🎧 Hell Bent by Leigh Bardugo @LBardugo @LaurenFortgang #MichaelDavidAxtell @MacmillanAudio #LoveAudiobooks

Posted February 2, 2023 by Anne - Books of My Heart in Book Review / 16 Comments

Review copy was received from Publisher. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.

🎧 Hell Bent by Leigh Bardugo @LBardugo @LaurenFortgang #MichaelDavidAxtell  @MacmillanAudio #LoveAudiobooksHell Bent by Leigh Bardugo
Narrator: Lauren Fortgang, Michael David Axtell
Series: Alex Stern #2
Published by MacMillan Audio on January 10, 2023
Genres: Fantasy
Length: 16 hours, 16 minutes
Format: Audiobook
Source: Publisher
AmazonAudibleLibro.fmBarnes & NobleApple
One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

Galaxy “Alex” Stern is determined to break Darlington out of hell—even if it costs her a future at Lethe and at Yale. But Alex is playing with forces far beyond her control, and when faculty members begin to die off, she knows these aren’t just accidents. Something deadly is at work in New Haven, and if Alex 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.

I was a little worried about reading Hell Bent without going back to listen to Ninth House.  It would have been better, sure, but I remembered a lot, and many details. The world and its magic are complex and dangerous. There will be spoilers here for Ninth House.   

Alex has made some friends and enemies and she’s learned a little about her own magic.  People don’t seem to know about their magic unless they read about it, studying obscure texts or someone with similar magic can show them.  No one is like Alex though.

We start here with Darlington missing, in hell.  Alex and Pam believe he is still alive.  They try to figure out how they can go to Hell and get him back.  The “management” do not believe them or want them to do that.  The new guy is a misogynist and only puts up with them because they are who he has available and trained to do the work.

Alex has more problems because Anton from Los Angeles has somehow found her and wants her to work for him in New Haven, or he’ll go after her mother. He sends her on jobs which are incredibly dangerous.

To get to Darlington, they will need four for the ritual to go to Hell.  So Alex ends up working with Turner again, and a guy from another house.  As part of it, they all see each other’s worst moments and become more connected to each other. At first, I thought those flashbacks were kind of tedious but they quickly became important.  Reluctantly, she involves her roommate Mercy who is not in the houses, but has always wanted to learn more about magic. Mercy is very smart about the history and helps a lot.

The first trip is not successful and causes many problems.  So they have to make another attempt, even though they were caught and warned off trying again.   In the end, Alex succeeds with a very risky plan.   It was so exciting but I can’t spoil you on the details.

The Alex Stern series is just has to have more because they have only started learning about the creatures in the world and Alex has more to work on her abilities.  Plus their little team has to hunt down the big bads they now know are in the world, preying on innocents.   This is definitely a series to read in order and I look forward to more!



Lauren Fortgang is the sound of this world for me and especially the sound of Alex.  Her voices for other character’s were distinct and suitable.  Both narrators gave fine performances with comfortable voices.  There was only a small part from Darlington.   I was able to listen at my normal 1.5x speed, which I had to reduce to 1.25x for the first book. .

Listen to a clip: HERE

About Lauren Fortgang

Lauren Fortgang lives in New York City where she currently works as an actor and voiceover artist. Born in DE, she alternated between the metropolis of Wilmington and a rural upbringing in a variety of northern California towns. She had early training at A.C.T.’s Young Conservatory and is a graduate of Fordham University: College at Lincoln Center, where she majored in theater. Her curiosity for finding new niches in the industry has afforded her a broad career spectrum, both in and out of the spotlight as actor, singer, spokesperson audiobook narrator, podcaster, and even costume designer.

About Leigh Bardugo

Leigh Bardugo is a #1 New York Times bestselling author of fantasy novels and the creator of the Grishaverse. With over three million copies sold worldwide, her Grishaverse spans the Shadow and Bone Trilogy, the Six of Crows Duology, The Language of Thorns, and King of Scars—with more to come. Her short stories can be found in multiple anthologies, including The Best of Tor.com and the Best American Science Fiction & Fantasy. Her other works include Wonder Woman: Warbringer and the forthcoming Ninth House. Leigh was born in Jerusalem, grew up in Southern California, graduated from Yale University, and has worked in advertising, journalism, and even makeup and special effects. These days, she lives and writes in Los Angeles.

Rating Breakdown
One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarOne Star
One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star
One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarOne Star
Narration (Audio)
One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star
Overall: One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarOne Star
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Posted February 2, 2023 by Anne - Books of My Heart in Book Review / 16 Comments

16 responses to “🎧 Hell Bent by Leigh Bardugo