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  • Writer's pictureThe Bossy Bookworm

Review of Ninth House (Alex Stern #1) by Leigh Bardugo

ICYMI: When tough, stubborn Alex Stern is offered a new start after surviving a mysterious multiple homicide, she becomes an unlikely member of the Yale freshman class. But the darkness of her past may only be matched by the danger of the magic and rituals being used by the secret societies she's meant to be monitoring.

But would it have mattered if she’d been someone else? If she’d been a social butterfly, they would have said she liked to drink away her pain. If she’d been a straight-A student, they would have said she’d been eaten alive by her perfectionism. There were always excuses for why girls died.

I’ll happily read anything by Leigh Bardugo. Ninth House, fiction for adults, is the first in Bardugo's Alex Stern series. (I'll review Hell Bent, the second installment in the series, tomorrow on the blog.)

Alex dropped out of high school and into a world of shady drug dealers, cruelty, and taking desperate measures to stay alive.

But none of that broke her. She was the only survivor of a gruesome multiple homicide, and now she's the most surprising member of the Yale freshman class.

Alex was handpicked by unknown benefactors to track the activities of Yale's secret societies--including the magical forces they use and questionable rituals they regularly take part in. She soon learns how nefarious their intentions are--and how much danger she is in because of her involvement.

Ninth House is sometimes dark, especially as related to male-female power dynamics and sex, and the story undercovers secret societies, explores betrayal, and follows faulted characters on kind-of-noble quests. It's intriguing, and I was definitely hooked for the second book in the series.

Do you have any Bossy thoughts about this book?

I mentioned Leigh Bardugo's Shadow and Bone series in the Greedy Reading List Six Royally Magical Young Adult Series. She also wrote the King of Scars duology (you can find my review of book two, Rule of Wolves, here).

Leigh Bardugo's interconnected Grishaverse is made up of her Shadow and Bone trilogy, the Six of Crows duology, and the King of Scars duology mentioned above.


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