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Ninth House

Series: Alex Stern, Book 1
Length: 16 hrs and 21 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (221 ratings)

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Summary

The mesmerising adult debut from number one New York Times best-selling author Leigh Bardugo. 

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 20, 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, Alex arrives in New Haven tasked by her mysterious benefactors with monitoring the activities of Yale's secret societies, well-known to be haunts of the future rich and powerful. But their occult activities are revealed to be more sinister and more extraordinary than she ever imagined.... 

Welcome to a world of secret societies and the occult that's perfect for fans of Deborah Harkness, Neil Gaiman, Susanna Clarke and Ben Aaronovitch.  

©2019 Leigh Bardugo (P)2019 Macmillan Audio
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    4 out of 5 stars

I wish there had been a warning

i loved this book once i got into it, but the graphic rape scene should have had some warning, it was important to the story I understand, but i think maybe a warning could have prepared me better, otherwise I reccomend it but you have to be able to stomach that kind of thing. The character Alex was very well developed.

11 people found this helpful

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  • NL
  • 17-11-19

Leigh Bardugo is a queen 👑

I loved it so much! Very dark in a real life way but amazing ❤️

4 people found this helpful

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amazing!

Absolutely loved the world that Leigh Bardugo has created, I can't wait to be back with Alex!
Fabulous narration from both narrators too which really added to the experience.

4 people found this helpful

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Amazing, new adult supernatural mystery!

I could easily put this as my favourite book this year and most definitely put it in my top ten books of all time.

I'll definitely be looking for more by the narrator as well as writer.

3 people found this helpful

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Yale, students, magic, ghosts, meh...

Like many other reviewers, I found this book to be rather 'young adult'. I've read so many fantasies set in magic schools that I'm sick to death of it, and magical college isn't much better. I found the characters irritating and somehow the character of Alex just didn't seem worldly-wise enough to have had the past that's ascribed to her. Also, there are few things more irritatingly American than American college students, in nearly all literature they seem so naive and childish compared to European students. However, it wasn't so bad that I returned it - I listened to the whole book. I had previously listened to Shadow and Bone, which is one of Leigh Bardugo's young readers' titles, and I didn't enjoy that much either, so I suppose I just don't like her style.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Jo
  • 10-01-20

Glad I stuck with it.

This is not great literature. You can tell this is the authors first adult fiction book. It very much comes across as a young adult fiction written with adult themes. I nearly gave up on it and it took a good few hours before I got into it. In places the story is slow and the characters are a bit cringe but overall I enjoyed it. I would listen to a sequel.

2 people found this helpful

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Depressing

I found myself feeling completely miserable while listening to this audio book. I couldn't bring myself to finish it.

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NOT IN ENGLISH!!

most memorable moment? looking forward to listening to a good book
worst thing about this book? it was not in English!
resolution? returned it for a refund

1 person found this helpful

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okay, I guess?

personally, I found it abit boring. I struggled to finish it but maybe that was beacuse I was listening to it on audio. I know alot of peopple enjoyed it but I guess it's just me x

1 person found this helpful

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Perfectly mind blowing

This book gave me everything I was hoping for and more.

I love how the story is paced, it flashed though past and present seamlessly, and never made you wait too long to figure out what was going on.

The narrators really paired with the characters perfectly. I instantly loved both Alex and D’arlington, but even the secondary characters were explored enough to form a well rounded understanding on who they were. I’m attached to them all. But alex truly is a force to be reckoned with, I cannot wait to see where the future books take her, she’s definitely a character I will carry with me for a long time. I really feel for her.

Along side the characters the setting is so moody and full of secrets that it feels like a character of its own. The writing just feels so immersive. In such a tense cult-like/witchy atmosphere at times, you really feel like you’re right there with them.

It also isn’t overbearing with the magic, it’s just the right mix between average struggling teenager lives and other worldly powers. It’s so dark and really hits on some heavy topics but still adds enough lightness through the very cheeky personalities of Alex and other characters.

Safe to say, I loved it! and will be recommending it to a lot of people.

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  • Toby Walker
  • 21-10-19

This book destroyed me!


I loved this book so much!
my favourite quote is still one from Darlington "There is probably a metaphor in all this Stern...I'll figure it out when I'm sober."
I loved every second and the narrors were amazing!!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Yvonne den Besten
  • 25-12-19

One of my faves of the year

“That was what magic did. It revealed the heart of who you'd been before life took away your belief in the possible. It gave back the world all lonely children longed for.”

4.5 Stars

I'm am going to borrow a phrase from John Green "There is something to recommend a story that ends" and say "There is something to recommend a story that starts at the beginning" especially when there's a magic system you don't know, all these characters you don't know and you basically have no clue what's going on!'

“What do you want?" Belbalm had asked her. Safety, comfort, to feel unafraid. I want to live to grow old, Alex thought as she pulled the curtains closed. I want to sit on my porch and drink foul-smelling tea and yell at passersby. I want to survive this world that keeps trying to destroy me.”

In this book we meet Alex Stern, who really has no business being at Yale, since she didn't graduate highschool, but she has this gift- or curse - where she can see ghosts, and she is made a deal that she can't refuse - a free ride at Yale, a chance for a normal life, if she helps to police the secret societies, and makes sure that they don't use their magic for ill gains - and then, a dead girl turns up, and nobody seems to bothered about solving the case.

This about jumps around between autumn, where we see Alex acclimating at Yale and her new responsibilities, and meeting her guide, but pretty soon in, we see something go terribly wrong. And you see the fall-out from that in the Winter chapters.

There's just so much going on in this book, it kept me wrong-footed constantly, and kept my interest rapt.

Alex isn't a very likable character maybe, but this book is such an ode to surviving and getting the job done, by whatever means necessary, I actually loved her by the end. It's also about privilege,m and about the kind of people that get away with things, and the kind that don't
I think it's a very universal feeling to want to carve out your own little section of the world, of life where people just let you be, and accept you, as you are, and this book spoke to that feeling so much for me

I really liked the friendship that blossomed in this book, and I also liked our other POV character Darlington,

The way the magic was handled and described was also very cool to me. I just really loved this book. Though, this won't be the book for everyone, if you can't take gore. Not for you. If you can't handle the main character's fuck you- attitude, Not for you. If you can't handle involved stories with a large emphasis on magic, not for you!

I think the only real critism I have is that we could have been eased into the story more gently

I think the individual narrators were great picks who fit their POV character very well

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  • lewis godsell
  • 08-11-19

Wow, what a good book!

For me this book went from interesting to riveting to couldn't stop listening.well written with a very strong main character in Alex. Although she's not always morally upright i found that i was hoping for her to succeed. A couple of her scenes with her friend Hellie were very moving.
The plot moves along very well and there are some surprising twists i thought were very effective. The supernatural elements and the murder mystery aspects worked very well together. Narration is very good.
I'd highly recommend this book and am eagerly awaiting the next in the series.

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  • Broxgirl
  • 22-10-19

Was not in English!

For some reason this is not the English version. Would have been nice to mention it beforehand