Please note that I received this book via NetGalley. This did not affect my rating or review.
Wow. This was so good. It could have been 100 pages longer and I wouldn’t have noticed. This was a great twist on “The Fall of the House of Usher” and I loved every second of it.
“What Moves the Dead” follows Alex Easton that is a retired soldier that is rushing to see their childhood friend, Madeline Usher. Alex served with Madeline’s brother Roderick and finds both of them changed since the last time they saw them. Alex starts wondering what is going on with the Usher family and an American doctor that knows Roderick helps Alex in the investigation of what could possibly be causing the sickness in Madeline.
Alex was great and I could have read a whole side novella about their homeland and about sworn soldiers. Alex refuses to leave the Ushers even though other people probably would have went running. Alex coming across Miss Potter (Beatrix’s aunt) who has a fascination with mushrooms ended up being someone else I would have loved to follow in another side novella.
T. Kingfisher manages to infuse this story with Gothic elements as well as horror and humor. Parts of the story had me imagining walking the Usher home and how bad it must have smelled, looked, and how fearful it must have been there to watch two people who seemed to slowly be dying.
The writing was great and the genderless words/grammar that we learn along the way and how that is incorporated back into the story at the end was kind of brilliant. The flow was fantastic from beginning to end.
The setting of the house was somehow even more dark and menacing than in Poe’s story. It felt as if anything that came on to the Usher land went mad. And then we find out why. And you are never going to look at hares the same way.
The ending was fantastic!