There's a lot of swearing, and it's also frequently really funny. It has its deeper moments of character growth too. It must have been so hard to get that mix just right. I listened to this on audiobook and thought the narrator did a great job of bringing each cha Ha that was a great time. The book starts pretty dense and there are a ton of characters. But things really get moving about halfway in. The language is an amazing mix of fantasy and contemporary snark. There's a lot of swearing, and it's also frequently really funny. It has its deeper moments of character growth too. It must have been so hard to get that mix just right. I listened to this on audiobook and thought the narrator did a great job of bringing each character to life and also adding a lot of PATHOS to the necromancers. Gideon is a rad character, and her horrible world of necromancers, intrigue, swords, and space makes for a really great read.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Holly (The Grimdragon)

    Fuck, fuck, fuck. Gideon the Ninth was one of my most anticipated reads of the year. I mean.. how could I not get excited for lesbian necromancers in space?! With a fantasy feel? YES PLEASE! Unfortunately.. it was a complete letdown, which breaks my queer little heart! Gideon the Ninth is a DNF for me. I struggled through 165 pages.  Life is too short to waste on books that you aren't vibing with! I've finally allowed myself to listen to my own advice Fuck, fuck, fuck. Gideon the Ninth was one of my most anticipated reads of the year. I mean.. how could I not get excited for lesbian necromancers in space?! With a fantasy feel? YES PLEASE! Unfortunately.. it was a complete letdown, which breaks my queer little heart! Gideon the Ninth is a DNF for me. I struggled through 165 pages.  Life is too short to waste on books that you aren't vibing with! I've finally allowed myself to listen to my own advice lately! There are a fuck ton of books out there to fall in love with. Rather than continue to be a completionist and read books just for the sake of getting through it.. it is perfectly okay to move onto something else if a book just isn't doing it for me these days. The hype machine is REAL with this book. Goddamn. PLUS THE FINISHED HARDCOVER WITH THE SPRAYED EDGES IS SO FUCKING GORGEOUS!! But.. I'm me. I wouldn't be me if I wasn't honest about how utterly disappointed I was in this.  For real. Imagine my surprise when I began reading this and it feeling like an angsty CW show that is trying wicked hard to be edgy. I'M EDGY MCEDGERSON. LOOK AT HOW EDGY I AM!! I fucking LOVE snarky, sarcastic, moody characters. ::points to self:: HELLO!! However, I just couldn't deal with Gideon's voice. It felt incredibly YA to me. Not that there is anything wrong with that - I just personally am not into it. She annoyed the fuck out of me. This book is getting no shortage of amazing reviews and star ratings so, as always, YMMV. (Thanks to Tor.com Publishing for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review!)

  26. 4 out of 5

    The Bookish Austin

    Full review here: https://thebookishaustin.tumblr.com/p...

  27. 5 out of 5

    J.A. Ironside

    ARC provided by Tor.Com in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. Please be warned that this is probably going to be the most rambling, incoherent and borderline hysterical review because - and I do not say this lightly, what with being a fairly cold and unemotional person - that ending fucking destroyed me. I desperately need the next book now. What I could have really done with as regards this book, was some decent sized blocks of time to just sit a ARC provided by Tor.Com in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. Please be warned that this is probably going to be the most rambling, incoherent and borderline hysterical review because - and I do not say this lightly, what with being a fairly cold and unemotional person - that ending fucking destroyed me. I desperately need the next book now. What I could have really done with as regards this book, was some decent sized blocks of time to just sit and read. Unfortunately I started it while I was travelling and then, once back at work and playing catch-up, I did not have as much time as I wanted. Consequently this took me much longer to read than it should have done, and it was no reflection on the book. In my opinion this is not a book to imbibe in small sips - you really need to be able to take big gulps! Muir has an engaging, quirky style and a turn of phrase that is at times almost disconcerting whilst still being wry and humorous. Those who prefer a more meat-and-two-veg approach whereby the prose is clean and efficient and largely invisible under the story, might find that it's not to their taste. (If you find that's the case then obviously your opinion is valid too, you philistine ;) ) Personally I loved it, even when it did startle me into rereading passages. (Seriously my lexical synaesthesia was having the mother of all banquets and kept retreating back, sated and overfull in the literary equivalent of a carb coma.) Muir doesn't pad her prose with excess words or lurid, purple descriptions but every word matters and has been carefully chosen and in consequence cannot just be skimmed through to access the story. The plot was excellent. Not only that but the structure was excellent. Not the slightest bit of a wobble and the ending landed perfectly. This is a huge achievement in any book, let alone a debut. (yes I know I have a small obsession with structure but that shit is important.) Best of all Muir has heeded the adage 'story is king' and the cleverness of her prose and characterisation has not got in the way of the story. The story itself is very engaging. We start with Gideon, an orphan was raised in the Ninth necromantic house. All she really wants to do is leave and her shot is through her sword craft since she is an exceptional swordswoman. Thwarting this desire at every turn is the heir to the Ninth House, Harrowhark. Harrow is the Reverend daughter and an accomplished osteomancer (a necromancer who specialises in bone). The pair have hated each other since childhood and this loathing has not grown weaker as they've grown up. A chance occurs for both women to get what they want, however it means that they will have to work together, something neither relishes. From there we're pitched into a fierce competition against candidates from the other eight houses, all with their own specialities, their own trained cavaliers and the advantage that they are not merely pretending to be a team. As the push-pull of inter-house politics becomes increasing cutthroat, a series of grizzly murders occurs. But there's no way back. The only way out, is through. Gideon may need to become Harrow's cavalier in truth if they are to survive. Meanwhile, outside the planets hosting the necromantic houses, a vast Empire struggles in a war that has last for hundreds of years. The scope of Gideon the Ninth is absolutely huge. We don't see much of the Empire of space in general here, but its woven in that the universe is far vaster than we're allowed to see. The world building itself is exceptional - everything from the mathematics (or mathemagics) and science of necromancy, to the traditions and lore of cavaliers, to the religious (kinda) beliefs and practices and the hints of a cohort recruiting soldiers for an undying emperor. Exquisite thought and detail goes into everything, paired with a slow peeling back of layers in a masterful gradual reveal. There's no infodump or casually dropped set of Cliff notes on the universe here. We learn exactly what we need to know, only to later look back and marvel at the richness of the knowledge we've been given and understand that there we clues and we have been carefully prepared. I could go on but I fear I'm veering into lyricism. So onto characterisation. It's excellent. I loved Gideon and through her pov I learned to love Harrow too. And not in a declarative hearts-on-sleeves kind of way, but in the most amazing slow burn not-quite-a-romance that keeps you hanging on for 500 odd pages before you get even a platonic touch but-omg-it's-so-worth-it-and-you-never-resent-the-time-taken-to-get-there way imaginable. It's beautifully done. These are not nice characters and if they're likeable, it's in spite of their huge flaws, but you cannot help rooting for them. There's a brilliant supporting cast too, and the villain, when revealed, is perfect. I'm not usually sideswiped by an ending. I'm one of those annoying people who tend to figure things out early on, and I did work out one reveal. But the other one knocked me sideways. And I mean, I was so shook I reread the moment it was happening three times. It make perfect sense but oh gods my heart! Anyway, no spoilers but it really worked. Hats off to the author on that one. This was an amazing experience and I'm so grateful I got to read it early. It's an outstanding book and possibly the best debut I've ever read. It's going to stay with me - always a good sign - and I can't wait for the next book. This is definitely on my best of 2019 list. Highly recommend.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Thomas Wagner

    Gideon the Ninth is a spectacular mess of a book. It fails as often as it works, and with the same degree of commitment from its author. In her debut, Tamsyn Muir displays enough imagination for any three writers and only a passing acquaintance with storytelling discipline. The resulting novel is a lot like one of the giant, beastly skeletal constructs that we encounter in its pages, smashing through walls and floors like some uncontrollable literary golem that’s broken its restraints. There is no mi Gideon the Ninth is a spectacular mess of a book. It fails as often as it works, and with the same degree of commitment from its author. In her debut, Tamsyn Muir displays enough imagination for any three writers and only a passing acquaintance with storytelling discipline. The resulting novel is a lot like one of the giant, beastly skeletal constructs that we encounter in its pages, smashing through walls and floors like some uncontrollable literary golem that’s broken its restraints. There is no middle ground here, gang. Readers are either gushing helplessly over this book, or they’ve DNF’d it within the first hundred pages. If Tamsyn Muir had pulled it off flawlessly, it might have been a more digestible read, but something tells me it wouldn’t have been nearly as interesting to talk about. Gideon Nav has grown up in the sepulchral holdings of the Ninth House, located deep within a crevasse on a world belonging to an empire whose ruler is an immortal deity. Gideon is a foundling, her origins shrouded in mystery, and she’s lived in indentured servitude to the House, where she’s nurtured a lifelong and mutual hatred between herself and its heir, young Harrowhark Nonagesimus. One of the stranger aspects of Muir’s world building is that we never seem to see many people in this presumably galactic empire. The Ninth House practices necromancy, because that’s just a cool gothy thing to do, and so there are hordes of animated skeletons to do all the menial work. Gideon has planned her escape from the Ninth, where she hopes to use her considerable sword fighting skills in the Cohort, the imperial military. But her freedom is thwarted by Harrow, who compels Gideon to serve as her cavalier — a kind of personal champion and aide-de-camp — on a mission of utmost importance, Harrow says, to the continued survival of the Ninth House. (continued...)

  29. 5 out of 5

    Emma

    I was intrigued when I read about this book. It sounded a bit different. I actually found it unwieldy and overpopulated, confusing and uneven. I liked Gideon and her foul-mouthed view point but it didn’t really match the rest of the book. It was a genre mashup but it was NOT sci fi- more of a murder mystery.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Madalyn (Novel Ink)

    This was so wholly original! Such a fresh concept, and a great execution. Gideon’s humor landed well with me, and I loved the relationship between Gideon and Harrow. And those last 100 pages? Perfection. I never wanted to stop reading! Buddy read with Lea 🖤

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