Review: Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo

Published October 8th 2019 by Flatiron Books

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.

My Thoughts

“I want to survive this world that keeps trying to destroy me.”

― Leigh Bardugo, Ninth House

I so very much wanted to love this book! I had heard such very good things about it and please do not get me wrong, it was good, I just didn’t think it was great. I actually had to keep pushing myself to read it and get through it. It may just not be the right book for me and it may just be that this author is not for me. I tried reading other Bardugo books and I wasn’t a fan of them either. BUT I wanted to love them, so I could jump on the bandwagon and chat with everyone about them! It just did not happen for me but there are soooo many others out there that loved this book too, so please go check out their reviews and maybe you will love it too?

Alex was in a really bad place but she has a special power, she can see ghosts (greys). She was given a free ride to Yale for having such a special power and is charged with keeping watch over the societies that practice magic. Her mentor disappears and then the murder of a townie leave her on a mission to figure out what had happened to both.

Alex was a complex character. She sometimes fought within herself over right and wrong. She was an addict and basically lived on the streets with her addict friends until the society of Lethe welcomes her and helps her with everything she needs in exchange for her to help them with keeping things in order. Right did not always win out and I have to tell you, I did get a good chuckle very now and then because she did some wild things to prove a point.

Told in dual past versus present point of views, I very much enjoyed seeing a glimpse of how Alex was when she was younger and seeing how she ended up where she was. We also get some chapters from Darlington’s POV which I enjoyed too! He was a prominent character in the book without actually being in the current events but the past. This put an interesting twist on the story by allowing us to get to know the missing character.


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