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 know I wasn’t alone in having Leigh Bardugo’s first adult novel – NINTH HOUSE – on my list of most anticipated book releases this year. There has been A LOT of buzz about it, and I’m pleased to say that – in my opinion at least – it is all absolutely justified! This book absolutely blew me away – it had me completely hooked (and totally creeped out) right from it’s opening chapter. Here’s the synopsis (from Goodreads)
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?
I didn’t know quite what to expect from Ninth House, but it felt both completely unexpected and exactly what I wanted – I loved it. It’s like Buffy meets Lisbeth Salander – fierce and dark and CREEPY (So creepy!) – with a twist of your favourite unreliable detective.
Like The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, there are some really heavy, possibly triggering, themes explored in here – including sexual assault and violence.
As is the case with Bardugo’s Grisha novels, I can’t quite put my finger on exactly what it is that I love about her writing, but I just find it so engrossing – almost mesmerizing, even. The use of different perspectives (there are two in this book) and times work so well to unfold the story in an interesting way that keeps you guessing and gives you the next bit of information at exactly the right time. The world building – as you’d expect from Bardugo – was impeccable and I am so pleased to see that there might be more books in the series – it’s definitely a world I’d like to visit again!
Another thing I loved about Ninth House was that despite all the darkness it somehow manages to have an excellent sense of humour.
Ninth House was one of my favourite books that I’ve read so far this year – and perhaps for a bit longer than that too. I gave it a full 5 stars, and – like I said above – I can’t wait for more!
Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo is out now from Hachette Australia.
I was lucky enough to win an uncorrected proof from Hachette in a giveaway they held on Instagram.
Find Leigh Bardugo online here.