As you may have noticed, I don’t read fantasy books that often, but when I do, I generally end up loving them. And Ninth House was no exception. What I enjoyed most about this book was the setting. It involves Yale University, secret societies, magic, ghosts, among other things which I rather not spoil. It contains all the evocations of dark academia.
Like most fantasy books, at first it’s confusing getting used to the world-building. There are so many new concepts an characters being introduced that it feels hard to keep up with everything. But once you get into it, you want to keep digging further. Just one more page, one more chapter. That’s how I finished this book within a week.
I haven’t read Shadow & Bone, but I did read the Six Of Crows duology (and watched the show too — though it’s not the same it still counts as something) so I knew already what Bardugo was capable of. She’s definitely a great writer.
Ninth House felt darker and somber, but more realistic in the midst of all the magic because unlike her previous books set in a fantasy world, this one is mostly set in New Haven, and Los Angeles is also mentioned. Hence, everything was more palpable. This book made me laugh, curse, and worry. It’s worth the hype and I cannot wait to read Hell Bent and see what troubles Alex Stern gets into this time.
Six Of Crows follows the story of a group of teen misfits led by Kaz Brekker, also known as Dirtyhands — because no job is too dirty or too dangerous for him. They embark on an impossible mission that requires breaking into the world’s most secured prison, the reward being a sum of money beyond their craziest dreams. Except that things don’t go as planned.
I wasn’t sure what to expect when I began reading it. I was confused during the first few chapters, trying to remember the names of the characters and places. Not to mention, I was completely clueless on what a Grisha is so I had to Google it, even though it’s later explained in the book.
Wow. I was completely mind-blown. This book is action-packed, the plot has so many turns — my heart was racing during the last two sections. I loved how it’s written from the perspective of different characters. Even though it’s in the third person, it felt very close. The backstories are detailed and enable us to learn more about these characters and empathize with them, despite their actions. Oh and let’s not forget the three romantic relationships that are developed through out the story, each different but equally lovely!
My only critique is how everything had a solution. Yes, Kaz is clever and was always a step ahead. But in reality, sometimes things go wrong and there’s no plan to back it up. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a negative person wishing for some catastrophe to occur. But if some of the events wouldn’t have been fully solved, it would’ve felt more tangible.
Regardless, I highly recommend this book. And even though I haven’t read Shadow and Bone yet, I’ll start watching the show on Netflix. I will, however, read the rest of the Grishaverse books as soon as I get the chance!
“The heart is an arrow. It demands aim to land true.”