My favorite television show in the entire world is Buffy the Vampire Slayer. If you ask me, there was never a show before or after that has managed to capture the essence of what Joss Whedon brought to Buffy. In my eyes, it is the perfect show. (Except for Dawn’s dumb ass and anything that came after season 5, but I will spare you a tangent… for now.)
When I started reading Ninth House a couple weeks ago, I was in emergency room with breathing issues for 6 whole hours, between 2am and 8am. I was in and out of sleep and feeling terrible. (Don’t worry, I’m fine now!)
However, in those moments when I was awake, I was completely captivated by this book! Which I think says a lot, because I thought I was f*cking dying.
The reason I loved Ninth House right off the bat was because something about it gave me total Buffy vibes.
Alex Stern is a recovering drug addict who survived a horrific unsolved multiple homicide that left all of her friends dead. On the outside, Alex appears to be a dropout, drug addict loser who threw her life away.
However, in her hospital bed, Alex is offered a second chance; a full ride to Yale college.
But what’s the catch?
Oh, she just has to monitor the occult activities of some of the most rich and powerful up and coming students who are heading for Wall Street and Hollywood. No big deal, right? Those guys sound harmless.
In this story, there are Eight “houses” that practice and specialize all kinds of different magic. (Isn’t that exciting!?)
Darlington’s job is working for Lethe, which is is an organization who monitors the activities of the eight houses. Why? Because these houses have a long history of breaking rules, disregarding human lives around town, and using magic in inhumane and destructive ways.
But it’s time for Darlington to step down, and for Alex to step up.
So, no, Alex is not a vampire slayer. The story actually has nothing to do with vampires at all. Yet there were certain similarities that just felt very Buffy-esque and that immediately made me feel at home in this story.
Darlington, for one example, felt very much like Alex’s version of Buffy’s Giles. Darlington is there to show Alex the ropes of magic, how to control her gift (or curse) that made her such a perfect candidate for this position, and he, similarly to Giles, was very shocked and off-put by his new prodigy’s lack of knowledge or understanding of the organization when she arrived. Of course this made for a lot of fun!
However, Darlington goes missing right before a local town girl gets murdered. Time for Alex to step up to the plate and fake it until she makes it, because the death looks extra suspicious and no one cares except for her.
Oh my god, you guys!
This book is such a wild and fun ride!
While Alex is searching for what house and people could be involved in the murder, this novel only touches on the magical capabilities of the eight houses while she is investigating them. And what we find out about each house is exciting, fascinating, and intoxicating. I wanted more! From what I understand, this is the first of a series, which means it’s only the beginning! Eeeeep!
The book was also captivating because there’s multiple story lines going on at once. We have the mysterious murder of the girl from town, Darlington’s disappearance, Alex’s mysterious past involving an unsolved mass murder, and something is a bit off with a famous local ghost who haunts the campus. There is never a dull moment.
I loved all of the characters in this story. I cared about what was next, I cared about what was before; to put it simply I just cared.
It’s also written in such a way that you’re constantly reeling from all of the possibilities of the magic, which are always presented very nonchalantly as though it’s no big deal! Again, this just makes me even more thrilled for the rest of the series, where I assume we’ll dig into these concepts on a much deeper level.
If you like magic, if you like secret societies, if you like solving mysteries, if you can relate to an extremely flawed and interesting character with a dark past, I cannot recommend this book enough.
My Rating: ★★★★★
I will be counting the days until the next book in the series is released. It’s such a good feeling to be this excited.