Hi, lovelies. Here’s my last couple of months in books, movies, television, and games.
So, I was apparently so excited about reading Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir that I accidentally bought it twice … at the same bookstore … within just a two week time period. I mean, the blurb on the cover describes it as “Lesbian necromancers explore a haunted gothic palace in space” — which was a string of words I didn’t know I wanted until reading this book.
Gideon is an orphan and a skilled sword fighter determined to leave the bleak shadows of the Ninth House. But her nemesis Harrowhark Nonagesimus, Reverend Daughter and bone witch, refuses to release Gideon until she completes one more task. Invited to compete in a deadly game of wits and skill to become a powerful servant of the Emperror, Harrowhark demands that Gideon become her cavalier (companion, sword master, and guard) for the extent of the trial.
Gideon the Ninth is gorgeously written, presenting a world of secret chambers and walking skeletons and the whispers of the dead that I absolutely adore. Gideon is a wonderfully snarky character, with a mixture of determination and skill that makes me want to root for her all the way through — and most of the enemies and companions she meets are equally interesting in their own ways. I love her journey and I love this world and (though I’ve heard the second book isn’t quite as good) I absolutely want more of it.
I grabbed How to Sell a Haunted House by Grady Hendrix as I was heading through the airport on my way out of town. Based on my past experience with Hendrix’s work, I expected a fast-paced, fun horror read — which is exactly what I got. What I didn’t expect was find myself wanting to cry within the first few chapters — but I got that, too.
When Louise learns that her parents have suddenly died, she quickly finds herself overwhelmed with the prospect of returning home and dealing with the collection of dolls, puppets, art, and other objects that her parents have amassed over the years. But dealing with her estranged brother, who is known for drinking and bouncing from job to job, might be even more overwhelming.
Aside from the horrors of a haunted house involving both dolls and puppets (shudder), this book is also a moving story about family trauma and grief. Louise and her brother Mark are both dealing with their grief in unique ways, and both also are holding onto secrets about their childhood that they would rather forget. In the end, it’s the coming together that helps them survive the hauntings from their past and present.
Continue reading “Culture Consumption: February and March 2023”