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Breathless by Sarah Sanders

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Short, sweet and sexy – we loved this book. Lara is a movie star whose career has crashed and burnt. She is in the throes o...

Harrow the Ninth (The Locked Tomb #2) by Tamsyn Muir, Performed by Moira Quirk (Audiobook)

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

You think: WTF did I just read (okay, listen to)?

And: I can’t wait to take that trip again.

And: When is the next book due?

And: I adore Harrow.

And: I adore Gideon.

And: OMG! OMG! OMG! OMG! OMG!

Repeat.

This is a mindbending, mindblowing rollercoaster of a book that makes you think you’re in the midst of a fevered dream. Just when you think you’ve got into the groove and can maybe think about what could happen, there is a sharp turn and you’re hurtled down a path you didn’t even know was there. And then you’re in another fevered dream – albeit not as mind-scrambling as the first fevered dream, but a fevered dream all the same.

Synopsis? Here it is (using a quote from the book because that’s the best way to encapsulate it): Do not fucking ask me for information. I could not be more lost right now.  

And: I was not following all of this, because necromantic theory is a lot of hot bullshit even when I'm not busy having Complex Emotions.

In an interview with Three Crows Magazine, Muir said about Harrow the Ninth:

“In many ways it is a book where I am not kind to the reader — it is one long puzzle, told out of order, and two stories running alongside each other, and Gideon the Ninth has very little bearing on it — but it is very much for anyone who came out of Gideon having a soft spot for Harrowhark Nonagesimus. It’s a book that is very frank about mental illness, trauma and grief. It is also a book with an extended makeover scene and some awful set-pieces involving dinner parties.”

Non-linear narrative: Check

Two parallel stories: Check

Frank about mental illness, trauma and grief: Check

Came out of Gideon having a soft spot or Harrowhark Nonagesimus: Check (multiple times check against this one)

Muir is all sorts of brilliant. Rich imagination, masterful narration, fantastic multi-dimensional characters, an amazing command over the language, inventive expression, crazy great sense of humour, unpredictable plot – we can rhapsodise about her for light years.

We had loved Gideon the Ninth. It was (and is) undoubtedly a masterpiece. We thought that Gideon was a pinnacle of masterpiece-ery and hoped fervently that Harrowhark would get an equally good book. Given how brilliant Gideon is, we prepared ourselves for disappointment. But Harrow the Ninth surpasses Gideon with psychedelic gorgeousness and depth and darkness and excitement and jolts of adrenalin.

We are awestruck by the delicacy with which Muir builds the dimensions and depth of Harrow and Gideon. Even more awestruck by the gentle beauty with which she writes about love amidst all the mad action. In fact that last third of the book is as much about love as about the action-packed climatic drama. By the end, we came out of this experience only feeling the love.

Moira Quirk gives an astounding performance. Her talent in voice performance matches Muir’s gift as an author, that is: she is devastatingly brilliant.

This series is absolutely unmissable.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

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