ARC Review // Gideon The Ninth by Tamsyn Muir

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I was sent this as an ARC through Edelweiss in exchange for my honest review

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At the risk of saving time this review isn’t going to be fluffy with quotes about how much I loved every single bit of this because as much as I dearly wanted to become obsessed with this book it just didn’t happen. I’ll try and be as concise as possible.

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My Thoughts:

When we first meet Gideon she is trying to plan an escape from Ninth House when she’s stopped by a childhood rival, The Reverend Daughter of The Ninth House, Harrowhark. Who is also the most powerful Necromancer of her generation. We learn at a meeting for the whole house that The King Undying AKA God of this universe wanted to bring each of the Necromancers and their sworn Cavaliers from every house to participate in challenges that will end in possible Sainthood for the victors. Let me just say that the exposition was set up well to prepare you for the somber and decaying atmosphere of the book. I was truly excited upon reading it because the beginning was dark and gritty just how I like my fantasies. Anyways let’s fast forward to Gideon getting to Canaan House because the first 17% is your introduction to Ninth House, The Proposition of The King Undying/God and Gideon GETTING there, and then Act Two Begins.

Canaan House is described to be a crumbling Kingdom that is attempting to restore itself to glory. The whole point of the challenges that each pair has been thrown into is to collect keys to unlock doors down to old abandoned parts of the dwelling, which include old labs, living quarters, old sci-fi relics from a time of great power in Canaan house and the first to figure out the meaning of these challenges will ascend to be a Lyctor. This is where nothing proceeds to happen for the next 20% of the book minus mindless fighting, cryptic messages that still aren’t answered while even MORE plot lines are being laid down. Gideon isn’t permitted to speak to anyone at all, or to leave her rooms but finds friendship and a teenage crush in Dulcinea Of Seventh House, The Necromancer with Chronic Illness. Did I mention that Harrow has yet to tell Gideon anything about her opponents or the meaning behind the keys but the absolute bare minimum and we’re at 45% which leaves Gideon in the dark while mysterious deaths are occurring AND the reader as well.

At this point in time I was waiting for the conclusion of the challenges and maybe a close in on WHO the bad guy was but even the characters were unsure of what was going on and what they should have done and I mean that. Like, instead of coming together as a team and figuring it out they start DUELING for no reason, THEN decide to split up and find yet another missing teammate. At this point we’re 75% in and no closer to figuring out who is killing people and we don’t know the point of the challenges. There’s no communication off the planet and Harrow is still keeping secrets and Gideon is being pulled between the plot lines like a pinball. At 77% a few plot lines are finally closed but the main question of What the end of the challenge truly IS isn’t revealed until the 80-90% mark. it seemed like the author knew she had to close all of the underdeveloped mysteries and didn’t know how so they all ended up feeling very under developed and lazy which I was so sad about. It was like the build up to a great fanfare but the whole thing comes out off-key. Let me just end this part by saying they finally reveal who the “villain” is at 90%. Then cue a 30 page fight scene that did not lead to anything but more casualties, and what is the weakest ending I have read this year. The ending completely undoes the entire book and throws away a lot of the mysteries you go through at the end of the book. It was extremely predictable but I wanted to love it so much, and I tried. It was just more confusing and vague than anything. I couldn’t figure out which “reveal” she wanted to be the big plot turning point since it was so rushed and I wasn’t invested in any of the characters’ backgrounds Where was the climax?

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I don’t think Gideon and Harrowhark’s relationship was as well developed as it should have been, Gideon was allowed no growth or room to move while Harrow completed things behind her back that we weren’t privy to. The fact that the other characters’ storylines weren’t built upon either didn’t help. Each had a very superficial personality and I couldn’t tell a lot of them apart minus names because everyone was so one note. I couldn’t tell anyone’s intentions or alliances and I’m sure that was supposed to add to the mystery but it hurt it in my opinion. The only thing Gideon seemed to care about was fighting, panting at everything with curves, and trying to wrangle Harrowhark and save Dulcinea from dying from her illnesses. Once Gideon and Harrowhark’s pasts are revealed to you at 70-80% it doesn’t even reveal what. is. going. on. There was an apparent love triangle? Which absolutely did not make sense.

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Wrap Up:

In conclusion I just felt like it dragged on a lot more than it should have, and that there wasn’t enough character development overall. The events of the book were exciting but misplaced and poorly explained at the end. If you don’t like a cliffhanger of an ending, good luck because you’re left with even MORE questions.

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2 thoughts on “ARC Review // Gideon The Ninth by Tamsyn Muir”

  1. I’ve still got my eyes on this book but I’m interested to see where I fall in terms of liking this. The premise is right up my alley but I can’t with a plot that drags. (Side note, I dig the long reviews; keep em up.)


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