Monica’s Musings: What Moves the Dead

What Moves the Dead by T. Kingfisher

“The dead don’t walk. Except, sometimes, when they do.”- T. Kingfisher, What Moves the Dead


What Moves the Dead is Kingfisher’s retelling of Edgar Allan Poe’s classic “The Fall of the House of Usher.”

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 is found 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 madness of nerves. Aided by an impressive British mycologist, and a baffled American doctor, Alex must unravel the secret of the House of Usher before it consumes them all.

My Thoughts:

This book was vividly gothic, matching Poe’s style well. The characters were extremely well defined and interesting. Alex Easton was the perfect protagonist to take us on this journey; witty and curious yet clear-headed and skeptical. Kingfisher goes into great detail right from the start on the bleak surroundings of the House of Usher.

More than once while reading this, I cringed at the gross smells and visuals described. The idea of a damp, fungus-infected manor is horrible on its own, but to add in the bizarre behaviors of the Ushers, would be enough to make me run for the hills! This is a quick spooky read, and I look forward to checking out more from this author.

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