Book One in the Alex Stern series
Add Ninth House to your Goodreads TBR:
Publishes in Australia today! The 9th of October, 2019 by Hachette Australia.
Australian RRP: $29.99
Genre: Adult Fantasy (Leigh Bardugo’s Adult Debut, actually. Oh boy, does she knock it out of the park?!).
Page Count: 450
My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Sypnosis from Hachette Australia:
The mesmerising adult debut from Leigh Bardugo. A tale of power, privilege, dark magic and murder set among the Ivy League elite. Alex Stern is the most unlikely member of Yale’s freshman class. A dropout and the sole survivor of a horrific, unsolved crime – the last thing she wants is to cause trouble. Not when Yale was supposed to be her fresh start. But a free ride to one of the world’s most prestigious universities was bound to come with a catch.
Alex has been tasked with monitoring the mysterious activities of Yale’s secret societies – societies that have yielded some of the most famous and influential people in the world. Now there’s a dead girl on campus and Alex seems to be the only person who won’t accept the neat answer the police and campus administration have come up with for her murder.
Because Alex knows the secret societies are far more sinister and extraordinary than anyone ever imagined.
They tamper with forbidden magic. They raise the dead. And, sometimes, they prey on the living . . .
Firstly, a huge thank you to Hachette Australia for sending me a beautiful finished copy of one of my very most highly anticipated releases, Ninth House, to read and review. All thoughts are my own.
Wow, where to begin! This was so wonderfully dark, packed to the brim of magic most dark and powerful, with an underlying mystery, well, a couple in fact, that there was no way to predict the outcomes and the causes! I cannot even begin to tell you how many times throughout this novel that I just gasped wildly, and exclaimed shocking reaction words as I read! Leigh Bardugo never ceases to amaze and awe, I tell you!
When I wasn’t reading Ninth House, I was thinking about it so much! Even when I found myself sporadically awake throughout an evening, my mind would wonder to the book and think about what possibly could have happened next!
The prologue instantly grabbed my attention and did not let go once! I instantly found myself wondering what had happened to Alex – or Galaxy, as she’s called and just finding myself instantly needing to know more! At the same time, due to her initially malnourished and impoverished appearance and the fact that the girl has been through hell and back, frankly a few times over, I instantly felt for her and just wanted to hug the poor thing!
By no means is Alex a saint though, oh no, she’s flawed (I mean, I know, we all have our moments), she’s blunt, fierce and will brutally say what she thinks! She has a special gift too, one that has been unheard of for some time…Alex can see Greys, people who have tragically passed away. I mean, can you imagine? This itself actually conveyed a few scenes throughout the book which had me gasping, something particularly poignant and devastating involved a flashback of Alex as a child who found herself in just a helpless position….
Alex is tasked with keeping the secret societies of Yale under surveillance, she knows that sometimes dark magic is dabbled in, and that things can definitely be sinister and not at all clear cut, this being confirmed when the body of a girl is found on campus! Who killed her? And what is her connection to the secret societies? Only Alex is sceptical of the supposed theories as to what happened, she was taught well (more on that shortly), by the Golden Boy of Leith, and frankly I love how brazen and brave Alex is about investigating everything and seeing things brought to light, even if it means putting her own life in danger. She’s just so gutsy and goes through so much in this, on top of everything she’d been through already!
Back to Darlington, our Golden Boy of Leith. I loved loved loved the mystery shrouding his character! It was such a pleasure reading about him as a young boy and seeing how he grew to be the passionate mentor (or even more) to Alex as she was recruited to undertake her mission of investigating those questionable activities of those secret societies who have boasted a plethora of well to do respected figures in history!
I loved Darlington and Alex’s chemistry too! You could tell just how their was a special something blooming between them, a tenderness and that sense that Darlington would see no harm come to her and there was a real respect that Alex felt towards him too, which is totally bittersweet! Why? Well, without going into too much of the narrative, I personally felt like something may have been amiss, between the past and the present, but oh man, finding out what and how and why was just so thrilling, shocking, engaging and satisfying! I am so hyped for the next book already!
Leigh Bardugo has longtime been a favourite author of mine and I just found Ninth House to be a completely dark, engaging and riveting story with dark magic and intrigue throughout! You must, must not miss Ninth House! For me, it was just such a unique and atmospheric and often chilling read, definitely a stand out of my reading year so far and a favourite of mine, too. Utterly brilliant!
About the Author (from Hachette Australia):
Leigh Bardugo is the number one New York Times bestselling author fantasy novels and the creator of the Grishaverse. With over one million copies sold, her Grishaverse spans the Shadow and Bone trilogy, the Six of Crows duology and The Language of Thorns. She was born in Jerusalem, grew up in Los Angeles, graduated from Yale University, and has worked in advertising, journalism, and most recently, makeup and special effects. These days, she lives and writes in Hollywood, where she can occasionally be heard singing with her band.
Find her website at http://www.leighbardugo.com and follow her on Twitter @lbardugo.