Ninth House

Leigh Bardugo
From #1 New York Times bestselling author Leigh Bardugo comes a mesmerizing tale of power, privilege, and dark magic set among the Ivy League elite. 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. In fact, by age twenty, 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 prestigious 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. Their eight windowless “tombs” are the well-known haunts of the rich and powerful, from high-ranking politicos to Wall Street’s biggest players. But their occult activities are more sinister and more extraordinary than any paranoid imagination might conceive. They tamper with forbidden magic. They raise the dead. And, sometimes, they prey on the living. Ninth House is the long-awaited adult debut by the beloved author of Shadow and Bone and Six of Crows. Leigh Bardugo will take her place alongside Lev Grossman and Deborah Harkness as one of the finest practitioners of literary fantasy writing today. Praise for Leigh Bardugo: “A master of fantasy.” - The Huffington Post “Utterly, extremely bewitching.” - The Guardian “[A] world that feels real enough to have its own passport stamp.” - NPR “The darker it gets for the good guys, the better.” - Entertainment Weekly “Sultry, sweeping and picturesque. . . . Impossible to put down.” - USA Today

Reviews

Reviewed: 2021-08-30
This book was not what I expected, but I am a-ok with that, thus 4 stars. I thought it was going to be a fantasy novel involving the Skull and Bones society at Yale, but that doesn't even begin to cover it. It's also a murder mystery, in a way that feels similar to the TV show Lucifer, but much darker. There's a lot going on in this book, and the scenery is weirdly a huge part, which I love. I've been to the Yale campus exactly once in my life for a conference, so I ended up doing a lot of googling of places around Yale and New Haven. Also a good chunk of the book is told through flashback, but it lines up in a way that makes sense overall, and really just made me care so much about Darlington it's ridiculous. My favorite character though has gotta be Pammie, who is so dear to my heart. The major themes of this book are questions about survival, and what you might be willing to give up or trade in order to live. Included in this are questions of identity and what makes you who you are. It was generally a metaphor for capitalistic societies, and the sick kind of stuff corporations will do to further their own interests. This can get pretty dark, and MAJOR trigger warnings for a number of scenes, for a number of issues, so be careful. I kind of loved the magic system, and it felt very organic, though as a history major, I have some major questions about the implications of this system on world history. Otherwise, an overall good read, the structure and flow were always good, and I will probably read the next book when it comes out. One star less because of the trigger warnings issues which made me uncomfortable, but still were handled in a way that I felt was realistic.
Reviewed: 2021-07-05
Rounding up from 3.25. I think that this book has some great elements by the end, I liked the team I assembled. The characters were interesting and felt pretty fleshed out. BUT I think the pacing was way off and the time jumping didn't work that well. The action of the story happens so quickly, you could have cut out whole chapters if you skipped the "I was really tired, but no time to sleep!" The Yale references needed to be spelled out *just* a little more to make non-Yales understand it.
Reviewed: 2021-03-29
Imagine if magic was a secret society you could join and you didn't even have to be magically talented? Like Hogwarts for rich ivy league muggles. This is the world that Galaxy Stern (Alex) finds herself in after waking up in a hospital after the grisly murder of her drug dealing friends. Alex has always been able to see ghosts, and this talent uniquely qualifies her to become part of the Lethe. A group that regulates the eight magical societies to make sure that they are doing nothing that will hurt anyone on the outside and that they are following the rules. These groups can build the fortunes of the wealthy or secure political positions or create a new best seller for someone who has writers block. When a murder happens nearby the campus Alex suspects that a society has their hand in this and it's not just a normal homicide. [return]This story was really hard to put down. I've already started recommending it to my co-workers! I thought Alex was an absolute rebel. She's got a troubled past that helps her work the system to find out the truth. She is likable, tough, smart and I cannot wait to see what happens next!
Reviewed: 2021-02-04
4.05
Reviewed: 2020-02-26

Gripping, mysterious and an altogether spooky good time! 
I was so skeptical but came out wanting to know more about this world and what kind of trouble the characters get into next! 2021 can't come soon enough!

Reviewed: 2020-02-06
WOW WOW WOW THIS BOOK!!!! I loved it so much. I love Leigh's writing and this was no exception - it was well written and engaging from the first chapter for me. I loved Alex as a main character and I thought this story was so intriguing and interesting - this isn't the type of book I would normally read and love but somehow, I did. I CANNOT WAIT FOR THE NEXT ONE.
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@witchbitch completed #ninthhouse... on 2020-10-15
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@bjezerey completed #ninthhouse... on 2019-10-03
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@kpdickinson completed #ninthhouse... on 2020-05-13
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@ldhawk completed #ninthhouse... on 2019-10-28
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