Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo

OIP (5)

Galaxy “Alex” Stern has lived a very hard tough life for such a young woman. She has never had a happy go lucky type of personality. She was never liked by the other students. She has always “felt” and “seen” things no one else did. She dropped out of school early and became immersed with drug-dealing, stealing and abusive people.  So when her best friend dies and her boyfriend is murdered she ends up in a hospital with no place to go.

That is when she is asked to attend Yale University as a freshman by the dean himself. Alex jumps at the chance for some normalcy. Stunned by the invitation she looks forward to attending classes and going to parties with her roommates.  But, as we all know by now, be careful what you wish for!

What Alex discovers is that she is not living a normal campus life.  Nor is she a “normal” student.  She has been chosen and placed at Yale by important alumni who are involved in a mystical and magical underworld with secret houses on the campus.  Only a select few have the understanding of the crafts which take place.  Alex soon discovers she has a few untapped talents of her own and begins to understand why she was always so different than others.

When one of the locals from the town is murdered, Alex in her capacity as one of the underground police, so to speak, is not comfortable with who they think was the murderer.  Thus begins a race before time runs out as to who really killed the girl and why was there such a coverup.

As Alex tries to fit all the pieces together while battling not only faculty, but characters from beyond the grave, she gets assistance from an unlikely source.  A ghost who is looking for his dead wife-to-be makes a pact with her to assist her in discovering who really was the killer. In return, she will try and find information on his dead fiancee.

Alex is unsure why she has been chosen.  More important if she was chosen, why do they want to kill her?  Alex herself has some secrets.  Secrets she does not want anyone at Yale to find out. What has she seen or heard that she was not suppose to?  One thing for sure, Alex will not stop until she gets the answers she needs, regardless if she does not live.

The Ninth House is like a Harry Potter for girls, with a strong female protagonist who is smart, funny and quirky.  It’s a story filled with magic, suspense, intrigue and yes, even humor!  I am positive this is the first of many more Galaxy “Alex” Stern stories.

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