Audiobook Review – Ninth House

Posted November 11, 2019 by Kathy in 4.5 Stars, Audiobook Review, Book Review / 0 Comments

Audiobook Review – Ninth HouseNinth House Series: Alex Stern #1
by Leigh Bardugo
Narrator: Lauren Fortgang, Michael David Axtell
Published by MacMillan Audio on October 8, 2019
Genres: Adult Paranormal
Length: 16 hours and 21 minutes
Format: Audiobook
Source: Purchased
Buy on AmazonBarnes & Noble

Galaxy “Alex” Stern is the most unlikely member of Yale’s freshman class. Raised in the Los Angeles hinterlands by a hippie mom, Alex dropped out of school early and into a world of shady drug dealer boyfriends, dead-end jobs, and much, much worse. By age twenty, in fact, she is the sole survivor of a horrific, unsolved multiple homicide. Some might say she’s thrown her life away. But at her hospital bed, Alex is offered a second chance: to attend one of the world’s most elite universities on a full ride. What’s the catch, and why her?

Still searching for answers to this herself, Alex arrives in New Haven tasked by her mysterious benefactors with monitoring the activities of Yale’s secret societies. These eight windowless “tombs” are well-known to be haunts of the future rich and powerful, from high-ranking politicos to Wall Street and Hollywood’s biggest players. But their occult activities are revealed to be more sinister and more extraordinary than any paranoid imagination might conceive.

The mesmerizing adult debut from #1 New York Times bestselling author Leigh Bardugo.

4.5 Stars for Ninth House!

Ninth House is the stunning adult debut from author Leigh Bardugo.  I’ve read her young adult series and the Ninth House is filled with the same magic and captivating storytelling.  Galaxy “Alex” Stern is starting her freshman year at Yale and is the newest member of the Lethe House, the secret police for nine secret societies. Why are they so secret?  Because they have rituals with human sacrifices to gain magical powers. Alex has a special power of her own, which is seeing ghosts (automatically I thought of the movie Sixth Sense, “I see dead people”). As she and her mentor, Darlington, patrol the societies the author introduces readers to this very dark and sometimes gory world.  I’m not a horror fan, but I was intrigued with the story and the characters. The story had many twists that kept me guessing. But I did think the first half of the book was very slow. There was a lot of details of the history of the societies and alternates between past and present, so as I listened to the audiobook I lost my concentration. Often times I had to reverse the audiobook because I missed a detail. Luckily the pace picked up and the details started fitting into place.

The audiobook is narrated by Lauren Fortgang and Michael David Axtell.  I thought their performance was excellent and they brought life to the story. I enjoyed the distinct voices they created for the characters and the intensity they brought to the scenes. 

Despite the slow beginning, I enjoyed the Ninth House.  This is a book I normally wouldn’t read so it was a nice change from my favorite paranormal romance genre. This story is intriguing, dark and creepy. Alex is a troubled character and is trying to get control of her gift and her life. I can’t wait to see her character growth in this series.


You may have seen a warning on social media or in other reviews for this book, but I still think it is important to share. Alex has lived a troubled life, with drug abuse and violence. There is a rape scene in chapter 7 (when she goes in the bathroom) which can be skipped. If skipped, readers will still be able to follow the story and get an understanding of Alex’s character. There is also mention of date rape, but it is not played out in a scene.


Rating Report
Audiobook Performance
Overall: four-half-stars

About Leigh Bardugo

Leigh Bardugo is the #1 New York Times bestselling and USA Today bestselling author of Six of Crows (awarded starred reviews from Kirkus, Publishers Weekly, VOYA, SLJ, and the BCCB) and the Grisha Trilogy: Shadow and Bone, Siege and Storm, and Ruin and Rising. She was born in Jerusalem, grew up in Los Angeles, graduated from Yale University, and has worked in advertising, journalism, and most recently, makeup and special effects. These days, she lives and writes in Hollywood where she can occasionally be heard singing with her band.

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • 2019 Audiobook Challenge
  • 2019 New Release Challenge


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