cover image What Moves the Dead

What Moves the Dead

T. Kingfisher. Nightfire, $19.99 (176p) ISBN 978-1-250-83075-3

Hugo and Nebula Award winner Kingfisher (The Hollow Places) returns to the horror genre with this powerful, fast-paced retelling of Edgar Allen Poe’s “The Fall of the House of Usher.” As a child, Alex Easton, who uses the pronouns ka and kan, befriended twins Roderick and Madeline Usher and went on to serve with Roderick in the recent war. Now Madeline writes to tell Alex that she’s ill and Roderick believes she is dying, and Alex must come at once to their family home in remote Ruravia. There, Alex finds a moldering mansion full of fungal rot and strangeness and two Ushers who are terribly, irreversibly changed. Alex must unravel the dark secret that is consuming the house of Usher—before it consumes Alex as well. Kingfisher adds wonderful dimension and tangibility to the classic Poe story, filling it in with standout character work and scenic descriptions that linger on the palate, while fleshing out the original plot with elements as plausible as they are chilling. It’s thoroughly creepy and utterly enjoyable. (Jul.)