Review: Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo


Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo
Published by Flatiron Books on October 8th, 2019
Genre(s): Urban Fantasy, Adult
Page Count: 458

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.

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Trigger Warnings

Sexual assault and rape, drug abuse, self harm, gore. I'm sure there is more so if you get triggered, please be cautious with picking this book up blind.


Writing style

Like Leigh's previous books, I loved the way she wrote this book. It was so beautifully written. There were times where I was just in awe with how descriptive she could be. With that being said, this is an ADULT book. There are many trigger warnings for this book.

I love a book that has gore and I especially love when the author can write gore. I love when author's are good at writing a traumatic experience. Leigh Bardugo did an amazing job at making you feel like you were Alex or even any of the side characters. She did so good with writing emotion. I just loved it.


Most of this book was world building. The main reason I'm giving this four stars instead of five. There was more world building than there was action. There were times where I would have to put the book down because of so much building. Granted, I knew absolutely nothing about Yale and it's secret societies. This book taught me a lot. I just wanted more fast paced action!

I love the story, though. I love that the secret societies do magic. I love the fact that Alex can see Grays. I love that she's such a major part in this book. The mystery aspect was fantastic as well. I was thrown for a loop at the end. I do feel like it ended rather abruptly and I'm not a fan of that.


I love Galaxy. I'm calling her by her real name because I freaking love it. She's a badass that doesn't care what people tell her to do. She does what she wants and especially what she thinks is right. She's very intelligent, even though she doesn't think so. She may not be a book genius but she's very good at playing Sherlock Holmes.

Darlington. I freaking love him. I wish he was in the book more. I know why he wasn't but I'm still gonna complain because I want more of him! He has to take Galaxy under his wing to teach her how to be a Dante and he's not to thrilled because of her past.

All of the side characters in this book played major roles. It's insane how much of the side characters was included in this book. I'm just so freaking baffled with everything she accomplished with this book!


This book lacked the romance aspect. I honestly couldn't even tell you Galaxy's sexual orientation. I feel like she may be bisexual. I feel like she had some feelings for one of her old friends. I really really really really wanted her and Darlington to get together. There were some little hints that maybe Galaxy liked him more than she lead on. I'm just wanting more romance in the next book!


I really enjoyed this book, for the most part. Like I stated before, there are so slow parts. This book has slow pacing up until the end of the book and then it moves fast. Other than the world building parts, I enjoyed this book. I loved Galaxy's story!

Overall Thoughts

I loved this book. I just really wish there was less world building and slow pacing. There were times I wanted to just put the book down and come back to it later. I'm glad I powered through. I'm glad I stuck with it until the end. Now, I have to patiently wait for the next book. The ending killed me!

4/5 Stars

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