I am always intrigued when a popular YA author decides to leave their comfort zone and expand to a new audience. It is a competitive genre, with a very demanding fan base. How is this author going to adapt? Will they connect with me, someone beyond this YA target market?
As for the second question, Bardugo did a fantastic job! She created a couple of characters: Alex and Darlington, that were exceptionally developed. I felt a connection to both. From my point of view, an author’s ability to create tangible characters is paramount, if I don’t connect with the characters, why should I care? Bardugo’s characters were layered, developed and tangible to me.
As for my first question, I felt that Bardugo played it safe. With a university backdrop and a magical element, hell, the whole story revolves around magic, Bardugo surely will not isolate her existing fan base. She has even given the young girls a heartthrob to swoon over, Darlington. Ninth House really isn’t that much of a step away from YA Fantasy. That being said, the whole thing worked for me, in some ways it brought me back to my own university days, however, mine completely lacked the magic found at Yale.
Ninth House is without a doubt the first in a series. Would I continue on with the series? Hell yeah! Bardugo has me invested in her characters now. Her plot development, with all of its twists and turns, worked well for me.