Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo

Rating: 4 out of 5.

What I Loved:

Ninth House is filled with a huge variety of magic and I loved learning about it. Each house has its own type of magic and I was so interested every time I was introduced to it.

How I Felt:

The story follows Alex, a Yale freshman as she is accepted into one of the university’s secret societies. Alex isn’t just a normal freshman joining college clubs. She was recruited for a special position in the Ninth House at Yale. A secret group with spooky situations constantly popping up.

This book was quite confusing, and from the reviews I have read, others felt the same way. It was a good book though! The storyline jumps back and forth, so you need to pay attention to the season in the chapter name. “Spring” is the present and “Fall” and “Winter” are the past. That will help keep you grounded in the story’s timeline.

I couldn’t quite think of exactly how I wanted to explain this story. I’ve decided on a list of non-spoiler facts to give you some context for the story.

About Alex:

  • Alex’s high school years were filled with a group of bad kids and her own actions were not great.
  • Alex did not have good enough grades or even the ambition to get into Yale.
  • She is recruited for the Ninth House due to a secret ability. ⬇⬇
  • Alex can see “Greys” which are ghosts. In the world of this story, that is not a normal ability, but extremely helpful with all the paranormal stuff happening.
  • Alex’s new societal position is called “Dante”.

About Daniel Arlington:

  • Daniel is a few years older than Alex and is her mentor for her new society position.
  • Daniel was the previous “Dante” and takes Alex around to help her understand her new role.

About Ninth House:

  • Yale has eight houses each with their own supernatural powers.
  • Ninth House is there to keep the other houses from breaking the society rules.

The characters were not easy to love, but I still really liked Alex. She’s super determined and quite the super-sleuth. I liked her character arc as the story progressed. I didn’t feel like I got to know Daniel or connected with him.

The story was interesting and I loved the mystery and dark twists. I liked the greys, or ghosts, and their rules for living in this world. I felt that Bardugo did a good job explaining the world, it was just a lot of information to take in, so take your time and savor the book. Don’t stress about what you don’t understand, just enjoy the story.

Content Warnings:

This book discusses the use of drugs, rape, racism, and PTSD.

To Read or Not To Read:

I would recommend Ninth House for readers that enjoy a dark fantasy with a well-built world and a detailed story.

Where to Find This Book:

Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo is available at these sites. | Amazon Kindle | Amazon | 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?

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.

Just the Facts:

Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo
Series: Alex Stern, Book 1
Genre: Dark Fantasy
Page Count: 459 pages
Publisher: Flatiron Books
Pub Date: October 8, 2019


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