This review has been impossible to write, because I just don't know how to convey to you how much I loved this book. Sometimes, if you're lucky, a book will come around that blends all your favorite things together in one delightful melange. And sometimes, if you're very lucky, the exalted literary spirits will gift you with a book that doesn't just meet your high expectations...it exceeds them. And if you get very very very lucky, you'll get a book that happens to do both of those things. Gideon the Ninth was that book for me.
Queer necromancers in space comb through a decaying castle searching for magical secrets, battle skeletal horrors and have sword duels, and try to figure out who is killing them off before they are next. This was the gothic sci-fi fantasy mash-up my little black heart has been waiting for and I didn't even know it. Delightfully grotesque, irreverent, macabre, and sly, this book had me laughing, cringing, cheering, and crying in equal measure. Filled with imaginative and rich world-building, memorable characters (even the ones you hate), scenes that will stick with me for years, and numerous turns of phrase that left me equal measures of impressed and jealous. And did I mention the necromancers in this are actually creepy and gross? Because they are. Gloriously so.
With a wit and dark imagination that reminds me of Jay Kristoff's Nevernight trilogy, this book lands decisively on my favorite's shelf. I cannot wait to get my hands on a finished copy next September. If you've been looking for a book filled with shambling skeletons, sword fights, weird magic, space travel, snark, frienemy fireworks, and plenty of murder, this book is sure to charm you. This one is worth the wait, readers. Muir has crafted a true masterpiece.
Many thanks to the publisher for the review copy!