Mors irrumat omnia. Death fucks us all.
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.
What a dark, atmospheric, alluring read! I first began this book back in July when I recieved the advanced reader copy (seriously so lucky and Raincoast Books is amazing) but I knew I had to wait for cooler weather to dive into this one. I definitely made the right call. Bardugo’s writing is so lush that reading it in the crisp fall air totally added to the story. I felt transported into the story. If you ever get a chance to go visit Yale you need to. I visited Yale in the autumn years ago and arrived on campus shortly before dusk. Bardugo captures the campus, the housing, the feel of New Haven effortlessly in this novel.
Ninth House is not for the faint of heart. Bardugo tackles some heavy topics including drug abuse, sexual abuse, paranormal disturbances, etc and they really do affect you as you read. That being said this novel is fantastic. I was enthralled by the secret societies, rooting for Alex, unravelling the mysteries and completely pulled into this world that was created. I really liked discovering the main character and her mysterious past.
I gave Ninth House 4.5 stars because I was a bit thrown off by the time swaps between chapters and needed a bit to get into it and the flow of Bardugo’s writing. Once I was in though I was hooked all the way to the end! This book grew on me and kept me guessing the whole way through. Galaxy “Alex” Stern is my woman crush everyone!
Can I also just say I am so happy my favourite authors are transitioning to adult fiction! It makes me so happy to read a more intricate story with longer passages because sometimes I just want more from YA. Don’t get me wrong, I love reading YA but there’s something about adult fiction that pulls me in and just clicks in my brain on a different level. Happy to say that Ninth House wiggled its way in and has fully possessed my mind. Once you’ve read the book you’ll understand that metaphor in a new light.
If you’re a fan of the macabre, mysterious plot lines, gothic settings, secret societies and all things paranormal I highly recommend you read Ninth House. The best word I would use to describe it would be intoxicating.
Thank you Raincoast Books for sending me the ARC in exchange for an honest review.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Leigh Bardugo is a #1 New York Times bestselling author of fantasy novels and the creator of the Grishaverse. With over three million copies sold worldwide, her Grishaverse spans the Shadow and Bone Trilogy, the Six of Crows Duology, The Language of Thorns, and King of Scars—with more to come. Her short stories can be found in multiple anthologies, including The Best of Tor.com and the Best American Science Fiction & Fantasy. Her other works include Wonder Woman: Warbringer and the forthcoming Ninth House.
Leigh was born in Jerusalem, grew up in Southern California, and graduated from Yale University. These days she lives and writes in Los Angeles. Check out her website where you can find this bio and more!