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Ninth House

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The mesmerizing adult debut from #1 New York Times bestselling author Leigh Bardugo 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 sur The mesmerizing adult debut from #1 New York Times bestselling author Leigh Bardugo 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.


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The mesmerizing adult debut from #1 New York Times bestselling author Leigh Bardugo 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 sur The mesmerizing adult debut from #1 New York Times bestselling author Leigh Bardugo 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.

30 review for Ninth House

  1. 4 out of 5

    Nick

    I'm a simple man. I see Leigh Bardugo . I press like. I'm a simple man. I see Leigh Bardugo . I press like.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Chaima ✨ شيماء

    I can’t prove this with science and statistics but my life wouldn’t SUCK this bad if I had this book

  3. 5 out of 5

    Melanie

    ARC acquired at Book Expo in exchange for an honest review. “There were always excuses for why girls died.” Ninth House is a love letter to living and surviving unspeakable abuse. This is a book all about trauma, and PTSD, and healing, in any and every way that you can. This is a book for victims, who have felt they will never get the piece of them back that someone forcefully took. This is a book for anyone who was willing to do anything to feel empowered after something horrible occurred. Th ARC acquired at Book Expo in exchange for an honest review. “There were always excuses for why girls died.” Ninth House is a love letter to living and surviving unspeakable abuse. This is a book all about trauma, and PTSD, and healing, in any and every way that you can. This is a book for victims, who have felt they will never get the piece of them back that someone forcefully took. This is a book for anyone who was willing to do anything to feel empowered after something horrible occurred. This is a book about the dark and the light and the in between phases a human can go through to get their voice back. But this is also a story about a girl named Galaxy Stern, or Alex, who is from LA, but is now across the country and studying at Yale. The book continuously switches back and forth from Late Spring to Winter, so we get to see what happened in the past and the ramifications it causes for present day Alex. In the Winter, we get to see her starting Yale, meeting a man named Darlington, and learning all about the nine secret societies at Yale, with secret, magical rituals that they perform. Lethe recruits a new freshman every three years to join sixteen seniors every year, where they gain knowledge of the occult. And Alex was picked because she has a very sought-after ability, that she has been running from her entire life. Also, it is Lethe House’s responsibility as the ninth house to keep the others in order and make sure they aren’t doing bad things. In the Spring, everything is different, and Alex is struggling with the weight of so much. From missing people, to ghosts who are paying her too much attention, to a girl being murdered that Alex can’t help but think was because of one of the secret societies, and she is willing to do anything to solve the case. Even if that means making a deal with one of the ghosts she is supposed to be ignoring. “But the trouble had begun on a night in the full dark of winter, when Tara Hutchins died and Alex still thought she might get away with everything.” Sounds pretty amazing, right? And I’m telling you, this book’s atmosphere, along with the campus setting, it was a perfect combination. Also, you all know that I think Leigh’s writing is a tier above most. The quotes I was able to pull from this book? They take the breath from my lungs even upon rereading them. Also, this book has a beautiful discussion about privilege and power dynamics. Leigh does not hold back truth of what white, rich, privileged boys and how they feel they are entitled to any and everything, and God bless her for that. Cycles of abuse and entitlement truly can be passed down, leaving terrible things in their wake, which will impact so many victims for their entire lives. Unchecked privilege is a terrifying thing, friends. And Leigh is not scared to go there, in the terrible acts they commit, to the horrible ends they deserve, and I really appreciated it, and it may have been my favorite element of this book. “Beautiful boys who should be happy, who wanted for nothing but still found things to take.” But you all are probably wondering why I gave this book three stars. I’m going to be brutally honest, not much happened in this book, and surely enough didn’t happen for this book to be almost 500 pages. I feel like you could easily cut this book in half and it would have been way more impactful and way more exciting to read. As much as I loved the healing of this book, and I loved the premise of secret societies all about the occult, I just felt so damn bored by reading this book. It started to feel like a chore to pick up, and this book took me twice the amount of time it would normally take me to read. It also started to feel so formulaic, where something really bad and heartbreaking would happen (past or present) then we’d have 50+ pages of nothing, and then something even worse happens, then 50+ of nothing. I will never lessen anyone’s trauma or how they choose to write and heal about it, but this book just made me feel nothing and then immeasurably uncomfortably and sadness, back to back to back, and it made for a really not great reading experience for me. Also, my favorite character was for sure Darlington, and I really wish we could have seen so much more of him. And lastly, the ending sort of wrapped this story up, I guess? But it just left me desiring so much more, and not in a good way if I’m being honest. So, let’s talk about the elephant in the room. I picked this book up the day before twitter exploded about the trigger warnings. I will be honest, it made for such a strange reading experience, because I felt like everyone was looking at me, even though I was only 100 pages into this book. At the end of this review, like always, I will have all the trigger warnings that I found listed. This is a dark book, with very dark themes and elements, and some extremely dark scenes. Alex truly has horrible things happen to her and her loved ones throughout her short life. I highly recommend you make sure you are in a safe headspace before picking this one up, because a few of these triggers are not my own, but they still really bothered me to read. “People didn’t need magic to be terrible to each other.” Overall, this was a disappointment for me. This was easily my most anticipated release of 2019, besides Queen of Nothing, and maybe I just put it on a pedestal subconsciously. I do think this one will be polarizing upon release, and I have friends who love this more than me and dislike this more than me. Honestly, I’m in this weird middle ground where I loved the setting and atmosphere, but I didn’t love the story or characters. I will probably still pick up the next installment, I think I’m just going to go into it with lower expectations. Blog | Instagram | Twitter | Tumblr | Youtube | Twitch The quotes above were taken from an ARC and are subject to change upon publication. Content and Trigger Warnings: drug use, overdosing, murder, death, loss of a loved one, rituals, gore, PTSD depiction, grief depiction, self-harm, bloodletting, rape, child (12) rape (it is only two pages, but it is very graphic), statutory rape (15), sexual assault, forced sexual assault on video, talk of suicide, blackmail, physical abuse, a magical date rape drug, forced eating of human waste (to a rapist), and racism (always in a negative light).

  4. 5 out of 5

    Kai

    "There were always excuses for why girls died." To answer your question: yes, it really is that good. Ninth House and I had a bit of a slow start. The new world that Bardugo has created might not be set in a fictional fantasy universe, but it features enough new concepts, characters, and settings that it takes some time to take it all in. Not only does every character have an alias and maybe even a nickname, so do the buildings at Yale. And since all my Yale knowledge is based on that cute little "There were always excuses for why girls died." To answer your question: yes, it really is that good. Ninth House and I had a bit of a slow start. The new world that Bardugo has created might not be set in a fictional fantasy universe, but it features enough new concepts, characters, and settings that it takes some time to take it all in. Not only does every character have an alias and maybe even a nickname, so do the buildings at Yale. And since all my Yale knowledge is based on that cute little courtyard from Gilmore Girls, I struggled to figure out where and who and what was going on. As soon as I had grasped all of that, though, I was unable to resist the pull of this dark, compelling, murderous book. I don't know where to start. The book was sombre and thrilling, brimming with ancient mysteries, magic, and the promise of danger. The characters were incredibly well-painted, my favourites being Turner and Dawes. The plot was thought-out, and until the very end, it was tense and exciting. My only criticism comes with the one or other reveal during the final showdown. Bardugo dropped enough clues here and there that the reader could have figured out who might have been behind the murder at the centre of this novel. That is until the plot is twisted yet again and delivers an explanation that adds new possibilities that no reader could have suspected. It was drawn up out of thin air and therefore not as genius as I had expected it to be. Now, be warned. If this book is one thing, it's violent. There are some graphic scenes that show sexual abuse. There is trauma and pain and it's not glossed over. I've seen people get mad at Leigh because she chose to show these horrible acts of violence. They accused her of exploiting the pain for shock value. I cannot agree with them. The novel is deeply feminist and shows characters with a past that is tough, that made them survivors. Readers also have no right to know whether the scenes in the book are based on the author's personal experiences. She doesn't have to justify writing about sexual abuse by proving that she has been in a similar position. I do, however, agree that the book needs trigger warnings. I honestly can't wait for the sequel. I mean, I personally don't care about [redacted] and whether they'll manage to save them or not, but the world that Bardugo created is so rich and leaves so much to discover that I wouldn't mind another three to five books. It feels like Alex Stern only just got started kicking ass. Find more of my books on Instagram

  5. 4 out of 5

    Emily (Books with Emily Fox)

    Just realized this is an Adult book?? I'm even more excited for it!!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Alex ✰ Comets and Comments ✰

    do i have a considerable amount of books that i already need to read? would i drop (quote me on this) everything for this? if leigh bardugo wrote a 100,000 word essay on the growing strategies of cacti, would i also do the same? yes, yes and also yes. "By the time Alex managed to get the blood out of her good wool coat, it was too warm to wear it. Spring had come on grudgingly; pale-blue mornings failed to deepen, turning instead to moist, sullen afternoons, and stubborn frost lined the roa do i have a considerable amount of books that i already need to read? would i drop (quote me on this) everything for this? if leigh bardugo wrote a 100,000 word essay on the growing strategies of cacti, would i also do the same? yes, yes and also yes. "By the time Alex managed to get the blood out of her good wool coat, it was too warm to wear it. Spring had come on grudgingly; pale-blue mornings failed to deepen, turning instead to moist, sullen afternoons, and stubborn frost lined the road in high, dirty meringues.... ....That was in the spring. But the trouble had begun on a night in the full dark of winter, when Tara Hutchins died and Alex still thought she might get away with everything."

  7. 4 out of 5

    karen

    There were always excuses for why girls died. i am going to review this carefully, for all of you who were too cool or too civilized to run for copies at BEA and have to wait for october to grab a copy. me, i regret nothing. when i first heard about this book, there was only a little teaser of a synopsis available, and when i finally got my hands on it, i didn’t revisit it or read anything printed on the ARC - i just dove in blind. let’s just say i was unprepared for what this was. i’d assumed, fr There were always excuses for why girls died. i am going to review this carefully, for all of you who were too cool or too civilized to run for copies at BEA and have to wait for october to grab a copy. me, i regret nothing. when i first heard about this book, there was only a little teaser of a synopsis available, and when i finally got my hands on it, i didn’t revisit it or read anything printed on the ARC - i just dove in blind. let’s just say i was unprepared for what this was. i’d assumed, from having read all the bardoogs before this, that this would be set in some fantasy realm which roughly correlated to real-world locations, but was entirely fresh and new and magical. so imagine my surprise to read about this girl kicking it in new haven and eating mamoun’s falafel. mind = blown. those of you who are better about reading what a book is about before you hunker down between its covers will be less surprised, since it pretty clearly states it takes place at yale, but it took me a minute to recalibrate my expectations. not unpleasantly so, by any means. bardugo’s first adult novel is… spectacular. and it is emphatically modern—all of its themes of class and race and gender, all of the female rage and elitist entitlement, and alex stern, my new favorite character, teetering on that knife’s edge of the heroine/antiheroine divide. never fear, there’s plenty of fantasy and magic and all of the brilliance one expects from a bardugo novel, and DAMN, does it have teeth. Alex felt something dark inside her uncoil. “You’re a flat beast,” Hellie had once said to her. “Got a little viper lurking in there, ready to strike. A rattler probably.” She’d said it with a grin, but she’d been right. All this winter weather and polite conversation had put the serpent to sleep, its heartbeat slowing as it grew lazy and still, like any cold-blooded thing. it’s a mystery/horror/fantasy cocktail that packs a serious punch. it is fierce. it is ferocious. it’s all sinuous with iridescent scales and fangs. it ends on a promise of more to come, and i NEED there to be more coming, because i am smitten with alex stern. I let you die. To save myself, I let you die. That is the danger in keeping company with survivors. i will keep company with her any day of the week. if she’ll have me. ************************* an easy five stars, with review TK, but to answer your final question, ms. bardugo: ME! ME!! I AM SO READY!!!!! ************************* 5/29/19 update: BEA will not be burned down this year. ************************* 5/28/19 every year, i have a few "if i don't get this at BEA, i will burn down BEA" titles. this year i only have one. ************************* 9/12/17 leigh bardugo university secret societies sinister occult activities all of the good things at once. come to my blog!

  8. 4 out of 5

    Chelsea Humphrey

    US and UK residents can submit their pre-order receipts HERE to receive a gorgeous, limited edition print! **************** Do you ever just sit at home with approximately 9,999 books feeling like you have nothing to read because that ONE book you're dying to read doesn't come out until October 8th?

  9. 5 out of 5

    Sabaa Tahir

    This book is just fabulous. It has excellent worldbuilding; deep, dark mystery; fascinating characters that you root for even when you don't like their choices; a twisty, original and unexpected plot that had me guessing all the way until the end. Highly, highly recommend.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Mikee Andrea (ReadWithMikee)

    I JUST DIED. A NEW LEIGH BARDUGO BOOK. JUST TAKE ALL MY MONEY NOW.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Caz (littlebookowl)

    HOLY WOW. This was something else - incredible writing, so atmospheric, bloody, gruesome, intense. The ending was RUDE, I need the next book NOW! Content warning: sexual assault including child rape & date rape drug, self-harm, suicide, physical abuse, overdose, violence, murder.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Prince Charming Doesn't Exist - The Darkling

    Two theories: Either The Darkling made the cover or The cover is The Darkling

  13. 4 out of 5

    jessica

    the hot trend for 2019 is snakes on covers and it makes me wish i was a slythernin. their brand/culture is t h r i v i n g. also, is it october yet??

  14. 5 out of 5

    Brittney ~ Reverie and Ink

    Hah yeah I will never not read something Leigh Bardugo writes.

  15. 5 out of 5

    • Lindsey Dahling •

    Me: I can’t believe I have to wait until October for THE BEST DAY OF THIS YEAR! Everyone else: Your wedding is in June.....

  16. 5 out of 5

    ✨ A ✨

    I am so excited for this book but people, know what you can handle. Remember that your mental health should be your priority. TRIGGER WARNINGS: [Click the spoiler tag] (view spoiler)[Extreme violence; graphic sexual assault; rape of a child; rape drug; rape of a person under the influence; suicide; drug abuse; self harm; overdose; murder (hide spoiler)] Bardugo's own (slightly vague) warning. Make no mistake I am not trying to dissuade anyone from reading this book, but I do believe TW's need to be I am so excited for this book but people, know what you can handle. Remember that your mental health should be your priority. TRIGGER WARNINGS: [Click the spoiler tag] (view spoiler)[Extreme violence; graphic sexual assault; rape of a child; rape drug; rape of a person under the influence; suicide; drug abuse; self harm; overdose; murder (hide spoiler)] Bardugo's own (slightly vague) warning. Make no mistake I am not trying to dissuade anyone from reading this book, but I do believe TW's need to be normalized especially if you switch genres and your fanbase is used to a certain type of content. Any author should feel free to explore whatever genre they choose. So please don't hate on Leigh. She did specifically say that this is a dark adult novel. And yes this book contains hard topics, but they are a reflection of what many people deal with. Apparently the publishers are working on adding TW's to the final copies so that this book is not mistaken for YA and that readers know what they're getting into before hand. Take care of yourselves lovelies 💜. __ There are 70 users that shelved this as young adult. What don't y'all get about the words “adult debut” ???? Also ... I am loving this cover. So Slytherin 🐍

  17. 4 out of 5

    Emma

    I can’t remember the last time I wanted to step into a book so much, be part of a world so desperately. Even with all the danger, with the pain and darkness and death, it’s a place that feels like possibility… ….. ‘She always told me there’s no doorway the devil doesn’t know. He’s always waiting to stick his foot in. I never really believed her until tonight.’ Alex Stern is no hero. Life has given her a serious Fuck You in the form of a very particular talent/curse and she’s been more than willing I can’t remember the last time I wanted to step into a book so much, be part of a world so desperately. Even with all the danger, with the pain and darkness and death, it’s a place that feels like possibility… ….. ‘She always told me there’s no doorway the devil doesn’t know. He’s always waiting to stick his foot in. I never really believed her until tonight.’ Alex Stern is no hero. Life has given her a serious Fuck You in the form of a very particular talent/curse and she’s been more than willing to return that sentiment with interest. Getting a free ride to Yale is the kind of turnaround so unlikely she could never have imagined it, but just like everything else in her life, what appears to be a big step forwards actually means that shit is going to get a whole load worse. Because now she’s supposed to be keeping an eye on a bunch of entitled rich kids who have powerful backers and aren’t used to being told what to do. When things go seriously, fatally wrong, she has to work out just how much danger she’s willing to take on to make things right, and maybe even act the hero after all… I’d heard lots of great things about Leigh Bardugo from fellow readers but since I don’t usually read YA, I hadn’t tried anything by her before. Then this appeared. And it ticked all the boxes. Adult. Pitch-dark themes and content. Secret societies. The occult. The main character mysteriously surviving a brutal multiple homicide…. I don’t know anyone who could resist that. I certainly couldn’t. What an attention grabber. And that’s before you get to all the juicy stuff inside... Safe to say it has all the ingredients for a great story. And, wow, did it ever deliver. The book is incredible. Not only is it a serious contender for my Book of the Year, it’s jumped straight onto my favourites of all time list. I felt like it was written for me personally. I want to shout about it to EVERYONE. Alex is the kind of character you can’t look away from, a survivor through and through. I’ve been trying to think of a comparison but all I can come up with is a bit Mia Corvere, a bit Faith. A whole load of her idiosyncratic and compelling self. She’s more than a little troubled, with the kind of past that usually lands someone in prison or a grave, and not a little attitude. Watching her navigate Yale and provide her own kind of schooling for its students was a sheer delight. This book might be dark as hell but it’s funny too. Ghosts and magic are all mixed into real life, giving it a dark appeal and sinister veracity, like a world just outside your vision. You might catch a glimpse if you turn your head quickly enough. Or perhaps it’ll catch you— if you don’t run fast enough… I can’t talk too much about the plot without giving stuff away so all I’m going to say is that it’s sneaky clever, surprising enough to make you scream at the book, desperate to change things. When the words continue to say the same thing no matter how much you yell (sadly this never works), you’ll curse the author until the end of time. In the final moments is just a hint of what might come next and I’m going to be first in line. In fact, if anyone gets there before me, I’ll be shoving them aside with little (or no) remorse. In the meantime, I’ll be reading this again and pondering what the hell is going to happen with a certain character who shall remain nameless but whoa… seriously. What. The. Hell. Leigh Bardugo, you got me hooked. ARC via Netgalley

  18. 5 out of 5

    Tucker

    [Image TK] Many thanks to Macmillan Audio for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review ”It is only through mystery and madness that the soul is revealed” So, do you ever have those moments that just kind of shatter your identity and how you view yourself? Well, that’s me right now. We all know how much I hated Six of Crows. My feelings morphed from bitterness to joy. It truly is fun to hate with a passion. But we’re not talking about Six of Crows. We’re talking about Ninth House. I’d [Image TK] Many thanks to Macmillan Audio for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review ”It is only through mystery and madness that the soul is revealed” So, do you ever have those moments that just kind of shatter your identity and how you view yourself? Well, that’s me right now. We all know how much I hated Six of Crows. My feelings morphed from bitterness to joy. It truly is fun to hate with a passion. But we’re not talking about Six of Crows. We’re talking about Ninth House. I’d honestly like to pretend that Six of Crows never happened because this book was the exact opposite. Entertaining, scary, gripping and full of superbly written characters. So, what’s this book about? 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 homicides. 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. ➵ Galaxy “Alex” Stern - As I mentioned earlier, this book is full of great characters but Alex, who, yes, just happens to be the main character, was the best in this whole book. Alex is, as Darlington said, stating the obvious, “not what she seems”. Alex Stern can see ghosts, or Grays as they are called in this world. Now, she’s not the only one who can see Grays but her abilities with the Grays are not at all what they seem. Aside from her powers, which are f**king awesome, Alex is also selfish. As with most of the selfish characters, I study, she is selfish for a reason. She is defending herself. Since childhood, Alex has believed herself to be crazy because she can see the Grays while no one else around her can. I really loved Alex’s character ARC and I cannot wait to see it explored further in book two which had better be coming soon. WE’RE COUNTING ON YOU, LEIGH! Another reason you should read this is the world-building. Something Leigh Bardugo has always been talented at, (Yes, even in Six of Crows) is world-building. In this contemporary world, ghosts exist and they are called Grays. There is also magic and all sorts of other supernatural sh*that was an absolute blast to read. Even better than the world-building was the setting. This book was set at Yale University, which, as she stated in her interview at the end of the audiobook, Leigh actually attended! The atmosphere was very cozy yet chilling and unsettling. I honestly don’t think there could have been a better setting for this novel. Finally, I loved the plot. Unlike Six of Crows, it actually took off and went somewhere. You should know that the first half is slow(ish) but strap in and wait because the second half is a total rollercoaster of emotional plot twists. Overall, this novel is a stunning, atmospheric and chilling novel for fans of Riverdale and the The Hazel Wood. Both old and new fans will be amazed by this work of art. Final Note: This book IS NOT YOUNG ADULT. I cannot stress it enough. Both Leigh and her publishers have classified this as New Adult and it should be viewed as so, because it goes to some very dark, very heavy places. Bottom Line: 4.5 Stars Age Rating: [ R ] Content Screening (Spoilers) - Educational Value (2/5): [Mythology and history of magic, Demonology] ~ Positive Messages (2/5): [Female empowerment] ~Violence (4/5): [Body horror, gore, rape, physical assault] ~ Sex (3/5): [Rape, discussion of sex] ~ Langauge (3/5): [Sh*t, f**k, d*mn, Asshole] ~ Drinking/Drugs (4/5): [Medicinal drugs, magical drugs, overall a ton of drug usage] TW: Rape, (Magical) Rape Drugs, PTSD, Death, Murder, Suicide, Racism Reps: [Disability] Cover: 5/5 ~ Characters: 4/5 ~ Plot: 4/5 ~ Audio: 4/5 (I love Lauren Fortgang) Publication Date: October 8th, 2019 Publisher: Flatiron, an imprint of Macmillan ******** I, the passionate hater of Six of Crows, loved this book. brb, while I have an identity crisis ******** And so it begins. Will I love it or will I hate it? We shall have to wait and see. ******** at this point, i'm more than intrigued. i'm excited ******** Even though I hate Six of Crows, I'm intrigued.. | Goodreads | Blog | Twitch | Pinterest | Reddit | LinkedIn | Buy

  19. 5 out of 5

    Noura Khalid (theperksofbeingnoura)

    Thank you Flatiron Books for gifting me a review copy in exchange for an honest review! “We are the shepherds” I’m trying to write a really calm and professional review here but after reading this book I don’t think there’s a possibility. Ninth House was everything. I read the synopsis of the book once when it came out and never again. I was sold from the first read, and I knew this was going to be a book I wanted to read. I had a feeling that I’d enjoy it. This book is Leigh Bardugo’s first a Thank you Flatiron Books for gifting me a review copy in exchange for an honest review! “We are the shepherds” I’m trying to write a really calm and professional review here but after reading this book I don’t think there’s a possibility. Ninth House was everything. I read the synopsis of the book once when it came out and never again. I was sold from the first read, and I knew this was going to be a book I wanted to read. I had a feeling that I’d enjoy it. This book is Leigh Bardugo’s first adult book, and let me just say that you definitely will not be disappointed. Ninth House is told from two perspectives, Alex Stern and Darlington. With the two of them (but mostly Alex) we follow their work with the secret societies at Yale. This book was spectacular in every sense of the word. It has everything from horror to magic to deadly societies and ghosts. The story was extremely complex and it had me guessing at every page. I couldn’t put it down even if I wanted to. It’s the kind of book that keeps you hooked and interested until you turn the last page and realize that it’s over. So much happens in this book. I can’t even begin to explain how much there is for you to look forward to. So much mayhem and plot twists. It has been a while since I’ve read a book that has shocked me but this book right here managed to do just that. Multiple times. We follow Alex through most of the book and honestly this girl is a mystery on her own. From trying to solve and investigate the societies to trying to figure out who Alex is and uncovering her life before her joining Yale. Definitely a character who isn’t predictable. And Darlington is another favorite. I would give up everything for him. We only had a few chapters from his perspective but I loved him regardless. One thing is certain though. This book is intoxicating and definitely not a book you can breeze through. Bardugo deals with themes that people shy away from talking about in our societies. She mentioned that it would be disturbing and she was definitely right about that. The book deals with things like gender and racial discrimination, as well as rape on campuses, and how much people with power can get away with. It takes a lot of energy to get through this book. I found myself putting it down a few times just so that I could take a few breaths or to process what went on. Just remember that your mental health is the most important. A lot happens in the book that’s disturbing. It’s my first time reading a book like this to be honest. I know the book won’t be for everyone. It’ll be too heavy at times and if you decide that the book isn’t for you that’s okay. Again, your mental health is the most important. Also, this book is NOT young Adult. The book is classified under adult by the author and her publishers. Trigger Warnings: Rape of a child, sexual abuse, drug abuse, date rape drug, overdose, suicide, self harm, gore, violence, and murder. Find my review on my blog! —————- I GOT AN ARC! 😭❤ Thank you Flatiron for the gifted review copy in exchange for an honest review.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Elise (TheBookishActress)

    I would die for you Leigh

  21. 4 out of 5

    Claudia ✨

    "It was one thing to be told magic existed, quite another to have it literally give you the finger." Leigh Bardugo was born to write adult books. Ninth House is a book about strange, dark magic, power and what happens when it falls into the wrong hands, trauma and just surviving. It's also my favorite novel from Bardugo yet, along with Six of Crows. This book you guys; it's going to hit you like a sledgehammer. Alex Stern hasn't had an easy life. Filled with heavy drugs, abuse and seeing things tha "It was one thing to be told magic existed, quite another to have it literally give you the finger." Leigh Bardugo was born to write adult books. Ninth House is a book about strange, dark magic, power and what happens when it falls into the wrong hands, trauma and just surviving. It's also my favorite novel from Bardugo yet, along with Six of Crows. This book you guys; it's going to hit you like a sledgehammer. Alex Stern hasn't had an easy life. Filled with heavy drugs, abuse and seeing things that no one else sees, Alex has had to fight every day to not go under. But when she is the only survivor of a gruesome homicide, it looks like that is it - until a man shows up at the hospital and offers her a deal that sounds too good to be true. Darlington is a gentleman, charming everyone that meets him. He is also part of Lethe, an association created to keep check of and regulate the eight secret societies of Yale that has been playing with strange magic for centuries. Darlington loves and lives for Lethe, so when Alex Stern, a haunted and ragged girl, enters his enchanting world, he is not entirely sure how he feels about it. Neither is Alex. Yale and it's underground societies is overwhelming and entirely alien to her, especially when she learns more and more of the occult that is taking place there. And when a girl loses her life, it all spirals out of control. Let's get my two only complaints about this book out of the way; first of all, the beginning was a bit slow. Even though I was instantly intrigued and of course trust the goddess that is Leigh Bardugo, it took me around 40 pages to truly get into the book. There were a lot of information thrown at the reader instantly and I often find myself not really being able to follow what was happening. Thankfully, this quickly passed and as soon as I was in, I was in, not being able to put the book down at all. Second complaint is that Ninth House ended, and that I now have to wait for god knows how long until the sequel. Back to the raving. I really think that this new style of writing - more mature, grittier and also sexier - fits Bardugo's way of writing exceptionally well. It never felt forced, just so very real, and I could empathise with her characters in an even more intense way that I had with her Grishaverse books. Especially Alex. I don't even know where to start with Alex. What a broken, angry character. A character that felt like pieces from all the people I know in real life, collected into a fleshed-out and so extremely complex character that I often felt like I could reach out and touch her. She was almost sinister sometimes in her anger, but still managed to keep some kindness and sense of justice in her, that still didn't feel unbelievable or like it crashed with the rest of her personality. And it was the same with Darlington - I honestly don't know how Bardugo manages to write characters like these two. They're relatable and sympathetic and immensely engrossing. Personally, I'm not sure which of these two I loved the most, but even though his were fewer, I think I enjoyed Darlingtons POV even more than I did Alex. He just had a different tenderness and pureness to him that felt comforting, that made me want to read more and more about him so that I could try to soak it up. But as I said, I loved them both. Once again, the way Bardugo writes characters, dialogue and relationships are one of her biggest strengths, and Ninth House is no exception. Of course, it wasn't just Alex and Darlington. Shy Dawes grew on me immediately, Turner was cranky and stubborn but still always a good guy, and I even wanted to know the grey North more. The atmosphere of this book also felt like a character of its own. It was just so moody, repeatedly frightful and ghastly, but still had that lil sliver of hope and light because oh my god it's actually magic. And of course it didn't hurt that it took place at the gorgeous Yale. As this is an adult book, I want to put out some triggerwarnings for rape, violence, drug abuse and murder. This book doesn't shy away from the brutality of the world, and when you add a bit of magic to it, it doesn't always turn out lovely or whimsical. Privilige often breeds bad people and bad people flock to power, and as this book does take place at a fancy Ivy League school, we get to explore that theme quite a lot. It’s also quite gross at times, something I’ve seen many comment on in their reviews, but this didn’t bother me at all as I found it to fit the theme and characters and world. I think some things where meant to feel like they were just too much. Before this review turns into a novel of it's own, I want to make it clear for the last time how much I adored this book. Ninth House is truly an unique and captivating read, one that I enjoyed from start to that excrutiating end, and one that I will be thinking about for a long time. You guys are going to flip when you get your hands on this. Now please Bardugo, give me the release date for the sequel. I need more Alex and especially more Darlington, thank you very much.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Whitney Atkinson

    2.5 stars So. Um. This was a letdown. I want to preface this review by saying that it very well could have just been a me problem because I typically don't read thriller/mysteries. I thought because this book was written by Leigh Bardugo, I would automatically enjoy whatever she wrote. But in the case of Ninth House, I feel like she tried to do too much all at once, and so I came out of the book not quite comprehending what just occurred. This book was initially easy to get into just because of t 2.5 stars So. Um. This was a letdown. I want to preface this review by saying that it very well could have just been a me problem because I typically don't read thriller/mysteries. I thought because this book was written by Leigh Bardugo, I would automatically enjoy whatever she wrote. But in the case of Ninth House, I feel like she tried to do too much all at once, and so I came out of the book not quite comprehending what just occurred. This book was initially easy to get into just because of the thrill of finally having it in my hands, but after that, I had a hard time returning to it every time I put it down. The first 200 pages drag a LOT as it sets up the world and delves into some of the characers' backstories, and even after lots of reveals and twists, I was never really excited to get back to this story. The main reason for that is because I don't quite understand what I just read. Maybe everything was actually explained somewhere and I just didn't read the information because the world building was so dry, but if you asked me to give you a summary of what the cults are and who the characters are and how the mystery was solved, I'd just be like ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ I liked Alex and Darlington, the two people who we mainly focused on, but I feel like Bardugo didn't dive into their character development enough. I hesitate comparing this to her earlier works because I know it's in another vein entirely, but if you're expecting to get attached to these characters like the cast of Six of Crows, I didn't get that at all. I can see where Bardugo tried, though: Darlington had flashback chapters to show his side of the story, but they were so boring and irrelevant. Alex also had moments of going back in her story to show where she came from, but I feel like the synopsis tells more about her than the book actually does. I wish this book could have started at an earlier point in the semester so we can see the characters grow in real-time rather than the constant perspective shifts and change in the timeline. This book wasn't awful by any stretch, but my lasting impression of it is going to be that I didn't really understand what this was trying to do. The mystery felt very low stakes and I wasn't sure where Alex's motivation lay in solving it. (I also might just be salty because there were two mysteries occurring simultaneously and this book chose to solve the more boring one.) This review could totally be my reaction based on being a newbie to the genre, but I feel like a lot of people are going to read this just because it has Bardugo's name attached to it, so I'm interested to see if I'm the only one who feels like this was a half-baked story with confusing world building.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Fables&Wren

    *empties pockets and hands over my beating heart* It's fine. I'm fine. Ignore me. I'm not fine. I'm having a heart attack but I'm fine. I'm just school girlin' over here. I CANNOT BE MORE EXCITED ABOUT THIS. QUEEN LEIGH BARDUGO, WRITES AGAIN.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Saania Zee Jamal ϟ

    (((screaming))) First, a Wonder Woman-centric superhero book. Now, a contemporary mystery about secret societies. THIS WOMAN WILL BE THE END OF ME AND I COULDN'T BE ANY HAPPIER.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Vicky Who Reads

    okay, friends, ready? PLEASE ADD NINTH HOUSE AS ADULT TO GOODREADS. Not YA. (I can't say whether or not you should add it as NA, but definitely not YA.) Why? 1) It's what Leigh and her publishers want & say it should be classified as. So like...classify it right because it's what Leigh wants!!! 2) It's also misleading to teen readers! Teen readers (and other readers) have a general idea of what to expect in YA in terms of content etc. and if they see Ninth House labeled as YA, they'll also t okay, friends, ready? PLEASE ADD NINTH HOUSE AS ADULT TO GOODREADS. Not YA. (I can't say whether or not you should add it as NA, but definitely not YA.) Why? 1) It's what Leigh and her publishers want & say it should be classified as. So like...classify it right because it's what Leigh wants!!! 2) It's also misleading to teen readers! Teen readers (and other readers) have a general idea of what to expect in YA in terms of content etc. and if they see Ninth House labeled as YA, they'll also think it's in line with the content. But it's not (as Leigh stated), and people + teen readers might not be prepared for that & feel misled that it's not YA, so please label this book accordingly! 3) Categorizing this as YA also falls in line with the incorrect idea that women are less able to write adult SFF. People categorize adult SFF by women as YA a lot of the times because female writers who write SFF are OBVIOUSLY not able to write adult SFF like the cishet white men of yore do. (sarcasm, y'all) There's a really complex culture perpetuated both by YA readers and adult SFF readers that women writing fantasy must be writing YA and it's both - adding to the misogynistic idea that women can't write as well as men - and is disparaging to YA because it looks down on YA because it's for teens. Therefore, please don't add this as YA! It's bad for like...everyone.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Hamad

    Damn Queen didn't have to flex on us that hard with this cover!!

  27. 5 out of 5

    ✨ jamieson ✨

    LEIGH BARDUGO HAS A NEW BOOK !!!! Leigh is an instant-buy I'll read whatever she writes AND GODDAMN the premise of this sounds ..... so good (and! She's leaving Grisha which is exciting, keen to see new things) JUST LET ME AT THIS RIGHT NOW I NEED IT

  28. 4 out of 5

    Amy Risner

    ARC obtained from BookExpo in exchange for an honest review. I really think this is going to be one of those books you’ll either love or hate. Fans of Bardugo will pick up on how perfectly she personifies each character, but please be warned, this is not young adult. This book is very much about healing from past traumas while trying to also survive in a society that’s filled with so much death and darkness. I will say that I was a bit confused in the beginning because this book jumps a lot betwee ARC obtained from BookExpo in exchange for an honest review. I really think this is going to be one of those books you’ll either love or hate. Fans of Bardugo will pick up on how perfectly she personifies each character, but please be warned, this is not young adult. This book is very much about healing from past traumas while trying to also survive in a society that’s filled with so much death and darkness. I will say that I was a bit confused in the beginning because this book jumps a lot between two timelines (the past winter, and the present which is spring.) We follow Alex, a girl who attends Yale University and ends up being recruited into a secret society. Alex has a supernatural ability which makes her a unique society member of Lethe House. Yale also has eight other secret societies where each one deals with their own paranormal/supernatural “specialties.” We get glimpses into each society and learning about them was interesting, yet a bit tedious, at times for me. The murder of a local woman sets the story in motion as Alex suspects one of the societies is involved. But she’s also dealing with the disappearance of her friend and society “mentor”, Darlington. The story weaves both mysteries together, and at times it would be a bit too slow for my liking. However, I was so immersed in the dark mysteries surrounding the cases and the occult that I still enjoyed reading this very much! Honestly, I would rate the overall story itself four stars. But once we began peeling back the layers of Alex and Darlington’s characters… I just fell in love with the book. The characters are so well written and, in true Bardugo fashion, their backstories really punched me in the gut. Also? There are ghosts. So that’s major bonus points for me! I found myself very slowly chipping away at this book just so I could absorb all the information about the societies. But also please use caution as the themes are very dark and heavy. Bardugo said she wrote about her own experiences (and that this book is her way of healing) and she is valid and unapologetic. She does not hold back. Trigger/content warnings: rape of a minor, drug use, cutting, bullying, gore/medical procedures, sexual assault of a minor, sexual acts under the influence of magic/drugs, parental neglect/abandonment, talks of cancer. Blog | Instagram | Twitter | YouTube

  29. 5 out of 5

    ☘Misericordia☘ ~ The Serendipity Aegis ~ ⚡ϟ⚡ϟ⚡⛈ ✺❂❤❣

    Definitely want to read this one. This author has given us the totally beautiful and evocative Midnight tales and the culturally inadequate (and ludicrous!) Grisha sequence... LMAO! If she manages not to delve into cultures she has no idea about, she might pull this one off as a worthwhile read. Anyway, the protagonist's name, Galaxy Stern (Star from German) totally bought me. (I hope this time around the protagonist won't be getting drunk on Fruchtsaft oder Kaffee mit Milch, meeting a person nam Definitely want to read this one. This author has given us the totally beautiful and evocative Midnight tales and the culturally inadequate (and ludicrous!) Grisha sequence... LMAO! If she manages not to delve into cultures she has no idea about, she might pull this one off as a worthwhile read. Anyway, the protagonist's name, Galaxy Stern (Star from German) totally bought me. (I hope this time around the protagonist won't be getting drunk on Fruchtsaft oder Kaffee mit Milch, meeting a person named Tschüs, snacking on a bout of Torschlußpanik mixed with Wernweh, doing Porn between her Schlosser und seiner Hund, riding Brautwurst or doing into any other unfortunate and/or stereotypic and/or culturally nonsensical stuff. I'm keeping my fingers crossed! Seriously, enough with writing about an army of Gregs, which is what the Grisha-thing basically was. Bring on more Midnight-Tales-level goodness!)

  30. 5 out of 5

    glória

    leigh bardugo: i am gonna give the slytherins everything they want

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