Updated: Nov 25, 2019
Ashley- Well, hello, everyone!! I am super excited to tackle a review on Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo. I have been busy, and it has taken me longer than expected to get this out. As most of you know, Sarah, Paige, and I had been waiting anxiously to read this book. Leigh Bardugo still ranks number one as my favorite author. Let's dive in!! This review will reveal SPOILERS.
The no spoiler version I'll cut very short. This book is about a girl named Alex. Ever since she was a little girl; she could see things she calls grays. Grays are what we call ghosts. As a child, that is rightfully terrifying for her. Some grays are mutilated, gore-splattered, etc. For her to stop seeing them, she goes to extreme measures at the young age of twelve. She begins hanging out with an older group, which allows her to smoke weed and do other things. As she gets a little older, her group of friends is murdered, and she is found overdosed on fentanyl. When she wakes up at the hospital, Dean Sandow from Yale is at her bedside with an offer; he knows she can see grays and wants her to start Yale so she can join the ninth secret society, Lethe. Lethe was created to monitor the other activities of the different societies that delve into the occult. This book not only deals with the paranormal, but it also deals with a spinning tale of murder mysteries that will have you hanging on by a thread until the end.
Leigh takes us on an awesome adventure of crazy things I had never heard of, such as Haruspex, prognostication, address moths, compulsion coins, etc.
I want to be honest. It took me a while to get into this book. I remember being on page 110 and still having no character attachments, which isn't like me. I understand that Leigh went to visit Yale and the area and wanted to put all her refound research to good use to describe the environment to the best of her abilities. My feelings for the characters, however, lacked.
That all changed!! Thankfully, I had been worried for a second. Unfortunately, I started to get intrigued during a dark part of Alex's life. Up until that part, it had already been a bit gloomy with her being into drugs from a young age, seeing grays (ghosts) some who were naked or gore ridden. She had been found naked and thought to have overdosed while the friends she had lived with were murdered.
The book changed farther along when we see her gain her first friend, Megan. They went on a field trip when they were twelve. We see Alex get brutally attacked by a gray and nearly raped. After that, I started to understand her character better and why she had made some of the choices she had.
Let me say; I love the bridegroom. They kept mentioning him. My focus hadn't sufficiently been intrigued until he went up against the gluma. Once that happened, I needed to know more about him. To my delight, Alex had Dawes "kill" her so she could go to the borderlands and be able to communicate with the bridegroom.
Earlier in the book, we had thought the bridegroom had died in the past after he murdered his fiance, then killed himself. He states that he did no such thing. He agrees to help Alex try to solve her murder if she helps him find out who truly committed the killings from the past.
After Darlington goes missing, as we find out early in the book and watch as the truth to it begins to unravel, a girl named Tara had been killed. This was a substantial basis of the book.
Leigh had us on a journey to solve all the mysteries that she cleverly packed in the book. We had to find out what happened to Darlington. What happened to her friends that had been murdered. What happened to Tara. Who sent the gluma. What the societies had been hiding. What truly happened to the bridegroom. All these mysteries did not clutter it; it only intensified the book and kept me on the edge of my toes!! When I thought there possibly couldn't be more twists or turns, we land smack dab in the middle once more!!
From what I see of Darlington's character, I like him a lot. I think book number two of this series will focus on getting Darlington back.
What I need, though, is to see more of the bridegroom. I can't believe how much I'm attached to his character. Also, can we say a big F you to Daisy? Seriously, screw her and what she's done to him and those other people.
In total, I think that Alex's character has grown exceptionally. I'm eager to see what more her role can bring to the table. I am not remotely disappointed that the book took me a bit to get in to, not when it got as good as it did. It was worth it.
Sarah - Well I think Ashley did a wonderful review! It sums up alot of how I feel as well, with one major difference. While she loves the Bridegroom, I do believe I will love Darlington. I really felt bad for his past and he seems like such a great character that I really just want to know even more about him. I have a thing for characters with tragic backstory or ones that have something horrid happen to them. Ash I think pointed out to me that what happened to Darlington is really similar to what happened to Nikolai and I'm going yup maybe that is why I chose him.
The story and the different places are really unique. There were a number of twists and turns. I usually enjoy things that involve ghosts, so I think that's why I was into it from the beginning. Meanwhile, now I sit and go ...... where is book 2?!?!