Gideon the Ninth Book Review

​​Title: Gideon the Ninth
Author: Tamsyn Muir
Genre: Fantasy, Science Fiction
Published: 2019
Pages: 444
Goodreads Rating: 4.23
Rating: 9/10

“Death first to vultures and scavengers.”

Imagine the life of Gideon the Ninth. You have no friends. You are in a place where you are despised but are unable to leave. Your future holds little to no hope of happiness and your afterlife is equally unattractive. So when you are unexpectedly given the chance to go offworld, you go for it. But what risks will this adventure hold? 

The characters, character development, and interpersonal relationships in Gideon the Ninth are fascinating and relatable. From secrecy and suspicion to companionship and trust… Muir had me immediately hooked to the main characters. As the story progressed, new relationships formed while others were severed and my emotional attachment to a variety of characters was tested throughout every chapter.

Unique story/plot
Gideon the Ninth was the first story I’ve read where the focus is on necromancy and I absolutely loved it. The settings were intriguing, the trials were intense, the politics between the houses was nerve-wracking, and the progression towards the ultimate sacrifice had you on the edge of your seat. The author did a great job of introducing variety with the settings, trials, and house values that kept the story unpredictable and gripping. The addition of a haunted house theme on top of the evolving relationships between the house representatives was brilliant.

Writing pace
This story moves! It is fast-paced and action-packed. Don’t get distracted while reading because you will likely miss a critical moment, comment, or thought that is referred to later in the story. I sincerely hope that this series becomes a movie or TV show because there is no down time and the stakes are high. 

Related to the writing pace, the last 100 pages make the book unputdownable. The ending is full of shocks, battles, and emotions that are anxiety-inducing. Don’t get too attached to any character. 

Surprise factor
As I mentioned above, the author did a great job of keeping the story reasonably unpredictable. Whether it was a plot twist or character backstory reveal, I was genuinely surprised a few times and thoroughly appreciated that I couldn’t predict what would happen.  

Battle scenes
Considering all of the pros of this book, the cons are minor and insignificant. But no book is perfect… so let’s go through the cons. The battle scenes were probably the weakest part of the story. I wish there had been a bit more description and scene setting to help me envision the moment. On top of this, there was a scene in the story that included two back-to-back battles and Gideon’s mentalities in the battles were the complete opposite of each other which made no sense. 

YA vs. mature moments 
Most of the characters in the story are young… teens and early 20s. So it makes sense for the story to come across as a bit more YA. The interpersonal relationships and dialogues were mostly reflective of their ages. But then there were random moments of maturity and wisdom that seemed to come out of nowhere. It would suddenly feel like I was reading a story with much older, experienced characters. 

Wow. I was thoroughly impressed with Gideon the Ninth. It is rare for a story to engross me so quickly. Within the first 30 pages, I was hooked and the story held my attention the entire time. After finishing Gideon the Ninth, I immediately picked up the second book and I look forward to finishing this series! 

Published by Caroline

Avid reader, board gamer, yogi, and photographer.

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