What Moves the Dead” by T. Kingfisher

Review by Yvonne Selander, collection development librarian

Lieutenant Easton receives a letter from Roderick Usher that his sister is ill. Easton is shocked to see how ill Madeline Usher appears and her brother seems to be declining as well. The house is in disrepair, to say the least, and something just doesn’t seem right. Whatever you do, don’t hunt, eat or even turn your back on the hares… 

This slim novel is a retelling of Poe’s “Fall of the House of Usher” that is much creepier than its inspiration. We see the story unfold through Easton’s eyes and with each new discovery and revelation the creepy factor increases. I loved that some of the characters hail from a made-up European country and the rest from England, Scotland and America. Since it is a small made-up country those characters speak English to be understood but retain the seven different pronouns of their language including unique ones for children, religious figures and soldiers. What starts as an interesting element becomes eye-opening and shiver-inducing as the story goes on and the reality of the circumstances of the characters becomes clear..

You will never look at a mushroom the same way ever, ever again.