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Publisher's Summary

The instant Sunday Times and New York Times best seller, and Goodreads Choice Award winner, that Stephen King calls 'Impossible to put down'. 

Leigh Bardugo's Sunday Times and New York Times best-selling adult debut is a mesmerising tale of power, privilege and dark magic set among the Ivy League elite.

Galaxy 'Alex' Stern is the most unlikely member of Yale's freshman class. A dropout and the sole survivor of a horrific, unsolved crime, Alex was hoping for a fresh start. But a free ride to one of the world's most prestigious universities was bound to come with a catch.

Alex has been tasked with monitoring the mysterious activities of Yale's secret societies - well-known haunts of the rich and powerful. Now there's a dead girl on campus and Alex seems to be the only person who won't accept the neat answer the police and campus administration have come up with for her murder.

Because Alex knows the secret societies are far more sinister and extraordinary than anyone ever imagined. They tamper with forbidden magic. They raise the dead. And sometimes they prey on the living....

©2019 Leigh Bardugo (P)2019 Macmillan Audio

Critic Reviews

"One of the best fantasy novels I've read in years." (Lev Grossman, best-selling author)  

"[A] mesmerising novel." (Charlaine Harris, best-selling author)

"Ninth House rocked my world." (Joe Hill, best-selling author)

What listeners say about Ninth House

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Lauren Fortgang aka Queen of Narrations

Another Lauren Fortgang novel means a 5/5 performance review - you absolutely cannot go wrong with her narration. Michael's narration of Darlington was also superb - a great choice. Story overall was slow in terms of world building in the first half of the book but I think this story building is crucial for the final half of the book (which is a lot more action packed). Anyone who is easily squeamish and/or triggered with sexual abuse: I would recommend maybe to steer away from this book or go into this with caution as Leigh really doesn't shy away from the details.

Overall this book is extremely rich and dense and amazingly written (I didn't expect anything from Leigh Bardugo) and the narration is fantastic.

(P.S loved the little interview between Lauren and Leigh at the end!)

5 people found this helpful

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Loved it

Great narration! Great storyline! Great characters. I honestly don’t have anything negative to say about this book, except I’m disappointed I can’t start on the second one right now as it hasn’t been released yet.

3 people found this helpful

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A Brilliant Segue from Leigh’s YA series

First up, the narration is perfection.
I could listen to the honeyed tones of Lauren Fortgang all day and never tire of it. Michael David Axtell also did a wonderful job for the male character, and I truly believe that the narration style of both helped make this novel as ‘unputdownable’ as the story itself.

With an authentic modern day setting that I found to have the right blend of relativity and fantasy, the tale of Galaxy ‘Alex’ Stern and her Ninth House contemporaries sweeps you along on a totally different journey to Bardugo’s usual Young Adult route.

More grit, more attitude, less romance. Totally immersive.

If you have an interest in the arcane, the esoteric, or have ever questioned what lies beyond the veil, this book should definitely not be missed.

While the ending leaves a couple of questions unanswered, although not so many that you feel frustrated or are left scratching your head, the good news is a sequel is said to be in the works as of the end of 2019 (after Bardugo completes the sequel to ‘King Of Scars’ from the Grishaverse series).

My rating of 5 stars is well-earned as I genuinely believe this is one of Leigh’s best, and most relatable, stories.

2 people found this helpful

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Just plain boring

Get to the point! Gosh so much unnecessary detail with no explanation as to the actual story or decent plot. Got an hour in and and turned it off, doesn’t get any more interesting. Plain boring.

1 person found this helpful

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Intriguing and Engrossing!

I absolutely loved this book! It had everything I wanted in a murder mystery novel and so much more.

Alex Stern is a tough, non-academic girl from California. She has a unique ability to see and interact with greys, or ghosts as we know them. This makes her the perfect candidate for recruitment into the mysterious society Lethe House, who oversee the supernatural exploits of Yale’s secret underground societies. She has a steep learning curve on both the academic and mystical fronts, as she barely manages to survive her first year of college, despite the loss midway of her friend and mentor, Darlington. And that’s the mystery... where is Darlington, and who is responsible for his disappearance?

Ninth House was an incredibly intriguing and engrossing read. The storyline alternates between the present and the past and I particularly enjoyed Darlington and Alex’s POV’s. I absolutely loved the whole historical side the nine societies, and the way Bardugo examines it all through the architecture of the buildings, poetry, literature and American history.

The book will draw you in and hook its claws into your mind and imagination. There are so many twists and turns to the storyline, you never know who the villain is until the end.

I highly recommend this book to you and especially the audible version. Lauren Fortang and Micheal Axtell do a fantastic job with the narration of this book. Looking forward to the next instalment of intriguing story.

1 person found this helpful

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Brilliant!

I devoured this book. Not my usual genre I had no idea what to expect. I was a little concerned by the trigger warnings some reviews however those parts were short and not overly detailed. I found it fascinating and well written. Lauren fortgang is such a skilled narrator. Cant wait for book 2!

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So clever and engrossing

This book had me hooked very early. I didn’t pick the twists and turns and loved the depth of the characters created by the author.

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  • Lyn
  • 02-12-2020

murder mystery with ghostly and magical elements

thought twice about proceeding when i realised story had magic themes and ghost stories not my thing, but got caught up in the narrative. pacey and keeps your interest. lead character well drawn. i'm recommending it.And why not try something different?

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Took a while to get into but glad I stayed

It took me a long time to get into the book, and for a while I was considering quitting and returning it. But then I finally got drawn in by the characters and the plot started to roll a bit more. I'm glad I persisted.

The main narrator is very good and I think that was a big part of what made me keep listening in those early chapters.

Worth a listen, but all over clunky at times.

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really pulled me in

took a while to get into this book but well worth it in the end

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  • Toby Walker
  • 21-10-2019

This book destroyed me!


I loved this book so much!
my favourite quote is still one from Darlington "There is probably a metaphor in all this Stern...I'll figure it out when I'm sober."
I loved every second and the narrors were amazing!!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Yvonne den Besten
  • 25-12-2019

One of my faves of the year

“That was what magic did. It revealed the heart of who you'd been before life took away your belief in the possible. It gave back the world all lonely children longed for.”

4.5 Stars

I'm am going to borrow a phrase from John Green "There is something to recommend a story that ends" and say "There is something to recommend a story that starts at the beginning" especially when there's a magic system you don't know, all these characters you don't know and you basically have no clue what's going on!'

“What do you want?" Belbalm had asked her. Safety, comfort, to feel unafraid. I want to live to grow old, Alex thought as she pulled the curtains closed. I want to sit on my porch and drink foul-smelling tea and yell at passersby. I want to survive this world that keeps trying to destroy me.”

In this book we meet Alex Stern, who really has no business being at Yale, since she didn't graduate highschool, but she has this gift- or curse - where she can see ghosts, and she is made a deal that she can't refuse - a free ride at Yale, a chance for a normal life, if she helps to police the secret societies, and makes sure that they don't use their magic for ill gains - and then, a dead girl turns up, and nobody seems to bothered about solving the case.

This about jumps around between autumn, where we see Alex acclimating at Yale and her new responsibilities, and meeting her guide, but pretty soon in, we see something go terribly wrong. And you see the fall-out from that in the Winter chapters.

There's just so much going on in this book, it kept me wrong-footed constantly, and kept my interest rapt.

Alex isn't a very likable character maybe, but this book is such an ode to surviving and getting the job done, by whatever means necessary, I actually loved her by the end. It's also about privilege,m and about the kind of people that get away with things, and the kind that don't
I think it's a very universal feeling to want to carve out your own little section of the world, of life where people just let you be, and accept you, as you are, and this book spoke to that feeling so much for me

I really liked the friendship that blossomed in this book, and I also liked our other POV character Darlington,

The way the magic was handled and described was also very cool to me. I just really loved this book. Though, this won't be the book for everyone, if you can't take gore. Not for you. If you can't handle the main character's fuck you- attitude, Not for you. If you can't handle involved stories with a large emphasis on magic, not for you!

I think the only real critism I have is that we could have been eased into the story more gently

I think the individual narrators were great picks who fit their POV character very well

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  • lewis godsell
  • 08-11-2019

Wow, what a good book!

For me this book went from interesting to riveting to couldn't stop listening.well written with a very strong main character in Alex. Although she's not always morally upright i found that i was hoping for her to succeed. A couple of her scenes with her friend Hellie were very moving.
The plot moves along very well and there are some surprising twists i thought were very effective. The supernatural elements and the murder mystery aspects worked very well together. Narration is very good.
I'd highly recommend this book and am eagerly awaiting the next in the series.

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  • Broxgirl
  • 22-10-2019

Was not in English!

For some reason this is not the English version. Would have been nice to mention it beforehand

1 person found this helpful

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  • Donna
  • 23-05-2020

I wish there had been a warning

i loved this book once i got into it, but the graphic rape scene should have had some warning, it was important to the story I understand, but i think maybe a warning could have prepared me better, otherwise I reccomend it but you have to be able to stomach that kind of thing. The character Alex was very well developed.

21 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 04-01-2020

Depressing

I found myself feeling completely miserable while listening to this audio book. I couldn't bring myself to finish it.

8 people found this helpful

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  • NL
  • 17-11-2019

Leigh Bardugo is a queen 👑

I loved it so much! Very dark in a real life way but amazing ❤️

7 people found this helpful

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  • Rachel
  • 19-04-2020

Yale, students, magic, ghosts, meh...

Like many other reviewers, I found this book to be rather 'young adult'. I've read so many fantasies set in magic schools that I'm sick to death of it, and magical college isn't much better. I found the characters irritating and somehow the character of Alex just didn't seem worldly-wise enough to have had the past that's ascribed to her. Also, there are few things more irritatingly American than American college students, in nearly all literature they seem so naive and childish compared to European students. However, it wasn't so bad that I returned it - I listened to the whole book. I had previously listened to Shadow and Bone, which is one of Leigh Bardugo's young readers' titles, and I didn't enjoy that much either, so I suppose I just don't like her style.

6 people found this helpful

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  • clefairy
  • 02-12-2019

Amazing, new adult supernatural mystery!

I could easily put this as my favourite book this year and most definitely put it in my top ten books of all time.

I'll definitely be looking for more by the narrator as well as writer.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 31-10-2019

amazing!

Absolutely loved the world that Leigh Bardugo has created, I can't wait to be back with Alex!
Fabulous narration from both narrators too which really added to the experience.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Jo
  • 10-01-2020

Glad I stuck with it.

This is not great literature. You can tell this is the authors first adult fiction book. It very much comes across as a young adult fiction written with adult themes. I nearly gave up on it and it took a good few hours before I got into it. In places the story is slow and the characters are a bit cringe but overall I enjoyed it. I would listen to a sequel.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Lauren Charlotte
  • 17-12-2020

A Challenge

The premise of the story is interesting, but unfortunately this book is written in such a way that it gets bogged down in unnecessary narrative and exposition to the detriment of the overall story. The pacing is really badly affected by the relentless tangents of narrative and often you get through a chapter and you've forgotten what's happening in the 'here and now' of the story.
There are a lot of info dumps that weirdly don't explain much about the different societies; it's quite pretentious and explained almost conversationally, like the author presumes you already know this information. Furthermore, the characters aren't very likeable. By Bardugo's own admission Alex is an anti-hero, but there is little that inspires you to root for her. Similarly with Darlington - he's not present for most of the book and when he is he's a smug and entitled rich boy, and not much more.
I'm going to try to persevere with this as I don't like giving up on books, but it's going to be a challenge!

*TRIGGER WARNING*
I feel the child rape was unnecessary to the story. I'm loathe to criticise Bardugo for gratuity because male authors do the same and it feels hypocritical to single her out for it. However, it does feel like it's there for shock value rather than anything else. If Bardugo needed to show that the Greys can physically touch Alex she could have gone for an infinite number of scenarios, none of which involved child rape.

1 person found this helpful

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  • allyblue
  • 19-08-2020

Completely absorbing book

Loved the story. It's a really clever mixture of reality and make belive which creates a really compelling story. The characters are strong and the story goes at a decent pace so I was always dying to get back on and hear the next part. The only slight niggle is the narration is very earnest, so some of the funnier lines lost a bit of their impact. Looking forward to the sequel though.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Liz
  • 06-07-2020

Addictive

I don't write reviews for many audiobooks, but I enjoyed this so much.
So gripping and hard to put down. I'm actually a bit sad I've finished it.
Great characters and a really rich 'world', lots going on and a fair few unexpected turns

1 person found this helpful

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