September 18, 2018

Ancient Nine Blog Tour: Review + Giveaway

The Ancient Nine
Author: Ian K. Smith
Genre: Mystery/Thriller
Release Date: September 18, 2018
Publisher: St. Martin's Press


Spenser Collins

An unlikely Harvard prospect, smart and athletic, strapped for cash, determined to succeed.
Calls his mother—who raised him on her own in Chicago—every week.

Dalton Winthrop
A white-shoe legacy at Harvard, he's just the most recent in a string of moneyed, privileged
Winthrop men in Cambridge. He's got the ease—and the deep knowledge—that come from

These two find enough common ground to become friends, cementing their bond when
Spenser is "punched" to join the Delphic Club, one of the most exclusive of Harvard's
famous all-male final clubs. Founded in the nineteenth century, the Delphic has had titans of industry, Hollywood legends, heads of state, and power brokers among its members.
Dalton Winthrop knows firsthand that the Delphic doesn't offer memberships to just anyone.

His great-uncle is one of their oldest living members, and Dalton grew up on stories of the
club's rituals. But why is his uncle so cryptic about the Ancient Nine, a shadowy group of
alums whose identities are unknown and whose power is absolute? They protect the
Delphic's darkest and oldest secrets—including what happened to a student who sneaked
into the club's stately brick mansion in 1927 and was never seen again.

Dalton steers Spenser into deeper and deeper recesses of the club, and beyond it, to try to
make sense of what they think they may be seeing. But with each scrap of information they
get from an octogenarian Crimson graduate, a crumbling newspaper in the library's archives, or one of Harvard's most famous and heavily guarded historical books, a fresh complication trips them up. The more the friends investigate, the more questions they unearth, tangling the story of the club, the disappearance, and the Ancient Nine, until they realize their own lives are in danger.  

Ancient Nine is a suspenseful mystery that will leave fans of the genre begging for more. I really enjoyed everything about this book and have no real issues with it. The only reason I'm not giving it a full five stars is because it took a little while to actually get into the story and it took a little effort to stay in the author's world. That's my own personal opinion though, and says nothing to how others will react to the novel. Here are my major positives from the book:

Characters: I loved both Dalton and Spenser. They were each realistic and complex, and I was able to identify with each of them early on in the book. I also liked watching their friendship start and grow throughout the story. It ends up feeling like it's the two of them against the world.

Setting: I'm a sucker for novels set in colleges or private/boarding schools, and this book definitely checked that box. There's just something about the history of the university combined with the secrets and mysteries involved that take it to another level for me.

Plot: Thrillers are one of my favorite genres, so I was immediately intrigued by this book. I had decently high hopes and I was certainly not disappointed. I loved the building tension and sense of urgency that ramps up as the book goes on. The mysteries were fascinating because of all the history and people behind them and there were some interesting twists and turns that I didn't see coming.

Writing Style: This was a huge plus for me for a couple reasons. First, the book was told in the first person point of view from Spenser's perspective. I love the first person POV because I think it allows a deeper bond between the narrator and the reader that isn't possible with the other writing styles. I also really loved that there were other "documents" included throughout the book - articles, notes and letters, secret communications, and excerpts from books to name a few. This gave the book a whole new dimension for me in a very positive way and I only loved it more because the author included these within the story.

Definitely recommended for fans of suspense, mystery, thrillers, and readers who enjoy secret societies, history, and books set in colleges/universities.
Ian K. Smith is the author of nine New York Times bestselling nonfiction books, several of them, including Shred and Super Shred, #1 bestsellers, as well as one previous work of fiction, The Blackbird Papers. He is a graduate of Harvard, Columbia, and the University of Chicago’s Pritzker School of Medicine. 

Author Links:
Facebook: @Dr.IanKSmith
Twitter: @DrIanSmith
Author Website
Instagram: @doctoriansmith 

Buy Links:Amazon
Barnes & Noble

 (1) Hardcover copy of Ancient Nine - Open to US entries only!


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