Sunday, October 30

Audiobook Review: What Moves the Dead by T Kingfisher

Author: T. Kingfisher
Narrator: Avi Roque
Title: What Moves the Dead
Genre: Historical Fiction, Horror, Fantasy, Novella, Retellings
Format: Audiobook
Published: July 12, 2022
Where I got It: Borrowed from library

When Alex Easton, a retired soldier, receives word that their childhood friend Madeline Usher is dying, they race to the ancestral home of the Ushers in the remote countryside of Ruritania.

What they find there is a nightmare of fungal growths and possessed wildlife, surrounding a dark, pulsing lake. Madeline sleepwalks and speaks in strange voices at night, and her brother Roderick is consumed with a mysterious malady of the nerves.

Aided by a redoubtable British mycologist and a baffled American doctor, Alex must unravel the secret of the House of Usher before it consumes them all.

I've had my eye on this one for a little bit so when I saw the audiobook available at the library I swooped in. A perfect book for the Spooky season. It is a retelling of one of my favorite Poe shorts. 

Alex Easton, a retired soldier, receives word that their childhood friend Madeline is dying, they race to be with Madeline. She is one of the last of the Usher line along with her brother. What Alex finds at the Usher home is a nightmare of fungal growths and possessed wildlife. The lake is dark and pulsing. Madeline is sleepwalking and speaks strange voices at night while her brother, Roderick, is consumed with nerves. With the help of a British mycologist and an American doctor, Alex must try and unravel the secrets of the House of Usher. 

Creepy, creepy, creepy. Did I mention creepy? If you like a creepy read I recommend this. Poor Alex. Alex is a great friend for sure. Being summoned by Madeline and arriving to such a creepy house. The house is creepy....Madeline and Roderick look like corpses. If I was Alex I would've gotten on my horse, say 'Feel better', and get the heck out of dodge. 

What a great cast we were given. The original only had three people, but here Alex has some aid. I loved Miss Potter. She is the brains and I only want good things for her.

This wasn't only just creepy, but we had some humor....which was nice. Alex has mixed feelings about Americans and even the British. So we get some little jabs and it made me smile.

Okay...those hares!? Ugh!!! Gah. We do have a couple of scenes that might be a touch gross, BUT it is necessary for the plot. I am an animal lover, but I was shouting for them to just burn the whole forest to the ground. *shudders* Burn the whole town and house too while you are at it. 

The narrator was fantastic. Fit Alex quite well. The narrator really brought the characters and creepy world alive. 

Ooo! Nearly forgot to mention the cover. *chef's kiss* Perfection. It really gives you the creeps but makes you want to read it. That is what caught my eye first.

In the end, this deserves 5 stars. This was a great retelling and I think Poe would've enjoyed it. I had zero issues with this. It was perfect. It had the right amount of thriller, comedy, horror, and nostalgia for the classic. Even if you struggle with horrors...this was just enough that you won't have nightmares. Perfect for the Spooky season! 

- #48 for Audiobook challenge


Jen Twimom said...

The cover is creepy enough - no thanks!! But glad you enjoyed.

Blodeuedd said...

Such a creepy cover!

Sophia Rose said...

I like Poe stories, but this retelling has me hands up and backing away. LOL Brave you!

Carole Rae said...

Jen, hahaha I don't blame ya.

B, it is, but I like it!

Sophia, I don't blame you. It took the Poe and doubled down