Gideon the Ninth review
This book is what 5 stars are reserved for. I feel like the bar has been raised significantly, and I’m not sure what to do about it.
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Gideon the Ninth is perfection in book form. It’s funny, weird, unexpected, charming, outrageous, and so much fun to read.
What I loved
I absolutely loved the way it’s narrated. The narration flits between objective and opinionated. It’s almost Hitchhiker’s Guide-like in its sarcasm and casual observation. It’s wonderful.
I adore Gideon as a character. Although she is confrontational and indifferent, she has many moments of strong emotion and real conscience. Which makes her slightly unpredictable but very, very likable.
Gideon has such a complicated personality. At first glance, she judges quickly (and we see other characters the way she sees them), but the more time she spends with these characters, the way we see them or the way they’re described changes.
This is another case of character-focused world-building. Rather than telling us what on earth this weird necromancer universe is right at the start, we’re gradually shown what it is through the characters and plot.
The reason the absolute nonsense works is because Gideon also knows nothing. So while we’re following her around, we’re in exactly the same position she’s in. Discovering and learning along with her. Her thoughts and the thoughts of the narrator mirror ours. At least they did for me.
There are so many modern phrases, references, and jokes made throughout. Which in any normal book wouldn’t work at all. But in this, they do, and I’m completely at a loss every time I read them.
This is one of those books you have to read alone. Don’t read anything else at the same time because your other book will suck in comparison. It just will.
I ended up reading it slowly because I enjoyed it so much and didn’t want it to end, which is silly because I have the second book sitting on my shelf.
This is a book I couldn’t stop thinking about. A masterpiece.
P.S. Don’t think I don’t see those Greek Mythology references, because I do!
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I put together a video listing all the Gideon the Ninth memes I could find. Have any more to add? Leave me a comment!