Series: The Locked Tomb #3
Published by Tor on September 13, 2022
Her city is under siege.
The zombies are coming back.
And all Nona wants is a birthday party.
In many ways, Nona is like other people. She lives with her family, has a job at her local school, and loves walks on the beach and meeting new dogs. But Nona's not like other people. Six months ago she woke up in a stranger's body, and she's afraid she might have to give it back.
The whole city is falling to pieces. A monstrous blue sphere hangs on the horizon, ready to tear the planet apart. Blood of Eden forces have surrounded the last Cohort facility and wait for the Emperor Undying to come calling. Their leaders want Nona to be the weapon that will save them from the Nine Houses. Nona would prefer to live an ordinary life with the people she loves, with Pyrrha and Camilla and Palamedes, but she also knows that nothing lasts forever.
And each night, Nona dreams of a woman with a skull-painted face...
Was there ever any doubt this would be a five-star read (my first and so far only five-star book of the year)?
I re-read Harrow the Ninth and finished right before my pre-order of Nona arrived, and I’m glad I re-read Harrow for two reasons: 1. I enjoyed it even more the second time, because I knew what was going on and could appreciate Tamsyn Muir’s construction and plotting; and 2. I felt like I was picking up on all sorts of little hints and bits and pieces of information in Nona that I might not have otherwise.
I do think my eventual re-read of Nona will be like my Harrow re-read (in that I’ll probably enjoy it and get even more out of it on a second reading, where I know what’s happening / what’s going to happen in advance). But I loved being back with some familiar characters (even if the world was somewhat unfamiliar), and in fact going into this with no hopes of understanding what was going on made it easier to just lose myself in Nona’s story, rather than trying to constantly figure out the puzzle.
I do have some more detailed thoughts that I’m going to hide behind a spoiler wall, so if you don’t want to be spoiled, I’ll wrap up here saying that I couldn’t put this down, loved it, and cannot wait for the next (and final) book in the series!
If you have already read the book, or don’t care about more spoilery thoughts, read on! View Spoiler » I absolutely loved seeing Camilla and Palamedes again (albeit in a slightly different manner than I last saw them). After Harrow and Gideon, they’re my favourite characters in the series. I also liked seeing Coronabeth and Judith again.
And while I was hoping it would happen, I loved seeing Gideon again! Although that feeling of joy was shortlived because she wasn’t the same Gideon I remember. I’m so curious to know what transpired in her life between the end of Harrow and the events of Nona, but it was a completely unexpected development. I don’t love that I didn’t get the Gideon I wanted, but I do love that Tamsyn Muir can keep me on my toes!
And as for my major favourite character, Harrow, I really missed her! I hope I get more of her, in all her snarky glory, in the final book.
At first, I didn’t think I was interested in the chapters that gave us more of John’s story and pre-Resurrection life but the more I read, and the more they revealed, the more I enjoyed them. They shed light on characters and events that I’d wondered about since reading Gideon the Ninth.
And speaking of Gideon the Ninth, I was so excited to be back on the Ninth, and to see Crux and Aiglemene again! The first book in this series is still my favourite, and being back in that world, even briefly, was so fun.
As for new characters, Nona herself was such a mystery, but I cared about her. And of course I fell in love with Noodle immediately. While I wasn’t all that interested in Nona’s school and her friends at first, I liked reading about the world they inhabited and rules they had to survive.
There were lots of double crosses and double-double crosses, which certainly kept me on my toes and kept me guessing about where loyalties lie.
And while this was a very different world than Gideon and Harrow, I did find it was easier to piece together as I read (although like I said, I went into this fully expecting to know and understand nothing, so perhaps that was the best frame of mind).
So I absolutely cannot wait to read Alecto the Ninth, and will be re-reading Nona before then! « Hide Spoiler