the Little Red Reviewer

Archive for the ‘Tamsyn Muir’ Category

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Hey, so you might remember that I when I’d put some books on hold at the library, I thought I was getting the first Tamsyn Muir novel, and OOPS, I put the 2nd book in the series on hold instead.   Following the advice of literally everyone who said “for the love of anything that is holy, do NOT read these books in the wrong order!”, I bought a copy of Gideon the Ninth, and binged the shit out of it, before reading the sequel, Harrow the Ninth.  And who is  awesome, and managed to read both of these before Harrow was due back at the library? Yep, this girl!

I suck, and didn’t have time to write a formal review, let alone two. So, here is some random thoughts about these two books.  There’s approximately eight billion reviews out there for Gideon the Ninth, so I kinda didn’t feel obligated to write up some formal, stuffy review.  Since I’m talking about both books here, there (eeeek!) might be some mild spoilers.  Also? since these books are snarky and sweary, so are my thoughts on them!

some random thoughts on Gideon the Ninth

  • I’m more than a little in love with this cover art.
  • ooh, Scif-Fantasy, I love it already!  the Ninth house is kinda a shithole? but damnit, it’s their shithole, and they love it. and like, um, how come there is plenty of grown-ups living there, but like, no kids? That one sentence explanation doesn’t explain enough. There better be more explanation later.
  • This book is 100% my sense of humor. Like, if you ever wanted to know what kind of jokes I like, just read Gideon the Ninth.
  • so, um, is this The Hunger Games (but with snark) in space?
  • Ummm. . .  this book is making me want to do a lot of push ups. (I can do ten in a row now! up from zero a year ago!)
  • blah blah blah, hunger games stuff. and then THAT SCENE.  I don’t mean the “I wanna fight that thing!” scene, I mean the scene with the room that she’s gotta walk across. All she has to do is walk across the room, get something at the other end, and walk back, and OMFG I GET IT NOW. All the hype? That was the scene in which I understood all the hype!
  • yo, bone magic is fucking cool.
  • I love how Muir describes things! the unexpected adjectives, the sharp and spiky metaphors, SO FUN! SO EMO!   I fucking LOVE IT.  I am dying laughing because Harrow talks in a fashion that is totally normal to her and her family, but everyone else like “why are you talking like you’re in some 1920’s vampire movie?”
  • omg, the memes!  the references!  I shouldn’t love them, things like this are supposed to throw me out of a story, but all I LOVE ALL OF THEM! they just made the scenes and the dialog even funnier!
  • Teacher is kinda weird?
  • Gideon and Harrow’s face paint is very cool. I love how much their face paint is “a thing”.
  • Seriously, can I have babies with this cover art. Unrelated, I haven’t laughed this hard in ages!
  • Ah, I get it, I think. They can work together and share knowledge, or hoard all the knowledge and keys for themselves. Which is better? sharing what you know and letting people be your equal, or being more powerful because you have knowledge that someone else doesn’t have?
  • I LOVE how drastically different all the houses are!  and their necromancy is different, I freakin love all this world building!
  • I’m getting a kick out of how queer everyone is. Like, people can have crushes on whoever they want, who cares what gender someone is. Very cool. I really like how Muir describes people – their eyes, how they move. their eyes. seriously, the eyes have it.
  • I really dig the sparing scenes.
  • I love that Gideon just does whatever the hell she pleases. Like, she answers to NO ONE.
  • Harrow, you did what?? Srsly, why the hell did you do that??? and now you have feelings for who?
  • Harrow, your parents did WHAT?  i actually can’t tell if that is awful/disgusting, or genius, or falls into doing what you gotta do so you can do what you gotta do.
  • OMG THAT END.  THE COST! I super can not wait to reread Gideon the Ninth next year, because since I know what’s going to happen, I can actually focus on the day to day in the story, and find all the nuggets that I was reading too fast this time to catch.
  • Yeah, the annoyance of having to learn to fight with a rapier, and leave a broadsword behind? Yep, i get it now.  Pretty. Fucking. Genius.
  • Dude! the cost for that IS EXPENSIVE, as it should be, right?  Things like that should cost you, and I deeply appreciate that everyone involved in the transaction understands the cost. or at least, they claim to.  Tanstaafl, you know?
  • um, I think I might have cried a little at the end.

totally unrelated, but I’m going to use a chicken carcass to make chicken broth. I’m using a dead chicken to make something. . . is that necromancy? hen-omancy?

LOL, confused yet?  I tried not to spoil too much.  Let’s move on to Harrow the Ninth!

  • where are all my fave characters?
  • I’d gotten so used to Gideon’s voice, that it’s strange to read a story from Harrow’s point of view.  I personally, feel rather parallel to Gideon’s inner monologue and general attitude towards life, and I don’t relate as well to Harrow.
  • Andrea! focus! this book is NOT from Gideon’s point of view! get over it!
  • 2nd person perspective? really? ok, I’ll give it a whirl. better be worth it.  Also, what the fuck is going on?
  • So, Harrow is hanging out with a fellow necromancer, the two of them are hanging out in the other girl’s over-decorated apartment, and I LOVE how Harrow describes the apartment, it was a perfect description of visual sensory overload, which I can totally relate to!
  • Awww, Harrow is such a cute little nun! She really has drank the Ninth House kool-aid, she really does believe in everything she’s supposed to believe in, she really is a prudish little nunlet who is grossed out when grown ups kiss each other, and that makes her even more adorable!
  • Seriously.  This isn’t how it happens. What the fuck is going on?
  • John, you gotta explain this. all y’all grown ups can not keep hiding behind closed doors and not be explaining shit to the kids.
  • Still kinda annoyed my fave peeps haven’t shown up yet.
  • All the different ways to paint your face have different names and different religious meanings? Harrow I’m sorry I thought you were a silly little nun because i’m loving the symbology and communication through face paint, tell me everything about all the different ways to paint your face! I NEED this appendix!
  • Harrow, what the fuck did you do to yourself, and why would you do that to yourself? Can you please not be a stubborn idiot for five whole minutes at a time?
  • Yeah, that’s not how it happens either. try again.
  • why does that guy keep trying to kill Harrow?
  • hahahaha! that was a really good yo-momma joke!
  • Sorry blondie, she’s just not that into you.
  • um, I don’t really get all this river stuff? Maybe it’ll make sense later.
  • WAIT. WHAT? back up, you’re going to have to explain, or I’ll just have to read this passage a few times, because this is super insane and cray-cray and holy shit!
  • Huh.  looks like someone hoarded their knowledge.   I bet they would have been the jerk who wouldn’t share any of their keys.  What a jerk!
  • yep, the eyes have it.  Also, this book wins for best dad joke possibly EVER.

In the end, I think I enjoyed Gideon the Ninth more than I enjoyed Harrow the Ninth. That doesn’t mean Harrow is bad (far from it!), it just means I preferred the narrative voice of Gideon.  That said, in Harrow the Ninth, there is a whole ton of “what the hell is really going on here”, that broke my brain in the most wonderful way!  And all that explanation, it needed to be in the second book. If all that had been revealed in the first book, everything that happens in the first book wouldn’t have been anywhere near as effective.

hey, so when does the third book come out?  I hope that book has a lot of bones in it.

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FTC Stuff

some of the books reviewed here were free ARCs supplied by publishers/authors/other groups. Some of the books here I got from the library. the rest I *gasp!* actually paid for. I'll do my best to let you know what's what.