I wanted to give dark fiction a try, so I signed up for Well Twisted Tales and Tea. They send out dark fiction, dark chocolate, and dark tea in a monthly book subscription box (it gets no better than that). Ninth House happened to be my first book in that box, and I am not disappointed that it was my introduction to the dark side of reading.
Ninth House took me on a hugely fast-paced ride. There’s not much world-building in this magic-realism story as it takes place at Yale University. Hence, the story quickly moves straight into the murder-mystery plot while twisting and turning on nearly every page, until you get to the end and you’re like, “Wait, what? Holy fracking heck, I was not expecting this ending.” and your mind is blown, and you need the next book ASAP.
Ninth House surprised me because normally I can’t watch paranormal movies since they scare the bejeebers out of me, but this was different; I wasn’t terrified at all. As of now, I’m chalking it up to the POVs that Ninth House is written in, but I won’t know until I read more books in this same vein to collect more data and perform a self-analysis of how terrified I am. Oh goodness, wish me luck.
On the topic of POVs, chapter by chapter, you switch between two characters a chick Alex, and a dude Darlington. Two people with very different backgrounds, experiences, views, and socioeconomic privilege. While I’ve read mixed reviews on Alex’s character, I actually related to her a lot. Perhaps we both came from broken paths and experienced some of the same misfortunes, so I can relate? I’m not sure, but I felt like she would have been a friend of mine a decade ago, in a life I lived that seems so far away.
Trigger warnings: As for misfortunate and broken paths, this book is dark. There are murders, drug use, overdoses, rape, gore, and more (I didn’t mean to rhyme there, but I’ll take it). Personally, I don’t mind reading about the dark side of human nature, my life’s events haven’t been glamorous, and I can relate to this book in many ways. However, I did have nightmares about one of those trigger warnings, and, well, fair warning.
As for the magic, I love consumable magic. Something about it feels much more realistic than just being born with powers. One chapter painted the most beautiful, dark, purple, black, smokey, magical visuals. I don’t want to spoil it, so I’ll leave it at that!
As a lover of all things witchy and Halloween, this was fantastic. Near-death experiences with the darkest of magic, hauntings, possessions. Parties filled with magic, illusion, and fantastic visuals. Drugs, unlike those in the mortal world. Dreamlike trances filled with uncontrollable lust and desire. Alchemy, mind control, persuasive magic, demons, murder mystery, secret societies–Ninth House has it all!