Don’t expect to be able to remember how to breathe after reading this book. Just don’t. Because you won’t know how. Also, don’t expect to have your head still intact. All of us who have read the book might look like we have it all together on the outside, but the inside? It’s a mix of SUDHABDOOSNRRJISUXHAHR. Yeah, we don’t know what that means either. It’s pure chaos up in our brains now. CHAOS, I TELL YOU.
I honestly have tried multiple times and still cannot properly take in how much of a genius Bardugo is to have come up with this whole story! AND ITS NOT EVEN OVER. (Five books have been planned for this series!!!) Like, the entire alternative universe she created is insane. It’s so elaborate and well thought through, you’d think it ACTUALLY EXISTS. Somewhere right over ours where we can’t see it.
I really love how it all starts in the future and then Bardugo goes back and gives us flashbacks to lead up to that moment, before picking up where she started 3/4 of the way in. It’s insane and crazy and keeps you guessing at every turn of a page. It’s literally like an elaborate murder mystery with fantasy aspects. And I love myself a good murder mystery, especially one that made my mind run wild as much as Ninth House did!
Seriously though, I didn’t know who to trust even until the last page. Even until the last sentence. Things kept unravelling to the point that I worried the book had actually (LITERALLY) hooked me and was about to drag me into it at any given moment. It was THAT freakishly fantastic.
And don’t even let me get started on Darlington. Because if I do get started, chances are I won’t be able to stop. He wasn’t even really in the book (he was in the flashbacks), but I love him. I love him and I would die for him and his cat Cosmo. They made this book the best thing to read about. I won’t say anything else, because SPOILERS, but you all are not prepared when it comes to golden boy, complete gentleman, Darlington. He’s going to swipe you off your feet and break your heart without even knowing it. (If he knew, he’d probably feel bad about it, because he’s a gentleman.)
Even Alex’s character was so well thought through. She was tragic and had depth and she was someone readers would enjoy exploring and getting to know. I love it when we get to really get to know a character in a way that never puts a stop to the storyline. Bardugo managed to seamlessly weave it all together so we got to know exactly who Alex Stern was all while moving steadily along with the plot. It all lead up to something; there was never an empty sentence that was there without reason.
Let’s take a moment and talk about the fact that there are some serious trigger warnings to consider that come with this book, because it is, after all, an adult book and not a young adult one. There are mentions of rape, one of them a little detailed and involving a child. If that is something you’re sensitive too, please be aware before reading it. There is also some quite detailed gore and violence, so, again, there’s something to be aware of. There’s also talk of an overdose, if that might be something that bothers you. I think that might be most of what it was, but if there are any other trigger warnings you’re worried about, please do take the time to look up the full list of them in case I might’ve missed any.