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What I Just Read: A D.S. Marquis Book Review of Ninth House by Liegh Bardugo

Updated: Jan 11

Set on the Ivy League campus of Yale University, The Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo is a wild pitch-dark ride blended wickedly with thrills, horror, crime and fantasy. The plot is filled with what happens when capitalistic influential Ivy League members of society add magic to their financial power.

Chapter One introduced me to the Eight Ancients and their magical conspiracy to control the super bowls, stock market, presidential election, and world series. Early on there was a gruesome scene at a private operating theatre, where members of the campus cult are reading the future in body parts.

For me, Alex, the protagonist is full of substance. She’s a girl from the valley of Los Angeles in need of an escape route, when she finds herself caught up in an unlikely opportunity that is a dream come true turned nightmare. Her relationship with other characters coupled with the tone of the book reminded me of the series Umbrella Academy.

There are fresh shocking events and scenes on most every page, add drugs, murder, magic, and a cliffhanger ending. The story feeds off the best of conspiracy theories. I recommend it for adults infatuated with conspiracy, crime, the grotesque and bizarre.

In 458 pages, Ninth House although a fantasy, covers many themes from New Adult genre, such as fear of failure, friendships post-high school, starting college, life after an individual has become of legal age, and how one deals with the new beginnings of adulthood. Two other themes covered are how sickness lies in secrets, and how wealth and privilege come with responsibility.

I had really hoped the ending would not have been a cliff hanger, but I guess that means having to read Bardugo’s sequel. Meanwhile, no “merity” potion for me.

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