“Ninth House” by Leigh Bardugo can perhaps best be described as a murder mystery mixed with ghosts, demons and magic. Galaxy “Alex” Stern is a girl with a special gift, and a tarnished past, who winds up on the campus of Yale University working for an organization tasked with monitoring the powerful, privileged, and magic-wielding houses of the college. Soon enough, a body appears, her mentor disappears, and Alex begins to unravel a web of murder, abuse, and deceit that has tendrils reaching far beyond what anyone could have imagined.
I’ve long been a fan of Bardugo’s work and world building skills, and this book most definitely does not disappoint! Make no mistake, this book won’t be for everyone. There are some pretty unsettling scenes throughout the book, and some VERY bad things happen to a few of the characters. Nevertheless, the story moves well, the characters are interesting, and by the end of the book, I was already chomping at the bit for a second installment with Alex Stern!
As a series first, “Ninth House” does an excellent job of setting the scene for the rest of the books in the series. This is a solid introduction to Bardugo’s new world and cast of characters that will leave readers eager for more. While I couldn’t recommend this book to just anyone, if you’re OK with a little extra grit mixed with your intrigue and fantasy, then this book’s for you!