Review: Hell Bent by Leigh Bardugo

Series: Alex Stern #2
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Publisher: Flatiron Books
Released: January 10, 2023
Received: Own

4 1/2 kitties

Book Summary:

Galaxy Stern, better known as Alex, has always been able to see ghosts. They’ve haunted her in a very real sense. However, her time at Yale has given her power over these ghosts. It’s also thrown her into a whole new world of danger.

Unlike most members of Lethe, Alex and her friends are not content to leave Darlington for dead (or, rather, much worse). So they will find a way to break into hell and rescue his soul. No matter the cost.

My Review:

Wow. No, seriously – wow! It’s been a hot minute since I read a book that made me gasp during momentous revelations. Hell Bent did that – and then some. This book is the sequel I had been hoping for, and it is worth the wait.

The thing I love the most about Hell Bent isn’t the worldbuilding (though I adore it), the characters, or even the magical societies (dark and fantastical) – it’s the way Leigh Bardugo sets up information for us to run with. Yes, she could hand it all to us on a pretty little platter. But she doesn’t. She lets the truth, and thus the horror, sink in all on its own.

Hell Bent was a thrilling read. It is the culmination of several plots from the first novel, delving further into this magical world. There are a few mysteries and layers to work through, making it a delightful and complex read. I’m already looking forward to any news about the third book in this series. I can already tell it’ll be brilliant.


  • Magical Society
  • Hell Heist
  • Bad-ass Heroine
  • Dark Academia Vibes

Trigger Warnings:

  • Animal Death
  • Blackmail
  • Mentions of: rape, suicide, drug abuse
  • Familial Abuse
  • Extreme Guilt

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About Liz (AKA Cat)

I am an avid animal lover, photographer, reader, and much more. While my photography blog is feeling a bit neglected at the moment, the other sites I'm involved in are going strong. ✧I review books, comics, and basically anything else in the literary world over at Quirky Cat's Fat Stacks (of Books). ✧I review comics and books, as well as write content for Word of the Nerd. ✧I review comics for Monkeys Fighting Robots. ✧I write content for Screen Rant and CBR. ✧I write book reviews for The Review Crew.
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