Books · Read in 2021 · Reviews

Book Thoughts: Ninth House (Leigh Bardugo)

An good plot, but frustrating characters


Title: Ninth House
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Genre: Fiction / Urban Fantasy
First published: 2019
Edition: Kinde e-book

Alex arrives in New Haven tasked by 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.


This was such a frustrating read for me. In the end I really liked a lot of the actual plot and story, but the execution was patchy for me.

I had enjoyed the author’s books before, so an adult fantasy book by this author sounded like a good thing! It could have been and it kind of was, but I am not sure how to feel at the end of this book.

It took me a while to get into this one. After about a hundred pages I even considered not finishing this book, but in the end I am glad I persisted. Slowly but surely I warmed to the story, if not quite the characters. The plot ended up being strong enough to carry me forward into the book.

There was things I definitely liked about this one. The plot itself and the story were strong, but the characters… Yes, they were patchy. It was not that I did not like the characters at all, but the way the narrative was written made the characters feel too disjointed. The main character Alex was not set up enough for my tastes and too many of the other characters felt unexplored. I found it frustrating, especially recognising that the story itself was so good and I actually enjoyed it on a whole.

I do feel that some bits set out in synopsis and in the beginning of the story were not explored any further, which was disappointing. Why set plot points up and then ignore them? Maybe they will be in future books. One hopes they will!

I did not think I would want to continue in this series until the final fifty pages or so. Now I definitely want to read on. Oh, the frustration!

4 out of 7 stars

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