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The Book Peddler

  • Writer's pictureGraphic Grim Reader

What Moves The Dead Book Review


Book Cover of What Moves The Dead

Title: What Moves The Dead

Genre: Horror

Audience: Adult

Page Count: 176

Author: T. Kingfisher

ISBN: 978-1250830753

Publisher: Tor Nightfire

Series: Sworn Soldier Book 1 of 2


This review does not contain spoilers.


T. Kingfisher's "What Moves The Dead" is a chilling retelling of Edgar Allen Poe's classic tale, "The Fall of the House of Usher." Set in the remote countryside of Ruritania, the story follows Alex Easton, a retired soldier, as they rush to the ancestral home of their childhood friend, Madeline Usher, who is on her deathbed.


From the moment Alex arrives at the Usher estate, it's clear that something is deeply wrong. The house is surrounded by fungal growths, possessed wildlife, and a dark, pulsing lake, creating an atmosphere of dread and unease. Madeline's condition is deteriorating rapidly, and her brother Roderick is consumed by a mysterious illness that seems to have infected the entire household.


As Alex delves deeper into the mystery of the House of Usher, they are joined by a redoubtable British mycologist and an American doctor, both of whom are equally baffled by the strange occurrences plaguing the estate. Together, they must unravel the dark secrets hidden within the walls of the Usher mansion before it consumes them all.


Kingfisher's retelling of Poe's classic tale is masterfully executed, blending elements of horror, mystery, and psychological suspense to create a story that is both haunting and captivating. The atmospheric setting, with its eerie landscapes and decaying mansion, sets the stage for a tale of terror that will keep readers on the edge of their seats until the very end.


One of the novel's greatest strengths is its characterization. Alex Easton is a compelling protagonist, haunted by their own past and driven by a sense of duty to their friend Madeline. The supporting cast, including the enigmatic mycologist and the skeptical doctor, add depth and complexity to the narrative, each bringing their own unique perspective to the unfolding mystery.


The presence of the rabbits adds a layer of tension and mystery to the narrative, serving as both a harbinger of danger and a key introduction to the supernatural elements at play. As Alex and their companions navigate the eerie landscape surrounding the Usher estate, the sight of the rabbits behaving strangely serves as an ominous warning of the malevolent forces lurking nearby. The inclusion of these elements not only adds to the atmosphere of dread and unease but also sets the stage for the unfolding horrors that await them within the walls of the Usher mansion.


One of the most captivating characters of "What Moves The Dead" is the character of Ms. Potter. As Alex Easton's sharp-witted companion, Ms. Potter shines as a beacon of strength and resilience in the face of unimaginable horrors. From her first appearance, it's clear that Ms. Potter is not to be underestimated.


"What Moves The Dead" is a must-read for fans of horror fiction and classic literature alike. Kingfisher's skillful retelling of Poe's iconic story breathes new life into the familiar tale, offering readers a fresh perspective on one of the genre's most enduring classics. With its atmospheric setting, chilling suspense, and unforgettable characters, "What Moves The Dead" is a haunting and immersive read that will linger in the mind long after the final page has been turned.





What Moves The Dead Book Review Ratings and Recommendation

Rating: 5/5

Recommended: Yes


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