This is book number 1 in the Alex Stern series.
Leigh Bardugo's brilliant world-building has created a fully believable supernatural version of our own, with a slow-burning plot that I'm still thinking about. Between the atmosphere, the supernatural elements, the ghosts, the intrigue, and especially the mystery and murder, this is the perfect book to curl up with now as the nights grow darker and the possibilities multiply.— Jocelyn
Hauntingly atmospheric. Love it— MJ
Leigh Bardugo thrusts you behind the ivy-covered walls of Yale, where Alex (Galaxy) Stern knows the occult power wielded by the secret societies’ elite and finds herself at the center of a plot that snakes between mysteries and murders, rituals and secrets, and vivid, recognizable characters. Ninth House’s magic illuminates real truths within our world: privilege, addiction, mental illness, #MeToo, and everything in between. It goes to some of the darkest places but never loses the shine of hope, or the will to fight for what’s right.— Jocelyn
I keep writing reviews for this book, and none can really convey all the ways I loved this book. It hits all my notes - magic, murder, mystery, secret histories, secret societies, social critique, underdogs, self-discovery... A slow burn for a beautifully subtle world that both fully satisfied me and left me craving more. Bardugo has another one on it's way, continuing the story of Alex Stern in the secret worlds of the occult and the Ivy League, but if you like stories about the occult, antiheroes, murder, urban fantasy, and bad ass ladies kicking ass, don't wait to pick this one up.— Jocelyn
“Queen Leigh’s first foray into adult fantasy is a sensational success! One of the best fantasy books I’ve read in a long while, Ninth House contains Yale secret societies, ghosts, magic, morally gray characters, and murder. Bardugo balances dual timelines with intricate precision, and the history and world-building of her fantastical New Haven is superb. I couldn’t put this book down; I had to know what was going to happen next. I savored every moment reading this novel, and I am jealous of readers who get to experience it for the first time!”
— Isabella Ogbolumani, Page 1 Books, Evanston, IL
“This stunning book in the tradition of The Secret History and The Magicians is about a girl who can see ghosts, and who gets a full scholarship to Yale in the aftermath of a horrible tragedy. Bardugo’s first adult entry has a cast of characters you won’t soon forget, and great social commentary about class. Great for fans of her other work who have aged up, or fans of gritty adult fantasy.”
— Vickie Roberts, Andover Bookstore, Andover, MA
A LOCUS AWARD FINALIST!
The mesmerizing adult debut from Leigh Bardugo, a tale of power, privilege, dark magic, and murder set among the Ivy League elite
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. In fact, by age twenty, 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 prestigious universities on a full ride. What’s the catch, and why her?
Still searching for answers, Alex arrives in New Haven tasked by her mysterious benefactors with monitoring the activities of Yale’s secret societies. Their eight windowless “tombs” are the well-known haunts of the rich and powerful, from high-ranking politicos to Wall Street’s biggest players. But their occult activities are more sinister and more extraordinary than any paranoid imagination might conceive. They tamper with forbidden magic. They raise the dead. And, sometimes, they prey on the living.
"Ninth House is the best fantasy novel I’ve read in years, because it’s about real people. Bardugo’s imaginative reach is brilliant, and this story—full of shocks and twists—is impossible to put down." - Stephen King
"Ninth House is one of the best fantasy novels I’ve read in years. This book is brilliant, funny, raw and utterly magnificent — it's a portal to a world you’ll never want to leave." - Lev Grossman, New York Times bestselling author of The Magicians
"Ninth House is the best thing I’ve read in a long time. There’s so much magic here that you'll begin to feel it seeping into the room around you as you read, and characters so real you ’ll practically hear their voices in your ear. Leigh Bardugo has written a book so delicious, so twisty, and so immersive I wouldn’t blame you for taking the day off to finish it." - Kelly Link, author of Magic for Beginners and Get in Trouble.
"Leigh Bardugo's Ninth House rocked my world. I could not get enough of sinewy, ghost-haunted Alex Stern, a heroine for the ages. With a bruised heart and bleeding knuckles, she risks death and damnation — again and again — for the people she cares about. I was cheering her on the whole way: from the first brilliant sentence of this book to the last. More, please, Ms. Bardugo." - Joe Hill, New York Times bestselling author of NOS4A2
"In this mesmerizing novel, Leigh Bardugo introduces us to Alex, a high-school dropout who gets a free ride to Yale because of a unique talent. Bardugo's New Haven is plausible and frightening, and I was one rapt reader." - Charlaine Harris, bestselling author of the True Blood series
"With an aura of both enchantment and authenticity, Bardugo's compulsively readable novel leaves a portal ajar for equally dazzling sequels." - Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
"Atmospheric...Part mystery, part story of a young woman finding purpose in a dark world." - Booklist (starred review)
"Genuinely terrific...The worldbuilding is rock solid, the plot is propulsive, and readers will be clamoring for a sequel as soon as they read the last page." - Library Journal (starred review)
"Excellent...Bardugo gives [her protagonist] a thoroughly engaging mix of rough edge, courage and cynicism." - Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"Instantly gripping...Creepy and thrilling...The world of this book is so consistent and enveloping that pages seem to rush by." - BookPage (starred review)
“Simultaneously elegant and grotesque, eerie and earthbound...Wry, uncanny, original and, above all, an engrossing, unnerving thriller.” - The Washington Post