Title: Ninth House
Series: Alex Stern #1
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Publisher: Flatiron Books
Release Date: October 8, 2019
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.
“Mors irrumat omnia. Death fucks us all.”
I have to say, Ninth House is not Six of Crows.
If you have read my review of Six of Crows, you know it's one of my favorite fantasy books EVER.
Was I disappointed that it was not as amazing as Six of Crows? probably yes, but after a slow start, I began to warm up to Galaxy. I was able to enjoy the story of Yale, the secret society houses, the greys all over campus, and Alex's special gift.
Galaxy "Alex" Stern is a survivor. At a young age, she discovered that not everyone saw the world as she did. She understood there were souls that hang out after death. Alex was able to see these ghosts, who are called Greys in this world. She has been attacked by them and only through certain street drugs she was able to forget about them. Her life has been a dark and dangerous road before getting to Yale.
At Yale, she has tried to keep up with the school assignments but she is failing miserably. She's also part of Lethe, the Ninth House. The one with less magic but who is supposed to police the other houses to make sure magic is not being used in the wrong way. Then, a young girl who's not part of Yale is found murdered and Alex is sent to investigate the case. At first, everything points to the boyfriend as the culprit but the more Alex discovers, the more she's sure a house is involved in her death.
The Ninth House has two timelines. One set in Winter and one set in Spring. During winter, we get to know Darlington, the college kid who's teaching Alex all about magic and the other secret societies. During Spring, we learn that Darlington has disappeared and the details of his disappearance come in slowly as the story progresses.
Like I said earlier, I warmed up to Alex and I really loved Darlington. I hope to see him again in the next book.