Whenever you read a good book, somewhere in the world a door opens to allow in more light.
I'm just trying to light up the world as much as I can one SciFi/paranormal/fantasy/space opera/time travel book at a time.
Sooooo...a review... coherent thoughts...let's give this a go...
As I sit here in the wee-ist of hours... skulking about in my quiescent home... staring shell-shocked into the night... I am not only spooked and shaken, but I might also be experiencing a touch of PTSD as well. Only time will tell. What I do know with 100% certainty is that I was beyond overjoyed to have frolicked about in Leigh Bardugo's new world and even more thrilled to have come out the other end of this read (mostly) intact. I love forays into her beautiful (apparently twisted) mind although I am still struggling with a heavy dose of WTF did I just witness?? So, I must warn you that this is AN ADULT BOOK, with trigger worthy material, geared towards MATURE READERS!!
You have been warned!!
Okay, that being said, here are my 2 cents on the matter...
This book was a fiercely grim, tachycardia inducing insight into the Nature of human beings, in particular Yale's (oft times not so) secret societies and what they are capable of. We peered into the psyche of an occultist venerating class of people with extreme entitlement issues. A group that believes the World (and all of its wonders) is due them and that there are no such things as moral boundaries holding them back from carrying out the most egregiously wanton actions. It was a beautiful, perfectly poisonous, work of art. Granted it was a beautiful construct with a rotten, festering, noxious, fetid core BUT a beauty nonetheless.
Leigh Bardugo is hands down one of my all time favorite authors which was one of the main reasons why I dropped everything in my life (besides taking care of my Little) to devour this book. Being a shameless Fangirl, I admit that I "might" be a pinch biased but regardless of my manic ferver, this was a strong, viciously delicious (in a gruesome kind of way) book that peeked into dark places... some of which were better left alone.
Ninth House boasted Leigh's exquisitely skillful writing, creepy yet robust world building and remarkably unforgettable characters. We were dropped into a lurid world populated by a minacious cast that was chock full of rapacious appetites. It was gritty Magical Realism at its seediest and an excellently written Whodunnit wrapped in other, tangential Whodunnits.
I must admit, it was touch and go there for a while. I debated the merits of standing my ground and finishing what I started versus abandoning this book mid stride due to an overabundance of creepy, grotesque and plain old scary material that I questioned if I could stomach. Let me state right here and now that I am ecstatic with my decision to see things through! I knew going into this book that the outré premise was dark, dark, dark though no amount of review surfing prepared me for just how depraved...disgusting (at times)... debauched... deplorable and dire this was. I know, I know...that's a lot of ominous adjectives but they are a necessary evil, Ninth House was all of those plus a slew of others... even ones that don't start with D.
Little known fact (or maybe not so shocking if you have read any of my previous reviews), I myself happen to be a squeamish wimpy flamingo with my head firmly stuck in the sand when it comes to reading Horror, Rape and/or Torture. I am exponentially repelled when these atrocities are perpetrated on children. SOOOO where did that leave me regarding Ninth House? Well yes, it was filled with blasphemous, mind F'ing magic, malevolent mischief, reproachful "Good Ole Boys" entitlement and terror inducing nonchalance towards torture, drugging, raping, and blackmailing. Yes, it featured betrayals at every turn, despicable adulting and MURDERRRRR...
:::dum, dum, dummmmm:::
On the other hand, there were redeeming qualities, especially in the MC, Alex. She possessed an extreme sense of self preservation and by the end she also exhibited real growth as a no nonsense, kick ass female/human being. The female bonding under extreme circumstances was awesome to behold. It ended up leading to true, tested under fire, friendships that I adored immensely. I especially loved the relationships Alex forged with her roommates, Oculus and even (though not a female bond) with Centurion.
This was a memorable experience. Get ready, Ninth House will immediately suck you in and threatens to never let you (fully) go. There were a few times when I cringed, blanched and ran for some mood lighting (emphasis on lighting) but again, squeamish flamingo present and accounted for. With unresolved issues sprinkled about, there ended up being plenty of room for a sequel. I am already throwing my money at that nonexistent book #2 which I will unashamedly be sooping up as soon as it is released into the wild.
Anyway, I highly reccomend this twisted read and predict that it will be an instant hit and beloved addition to any avid, (explicit content loving) Adult literature enthusiast. This bibliophile is hooked and that says a lot considering that there's still sand in my hair.