Audio Review: Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo

This book won the Goodreads Choice Award. I was expecting to love it.

Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo

Released October 2019

Dark Fiction  |  Goodreads  |  Amazon 

Source: Library Borrow
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, ranging from Jodie Foster to George W. Bush. But their occult activities are revealed to be more sinister and more supernatural than any paranoid imagination might conceive.

NINTH HOUSE is the long-awaited adult debut by the beloved author of SHADOW AND BONE and CROOKED KINGDOM. Leigh Bardugo will take her place alongside Lev Grossman, Deborah Harkness, and Neil Gaiman as one of the finest practitioners of literary fantasy writing today.

My 2 Cents For Free!

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 info 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 my experience with this book. I was expecting to love it but I didn’t even like it.

Content warning:

2 out of 5


  1. That's too bad. Sounds like it had potential to be so much better.

  2. Oh shoot. I am going to read this at some point, I wonder if it would have worked better in print? I hate that feeling of being left out too.

    1. I'm not sure. I probably wouldn't have continued in print though. I hope you love it. A lot of people do.

  3. Oh no! I have this one too😬 now I'm worried.

    1. It might be a case of the wrong book for me. It was really more fantasy than horror.

  4. Well darn. I bought this book but haven't read it yet. I hope that I have better luck with it than you did.

    1. You may love it! I'm a crab and this kind of fantasy isn't my favorite.

  5. bummer. they can't all be winners. better luck with the next one
    sherry @ fundinmental

  6. Well, that sucks because it sounds like a great match for you.

    I loved her Six of Crows book but man...I've been reading (or not reading) book #2 for years lol

    And for kind of the same reasons. the first book was all action but the second is telling me about all their pasts and it's boring me.

    I have this one and I'll give it a go but maybe just bail if it's not working.

    Karen @ For What It's worth

    1. Ugh, I hate that. I hope you like this more than I did but yeah I'd bail if it's not working after a 1/3. I wish I had.

  7. That's too bad. I had high hopes for this one. I have it and still might give it a read at some point.

  8. I hate it when something disappoints that I hoped to love. It sucks!

  9. Well, bummer. I can't believe I still haven't read this! I preordered it, and I'm still excited to read it, but LIFE. Hopefully I'll have a better time with it. We'll see!


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