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The Ninth Circle

3.51 of 5 stars 3.51  ·  rating details  ·  419 ratings  ·  65 reviews
A man comesto on the floor of a shabby apartmentin the middle of Budapest. His head is glued to the floorboards with his own blood. There's a fortune in cash on the kitchen table. And he has no idea where, or who, he is. He can do extraordinary things—speak any number of languages fluently, go three days without food or sleep, and fight with extraordinary prowess. But with ...more
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published April 17th 2008 by Gollancz
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In the city of Budapest a man wakes up in a kitchen, his face stuck to the floor with dried blood. He has no idea of who he is, only that he apparently fell and hit his head while putting up shelves and that on a nearby table there is a box filled with a large amount of cash. According to papers he finds in the apartment his name is Gabriel Antaeus but other than that he knows nothing about himself or how he came to be there.

The Ninth Circle begins with a setup that would do justice to any tradi
H.I. Al-Muhairi
I loved this book! I think everybody knows what happens when you love a book, it's really hard to put the feelings into words in a review. So hang in there!

Looking back, the summary on the back on the book was very vague and didn't give away anything so I'm not going to add anything else to it because it's more exciting~

Gabriel wakes up in a shabby flat to find blood on the floor where his head used to be. A horrible gash is in his head and a bag full of Hungarian florints (100,000 pounds) on t
Yolanda Sfetsos
I found this book intoxicating. A story that intrigued me with the concept and then compelled me with every new turn of the page.

I loved that this book was drenched in a layer of bizarre strangeness, and an air of darkness that surrounds Gabriel's story from the very beginning. So many times I found myself wondering if what was happening to him was a dream, a nightmare, or some sort of delusional episode brought on by the confusion he faces every single day.

As hard as I tried to solve the myster
‘What rubbish!’ I protested. ‘Good and evil are opposites.’
‘No, not really,’ Stephomi said mildly. ‘Hot and cold are opposites, but haven’t you ever touched something so scalding that for a moment you think it’s freezing? When you get to extremes, the brain confuses the two, can’t process them properly, mixes them up. Or perhaps it’s just that they’re really not all that different to begin with.’ p 122

Alex Bell’s The Ninth Circle has the reader treading the thin line between sanity and insanity
This book starts out rather promisingly, with a dude name Gabriel waking up with no memory of who he is but with weird things happening all around him. The opening’s got a bit of a “Castiel with amnesia fic” vibe to it, which made me very excited for obvious, dorky reasons. Unfortunately, Gabriel, unlike Castiel, is an idiot—his efforts to find out who he is and what’s going on are pitiful; apparently he’d rather spent his time whining and moping. Thus the narrative swiftly becomes an exercise i ...more
Kathleen Dixon
It must have been my son who recommended this book to me as it is totally his type of story. The style of writing, with the extremely "present" voice of the narrator - and by that I mean that, though he is telling what has happened in the form of a diary, he writes not what happened in the past but how he is recalling in the present what happened - makes it very punchy.

We also have the battle between good and evil, and the massive blurring there is in the mythologies of God, the Devil, angels &a
This novel covers similar ground to Dan Brown's books: an age old battle between good and evil framed within a Christian cosmology, cryptic messages that need to be deciphered, angels and demons walking the streets. But it's a bit more left-field.

It starts off quite well - a man wakes up in an apartment in Budapest, his face glued to the floor by his own dried blood, a huge bundle of money on the kitchen table - but the plot never really goes anywhere. Yes, there are a series of revelations tha
This book is like a man, in by such it gets you really excited, anxious, and teases you and FINALLY....drops the ball! Flat and disappointed about the finale. Such a dud. Is there going to be a follow-up for this book? I mean the yes, the character finally had some development after rambling about damn fish food for like 5 flippin' chapters. Kudos for him. HOWEVER...was there any development to the storyline? I was left feeling more robbed than paying $12 for a movie ticket. 9th Circle indeed, i ...more
I borrowed this book from a good friend far too long ago, and I am mortified that I have neglected to return it. I loved this book from beginning to end. The first chapter is captivating, which I need when starting a new book, and it held a looming mysterious feeling throughout. I love books that open your mind to new possibilities of heaven and earth and how the two can intertwine and I think bell did an amazing job.
Abra Heinrich
The book appears very interesting in the beginning with a man waking up in his apartment with no memory of who he is. Things go a bit weird when everything turns out to be part of some angel versus demon or God versus Luzifer war. The book is only 250 pages so they're is not really a lot of space to give room to such a complex topic. I feel like Alex bell would have done better writing a longer novel to explain more about this war. (SPOILER ALERT) anyway, the novel really disappoints when the la ...more
Huh. I'm not really sure what to make of this, but I can tell you one thing: I did not see the ending coming! Did I like the ending? That I'm still not sure about, but I think I'll be thinking about it for a while.
Branwen *Blaidd Drwg*
Love this story! It's super creepy with alot of religious mythology which adds even more tension and eeriness to the tale.
Elizabeth Moffat
Absolutely fantastic debut novel by Alex Bell, couldn't put it down. Read it!!!
Vitor Aguiar
E se num certo dia, acordássemos com a cara no chão de um qualquer apartamento, numa poça de sangue, desconhecendo quem somos, onde estamos ou, simplesmente, o que aconteceu?
É a partir desta ideia geral que o autor Alex Bell nos apresenta, o conceito de identidade e os parâmetros que o definem, aliado à luta incessante entre o bem e o mal que dura desde sempre, nesta história invulgar cheia de surpreendestes desenvolvimentos.
O conceito de identidade passa sem dúvida pelo reflexo das redes sociai
I found the plot and direction of the story telegraphed from the outset. The twist provided by Gabriel’s amnesia was only mildly surprising. I found the writing to be adequate in most places, somewhat less than acceptable in a few others and a few startling gems scattered in there for good measure.

The story is easy to read although if you’re not after an alternative theology lesson or a brush up on bible class, then I’d give this tale a wide berth.

I agree with Chuck on the setting, and was disap
Rute Canhoto
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Reading THE NINTH CIRCLE was a weird experience and that's not just because the subject matter dipped into the supernatural very quickly.

THE NINTH CIRCLE is partly a mystery and partly fantasy. When Gabriel wakes up on his own floor he has no idea who he is, where he is, or where the money came from. He does have some memories of how to function, how to feed himself, how to go out and slowly discover the more intimate details of his life - it's like his own personal past has been knocked out, ye
colleen the fabulous fabulaphile
This book started off so promising, aside from the sort of whole amnesia cliche. But with the way it's written - in journal format - the beginning of the book reads like watching a slow descent into madness, and it was really cool.

And then it was kind of about his loneliness and desperation to connect with other people, mingled with his feelings of fear and vulnerability because of his lost past.

But then things which were possibly bits of insanity started becoming literal, and it sort of descend
Fraser Sim
This was interesting and…easy, taking me only a handful of hours to read.

The blurb on the front cover says "haunting, engrossing".

The blurb is wrong.

This is not haunting...the best word I can use is 'cute'. And whilst I read it fairly quickly it was too clichéd and predictable to be engrossing.

By far the best section of the book is the beginning. Gabriel wakes up with no memories and we follow him for a third of the book as he tries to figure out who he was before. This is done well and it wa
At its start this book is captivating; the writing is quick yet descriptively beautiful, and though it seems to drag on a little towards the middle, the question of this man's identity always remains in the reader's mind. However, towards the end, the book takes a downwards turn and becomes a little too cliché for my tastes: I continued with this on the hope and premise that it didn't seem very generically angel-fic when it turned out to be that. The man's identity was something that didn't impr ...more
I am hesitant to write a review for this one, because I have the strangest feelings for this book. the reason it has three stars is not because it is only average, no. it is because most of the book is 5 star but then there is some one star junk that was one star enough to average out the rating.

I am hesitant to write the review because I fear authors google themselves and as this is a newer writer I dont want to discourage in any way a writer who managed to absolutely charm and enchant me for
This is The Bourne Identity . . . as if Neil Gaiman had written it . . . A man comes round on the floor of a shabby flat in the middle of Budapest. His head is glued to the floorboards with his own blood. There's a fortune in cash on the kitchen table. And he has no idea where, or who, he is. He can do extraordinary things - speak any number of languages fluently, go three days without food or sleep, and fight with extraordinary prowess. But without a name, without a past, he's isolated from the ...more

Oh, I was not keen on this one. The blurb made it sound really interesting, at least the first half - mysterious people plus angels plus demons sounds like the sort of thing I would gobble down in a heartbeat! And yet this... This felt like a slog. I kept picking it up resentfully, muttering about how I didn't want to read it, I'm not enjoying it - the only reason I did finish it was because it had been on my to-read list for years.

The Ninth Circle is an interesting read – raising many thought-provoking questions about good and evil, angels and demons, insanity and morality. And the concept, the story, is a very good one. But the delivery is frustrating at times. The passivity of journal entries (how the story is told) casts everything in a somewhat detached, secondary light. Bell's writing style also contributes to this effect as it is a more passive and basic narrative rather than an engaging description of events. The b ...more
Dan S
Aug 10, 2011 Dan S added it
Not bad at all. After reading the synopsis on the back, I thought this was going to be a ridiculously cliched book, with an easily spotted twist (I thought I'd spotted it before actually starting, solely from the information on the back), but it was actually much cleverer than I thought it would be. Indeed, the 'obvious' twist was largely created through red herrings, leading to an entirely different ending.

The book is well written, telling a fairly epic story concisely. It cuts a neat line bet
I really enjoyed this book! It blended reality and fantasy so well, and there were so many genuinely unpredictable twists (at least, unpredictable for me), which is typically rare for books (there's just so much literature out there, it's hard to come up with truly new plots). The book ended on a note that really didn't make anything clear at all, which I actually liked about it. It didn't end up being one of those "good triumphs over evil" stories... it was actually kind of morally ambiguous. I ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I saw this at a remainder store and remembered having seen it somewhere before and thinking it looked interesting. So I bought it.

And it was interesting.

It was a bit odd, a bit quirky and never took the direction I was expecting. Boy did I enjoy wondering what had really happened to make Gabriel lose his memory and wasn't I certainly surprised when we finally found out. Trust me when I say that you will not pick it.

Apparently this is a very Neil Gaiman-esque type of book but not really having re
Firstly I have to say that I really did like this book. If I'm reading first person I always find it better if it is written as a journal.

I have to say though that it is a little heavy on the christian mythology, which if you haven't really delved into it is done really well, although if you do have a basic knowledge of fallen angels, archangels and demon heirachy you may find some bits a little tedeous. He has obviously been heavily influenced by Dante's Devine Comedy, which is no bad thing. An
Belle Wood
A hitman loses his mind, and angels start talking to him.
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Alex Bell was born in 1986. She always wanted to be a writer but had several different back-up plans to ensure she didn’t end up in the poor house first. For some years these ranged from dolphin trainer to animal shelter vet but then, at fifteen, she had an epiphany involving John and Robert Kennedy and decided to become a lawyer instead.

To that end she eagerly started a Law Degree only to find it
More about Alex Bell...
Jasmyn Frozen Charlotte Lex Trent Versus the Gods (Lex Trent, #1) Lex Trent: Fighting With Fire (Lex Trent, #2) The People We Could Be

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“Believe it or not, some of us have piercings and tattoos and dye our hair because we think it looks pretty, not for any deep sociological reason. This isn't an act of protest against cultural or social repression. It's not a grand, deliberately defiant gesture against capitalists or feminists or any other social group. It's not even the fashion equivalent to sticking two fingers up at the world. The boring truth of it, Gabriel, is that I don't dress like this to hurt my parents or draw attention to myself or make a statement. I just do it because I think it looks nice. Disappointed?” 55 likes
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