Review: Hell Bent (Alex Stern #2)

Title: Hell Bent (Alex Stern #2)
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Genre: Fantasy, Mystery
Publisher: Flatiron Books
Source: Purchased
Format: Hardcover
Release Date: January 10, 2023
Rating: ★★★★★


Goodreads Synopsis:

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 into 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.


Galaxy “Alex” Stern will do anything to bring her mentor Darlington back. Though Lethe, the secret organization, has forbidden Alex and her friend Dawes from embarking on a rescue mission, she won’t let that deter her. Meanwhile, Yale staff members are dying in unusual ways that point to Lethe. Alex has to venture into places no one has gone before to save Darlington, her friends, and everything she calls home. 

I can’t say much about this book without spoilers, but it was worth the 3 year wait. The story was unpredictable and so twisty, I never knew what was going to happen next. There was a little bit of flipping between the past and present in chapters which could be confusing at times, but this happened less than in Ninth House. There were some intense surprises throughout the story that will keep readers entertained!

Hell Bent is a fabulous new Leigh Bardugo book! I can’t wait to read the next one!

What to read next:

The Atlas Six by Olivie Blake

Other books in the series:

Have you read Ninth House? What did you think of it?


Author: jilljemmett

Jill lives in Toronto, Canada. She has studied English, Creative Writing, and Publishing. Jill is the creator and content producer of Jill’s Book Blog, where she has published a blog post every day for the last four years, including 5-7 book reviews a week. She can usually be found with her nose in a book.

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