Review: Gideon the Ninth

Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I definitely can see what all the hype was about. This was a book that always left me guessing at what was coming next. Perhaps my usual trope detection failed me, but it seems to at Tamsyn Muir was able to keep things constantly fresh with plot twists that I mostly didn’t see coming. Even the one that they kept telegraphing (relating to one of the necromancers) turned out to be different than what I was expecting. We’re almost left with more questions than answers, but yet I felt like they did a perfect job creating a story filled with satisfying character arcs.

If there is anything negative to say about the book, it’s that it asks certain questions – such as “At what price is science and knowledge too much?” But it doesn’t answer them because the answers are probably coming in future books.

The book is also an interesting blend of science and magic that works well as Muir has put it together. I wasn’t sure if we were later going to find out that there was a technological basis to the magic, but as of the end of this book, it seems that this is just a world that both has technology and necromantic magic.

The narrator for this version (Recorded Books) is masterful, imbuing each person with a unique voice. It made me feel that I’ve definitely enjoyed listening to it even more than I would have enjoyed straight reading. This is also the narrator for the second book, and I love when a series can get that kind of narrator consistency.

All-in-all, this is a strong recommendation from me. There is a fair bit of swearing. The LGBT+ aspects seemed to have been played way up in the discussion around this book compared to what was in it, which was just limited to a female-identifying character finding another attractive. There’s a fair bit of violence and gore, but that’s mostly left up to what you can imagine so your mileage may vary on how much that affects your enjoyment.

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