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review 2020-05-19 20:49
Ninth House
Ninth House - Leigh Bardugo

Sorry, not sorry, DNFed this thing at 12 percent. I cannot with this book right now. I felt like my brain was trying to slide away. The author dumps us in the book as if we should know things that she just blithely gets into. I don't know if she world-builds later or what, but I can't keep reading this book as if I know who everyone is and what they are doing. 


"Ninth House" is the first book in the Alex Stern series. Yeah, I say first book though the author makes it seems like this is just a continuation of another book. Alex through machinations (that I managed to gather) is a student at Yale. She is there because she can see ghosts (called Grays) in this book and seems to be some record keeper of a secret society at Yale. I can't say much more than that cause this book is all over the place.


My problems are the following:


Alex Stern. Can't really say much about her besides there is not much there to keep me reading about her. We start at the end of something big happening to her and then jump back to her observing some messed up ritual. I don't even know anything besides she eats a lot of ginger candy which I do not enjoy. Also I think she has another name? I don't know. I think between that and her having a secret society name I was just done. 

Yale. I got nothing here folks. Bardugo acts like everyone who reads this book knows exactly how Yale is set up. Bardugo go into the architecture and the meaning behind said architecture a couple of places and I wondered if she has a background in history cause that's the kind of meaningless stuff historians like to just randomly tell you when you ask them a question about anything. 


World-building. It's often hard to thread the needle with world-building in the first book in a series. This is a fantasy series and they are often harder in my opinion cause readers will be the first ones to bring up how the rules the author set up in book #1, and #2 are incorrect due to whatever happens in book #3. I say readers like I don't do this too.


Bardugo went a different direction and just threw us into this world and acted like it's no big deal. I still don't get what is happening. Secret rituals to keep people rich? Alex sees Grays? Alex is called upon when a dead body shows? Sorry, this made zero sense and I just did not want to continue. The whole mystery surrounding Lethe House could have potential, I just don't want to waste my time pushing myself to the finish on this one. Too many books out there. 

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text 2020-05-19 19:54
Reading progress update: I've read 10%.
Ninth House - Leigh Bardugo

Does this get better? Is there a prequel I am missing or something? There is way too much being thrown at me with no set-up. So weird.

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text 2020-05-19 19:52
Reading progress update: I've read 6%.
Ninth House - Leigh Bardugo

Just a bit confusing so far for me.

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review 2020-04-24 20:27
Leigh Bardugo: Ninth House
Ninth House - Leigh Bardugo

Leigh Bardugo takes the reader to Yale where the secret societies will do anything to achieve power:

Galaxy Alex Stern is not quite the same as the rest of the freshman class at Yale, as Alex never even finished high school, lived a life of shady drug dealer boyfriends, was a druggie and has survived a horrific event, but Alex is nothing but a survivor. She gets a second chance to have a different life and it includes a full ride to Yale, but the second chance has some extra work that Alex will have to do. Alex is tasked with monitoring the activities of the secret societies of Yale to make sure the rituals do not go wrong from paranormal forces. Alex is the perfect for this job as she has a special ability, one that she has tried to run from most of her life, but now she needs to embrace it to help keep everyone safe.

Alright I'm just going to lay this out there, I LOVED this book, I can see why it was getting so much hype last year and is one of my favourite reads so far this year. I have never read a book by Bardugo before (I know this may be shocking to some but I don't venture into YA that often) and this book was simply amazing, blew me away. It it dark, gritty, has a very grey world feel to the words and doesn't shy away from any of these traits. There are some disturbing instances and scenarios in this book that involve drug use, rape, murder and Bardugo does not simplify them or sugar coat them either, which I applaud. I will admit that it is a bit slow to start and it can seem a bit confusing especially where and how the book starts and you try to keep all the houses straight, but it does all make sense, you just have to get past that first initial bit. It also at times feels a bit pretentious but lets admit that this book is based in Yale, so I think a bit of pretentiousness is expected. However, as we get to know more about Alex, her past, her abilities and when she stops trying to fit in at Yale and be herself the book really takes off.

Alex has a troubled past and this stems from her ability to see ghosts and have unforgettable and unforgivable encounters with them when she is young. Alex turns to drugs to numb everything, not just her pain but her ability to see them. One day she wakes up in a hospital bed supposedly OD where she gets an offer she cannot refuse. Alex does try to adapt to this new prestigious role that she is given, but I love when she just says fuck it and does it her own way. Alex is smart, resilient and turns out to be a good friend, which is not a trait you are expecting when you first meet her. I like her ability to get things done, she doesn't like authority and goes ahead with what she believes is right even if it is against "orders". Alex's past has truly shaped her, from her experiences to drug use she is a strong ass woman that is for sure.

This is a contemporary set novel novel with paranormal set into our day and age. So the technology, current events and Yale feel like they are very now. I think that Bardugo did a good job of mixing the contemporary and paranormal and if you like the skull and bones type of aspects/conspiracies then you will like this book too. It really takes the secret societies or houses to the extreme, as people are willing to really do anything to achieve power and I mean anything.

I'm extremely excited to read the next book in this series, and cannot wait to see where Bardugo takes it as there are many things left unsolved with this one. I hope that Bardugo continues along with the darkness she created in this book. For me this book deserves the hype that it has been given, and if you haven't had a chance to check it out you should.


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review 2020-01-08 20:15
Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo
Ninth House - Leigh Bardugo

I don’t think this was a book for me. And I can’t recommend listening to it on audio the first time around because during the first third I found myself really confused. So confused I was tempted to start the thing over but I couldn’t work up the enthusiasm. I felt as if I had been tossed into a world after all the interesting stuff had already happened and that everyone knew what was going on except for me.


I don’t enjoy that feeling much at all because I am super nosy and felt left out but I especially do not like when that feeling lingers for hundreds of pages (or in my case what felt like hundreds of hours) and then I get hit with the dreaded nfo dumps.


There are some interesting plot threads here. I loved the bits about the “surgery” (and that’s all I’m saying) and the magical weirdness and the dark past of our main character but none of it ever gelled for me in the way I was hoping it might. To be honest, sticking with this story was a bit of a chore from beginning to end with a few moments in-between where it would catch my attention and then lose it again..


The main issue for me, besides the confusion, was the fact that I felt as if much of the story was being told to me. I like to live and breathe inside a story. I never felt that way with this one.


I am so sad about this one. I was expecting to love it but I didn’t even like it.


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