Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo — Review

Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo

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Galaxy “Alex” Stern is the most unlikely member of Yale’s freshman class. Raised in the Los Angeles hinterlands by a hippie mom, Alex dropped out of school early and into a world of shady drug dealer boyfriends, dead-end jobs, and much, much worse. By age twenty, in fact, she is the sole survivor of a horrific, unsolved multiple homicide. Some might say she’s thrown her life away. But at her hospital bed, Alex is offered a second chance: to attend one of the world’s most elite universities on a full ride. What’s the catch, and why her?

Still searching for answers to this herself, Alex arrives in New Haven tasked by her mysterious benefactors with monitoring the activities of Yale’s secret societies. These eight windowless “tombs” are well-known to be haunts of the future rich and powerful, from high-ranking politicos to Wall Street and Hollywood’s biggest players. But their occult activities are revealed to be more sinister and more extraordinary than any paranoid imagination might conceive.

The mesmerizing adult debut from #1 New York Times bestselling author Leigh Bardugo.

Review: 4 Stars

As a big fan of Leigh Bardugo’s books I was very excited for Ninth House, but after all the hype I was a little nervous starting it. I bought my copy the day it came out and was so excited to have my hands on my own copy. I did expect it to be a little different from Leigh Bardugo’s other books because it’s an adult fantasy and it’s set in this world, but Ninth House was very different from anything else that I had read by Leigh Bardugo and really showed her versatility as an author.

Alex was a troubled young woman and felt very authentic, making her an interesting character to have at the center of the story. She had gone through and witnessed many terrible things and Leigh Bardugo shares these things with the reader, so it can be quite dark at times. If you have a problem reading about dark things I highly recommend looking up the trigger warnings. Personally I felt that the darker aspects of this novel were done well. I don’t feel like traumatic events were used for shock value, but rather to help the reader understand Alex and all that she went through. By the end of the novel she felt very real to me. She was a flawed character and sometimes her morals were a bit off, but she felt human.

The pacing of the novel is where I struggled a bit. I found it relatively easy to set the book down and it took me a week to finish it. I did really enjoy reading it and loved the Yale setting. I have always been fascinated with secret societies and loved the inclusions of Yale’s elite societies in the book. I also thought that the mixture of fantasy and mystery made for a cool plot. Alex had a position within one of the societies and she was responsible for making sure the other societies didn’t abuse magic. Her job itself was so fascinating to read about and the addition of the mystery plot only made this book more interesting.

Ninth House did leave me desperately wanting the sequel with the way it ended, but it wasn’t necessarily a cliff hanger. This wasn’t exactly what I was expecting from :eigh Bardugo, but I still loved it. She once again created amazing characters and a fascinating magic system. It was pretty easy to set down, but overall I am pretty pleased.

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