I love dark academia with a fiery passion in my soul. Ninth House was probably the number one of my must reads for 2019 releases and I’m extremely excited to say that it did not disappoint at all! I own every one of Leigh Bardugo’s books and as much as I love the Grishaverse, I believe that Alex Stern has made her way to the number one place in my heart.
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.
The book I most recommend to everyone and have made people read: this one. Ninth House is where it’s at. I am a sucker for secret societies, drama and shenanigans among the rich and prestigious elite, and anything that is real worldly, but also out of touch for many. Throw in a bit of blood magic and you’ve got me!
Leigh’s venture into the adult fiction book world was a success. I loved reading Alex’s story. Her past and her “gifts” speaks volumes. They are so representative of many women, and men, who have had things happen to them and no one believing it. It was a very clever way for Bardugo to include it into her story.
I love the relationship between Alex and Darlington. He gets frustrated with her and she doesn’t make it easy for him. It’s understandable that he’s frustrated how a traditional process gets ripped away from him. He was supposed to choose his Dante and instead he got stuck with Alex. Though, it wasn’t really like she had a choice either.
Darlington was an interesting character to me. On the outside he is the “Golden Boy” that can do no wrong. Inside, there is a boy who was pretty much abandoned by his money-loving parents and is raised by his grandfather, whom he admires. Though they have different backgrounds and chose their paths in life differently, Alex and Darlington are similar in many ways as well. The biggest things is that they are both fighters. They learned to take life by the horns and survive any way they had to.
Normally, the non-linear timelines can be confusing, but it worked really well for this story. It made you wanting more and enjoyed that the seasons were used to depict time.
I’m extremely excited to read more about Alex. I cannot wait for the second installment of this book! I gave it 5 stars.