Ninth House: Things are Not as They Appear

Our reporter, Aaratrika, brings another book review to the table! This time, the thrilling Ninth House!


Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo follows the main heroine Galaxy “Alex” Stern, the sole survivor of a gruesome, unsolved homicide, and the most unlikely member of Yale’s freshman class. Alex Stern is special, in the sense that she can see ghosts. When, in her hospital bed, she is offered a chance to attend one of the most renowned universities for free, she should have no reason to refuse, right? There’s a catch, though. She needs to monitor the secret societies of Yale, who practice world-manipulating, and sometimes deadly, magic. As if things couldn’t get better, a murder takes place near the campus and Alex’s mentor, Darlington, goes missing, Alex knows it must have something to do with the societies, and sets out to find out what. As she investigates deeper, she finds that the societies’ activities are a lot more sinister than she originally thought, and the murder isn’t just a murder. 

Ninth House is a fantasy thriller novel, set in a dark, alternative version of Yale. Action-packed, mysterious and unique, Ninth House is an alluring read, with the fact that it is set in a real and plausible setting making it even more tangible and better. Through the novel, we see the main character both grow and adapt to her situations, as well as solve a mystery that keeps the reader on their toes for the entirety of the story. Though it is incredibly well written and developed in its world-building, this makes for a rather slow start to the plot, as much of the book is spent revealing the characters and the background information of Yale and the secret societies. Many of the names and terms present during this world-building can be difficult to keep up with, however, the sudden twists and turns are enough to keep you interested throughout. 

It is important to note that, as a dark fantasy, it involves many scenes involving violence, gore and… some involving human waste (best to not go into too much detail on that one), which readers may want to be mindful of. Despite this, Ninth House is a thrilling story that’s written with such artistry and detail that it seems like the reader is living in it. An interesting and intriguing read for those who want to delve into the fantasy thriller genre!