Cover Image: Gideon the Ninth

Gideon the Ninth

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Member Reviews

Mark my words this book is going to be a huge hit for this author. This is an exceptional thriller. - 5 STARS!!!!

I really don't want to discuss the plot because I want everyone to discover this story on their own terms. It's intricate. It's breathtaking. It's heart-pumping. It's shiver inducing. It's everything I could ever ask for in this genre. I started this book yesterday morning and tore through 75% without even realizing it. I was completely riveted to the pages. 

Thank you to NetGalley and publishing company for providing me with a digital ARC in exchange for my honest review.
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So I have this habit of like never reading a synopsis of a book if I’ve:
a) been recommended it by a trusted source,
b) received it as a gift and like the cover,
c) I’ve heard people rave about it and like the cover.

So I hadn’t read the synopsis for this because:
a) I received a review copy and I like the cover,
b) I’d heard people rave about it and I like the cover.

I wasn’t 100% sure what was going on initially; I knew I liked Gideon and I knew she didn’t want to be at the Ninth House. But it took me so long to catch up to the rest of the story like why Harrowhawk had been summoned, why Gideon had to go with her etc. This made it a little disjointed and really threw me of the flow of the book initially.

So I was very much getting into the flow of things here, I’m still a little confused about these trials, though I think all of the characters are, so I shifted my focus to Gideon’s story which concentrated much less on the trials, and more on the series of unfortunate events that began to unfold.

I was starting to think that maybe I had over-hyped this in my head but the more I delved into the story, the more I started to enjoy it. I think this book is just needy; it requires attention and a lot of it, so reading it over a two-week period like I did – when I usually read book in less than one week – just wasn’t ideal.

But I finished it, and as I invested more time and more paid more frequent visits, the more I felt ensnared by this story. I was still confused by the setting (I’ll explain more in the narrative) but I felt more and more consumed by the story as time went on. Which I was glad for. By the time the ending came about I felt like I was sufficiently rooting for the characters and it definitely meant I enjoyed it a whole lot more.

I’m really quite excited to read the next book in this series now, I’m just somewhat disappointed it took s long for it to get there. The ending was great in that finally things started to come together for Gideon and the mystery unfolding in front of the houses, but the balance felt off. It almost took too long for the ends to start to meet. But all in all it was an enjoyable and enticing ending.

Gideon – mostly likeable but there were times when her arrogance and ego annoyed me. And as a protagonist her narrative is somewhat lacking in detail, but she’s a good main character for the action and nature of this story.

Harrowhawk – a character that flipped between my good books and bad books, but spent more time in my good books as the time went on. I’ll be intrigued to see how Gideon and Harrowhawk’s relationship plays out in later books, because their development as a necromancer and cavalier duo is excellently portrayed.

Dulcinea – I started off liking her but soon got bored of this one. Once the action starts to happen, it was very easy to forget about her and concentrate more on some of the other house members however weird they might be. But they are certainly paramount to the depth of this story.

Battle and fight scenes are portrayed excellently in this book, which is obviously a key part of, and frequent occurrence in Gideon the Ninth as Gideon is a cavalier. There were a number of things that detracted from the story however; primarily it was the descriptions that really threw me. For example, I had this setting in my head that was kind of medieval monastery and next thing I know they’re getting in a spaceship and talking about electric toothbrushes. So at times it was an effort to merge these two contrasting settings into something comprehensible.

Overall I’m awarding this book 4 stars out of a potential 5. Once I got into the story I found it really intriguing; I liked the diverse cast, I enjoyed the mystery and I particularly loved the fantasy world and magic; it’s costs and limitations etc. However there were some aspects which made it – for me – a little disjointed to read. It’s worth sticking with if this is your kind of book (necromancy, sassy protagonist etc) it can just take a little time for the pieces to start to come together.

A big thank you to Tor Publishing for the review copy of this book.
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Highly entertaining with one of the most unique and amusing main characters in a while. Don't expect a lot of world building, but if you are really into snarky characters, cyber punk/science fiction and a smouldering F/F romance, pick this one up!
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Tried reading this a few times and just could not get through it due to the writing style - I loved the idea of the book but the writing style was just not for me and made this really difficult for me to read.
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This book, friends.

This f*cking book.

Gideon the Ninth was on my radar for a while. Lesbian necromancers in space? How can you NOT want to read that?! But I was also a bit leery because I haven't had the best luck with sci-fi lately. I'm pleased to say that this book was a definite win, though, and now one of my recommended must-read titles for the year!

A solid mix of fantasy and sci-fi, Gideon the Ninth follows the gruff fighter Gideon who seeks freedom from her mistress before they both end up in the middle of a murder mystery risking both their lives. To be perfectly honest, I wasn't hooked at the beginning. It took about 10-15% of the book before I started falling into it. There's a lot happening, a lot of names to keep track of, a lot of world-building to piece together. Muir created a world meant for exploration but we don't necessarily get the time to do that as Gideon and the Ninth House necromancer Harrow fly off to a new planet to compete for the chance at greatness. 

At this point I expected it to take on a sort of Hunger Games-esque vibe with eight houses competing to achieve the title Lyctor (basically make themselves super freaking powerful) but instead it was mostly a puzzle to solve which I liked a lot more. I never felt like Gideon the Ninth fit a single mold or trope. Every time I thought it would go one direction, things would shift in another.

Now Harrow is better than Gideon at puzzles, by the way, but you're in Gideon's head for this book so that became a bit of an interesting struggle.

And then we go full-on murder mystery, necromancers and their cavaliers dying one after the next. It was good... really good.

So good I don't really know how to describe it. 

Gideon the Ninth is a confusing book at times but I found that once I let the world wash over me so I was in the moment with Gideon, I couldn't put it down. The pacing kept the story moving at a good pace without flying through so quickly the reader is left in the dust. Gideon's sarcastic nature and wit, not to mention her questionable morals, made her not only a protagonist I wanted to follow but also see succeed at the end. Her soon-to-be partner in crime Harrowhark is an altogether different creature but really she's just been bottling a lot of emotions up and I loved watching her shell slowly crack until the two of them stopped their ridiculous arguing and developed a relationship.

So no complaints plot-wise, action was awesome. Loved the world-building. Then Muir comes in and wrecks EVERYTHING (in the most spectacular way) in the last 10-20 pages of the whole freaking book.

I. Died. 

There was a lot of swearing involved.

And mental throwing of books across the room.

Essentially Muir ensured you will immediately need the sequel as soon as you finish Gideon the Ninth.

Be prepared.

In all seriousness, it's been hard for me to talk about this book because it's intricate and confusing and lovely and dark and gritty and weirdly romantic at times and I just... I loved it. One of my new favorite adult SFF titles, hands down, and I can't recommend it enough!
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Soooo… This isn't working for me. I have tried and tried again but with no success and I'm not going to lie, more often than not I found myself zoning out unknowingly before having to backtrack to re-read the same paragraph over and freaking over again so hence I'm done and over this snoozefest. Therefore I guess it's safe to say this wasn't for me. At all. Sure I know this would definitely be considered an unpopular opinion in which case I don't give care, I was nearly put to sleep by this boring novel and with me zoning out so much, I had no idea what the hell was happening and I was barely ¼ in. So why waste my time and energy on something I know I'm not going to enjoy reading? So deuces my friend, it was nice knowing you!
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GUYS I really enjoyed this ?? Am I getting out of my fantasy funk?? This was so entertaining and dark and the magic system was GREAT

while I agree with the tag line of lesbian necromancers in space, it’s less emphasis on space so don’t think that going in. I also would TOTALLY compare this to Nevernight in tone and plot (more like a combo of Nevernight and Godsgrave) So would highly recommend for Jay Kristoff fans!!

Will 100% be continuing after that ending wowee
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I wanted to call this book my sleeper pick for the best debut of the year, but seeing as the book isn’t even out yet and already has a subterranean press version being made it seems like I am not the only one in the know. Gideon the Ninth, by Tamsyn Muir, was one of our dark horses for 2019 and a book we have been paying close attention to – mostly because it features necromancers. I feel like necromancers are mages that everyone thinks are cool, but don’t have enough books to scratch my lich. I was super pumped to see a new story about raising undead minions hitting shelves, and the fact that it’s a kickass action-adventure is the icing on the cake.

Gideon the Ninth has an ambitious and complicated premise, so bear with me. If I had to describe it in a single sentence it would be: Triwizard tournament meets murder mystery dinner in space. The setting is a galaxy-spanning empire run by a necromancer so strong he might as well be a god. This “necro lord prime” has nine houses underneath him, each with their own culture, specialty necromancer magic, and noble family. Our protagonist is the titular Gideon, orphan, swordswoman, and slave of the Ninth House. Gideon is an interesting character with a strong sword arm and a foul mouth. She has a bombastic and humorous personality that will have you laughing out loud and rolling your eyes (in a good-humored way). The book as a whole is extremely funny, but I found the humor more present in the first half as book gradually takes on a more serious and emotional tone. She is also a queer protagonist if that is something you are looking for in a book.

The first part of the book details Gideon’s frustrating life as a servant of Harrow, the noble daughter of the Ninth House. After trying to escape from Harrow’s clutches and repeated abuse for years, Gideon is offered a deal: team up with Harrow in a special tournament of champions, help her win, and go free. See, the lord necromancer is looking to build a new council of lieutenants and the selection process is shrouded in mystery. All the characters know is that it involves eight of the noble houses (numbers Two through Nine) sending a swordsperson and necromancer duo to represent them in a competition of sorts at the First House. So, Gideon of course accepts, and the majority of the book takes place in a giant mysterious tower with an eight-way battle royal between sixteen contestants.

God, I still have a lot to talk about and we are already almost five hundred words in. For starters, the characters in this book are stellar. A really good way to tell if a book has interesting characters is if you can remember, and differentiate, twenty-seven god-damn archaic names thrown at you all at the same time. Muir does not make it easy to remember who is who, with the reader meeting 10+ people all at the same time and casually rotating between referring to them by their first and last names depending on who is talking. But, she made it work. Every character is interesting, complex, memorable, and evocative of their unique identity on each page, which both helps you keep everything straight and get invested in the story. Shout out to Septimus, the enigmatic and studious royal of team “Eighth House” for being my crush – he’s super cool. However, all the characters were enjoyable and there wasn’t a single one I would change. In addition, Muir gave each of the houses a different take on necromancy, which was very exciting. It was like getting eight entirely different necromancer books at the same time.

Mum’s the word on the actual competition in the book, as figuring out what the competition actually entails is half the fun. The characters are left in this giant magical ‘Tower of Babel’ type structure, with no guidance, and told simply to go to town. This does a great job to stoke the reader’s sense of curiosity and urgency while reading the book, while also creating this tense atmosphere of distrust between all of the characters as no one understands the rules of the “game.”

The worldbuilding in Gideon The Ninth is a complicated and nebulous topic, as I think it is a strength and a weakness of the book. As a strength: Muir has some really cool and interesting ideas. Necromancy, in my humble opinion, is hard magic to make fun and exciting – as it traditionally just involves raising undead minions. Muir manages to make classical takes on necromancer magic fresh and exciting, as well as invent several cool new takes on the magic. In addition, she does all of this in space, which just adds another layer of complication to the subject. The houses are all interesting and felt like they have complex histories that are breeding grounds for conflicts. The tensions between houses in the book feel organic, and you get a nice feeling of this huge space empire where each house takes on a different role.

However, while I think all of the above positives about Muir’s worldbuilding are true, I also think that the world-building can feel extremely piecemeal at times. While houses feel unique and well fleshed out, this is only true about the houses that Muir takes time to talk about (which is about half). The other houses are left completely unexplained, and it can leave the reader frustrated. While you will get these nice little details on how this space empire runs, a lot of what is going on is left completely unexplained and the reader needs to be comfortable with being left in the dark. I got the sense that Muir built out this very intricate and well-realized universe, but then didn’t explain enough of how her world works in the book so that you get this sense that you are missing a ton of information. It can also create this sense of “false depth,” where the worldbuilding seems deep on the surface but lacks the small details to really breathe life into the world. I think a lot of these worldbuilding problems stem from plot relevancy. It often feels like Muir wants to keep how her world works secret, and the only details you can pry out of her hands are the worldbuilding that is immediately relevant to the story. In the end, it gives the sense that Gideon the Ninth is less the first book in a series, and more the first half of a really good incomplete book.

All things considered, Gideon The Ninth is an ambitious, engrossing, creative, hilarious romp that stands out in the science fiction and fantasy genres. It has some issues, but they do little to detract from the pure unbridled joy I felt as I tore through this debut. Gideon The Ninth is likely the strongest debut of the year and is one of the funniest books I have read recently. Despite its unique outlandish premise, I can’t think of a person I know who wouldn’t enjoy it, and I suspect it’s going to have a fairly large following pretty quickly. Don’t sleep on this dark horse, go check out one of the best books of the year.

Rating: Gideon The Ninth – 9.0/10
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This is easily one of the best books of 2019, as well as one of the best science fiction and fantasy books of the past decade. I have never read a book quite like it before. It has an original premise, as well as a cast of unforgettable characters. Muir does a fantastic job setting up the world and characters, drawing the reader into her intricate, witty, and haunting world. I knew this book would be a success when, after reading the major twist/event at the end of Act 2, I was literally yelling "noooo!" from under the bed covers.

Tamsyn Muir is an author to look out for. I am already counting down the days until her next brilliant book.
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The nitty-gritty:  Weird, shocking, bloody and did I mention weird? Reading Gideon the Ninth was an experience.

Gideon the Ninth was weird. I can honestly say I’ve never read anything quite like Tamsyn Muir’s debut, so if you’re looking for that elusive, completely original story, then Gideon might just be the book for you. And for comparison sake, I was reminded of Catherynne M. Valente's Radiance and Space Opera, if that gives you an idea of what to expect. I was asked to join a buddy read for this book, something I’ve never done before, and that in itself was an eye-opening experience and may have colored my overall impressions of the book. Our small group got off to a rocky start when one of us immediately declared Gideon a DNF, and a second wanted to do the same but decided to shoulder on. It was with some trepidation that I dove in, knowing up front that there was already dissent in the ranks, but I was determined to give it a chance nonetheless. And in the end, I’m glad I did. Gideon the Ninth isn’t the five star book I was hoping it would be, but I absolutely loved some parts of it, and I find myself eager to read the next installment. 

Gideon Nav is little more than a slave in the House of the Ninth, the cold and decrepit planet she’s lived on her entire life. After years of servitude and living in a locked cell, she’s finally devised a plan to leave the planet for good. But that plan is foiled when she’s caught during her escape attempt. Her nemesis and tormentor, the Lady of the Ninth House, the Reverend Daughter Harrowhark Nonagesimus (I know, it’s a mouthful!), strikes a deal with her—if Gideon agrees to accompany Harrow to the House of the First and act as her cavalier in a competition for the immortal title of Lyctor, Harrow will release Gideon and give her the freedom to go wherever she wants.

But when they arrive on the planet and assemble in Canaan House with the cavaliers and necromancers from the other Houses, it becomes clear that Teacher, the priest of the First who is in charge of the competition, is hiding some nasty surprises. And the “competition” itself, which was meant to be a series of sword fights between cavaliers, turns into a hunt for hidden keys which will open secret doors throughout the House. But something sinister is hiding in the bowels of the House, and it’s killing off the competitors one by one. Gideon and Harrow realize they must join forces with their enemies if they want to make it off the planet alive.

Most reviewers seem to either love or hate Gideon’s voice and Muir’s writing style, and I myself had mixed feelings about both. On the one hand, I love how unique the prose is, how Muir’s evocative language sets the tone for her strange story. But I’ll admit there were sentences that confused the hell out of me and pulled me out of the action. As for Gideon, I loved her snarky, no holds barred attitude toward life. I mean, she’s certainly suffered a lot and she’s earned every snarky, angry sentence she utters. But Muir gives her an oddly contemporary vibe that just didn’t fit with the rest of the story. The first time I ran across one of Gideon’s many slang expressions, I shrugged it off as a fluke. But then those expressions—”hot damn!,” “resting bitch face,” “let’s bounce”— kept coming and coming and, you get the idea.

This isn’t one of those books where I fell hard for the characters. I can’t actually say that I loved any of them, but what I did appreciate was the subtlety of the relationships. Gideon is queer, in fact you may have heard this book described as “Lesbian necromancers in space,” which while a great description, doesn’t feel quite right to me. Nothing about these relationships is overt, and Muir does a fantastic job of creating a relationship between Gideon and Harrow without going overboard. In fact, Gideon and Harrow hate each other for most of the story, and I liked that when their relationship changed, it felt honest.

There’s a lot to learn about this world, which is one reason Muir probably spends so much time in the beginning laying the groundwork. Gideon the Ninth suffers from a slow, jerky beginning and doesn’t really smooth out and take off until the second half. First, there are a multitude of characters that the reader must keep straight. There are nine Houses with at least two characters from each House involved in the story. I honestly had trouble keeping everyone straight, and it wasn’t until Muir weeds out some of her large cast by killing them off that I started to find myself invested in some of the side characters. I also found that each character has more than one name. Harrow has many titles, and she’s referred to all of them at various times in the story. Gideon also is called both “Gideon the Ninth” and “Gideon Nav,” as well as Harrow’s nickname for her, Griddle. And then we have the physical locations: the nine planets for each House with castles and tombs and other structures, one presumes. It was all a little overwhelming. In this first book, the reader only gets to see two of the Houses, and the trip from one to another was done by shuttle craft, an odd and almost out of place sci-fi element in a dark, fantasy-laden story.

But there are a lot of cool elements in the book. I loved the way Harrow uses bones to magically raise animated skeletons to do her bidding. And because of Harrow’s abilities, you just know that in this world, dying isn’t necessarily the end. Harrow has reanimated the corpses of her dead parents, for example, and when you learn more about their deaths at the end of the story, that idea becomes even creepier. There’s also a big secret about where Gideon came from—she came to the Ninth as a baby and is an orphan—and Muir reveals some shocking facts about her right at the end of the book. Oh, and I haven’t even mentioned the sword fighting yet!! In the midst of all the craziness, the cavaliers are ruled by strict traditions and fight with rapiers and swords, which, despite the futuristic, planet-hopping story line, gives this book a weird historical feel. If only these all these elements had been more seamlessly woven together, I think the book would have been much more successful, at least for me.

But oh my lord, the last thirty percent or so was simply amazing, hence my final rating of four stars. Muir seems to finally settle into her story, and it didn’t hurt that she has more of a tight focus heading toward the end line. The story veers firmly into mystery territory as the cavaliers and their necromancers make their way through the twisty corridors, musty tunnels and hidden passageways of Canaan House, searching for keys and hidden doors and ultimately, trying to stay alive. The story at this point reminded me of Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None, as character after character gets knocked off in increasingly bizarre and mysterious ways. Muir ends on a strong note as well, leading us directly into the sequel, which I thought was a smart thing to do. 

Whether they love it or hate it, people are going to be talking about this book, which is the goal of publishing, after all. I wasn’t sure when I started reading, but now I’m excited to see where Muir takes her story next. After that WTF ending, there is no way I’m going to miss book two, Harrow the Ninth.

Big thanks to the publisher for supplying a review copy.
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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!
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Okay, so, as I all but bragged, I received an ARC for this, and ironically, that’s actually going to make this harsher than otherwise. I don’t really rate books here, if I post about them, that already means I like and recommend them. In this case, until the very end, it was absolutely a recommend from me and even then, I’m tentative. 

The plot is simple enough: the Emperor needs necromancers, all the Houses send a candidate, the Ninth House sends Harrow and as her cavalier, a kind of second and protector, Gideon. Who has grown up hating Harrow. Excellent start.

The absolute strength of the book is in the writing of those two characters. How we first meet Harrow:

The Lady of the Ninth House stood before the drillshaft, wearing black and sneering. Reverend Daughter Harrowhark Nonagesimus had pretty much cornered the market on wearing black and sneering. It comprised 100 percent of her personality. Gideon marvelled that someone could live in the universe only seventeen years and yet wear black and sneer with such ancient self-assurance. 

But hey, maybe after they’ve met all the other Houses and realize they’re going to team up to advance in the trials, they’ve warmed to each other?

Gideon the Ninth, who would have paid cash to be called absolutely anything else, rose as her mistress rose. They exchanged glances that even through one layer of veiling and one layer of tinted glass were violently hostile, but there was too much going on to stand and pull go-to-hell faces at each other. 

Kind of, lol. Progress! That encapsulates their dynamic and the tone of the book perfectly. I LOVED them and they were my absolute favorite part. The book was at its best when it centered on them and would drag when Harrow was out of the picture for long. It was a really…busy book? It went from a trial to a puzzle to murder mystery whodunnit to plain old horror back to plain old scifi, and it’s not to say that I hated any of that, I just didn’t expect some of it. Which is fine, for the most part the writing bridged that, and the characters. So many characters. 

There were a confusing number of characters aside from our main two and I did have trouble remembering who was who, since they’d be referred to by different titles at different times (and, in a mistake I assume is fixed from the ARC, a couple of times by the outright wrong one). But if this were just a regular book post, I’d have glossed over all that, none of that was even close to being a deal breaker.

Given how long I’d been waiting for this and how much, it was always going to be interesting to see how it’d measure up. As I was reading it, I could feel myself nodding at a particular line or reveal, at times it was better than I’d expected. And then at other times I’d catch myself thinking, huh, this could have been done better. Which is about as good as you could expect, I guess, with hopes that high? 

All right, now we get to the ending. Obviously, spoilers, although I’ll try to be vague:
[mildly spoilery reference to ending hidden behind a read more cut at link]

I kind of selfishly want the rest of you to quickly read it and then come discuss the ending with me!
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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)
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Gideon the Ninth is one of the most unique books I have ever read: from the idea itself, to the story, to the world-building and the characters — everything is unexpected and original in the very best way!

Okay, so here’s what I loved: the world with its different houses, with sword fighters and necromancers, all set in space. The characters and their dynamics; Gideon: sarcastic, witty, brave, loyal; and Harrow: intelligent, determined, seemingly cold at times, but actually feeling too much. The murder mystery aspect tied to a competition, which had me both terrified at times and yet captivated, always at the edge of my seat.

But because the world-building is so rich and there’s so much to follow, I was a bit confused at the beginning — and although most of my confusion lessened throughout the story, there were still aspects that I found hard to grasp.

Overall, this is a truly innovative debut, which I’m sure I won’t soon forget. I loved the character dynamics so much and the character development, especially on Harrow’s part, was hands down amazing! Even though the plot was at times confusing, this is still a brilliant book. And that ending! I’m heartbroken, but also the tiniest bit hopeful — I can’t wait for the sequel, Harrow the Ninth!

(A full review will be posted on my blog, Ink & Myths, closer to the release date.)
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Firstly thank you Tor for sending me an arc of this upcoming novel for an honest review!

Gideon was one of those books I was pumped for, it sounded cool and interesting. It's not a norm topic in ya right now so I was like yeah something new and exciting to spice up my reads. That my friends is not what happened sadly. I struggled with this book a bit mostly the beginning. The writing style is different and I had a hard time following at points as to what was going on. It's also a slower start, lots of building up of characters that I didn't feel was needed as  we don't connect to them later on.

However it did pick up and if you don't mind a slower start which I feel like maybe it was just me and the way I read the summary thinking it'd be different. The ending was very interesting, and you learn a lot about the necromancers and see a tad into the mysterious Emperor.

Gideon's humor is probably what I enjoyed the most about this book. It's not your typical humor and her lines had me rolling at times. Harrow sucked, but like shes intended to alas she does grow on ya at the end. I will say though the romance thing it talks about...there's no relationship in this book. You only get hints to what the characters like no actual romance so that was a bummer.

Overall I'd recommend this book to others esp as audio I think it'd be a great audiobook.
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Gideon the Ninth is the first book in The Ninth House trilogy. The story follows Gideon, an orphan ward of the Ninth House, has been trying to escape for years. In exchange for her freedom, Gideon strikes a deal with her childhood rival, Harrowhawk, Reverend Daughter of the Ninth House and bone witch, and agrees to pretend to be her cavalier during a deadly trial being hosted by the Emperor. 

This book is not a quick-read at all. There’s a lot of information regarding the world and its history, the social structure, the different houses, and all of the information is relevant to the story. The characters don’t really have a lot of backstory, which to some extent I wish was there. I understand though, considering how many different characters there are in the story that there would be way too much to keep track of. A glossary/character list would definitely be helpful and I hope there’s one in the final copy. I loved Gideon’s character. She’s snarky and super funny. Her puns are on point. The overall story is filled with gore, wonderfully-written fight scenes, lesbian necromancers, and it takes place in space! I’m curious about the sequel and look forward to the next book.

I received an advanced copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.
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