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I was going to do another ‘My Thoughts While Reading’ Crescent City: House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J. Maas which is her newest book (released in March 2020), but I couldn’t set the book down so instead I’m just going to do old-fashion review… which I never do on books. But I’m going to avoid spoilers for once, as I definitely think this is a story where the twists are best left a mystery.
Sarah J. Maas’s brand-new CRESCENT CITY series begins with House of Earth and Blood: the story of half-Fae and half-human Bryce Quinlan as she seeks revenge in a contemporary fantasy world of magic, danger, and searing romance.
Bryce Quinlan had the perfect life―working hard all day and partying all night―until a demon murdered her closest friends, leaving her bereft, wounded, and alone. When the accused is behind bars but the crimes start up again, Bryce finds herself at the heart of the investigation. She’ll do whatever it takes to avenge their deaths.
Hunt Athalar is a notorious Fallen angel, now enslaved to the Archangels he once attempted to overthrow. His brutal skills and incredible strength have been set to one purpose―to assassinate his boss’s enemies, no questions asked. But with a demon wreaking havoc in the city, he’s offered an irresistible deal: help Bryce find the murderer, and his freedom will be within reach.
As Bryce and Hunt dig deep into Crescent City’s underbelly, they discover a dark power that threatens everything and everyone they hold dear, and they find, in each other, a blazing passion―one that could set them both free, if they’d only let it.
Initially, when reading the book there was a lot of information thrown out, mostly names that I lost track of for the first section of the book. They didn’t really sink in or start to sort themselves out until the second part. It was a bit of information overload and then there was a massive twist at the beginning. I should’ve seen it coming but I didn’t… even though it’s literally the synopsis of the book (I read it as family not her close friends). I was shocked multiple times reading the book with each of the twists that happened in the story. And found myself tearing up quite a few times over the story. Which I haven’t done since Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare.
Here are my thoughts on the main two characters:
- Bryce Quinlan: She is a very guarded character with a lot of secrets, mostly to protect those she cares about. She plays the role of a party girl, but after the incident she doesn’t actually do any of that stuff anymore though she lets people think that she does. Not to mention, she goes through a lot of hell. A bunch of her quiet moments, I really connected with as I’ve been in those shoes before. Going through old text messages and voicemails, not able to get rid of them even if they drove me out of my mind. As they were just a reminder of someone who was gone, and all I had left of them.
- Hunt Athalar: Like Bryce he has a hard exterior. He also has a lot of messed up motives. Though I can’t say I blame him for those. His life for the last two hundred years have basically been survival with the single thought of vengeance for a case he still believed in. He was tortured and made into a slave. Sure his motives are messed up… especially with one of the things he does but it’s also not like he has much of a choice in the matter.
As I mentioned, this book has a lot of twists. Maas hides the majority of them and slowly releases the information with more of it coming in the final part/chapters. I could not predict the ending and loved that about the book. Plus, it kept me on my toes the entire time wondering what was going to happen next. I was anxious, happy, pissed off, and sobbing through the whole thing. In all the best way possible.
Also the characters had great development through the course of the book. The chemistry built naturally, and nothing ever felt rushed. I’m pretty sure this is going to be a series, but I’m not sure what the plot of the next books would be since pretty much everything was tied up in a nice bow. Emotional, shocking… but I liked the ending.
I’m not sure if I would re-read this book purely because I feel like it’s one of those ones that’s best experienced with no knowledge of the ending. But who knows, I might end up re-reading it at some point.
I would rate this book 4.5 out of 5 stars, the main reason being the information overload that happens in the beginning as she tries to cram in most of the world building right away. It could’ve been spread out a bit more, but I also understand why she did it. It’s not a simple world, and there’s not a single detail that doesn’t play into something in the story. Maas does an excellent job in making sure everything that’s mentioned has a purpose rather than just being filler.
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Lovely review! I need to find time to read this one 😉
Thank you! I would recommend it. Different than ACOTAR (can’t say on TOG as I haven’t read that yet) as it’s more of a crime investigation/modern take on fantasy.
Sounds intriguing 😉
I have heard so much about Sarah J. Maas. I really need to try one of her books. Nice review!
Thank you! I’ve really been enjoying her books, I just learned about hers a few months ago through TikTok.
This sounds like such a good book but I’ve never read a SJM book before and the idea is so daunting, but need to read this at some point! Great review 🙂
Thank you! Yeah it’s 800 pages, but it was really good. I’ve ended up re-reading it twice now.
I read this book as soon as it came out and loved it! My only complain is that info dump at the beginning, but I think the rest was amazing.
Yes, that info dump was overwhelming. I seriously didn’t process like any of it for good while reading the book, I understood it later from the conversations and other things that came up in the book, but not from that initial information.
I ended up rating this book 4.5 stars for the same reason. I think if some of the information had been more spread out it would have been better.
Loved reading your review Mae!
Completely agree. And thank you!
Great review! I also loved this book but I agree with you about all of the information at the start!