Ninth House was one of the most anticipated reads of 2019. In fact readers loved it so much that it won a Goodreads Choice Award. It’s Leigh Bardugo’s first adult book after her highly successful YA Fantasy books such as the six of crows duology. So of course, a lot of us readers had high hopes for this book. However for me, it seemed to meet them, yet didn’t at the same time too.
Trigger warnings of this book: rape of a child, sexual assault under influence of a magical drug, drowning, heavy violence, gore, drug addiction, overdosing, death, suicide, blackmail, self-harm, and forced consumption of human waste.
A world where magic meets reality. Yale university is a place of magic, that doesn’t require much skill to get in apart from being privileged. And so people put their trust into this system of underground houses and societies, hoping that in some way or another they’ve helped changed this world a little.
House of Lethe is in need of someone who can see ghosts and so Galaxy “Alex” Stern is recruited. Not the most ideal candidate given her past, but she’s one of a kind. Alex Stern accepts the offer, for a chance to start fresh. Her mentor Daniel “Darlington ” Arlington is loyal to the House of Lethe and hopes to turn this attitude towards Alex. When the mystery of a dead girl needs to be solved and Darlington’s sudden disappearance, Alex is determined to unveil the truth, no matter its cost.
The Plot Of Ninth House
As intrigued as I was about this book, it was so hard to get into at first. World building is so important in books especially with fantasy. It is understandable that Leigh Bardugo wants to describe the many building on campus and provide us readers with insightful information about the houses. However, the world building is done at a slow pace and at times I wasn’t motivated to pick up this book. The first couple of chapters had slow plot development, but after secrets are unveiled, the plot does generally become more interesting and enjoyable to read.
The many dark, grim themes did add to the plot, but I would’ve love to see more depth go into these important themes. I love the messages Leigh Bardugo was trying to portray about white privilege and power, it took the book into an intriguing direction.
Alex Stern is a complex character and one that I began to like as I read more about her and how she became the person today. With great ambition and witty retorts, she is a Slytherin and I think that was a given from the cover of the book. I couldn’t exactly relate to her, especially with her traumatic past. However I appreciated her flaws and character development.
I’m not going to spoil and mention other characters. But a character called Dawes was a unique one to read about and I enjoyed her character a lot! Also detective Turner, he helped move the plot forward for sure.
Darlington is a character I wish we would have seen more of in the book, so I’m hoping in book two he might appear more! His thirst to prove justice was admirable. Honestly when I was ready to put down the book in the beginning, his character kept me going as he was so interesting!
Conclusion Of Ninth House
Overall, I would rate this 3.5 stars. The first half fell a little flat for me, but the second half, especially the last 100 pages was what I was expecting of this book! I love the originality of this plot. An unexpected read for sure and I look forward to the next in this series!
Have you read this book? What are your thoughts? Agree or disagree with mine? I’d love to know your thoughts!