Review: Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo

Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo

Synopsis and Details:

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.

Series: Alex Stern #1  |  Genres: Contemporary, Crime, Magical Realism, Mystery, Paranormal  |  Release Date: October 08, 2019  |  Publisher: Flatiron Books  | Pages: 459  |  ISBN: 978-1250313072  |  ASIN: B07LF64DZ2  |  Format: Hardcover  |  Source: Purchased

Review with Rating:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I will say that the Ninth House was a rather difficult story to initially get into because there were three different timelines taking place, eight different houses that represented ancient secret societies, and then there was Galaxy “Alex” Stern. Alex was a complicated character who was brought to Yale because of her remarkable skill for seeing the dead. A skill that was not one that Alex appreciated, especially since it was one that she had always considered more of a curse. This was not a story that you could just whip through, there was a lot to digest and learn.

What I loved, though, was that at the heart of the Ninth House there was a wondrous paranormal mystery that had many layers and stretched from historical times to present day. All of the characters in this story were interesting, although, not ones that I was immediately drawn to. Well, except, Daniel Arlington, I liked his character a lot which was hilarious because there were no interactions between him and Alex except in the timeline which covered the past. So, he wasn’t really there, except in memory, but he was quite remarkable.

Truthfully, there were points in reading this story where I was considering setting this book down. Yikes, what a huge mistake that would have been! Yes, this story was difficult to follow at points as well as heavy handed at other times but the mystery was consuming and the relationships that developed were ones that I wouldn’t want to miss. I loved Pammy Dawes, she seemed off-putting and retiring at first but dang, that girl had quite the spine of steel and was dependable when Alex needed her. There was plenty of friction between her and Alex but the friendship that developed between them was rewarding for me as a reader.

I always love a good mystery and even better if there is a paranormal bent to it and the Ninth House delivered astoundingly! Without giving much away, just know that there were several twists and turns to this story and plenty of surprises around every corner. Also, Alex was a character that I actually became quite fond of. She had a lot to overcome, with her past and how she viewed herself, but I really felt that she had grown over the course of this story and hope that she continues to find her inner mettle in the next book! Overall, Ninth House was a tremendous book that gave me spills, thrills and chills, here is hoping for more of the same in the sequel!

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