Publication Date: October 8th 2019
Series: Alex Stern #1
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 worlds most elite universities on a full ride. What’s the catch, and why her? Read More.
Dark, daring and everything I could have wanted.
Before going into this I was scared: it’s adult, it’s a new genre, it dealt with big subject matters and I saw a lot of people talk about how the first half of the book is slow but holy crap I loved this!
There is a lot of set up in the beginning, a lot of explaining and introducing characters as well as the societies and their histories but I personally really enjoyed reading about all of these things. It was written in a way that I didn’t feel like it was a giant info dump. Also the timeline switches between present day and a few months ago and with that time shift it changes perspective between two characters so it never got stale or boring.
If you’ve heard about this book then you know this book deals with lots of possibly triggering topics such as: addiction, abuse, assault, graphic details and descriptions of blood and injuries, to name but a few. I personally wasn’t affected by this but there were a fair few times when I was reading through my fingers and half closed eyes.
There was also a few times I lost faith in my own reading comprehension and had to go back to double check because “did that really just happen!”. Saying this through I’m really glad Bardugo didn’t hold back as it mode for a rollercoaster of a read that I just couldn’t put down.
I really love the characters especially the main character Alex. She had so many layers to her history and personality. I had tears in my eyes multiple times while reading about her past.
Darlington, as well, I loved. There wasn’t enough of him in my opinion. I’ve seen a few comparisons of Darlington and Gansey from The Raven Cycle and I have to laugh. I mean they’re not wrong. Gansey is the much more PG version but they’re both total nerds of obscure magic and I would die for either of them.
There’s a mystery “who done it” element to this story which I really loved and was invested in but the revelation at the end I was a bit iffy about. I feel like when I re-read this, which I definitely plan on doing at some point, I might see it and like it better but I don’t know part of it felt out of the blue to me. Like I said, it might sit better with me when I re-read.
Overall I loved this book more then I ever expected to. Going off to read this was the perfect excuse to hide away in my bedroom for hours on end. I literally cannot wait for the sequel. I highly recommend this although do be careful of the trigger warnings!