Gideon the Ninth

Tamsyn Muir
Gideon the Ninth Cover

Gideon the Ninth


Reading this novel is like watching a bunch of teenagers do a high-fantasy LARP -- but without having the vocabulary or articulacy to transcend their contemporary teenage slang. I was continually knocked out of the story by it -- "assmunch", "titties", and "resting bitch face" being just a few of many, many examples -- which made suspending my disbelief next to impossible.

This is a grimdark version of Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None. Unfortunately, the mystery is not enough to make up for the rest of the book. The main characters spend almost the entirety of the book exchanging snide and snarky remarks with each other, convinced that they are being ever so clever and impressive, while I wondered when -- or if -- something interesting would actually happen. About 40% of the way in (~180 pages), the action finally does pick up a little.

The book ends with a 40-page fight sequence, and I'll give the author credit for doing the research on sword-fighting techniques and for Lovecraftian monster descriptions, but it was just tedious, and I kept wondering when it was ever going to end. I felt like I was reading a videogame session transcript.

There are -- pardon the pun -- the bare bones of a plot and worldbuilding here, but unfortunately they were not developed enough to make a satisfying novel for me. But readers who are willing to accept non-stop snark and sarcasm as a substitute for character development may enjoy this book.