Gideon the Ninth

Gideon the Ninth

Book - 2019
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"Unlike anything I've ever read. " --V.E. Schwab"Lesbian necromancers explore a haunted gothic palace in space!" --Charles StrossThe 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 arcane revenants. 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. The emperor has called his necromancers to action, and Harrowhark is set on Gideon attending her as bodyguard. If Gideon survives, she'll be a hero, and a free woman. If not, she can look forward to eternity as a shambling bone-servant.
Publisher: New York : Tor, 2019.
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9781250313195
1250313198
Branch Call Number: FANTASY MUIR T
Characteristics: 444 pages ; 22 cm

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JCLS_Ashland_Kristin Apr 22, 2020

Necromancy fantasy is usual not my thing, but I enjoyed this book. I had a love/hate relationship with the dialog: super funny, but it leans too heavily on current slang which clashes with the futuristic setting. Curious to see where the author takes this and will be checking out "Harrow the Ninth" when it comes out next month!

MickWF Apr 07, 2020

Necromancy. Science-Fantasy. Murder mystery. Sword play. Haunted mansion with creepy hidden laboratories. Rivalry and romance. Angsty sarcastic punk protagonist. This book could basically be the premise of a new My Chemical Romance album.

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BisexualBastard
Mar 23, 2020

An extremely well crafted book, with strong worldbuilding and interesting characters. This book hooked me in immediately, and it was on of the most enjoyable (and terrifying) reads of my life. However, I felt the ending was in bad taste, as it feel into harmful tropes for black and gay characters. More's the pity. Otherwise, I certainly would recommend this! If you're so inclined, give this a read!

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brucechrumka
Mar 13, 2020

I was looking forward to liking this book but had to put it down halfway through because the gnashing of my teeth got too loud. Sigh. It felt like I was reading a paint-by-numbers kit on 'How to Write a Trendy Best-Seller'. There wasn't a single character that didn't feel contrived or possible to believe for a nanosecond. I didn't buy Gideon for an instant. Plenty of hyper-modern bitchy dialog straight out of reality TV and millennial speak. Check! Downtrodden princess-in-waiting? Check! Unbelievable sword skills? (No bows and arrows here though Ms. Muir must have avidly studied the Hunger Games). Check! Ultracool haunted gothic palace floating in space? (Try reading Gormenghast or The Golden.) Check! Way stylish bone magic? Check! Competition for the fate of the Universe? Check! Nefarious Emperor? Check! Teenage angst? Check! Necromancy (Oooooh, Necromancy!!!)? Check! Trendy yet uber chic gender bending? Check, check, check! (Try reading some truly brilliant writing with lesbian characters like Slow River or Oranges are Not the Only Fruit). And slathered with awards, even a Nebula nomination. Ugh.

I'm not a masochist but do like seeing what the shooting is about with the best-sellers du jour. Da Vinci Code? Page turning but holier than meh. The Bridges of Madison County? Drivel...and what a sequel! Sold eight copies. The Alchemist/The Prophet/The Celestine Prophecy/Jonathan Livingston Seagull? New Age sewage for the functionally illiterate. I couldn't read Fifty Shades of Spanking...I do have some standards.

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SherryMarieJ
Mar 12, 2020

recommended by TOR

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Linyarai
Mar 07, 2020

I read this for the "Set In Space" part of my 2020 reading challenge. I went in thinking it wasn't going to by my style or my thing, and I was pleasantly surprised. I loved Gideon's character and her original insults. I liked how the plot was never predictable. There were still a few things that felt unresolved at the end, but I will definitely be reading the next book.

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SOUPCHAMP
Mar 05, 2020

This is the coolest book of all time. It made me forget about my soup and by the time I finished the book, my bowl of soup was as cold as the catacombs of the Ninth house. It was a ministrone soup. minastronay. minestronnae. You know the soup with all the veggies and noodles or rice? That one. Yeah.

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fyrequeene
Feb 20, 2020

Every bit of five stars. If you like this sort of thing--fantasy that's dark, violent, bloody, and language that's breathtakingly original--you will love this book. One of the blurbs on the back cover says "sharp as a broken tooth", and that's straight-to-the-point accurate. Muir is an exciting new voice, and I eagerly await her future work.

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Lizphibian
Jan 24, 2020

I can’t believe it took me this long to read Gideon the Ninth—but now that I have, I almost wish I’d waited a little longer. This book devastated me in all the right ways and I NEED the sequel in my veins immediately, but now I have to wait until June. Life is so unfair sometimes.

You know how there are some books that are just so perfect that they leave you resonating like a struck bell for days or weeks afterwards? Books that seem like they’re written on psychic paper because every word feels like it was pulled directly out of your dreams? That was Gideon the Ninth for me.

There are bones (so many bones), sharp-edged girls, and enough five-dollar words to buy some extremely fancy sunglasses. Seriously, you have to love any book that has words like “deliquesce” and “sugarlips” on the same page. Add to that a whole host of ridiculous characters with confusing names that the author SOMEHOW makes you deeply care for despite all that, and you’re starting to see why I loved this book. It’s been a while since I read a book that both made me laugh and cry ugly tears (on one memorable occasion, at the same time).

I can see how it’s not the easiest book for some readers to get into. The author really makes you work for this one—there’s a complex, ornate setting that’s vital to the plot, but absolutely zero info dumps to lay out the basics for you. For me, accustomed as I am to doorstopper fantasies, this actually added to my enjoyment. Nobody really enjoys “As you know, Bob” conversations, and the feeling that the story doesn’t exist purely to educate the reader made everything seem so much more real and immediate.

That said, if you’ve ever read or played anything set in the Warhammer 40,000 universe, you’ll have a head start on understanding Gideon’s world. It’s of the same paradigm: immortal Emperors, prehistory that looks curiously like the modern day, and gothic trappings dialed up to ten thousand. Gideon’s empire doesn’t have the aggressive masculinity of Warhammer, but it’s better for the lack of it. And if you just desperately want big swords, well, Gideon’s got you covered there too.

I’d usually recommend a few readalikes here, but honestly Gideon is so unique that there’s nothing else like it (maybe The Library at Mount Char, if you squint really hard). Let’s just say that if anything I said above piqued your interest, this book is well worth a read—it’s so much better than I can express.

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Blackmail
Nov 25, 2019

Plotted like a page-turner murder mystery, storied like a tearjerker romance, and draped in a wonderful gothic science fantasy atmosphere.

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