Ninth House Review

Image result for ninth house leigh bardugo

Ebook, 450 Pages
Fantasy/ Thriller/ Mystery
By: Leigh Bardugo
Rating: 🌟🌟


★ This time I decided to bring you my review immediately without the usual RTC because with a rating like that, everyone is curious and many people already asked me to review this one and what my thoughts are on it.

★ I need to make some things clear before you come to put my head on a pike! Bardugo is one of my favorite authors, I read all her books, I do own all her books (Including the collector’s edition of SoC and CK) so if you think that I have anything against her then you are wrong. I am just the kind of person who will stick to being honest even if it is my favorite author.

★ I also need you to know that I contacted both publishers asking for an E-ARC and I am still waiting for their replies xD. It is like the publishers knew this was not for me. Maybe magic is real after all!

★ Another thing is that I do read books across all genres (mostly fantasy and contemporary but I have read and enjoyed all genres out there) so this is probably not a genre problem. I also read MG, YA and recently Adult titles so I have experienced the different writing styles through my reading Journey! I read this book from cover to cover (Including the Acknowledgment and about the author page) So what went wrong?

“All you children playing with fire, looking surprised when the house burns down”

★ I don’t know if things went right to begin with, many of my anticipated books this year ended up disappointing me (Recursion, DarkDawn, Aurora Rising…etc) This was my most anticipated book of the year and my expectations were high, I do not know if this affected my experience because a good book will still be good even with high expectations (I had sky-high expectations for The Sword of Kaigen this year and still found it to be AMAZING).

★ I got this book immediately when it was released and jumped right in, I did not easily get into the story and started to worry, After 50 pages, I was having a reading crisis and texted my friend David who DNFed the book, he was not happy about that because it was one of his most anticipated books too. We talked a bit and unfortunately, we agreed on many things. I told him I will continue reading, which I did and I was still feeling the same so I went into GR and the reviews mentioned that it gets better after the 100 pages. In the past, I had problems with getting into Bardugo’s books, the first time I read Six of Crows, I was not feeling it and put it aside for later when I came back and it became my favorite duology! But that time, I felt that the book is really good and I was not enjoying it because I was not in the mood. This time I did not feel it was good and I was in the mood so I decided to push through.

★ Reading the book through the last 4 days started to feel like a chore and it almost put me in a slump. My reading process was reading a few pages every hour and leaving the book aside, then searching for more GR reviews that were not happy with the book and I agreed with almost every one of them!

“People didn’t need magic to be terrible to each other.”

★ The start of the book was shaky, there was a lot of info dump and a lot of intellectual references that I did not understand! I said let’s see what happens after 100 pages, I was still confused and not happy with my reading experience, one of the reviews said that the first 200 pages had a lot of info so I extended that to 200 pages! And my disappointment only extended with that!

★ Listen, my point is that if a book needs 200 pages to make me get into the story then that is just too much for me, there are whole complete great stories in under 200 pages so this is not a valid excuse for me writing-wise!

★ Anyway, I decide to finish the book, maybe, just maybe there will be light at the end of the tunnel. But at the end of this tunnel, I am surprised by the smell of something fishy, something like the electrical crackle of ozone after a storm. And if you are saying what is wrong with this guy! This was an actual quote from the book!

It left a stink that was something like the electrical crackle of ozone after a storm coupled with the rot of a pumpkin left too long on a windowsill.”

★ Like I don’t believe this is the same author whose quotes fill the profiles of half the YA reader’s bios online! High expectations or was it bad writing, help me decide?

★ After 200 pages and the decision to finish it no matter what, I was lost, I could not remember the names of all the secret cults or characters and what role they play due to the afore-mentioned info dump.

★ I did not care about the characters, I do not care about Alex or Darlington (Alina and the Darkling as some eagle eyes fans noticed), I did not care about Sandow or Hellie or Dawes. After 200 pages of not connecting to them, there was no redemption from that and they fell flat for me, a meteor could have come out of outer space and killed them and I wouldn’t have batted an eyelash then!

★ I have seen this book classified as fantasy, thriller/ mystery, contemporary and even horror. I can understand that because the book tried too many things at once, I think it is supposed to be fantasy mixed with thriller which I think did not work for me, the book was too long for the thriller/ mystery genre. I think it could have been half of this number of pages and that would have been better.

“There were always excuses for why girls died”

★ Moving on into a very important thing that everyone is talking about, how dark is this book and the TW! I am sure that this includes dark things: It has multiple rape scenes (Child included), abuse, drugs and eating {Redacted}. But I am not sure why!! I did not think that all of these were needed and I did not think that they moved the plot or added anything to the story in general. Exactly before finishing this one, I was reading Solace Lost which is a grimdark fantasy novel and it has a lot of dark themes and the characters go through a lot and It all made sense to me. My point is: I do not have a problem with those topics or think it is taboo to talk about them, I think it is important to do so but in the right context. I was literally zoning out during a rape scene in Ninth House and then went and read it again, that was how little of an impact it did have on me and I think no rape scene should have this effect.

★ Furthermore, I have been reading a lot of adult fantasy recently, I think there is a difference between writing an adult fantasy book vs a YA book. Just like there is a difference between writing MG and YA! I am reading less YA these days and I did want to continue reading my favorite authors. So when some of these authors decided to start writing adult books I was excited. I am not so sure about that now because I think the transition into adult fantasy after spending years and tens of books in writing YA is not as smooth as I thought it would be. The writing in Ninth House felt like a YA novel and many of the older bloggers agree. I think I will consider it YA with very adult themes. But the writing, the characters and plot, all felt YA.

“Mors irrumat omnia. Death fucks us all.”

★ Summary: I am writing this review because when I was reading the book, I wanted a review like this one, so this is for all the disappointed future readers. This book turned from my most anticipated read of the year into my most disappointing one. The pacing was slow, the book was boring, the characters were flat and the writing is not as good as I am used to. I still think Bardugo is a great author but it looks like this series is just not for me. There is certainly a pressure to like this one because it is Leigh Bardugo after all but I am not falling into that rabbit hole. I am not saying you should not read this one, because there are certainly people loving it out there, I am saying that if you started it and you can’t get into it, you are not enjoying it and feeling bored, then I felt the same and I am assuring you it does not get significantly better. I think I am done with this series but I am still interested in Bardugo’s novels in the Grishaverse!


  1. Still stuck on the third chapter because I kept falling asleep and can’t remember anything, probably because of that. I hope I will like it better than you did!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh NOO!! I was SSOOOOO looking forward to it! But now I am thinking NOPEEEEE!! I agree, if it starts to feel like a chore (and it’s not War and Peace🤣🤣) you probably should stop reading! 🤣🤣 I haven’t yet read a single book by Bardugo and I guess that’s why I was excited to be able to read it WITH ALL THE HYPE 🤣🤣 But after reading your review, the story seems to be drenched in confusion – things/subplots that were necessary?

    Thank you sooo much for your honest review, Hamad! LOVED IT! ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thanks! I am glad people are liking the review! I expected to be attacked but I am safe (till now).

    I probably should have DNF it. One famous reviewer said he liked it after he knew who, how and what was going on but I prefer simple things to be honest.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hahahha! You are smart to be wary of the haters because sooner of later they are gonna find you! 🤣🤣 (I hope it’s later rather than sooner) 🤣🤣

    Just kidding, of course people are liking it! It’s politely worded and you are not offending anyone, just stating your reasons for dislike. Nothing wrong with that, is there? 😉😉❤️

    Liked by 1 person

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