Hey everyone! This past weekend (October 11-13) I set out to read Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo so today I’m sharing my reading experience with you.
I placed a library hold for Ninth House months ago, but I didn’t expect to receive a pickup notice so soon after it came out because I wasn’t first on the wait list. Because this book is a hot new release, my loan period is only two weeks so I dropped everything else to read it. I knew I’d probably never read it if I returned it unread.
This post is my real-time spoiler-free updates, which I thought would be more interesting than a review that you may or may not read. I added a snake divider as an homage to book snake. I hope you enjoy!
A few quick notes:
- Leigh Bardugo is one of my favorite authors.
- I borrowed this book instead of purchasing it because I was massively disappointed with King of Scars earlier this year. Your girl is on a budget so I didn’t want to regret buying this book.
- I add library books that I end up liking to my book wish list and slowly buy them so if I end up liking Ninth House, I’ll buy a copy.
Without further ado…
Friday, 9:01 pm
13 pages into Ninth House and I had to take a quick break to read the synopsis and update my Instagram stories. I read the synopsis because I was kind of surprised when I saw the mention of magic. I think because of my ambivalence after King of Scars, I forgot that Ninth House has arcane magic. I really thought this was just literary fiction set in the modern world.
Saturday, 12:06 am
I made myself some tea and lit a fall scented candle around 11 p.m. because I thought I’d try to get some more reading in. I made it to page 57 before deciding to go to bed. The chapters are very long so my progress is slow.
Saturday, 6:45 am
No matter how exhausted I am from the work week or how “late” I go to bed, I have trouble sleeping in. My body refuses to cooperate so I woke up at 6am with no alarm, checked Twitter and watched Youtube. My favorite podcast, The Read, has a tv show on Fuse TV and they posted the first episode on Youtube so I watch that, eat breakfast, make myself some tea and start reading.
Saturday, 10:38 am
I’m currently on page 114, which is the start of chapter 7. I think this is a good stopping point because I have to run errands (Target, return library books, used bookstore, etc.) and I’m meeting up with two bookish friends.
Again, the chapters in Ninth House are very long. There are some chapters I like a lot more than others and that’s because the story is written from alternating point-of-views. We have Alex, who’s the main character and Darlington, the side male character. Right now I like Darlington’s POV more than Alex so it’s taking me forever to get through her chapters.
I like Darlington’s chapters more because he’s our window into this world. He’s been at Yale for three years so we learn about Yale’s occult history, the secret societies, arcane magic—the magic is very cool—and the supernatural elements through his chapters. I find that fascinating because I like world-building.
The writing is fine, but the story is slow paced and it’s a lot of exposition and setup. Nothing’s happened and I don’t feel attached to the characters or the story. I hope that changes.
I finished all my errands, but the meetup was a fail. We didn’t realize the indie bookstore was downtown, which means parking sucked. I drove around for about 20 minutes looking for parking with no luck and ended up heading home. I got home at 2:30pm and started reading again.
I’m currently on page 118. I’m bored and a little sleepy so that means it’s time for a social media break.
From my IG stories
Saturday, 5:05 pm
I’ve been in the mood for philly cheesesteak so I took a break to make a homemade version, but with chicken. After I eat, I pick up Ninth House again.
Saturday, 9:05 pm
This book is disturbing. I took a break to message one of my bookstagram friends who is coincidentally reading it too about a particularly disturbing scene in chapter 12.
Right now, I’m on page 210. I had to stop reading for a few minutes because I’m shaken up. This book has a million and one trigger warnings, but it’s a drowning scene that really really got to me.
Saturday, 9:43 pm
Woo-hoo! I made it to page 220 (end of chapter 12)! I’m so proud of myself for pushing through and making it this far. I read for a total of 2 hours and washed three loads of laundry.
I’m still not sure how I feel about this book. The magic is cool and I’m very curious about the mystery, but that’s all. I’m still bored and the societies aren’t well explained. Will re-assess my feelings in the morning.
Sunday, 7:00 am
I’m up early again. I woke up at 6:35 am (no alarm), checked Twitter and Instagram. I’m watching El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie on Netflix while updating this post with my notes because I don’t want to fall behind. I loved Breaking Bad when it was on air.
Not sure what time I’ll pick up Ninth House. I need to eat and finish up my laundry from last night. I also want to try to take some book photos because I’m feeling motivated.
Sunday, 8:00 pm
I picked up Ninth House at 11:42 am and finished reading around 5:50 pm. I read for a total of 5 hours because I had to stop a few times to finish up my laundry, eat lunch, and whip up something for dinner.
Things picked up in the second half, but the book has a million threads that felt inconsequential to the plot until the very end. The twist at the end was great, but it wasn’t enough to make me want to continue the series.
It didn’t leave a bad taste in my mouth like King of Scars, but it did make me think that maybe I don’t really want that 3rd Six of Crows book.
I like Leigh Bardugo’s writing, but this was nothing to write home about. It’s really atmospheric, which I loved, the magic was cool, and I like that her work continues to focus on abuse and misogyny. A lot of those things were difficult to get through, but overall the discussion about those things, elitism and privilege was beautiful.
Unfortunately, nothing happened for most of the book. The first half was boring as hell, didn’t really explore the secret societies or the occult, and most of it is formulaic—nothing happens for most of the book ⤑ traumatic stuff happens ⤑ nothing happens ⤑ more trauma⤑ nothing happens. Rinse and repeat.
Even though I didn’t enjoy Ninth House as much as I had hoped, I had a lot of fun doing this and I can’t believe I read an almost 500 page book in two days. I gave it 3 stars, but I’m a little sad that Leigh Bardugo is 0-for-2 with me this year. I really wanted this book to blow me away. Have you read Ninth House? What did you think? Should I do more posts like this? Let me know in the comments.