REVIEW : NINTH HOUSE

TITLE: Ninth House
AUTHOR: Leigh Bardugo
SERIES: Alex Stern
GENRE: Fantasy
AGE CATEGORY: Adult
FORMAT: Paperback
PAGES: 458
PUBLISHED: October 9th 2019
PUBLISHER: Gollancz

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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.


“I don’t know,” Darlington had said meditatively. “Suffocating beneath a pile of books seems an appropriate way to go for a research assistant.”

The synopsis and all the hype made Ninth House seem like one epic book. Something full of murder, fight, adrenaline, mysteries, drama, etc. But then came all the mixed reviews and the hesitation in me had come to stay. But I finally decided to get on the bull and stay on for the whole ride.
And now I just feel like I was promised to ride a wild, crazy horse and ended up in a pony ride with an old lazy pony who didn’t really want to work. And I’ve worked with them both.

The story is told from two point of views. The main one, I guess I could say, being Alex Stern’s. Her POV is told in the present time. What is going on right now.
The other one is Darlington’s. That on the other hand is told from the past. Darlington’s POVs start from the day he was told about Alex joining them. And from there it works toward the present.

I have to say that I don’t really like books with multiple POVs that all have their own timelines. I know these are connected to each other but still, one is in the past, on in the present. Those tend to throw me off more often than not and Ninth House wasn’t any different.
I don’t know. There’s just something in that type of writing that makes me all confused all the time, trying to place everything in the right tracks for them both.

The plot is okay, though it is a little too slow for my taste. I guess this could be brought back to the two different timelines, yet again. It just takes a lot longer to kind of “get to the point” when you first start from the present, then jump back in the past to take a look what Darlington thought and then jump back to the present to complete the task in hand.
I’m not saying it was all bad, not at all! Ninth House definitely had it’s moments when I just wanted to keep reading, when I needed to keep reading. Heck, I even was late to work one day because I couldn’t stop and forgot to keep track of time at the same time.
It pretty much goes like flatline->spike->flatline->spike, you know? There’s long whiles when nothing really happens, it’s all the same, and suddenly there comes a huge spike of adrenaline because something just went down, big time.

The characters also were kind of meaningless / bland. I just couldn’t scrape anything out of them, anything to make that connection, to make me really fall for them, to care. If I had to pick one character, I’d probably pick Dawes. I know there was probably even less character building for her than anyone else but still there was something about her that made me just want to scoop her out of the book and let her be happy.

All in all Ninth House really just left me here wondering what next? Do I care enough to actually continue? Or am I just satisfied with the ending and never going to think about it again?
Honestly, I also feel bad again. I always let all the hypes get to me, then I build some huge ass dream castles about every book before I read them and when I fall flat on my ass from up there, I feel so bad. I want to love all the books everyone else does. But I think Leigh Bardugo’s books just aren’t for me then. I need fast paced books, these slow burn books don’t work for me, I guess it’s time for me to just admit it.

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