Wednesday, December 25, 2019

Ninth House (Alex Stern, #1)Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I prayed this would be good. I was a big fan of her fantasy heist but I was not so much of a fan of the YA love interest stuff, so when I learned she was writing an adult modern UF fantasy with major mystery elements, I half-cringed, half-fell-over-myself in anticipation. Oh my. When I finally read the first couple-dozen pages, I relaxed. The next dozen thrilled me.

I couldn't have been happier!

What's so special? The RESEARCH! This is more than just worldbuilding. This is our real-world secret society stuff. Skull and Bones, Scroll and Key. All those Powerful people in our society that go through these special doors that all presidents seem to be a member of? The powerful of all stripes?

Bardugo connects it all to magic, real magic, and turns it all into a full UF worldbuilding extravaganza sitting alongside Yale and the rest of the world, but the action here is all at Yale. And if that wasn't enough, the titular character, Alex Stern, sees ghosts. Lots of ghosts. It gives her an edge over most of the magic students because she doesn't need special drugs to see them. She wants justice. She wants to find out who is murdering all those girls.

She can't really afford Yale and the ones who employ her might just consider her staff among all the elites who really belong, but she's getting her education and finding out the truth. It has to be enough.

Sound like a good murder mystery? It is. :) Very good. The only thing that could make it better is fantastically detailed characters. And guess what? They are. :) I really fell into the tale and loved getting to know so many. Deeply. When some other bad stuff happened, I admit I freaked out. That's what being invested in a great tale is all about. :)

I really can't wait for more. This series is going on my read-immediately list from now on.

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