Hell Bent

Cover Hell Bent
Series: Alex Stern (#2)
Genres: Fiction » Fantasy

Wealth. Power. Murder. Magic. Alex Stern is back and the Ivy League is going straight to hell in #1 New York Times bestselling author Leigh Bardugo's Hell Bent.

Find a gateway to the underworld. Steal a soul out of hell. A simple plan, except people who make this particular journey rarely come back. But Galaxy “Alex” Stern is determined to break Darlington out of purgatory―even if it costs her a future at Lethe and at Yale.

Forbidden from attempting a rescue, Alex and Dawes can’t call on the Ninth House for help, so they assemble a team of dubious allies to save the gentleman of Lethe. Together, they will have to navigate a maze of arcane texts and bizarre artifacts to uncover the societies’ most closely guarded secrets, and break every rule doing it. But when faculty members begin to die off, Alex knows these aren’t just accidents. Something deadly is at work in New Haven, and if she is going to survive, she’ll have to reckon with the monsters of her past and a darkness built in


to the university’s very walls.

Thick with history and packed with Bardugo’s signature twists, Hell Bent brings to life an intricate world full of magic, violence, and all too real monsters.

Hell Bent
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User Reviews:

Guest 20 days ago

I'm very annoyed this series was changed from a duology to a trilogy. Because of the change, the plotting and pacing of this book just wasn't as tight as it should have been. There is a lot of extraneous writing that feels like it could have been cut. There are also some new subplots that feel like they were added primarily to lengthen the story into three books. Overall, this was a good book, and I enjoyed it, but it didn't have the magic of the first book. I did really like seeing more of the characters interacting with each other.

Guest 20 days ago

This book is between a 7 and 8 star read to me. I think my heart belongs to book 1 but this book really delivered. It was gripping, dark, and oddly sexy (darlington). I do really like the exploration of the "hell" theme, but I feel like the whole concept of grays and Alex's capabilities could've been explored further or explained more. I love the expansion of the hell & demon magic system but that the drawback was an almost half-baked magic system. I think I just wanted more about the societies in this book and I didn't get any of that. I'm hoping for more of that in book 3. This was almost enough for me to dock a star but I didn't.

Because here's what did work. The characterization was so enjoyable to read. The character development felt so organic and happened so seamlessly throughout the story. No character is the same at the end of the book as they were in the beginning and you don't realize it until you're reflecting on the story. I also didn't see some of the "plot twists" coming and I love being surprised. Also, this book is undoubtably a page turner! I couldn't wait to wake up so I can finish reading.

I love that this book kept the darkness, got rid of some of the annoying parts of Alex's inner monologue, and held on to the heart of the story which is a mystery/thriller series with a paranormal/supernatural backdrop. I'm eager to see where book 3 goes.

Guest 20 days ago

Maybe it's because I'm generally not the most familiar with the fantasy and dark academia genres, but Ninth House felt very fresh and edgy to me. I was into the lore, learning about the arcane practices of the societies, the darkness that unfolded behind closed doors, the bad assness of Alex Stern. I closed that book with immediate anticipation for the second.

The years-long wait for Hellbent was not particularly worth it. The plot dragged and felt too convenient at times. Secondary did not seem like individuals—their purpose was to serve as support to Alex. There was even an uncanny element I won't mention to keep this spoiler free, that, for everything Ninth House entailed, just does not seem to flow with this world.

Ninth House left me wanting more, while Hell Bent has me going, "I mean, I guess I'll read a third book on my down time."

Guest 20 days ago

I tend to be weary of a second installment in any series, but Hell Bent has absolutely blown my expectations...well, to hell. I enjoyed this even more than I did Ninth House. The only thing keeping me from reading it in one sitting was my job- if I didn't need money I would have ripped through this as quickly as possible.

I'm obsessed with the pacing- one thing I hate is when a book takes SO long for anything to happen. Hell Bent pretty much gets right to the nitty-gritty and keeps it going, but never in a way that feels confusing or like the plot is jumping all over the place. It never at any point felt stagnant or lost in itself.

I also just love every character in this book. I don't want to get too into detail because I like to avoid spoilers, but there wasn't a single character that felt forgotten or unimportant at the conclusion of this part of the series.

Hell Bent was an easy five stars for me, and I'm already looking forward to the next book in this series!

Guest 20 days ago

Not as strong as the first in the series, Ninth House, but that seems to be the case in most series. I recommend re-reading Ninth House or refreshing your memory on the text before reading this. I did not do that and found I was a little hazy on some of the details going on. Towards the end, the plot started feeling a little repetitive - I mean, how many times, really, can you travel to hell to fight demons before it starts to feel a bit been there, done that?

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