The Sword and Laser discussion

Gideon the Ninth (The Locked Tomb, #1)
This topic is about Gideon the Ninth
203 views
Gideon the Ninth > GtN: the Snark is Strong With This One

Comments Showing 1-50 of 69 (69 new)    post a comment »
« previous 1

Ruth | 1055 comments So I just started listening to the audiobook yesterday, and after two chapters I a can confidently say - it’s not quite what I was expecting. Somehow I thought a story which opens with our heroine trying to escape indentured servitude on a planet of necromancers would have a more serious tone, but no, when the overseer shows up, the first thing she does is try to bribe him with a magazine called “Frontline Titties”, and we carry on in much the same vein.

Gideon apparently loves snarking at everything and everyone, and so pretty much every sentence has some snide observation or another ... my favourite so far is the description of Harrowhark:
“Reverend Daughter Harrowhark Nonagesimus had pretty much cornered the market on wearing black and sneering. It comprised 100 percent of her personality.”
The audiobook is read by Moira Quirk in exactly the right tone, so I found myself smirking almost constantly at the dry humour. It’s certainly enjoyable to listen to, although I don’t know if the constant snark might start getting tiresome before the end.

How is everyone else finding it?


message 2: by John (Taloni) (new)

John (Taloni) Taloni (johntaloni) | 3964 comments Nine Houses, interplanetary empire, an entire planet for the capitol, seemed like we'd get something with the epic sweep of Dune. Well...nope. It's a character piece. A little low on action for my taste.

OTOH the discussion of weaponry and detailed fight scenes are great. The sport fighting vs. realistic training theme seems very realistic to me.


Richard Vogel | 214 comments For me, this will be a rough one. I like snarky books, but the language is more extreme than Seven Blades and is using a lot of slang I heard from my daughter, when she was seventeen. It just comes off a gratuitous and unbelievable. She talks to the other characters in a way that would get her assassinated in other novels, no matter how important she is to the house. There are hints to possibly interesting relationships with her captain, but I don't like the one between Harrowhawk and Gideon. It seems unlikely Harrowhawk would have tolerated Gideon for as long as she has to even get to this point.
The action is interesting and fun to read, especially the first fight. Hopefully there will be more as the novel goes on.


Trike | 8505 comments Yeah, the snarky tone really undercut everything for me, which is why I ended up giving it only 2 stars.

Even when I was a teenager I hated hanging out with teenagers, so that’s something which has only solidified as I’ve gotten older, and this was, like, totes teen central for days amirite?

I think Muir is both talented and smart, so I’d be interested in seeing what she could do if she dropped the attitude. And also cut out about 150 pages of repetitive character stuff.


Colin Forbes (colinforbes) | 494 comments Ruth wrote: "How is everyone else finding it?"

Much the same reaction after the first 3 chapters or so. The sort of thing I might enjoy as a casual read - but a bit concerned that it might wear a little thin over nearly 17 hours of audiobook. (Especially after a couple of the comments in the announcement thread.) Fingers crossed that I carry on enjoying it!

Reciting the 'dramatis personae' at the beginning of the book struck me as the most pointless three and a half minutes of audio content ever.


Trike | 8505 comments I’d love to hear from readers closer to the age of the characters. Any of you early-20s lurkers want to chime in?


Seth | 331 comments Richard wrote: "It seems unlikely Harrowhawk would have tolerated Gideon for as long as she has to even get to this point."

This does, in fact, get addressed eventually. Whether it might satisfy you probably depends on just how annoying Gideon is to you personally.


Ruth (tilltab) Ashworth | 1864 comments Ruth wrote: "it’s not quite what I was expecting."

I'm surprised, because having read only the blurb on goodreads, snark is exactly what I was expecting.

I've decided not to read along this year unless the book is one I 'really' want to read, as I already have a ton of books I never get round to, and this was an easy skip. Be interested in how folks enjoy it though.


Ruth | 1055 comments Ruth (tilltab) Ashworth wrote: "Ruth wrote: "it’s not quite what I was expecting."

I'm surprised, because having read only the blurb on goodreads, snark is exactly what I was expecting.



Literally all I knew about it in advance was “lesbian necromancers in space” which was enough to sell it to me, but somehow didn’t make me automatically think “snark”.

Side note: There’s just been a reference to the “while you were being heterosexual, I studied the blade” meme, which made me smile.


Sheila Jean | 321 comments I think I mentioned this in the opening thread, but the book was not what I was expecting, not that I have a clear definition of what that expectation was. I think the oft repeated "lesbian necromancers in space" blurb, while not wrong was.... dunno. I mostly got people doing necromancy, some of them are lesbians, and they come from a world in which there is space travel.

Also, I felt Gideon's snark was part of what made her her and didn't have a problem with it. She's not like the rest of the necromancer/cavaliers and her attitudes good/bad/whatever are part of that.

FYI - I read the text, no audio book this time around.


Ruth (tilltab) Ashworth | 1864 comments "Gideon has a sword, some dirty magazines, and no more time for undead bullshit" That's what made me think snark. That, and that the dirty magazines are mentioned a second time in the blurb. It made me expect a certain tone, at the least. I could be wrong, of course.


Christopher Preiman | 347 comments I found Gideon’s Snark to be very enjoyable and a wonderful counterpoint to a book that otherwise takes itself startlingly seriously. Everything else is so over-the-top drama and atmosphere and foreboding, and then to give the main point of view to somebody who is having none of it and expresses that the way that an angry teenager would. I think in almost any other book Gideon would have driven me nuts, but here she undercuts what would otherwise be an overly atmospheric and incredibly self-indulgent novel. Full disclosure, I may feel this way because a lot of her thoughts and dialogue feel like the sort of things I was thinking when forced to read Wuthering Heights in high school. Also, just now realizing that that was 20 years ago and I really feel old.


Trike | 8505 comments Christopher wrote: "Also, just now realizing that that was 20 years ago and I really feel old."

20 years ago I was half a decade out of college.

Pretty sure I just felt my hip shatter. 👴🏻


message 14: by Tassie Dave, S&L Historian (new) - rated it 3 stars

Tassie Dave | 3543 comments Mod
Trike wrote: "Christopher wrote: "Also, just now realizing that that was 20 years ago and I really feel old."

20 years ago I was half a decade out of college.

Pretty sure I just felt my hip shatter. 👴🏻"


Geez you're an old fart ;-)

20 years ago, I had been out of school over 20 years.

It really makes you feel old when you get invited to your final year's 40th anniversary (back in 2017) :-?


Rebecca (raitalle) | 52 comments I'm not early 20s (about 10 years too late for that), but I'm actually really enjoying the snark/voice in the book so far. It may help that I have a decent amount of exposure to people in that age group (Booktubers I follow, people at my studio and throughout various friend groups (I live in a college town, so there is a broad age range of people involved in many things)). I don't think that I'd want every book written this way, but I'm finding it fun. I also agree with Christopher's assessment that it makes a nice contrast with the rest of the book, and I think is even helpful in a book that would otherwise be attempting to use the phrase "Necrolord Prime" completely unironically.


message 16: by John (Taloni) (last edited Jan 29, 2020 06:46AM) (new)

John (Taloni) Taloni (johntaloni) | 3964 comments The book took on a "Knight's Tale" feel to me early. (You know Knight's Tale. It's set in medieval England but in the first five minutes people are rocking out to Queen.)

So yeah, lots of snark. I caught a "Mean Girls" reference and then of course the constant commentary. I was fine with it, although it introduced some of a "tell instead of show" narration style.

Perhaps the oddest part is (spoiler protected after the fact after discussion below)(view spoiler)


Poonam | 58 comments I was dissatisfied with the blurb. it made Gideon sound like driven by sex/sexuality (lesbians, dirty magazines) but those things weren't a focus just an aspect of it. she's a lesbians, but it wasn't her story of being a lesbian, which is great, but the blurb made it sound otherwise.

I was mostly fine with the snark, but since it was all the time. Even in more serious moments, where I wanted to be like, hey this is kind of a big deal, even you know its a big deal, so don't sidestep it. but changing your perspective to thinking of them as teens makes some of the behavior make more sense.


message 18: by Ruth (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ruth | 1055 comments John (Taloni) wrote: Perhaps the oddest part is the inch-deep treatment of the MC's sexuality. She's gay, and comments on the attractiveness of women, and...that's it? It felt like a Howard Stern broadcast from the 90s. It didn't really affect the story and to me seemed to be played for titillation. There was a chance to play up a love/hate relationship that never got developed.

I think you’ve inadvertently given a “negative spoiler” here ( by which I mean, you’ve referred to something that doesn’t happen... and tbh I’m now a bit less interested in the book than before.

On the basis of the “lesbian necromancers in space” tag line and the first six chapters, I was expecting the story to develop into a slow-burn enemies-to-lovers queer romance (which is 100% my jam) and I’m disappointed to hear that it (probably) doesn’t. Which, ok, fine, I guess I’ll just recalibrate my expectations and then find some more Harry/Draco fanfic to read.


Trike | 8505 comments Ruth wrote: "I was expecting the story to develop into a slow-burn enemies-to-lovers queer romance (which is 100% my jam) and I’m disappointed to hear that it (probably) doesn’t."

Um, wellll actually....

Won’t say more. But.


message 20: by John (Taloni) (new)

John (Taloni) Taloni (johntaloni) | 3964 comments Hm, I didn't consider it a spoiler of any kind when I wrote it, but I see the point. Yes, I agree with Trike it is more complex. I'll go spoiler protect. As for that, (view spoiler)


message 21: by Ruth (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ruth | 1055 comments Trike wrote: "Ruth wrote: "I was expecting the story to develop into a slow-burn enemies-to-lovers queer romance (which is 100% my jam) and I’m disappointed to hear that it (probably) doesn’t."

Um, wellll actua..."


Now I’m more intrigued than ever...


message 22: by Heather (new) - added it

Heather Jones (hrjones) | 5 comments I'm around ch 7 and not entirely certain I'm going to finish. I'll happily suspend all disbelief in the physical/socio-politico-economic setting because...well, necromancy and magic. I mean, who needs a functioning interstellar economy when you can just raise bones? And I'll happily tag along with snarky, witty characters to see what happens. But I'm having a hard time *caring* about these characters. Gideon isn't so much snarky as simply nasty and petulant. Harrowhark feels like she *might* have hidden depths, but I'm not putting a lot of faith in it. And this is the second hyped book I've read in the last half year that left me feeling manipulated around the "lesbian characters" thing. Ok, so it's a wonderful literary world where a character can simply identify as lesbian and that isn't in any way the point of the book or any really significant part of the story. But given how coy publishers often are about giving you a clue to a character's sexuality when it *does* matter to the plot, I'm feeling grumpy about this one.


Trike | 8505 comments Heather wrote: "I'm around ch 7 and not entirely certain I'm going to finish. I'll happily suspend all disbelief in the physical/socio-politico-economic setting because...well, necromancy and magic. I mean, who ne..."

Skip ahead to the last few chapters. You can probably figure out what happened from what you read there.


Oleksandr Zholud Heather wrote: "I'll happily suspend all disbelief in the physical/socio-politico-economic setting because."

This made me wonder what is the need for a space setting? We see two enclosed spaces during the story - monastery of the 9th and the palace. We hear about insurgents but what they are fighting against? the palace seems self-sufficient, no need to exploit the rest of the galaxy


message 25: by John (Taloni) (new)

John (Taloni) Taloni (johntaloni) | 3964 comments I imagine we'll see those in the sequels. I admit I essentially dozed off in the middle, but wow that ending.


Christopher Preiman | 347 comments Heather, if it does help, I would say her sexuality is actually very important to the plot, it’s just a slow burn and not always immediately obvious at times, but it very much does affect how she interacts with several key characters and that does make a very big difference to how things turn out


message 27: by Tom (new) - rated it 3 stars

Tom | 1 comments Gideon the Ninth is today's Member Daily Deal on Audible for $4.95. https://www.audible.com/pd/1980004900...

I apologize if this is the wrong place to post this comment.


Richard Vogel | 214 comments I'm about 50% into the book and I'm in to it now. The characters of the ninth, Harrowhawk and Gideon, start out at 11 and now are starting to have a better relationship as the story has progressed.



It works better as a mystery novel, (view spoiler) Add in a scary "mansion", and this feels more Scooby Doo all the time, and I am liking it. I want to know what the houses are ultimately going to get when the novel finishes, as I suspect it won't be what they thought.


Also, the list of house people works as a guide to know who the heck is talking. It gets a bit confusing with all the houses talking at the same time. Of course, thinking of it as a mystery works best as the different houses seem more like dysfunctional families and not grand heralded political powers.


AndrewP (andrewca) | 2481 comments Heather wrote: "I'm around ch 7 and not entirely certain I'm going to finish. I'll happily suspend all disbelief in the physical/socio-politico-economic setting because...well, necromancy and magic. I mean, who ne..."

I'm at the same point and feeling the same way. Nothing at all engaging and I'm looking for excuses to not pick it up again. I will push on for a few more chapters as I don't want to LEM a book when we are only in month 2!


Poonam | 58 comments I listened to the audiobook and I feel like I had no idea who the 8th, 5th, and 2nd house people were for most of the book.


message 31: by John (Taloni) (new)

John (Taloni) Taloni (johntaloni) | 3964 comments ^ Yep. Even with a scorecard I couldn't keep 'em straight.


message 32: by Tassie Dave, S&L Historian (new) - rated it 3 stars

Tassie Dave | 3543 comments Mod
It was easier when their full names are given as, most, of them have a surname associated with the number of their House.

The Second House
Judith Deuteros (Necromancer)
Marta Dyas (Cavalier)

The Third House
Coronabeth Tridentarius (Necromancer)
Ianthe Tridentarius (Necromancer)
Naberius Tern (Cavalier)

The Fourth House
Isaac Tettares (Necromancer)
Jeannemary Chatur (Cavalier)

The Fifth House
Abigail Pent (Necromancer)
Magnus Quinn (Cavalier)

The Sixth House
Palamedes Sextus (Necromancer)
Camilla Hect (Cavalier)

The Seventh House
Dulcinea Septimus (Necromancer)
Protesilaus Ebdoma (Cavalier)

The Eighth House
Silas Octakiseron (Necromancer)
Colum Asht (Cavalier)

The Ninth House
Harrowhark Nonagesimus (Necromancer)
Gideon Nav (Cavalier)


Poonam | 58 comments Wowwww. Totally didn't pick up on that.... now I feel silly


Ellie (verdellie) | 4 comments The blurb and the beginning of the book really hooked me in, but I started to doze off up until the middle. I have to admit though, now that I've reached the middle, the story is picking up a bit. I'm really waiting on the book to deliver on the lesbian promise.. My imagination runs ahead of the plot.

Anyone else imagine Harrowhawk as MyAnna Buring (who played Tissaia de Vries in Netflix's Witcher)?


message 35: by Seth (new) - rated it 5 stars

Seth | 331 comments The lesbian angle was talked up in the blurbs and in many breathless reviews, but I didn't find it too strange that it doesn't crop up right away in the story. If I was trapped in a murder mansion above a dungeon of undead horrors while my life was constantly in danger I don't think that most of my conversations or thoughts would be centered on my sexual preferences. Gideon is a lesbian, and it does inform her character's motivations, but wouldn't it be suspect if that dominated her thoughts given what they go through each day?


message 36: by AndrewP (last edited Feb 05, 2020 07:52AM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

AndrewP (andrewca) | 2481 comments Poonam wrote: "I listened to the audiobook and I feel like I had no idea who the 8th, 5th, and 2nd house people were for most of the book."

The print book has an extensive dramatis personæ. When I saw that I was glad I didn't attempt the audiobook, it must be really confusing.


message 37: by Serendi (new)

Serendi | 833 comments Although my mind really wants to call her Harrowhawk, she's actually Harrowhark (Hark! She's Harrow!).


Ellie (verdellie) | 4 comments Serendi wrote: "Although my mind really wants to call her Harrowhawk, she's actually Harrowhark (Hark! She's Harrow!)."

You're completely right. My brain did a subconscious autocorrect.


Melani | 179 comments I think I'm starting to enjoy the book, despite the narration style. I came pretty close to DNFing this one early on because my tolerance for teenage snark is pretty low. But there's a bit of the unreliable narrator going on (despite being told in third person), and I'm enjoying that. Still the snarky, too cool for you, YA feel of the novel does grate on my last nerve.


message 40: by Serendi (new)

Serendi | 833 comments Ellie wrote: "Serendi wrote: "Although my mind really wants to call her Harrowhawk, she's actually Harrowhark (Hark! She's Harrow!)."

You're completely right. My brain did a subconscious autocorrect."


Not only yours, LOTS of people. Plus audio-only people may not have seen it spelled at all!


message 41: by Rob, Roberator (new) - rated it 4 stars

Rob (robzak) | 6786 comments Mod
So I started in the hardcover and that list Tassie Dave pointed out would be useful if I wasn't total shit with names anyways.

I couldn't tell you who any of the characters are in terms of names or even house numbers but I can at least distinguish slightly in who they are in my own head. None of that is the author's fault though. It's just how my brain is wired.

I've lost track of what chapter I'm on now, but things have really started to pick up. Somewhere in part 2. Maybe chapter 11 or 12.

I think the audio has made the snark far more enjoyable for me too. I've found myself laughing a lot more since switching to the audio book.


Colin Forbes (colinforbes) | 494 comments I did groan when the narrator read through the 'dramatis personae' at the beginning - it meant absolutely nothing at that point - but think that if I'd been reading on paper or Kindle then I would have been referring back to it later in the book!

For me, it hit a point somewhere after half way through that there were a lot more characters actively involved in the plot all of a sudden, and I didn't have a clear idea who they all were. With a bit of perseverance they sorted themselves out though.


Trike | 8505 comments Colin wrote: "I did groan when the narrator read through the 'dramatis personae' at the beginning - it meant absolutely nothing at that point - but think that if I'd been reading on paper or Kindle then I would ..."

It is pointless in audio. The only thing more pointless would be describing a map.


message 44: by Rob, Roberator (new) - rated it 4 stars

Rob (robzak) | 6786 comments Mod
This is the kind of thing that should come as a pdf with the audio book.

I've had a few audiobooks that come with pdfs with things like character lists, maps, etc. Those are great, but few and far between.


message 45: by Rob, Roberator (new) - rated it 4 stars

Rob (robzak) | 6786 comments Mod
Trike wrote: "It is pointless in audio. The only thing more pointless would be describing a map.."

When I listened to Breakfast of Champions, it was narrated by John Malkovich who described the pictures.

Again, should have been included as a pdf, but him describing a picture to me was surreal.


message 46: by Tassie Dave, S&L Historian (last edited Feb 06, 2020 12:28PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Tassie Dave | 3543 comments Mod
Some authors are good about putting maps and a list of characters on their website.

With the rise of audiobooks this "should" be more common, especially if they are included in the dead tree and eBook version


Trike | 8505 comments “Okay, so there’s like a big tree off to the left, a real giant — oh, I guess that’s east — with a little house by it. I don’t know if that means Keebler elves or Swiss Family Robinson. Anyway, there are these triangles down the middle — sorry, Bill, what was that? — oh! Mountains! That makes sense, gotcha. Thanks, Bill. And next to the mountains is something called the Tower of Terror, with lots of bushes around it, or maybe trees....”


message 48: by Elizabeth (last edited Feb 06, 2020 02:23PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Elizabeth Morgan (elzbethmrgn) | 275 comments You have to slog a LONG while to get there, but eventually someone explains to Gideon/the reader the differences in each of the houses and I found it easier to differentiate them all after that (view spoiler).

I wonder if I'd picked up on the surnames if I'd been reading, rather than listening!

Ellie wrote: "Anyone else imagine Harrowhawk as MyAnna Buring (who played Tissaia de Vries in Netflix's Witcher"

She's far too old for Harrowhark, but she's definitely got the Goth Ice Queen vibes.


message 49: by Anne (new) - rated it 4 stars

Anne Schüßler (anneschuessler) | 836 comments Tassie Dave wrote: "Some authors are good about putting maps and a list of characters on their website.

With the rise of audiobooks this "should" be more common, especially if they are included in the dead tree and e..."


As a workaround I guess you could just download the sample of the ebook. Since the list of names comes at the start of the book it should be included.


Lee  (the Book Butcher) (butcherfromgeorgia) Tassie Dave wrote: "It was easier when their full names are given as, most, of them have a surname associated with the number of their House.

the surnames and houses are so formal its hard to keep track did not start to get the characters clear until the number started to decrease thank you tassie dave and sword and laser for the syllabus.

Rob is right PDF for audiobook are useful but to few and far between.



« previous 1
back to top