House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J. Maas
Series: Crescent City (Book 1)
Genre/s: Fantasy, Urban Fantasy, Paranormal, New Adult, Romance
Release Date: 3rd March 2020
Read Date: 12th March 2020
Damn this was some good stuff! I was a little worried there at the beginning because the first fifty pages were confusing as hell! But once I finally got a grasp on what was going on, I was completely sucked in. First off, I don’t know how I read the synopsis and yet still was shocked about at the first big thing that happens. But thank goodness I didn’t remember that because damn! I was so shook! And if you haven’t read the synopsis and you know you want to read this book then please steer clear of it, because it could spoil some good old emotional turmoil. God I hate spoilers in synopsises, please authors and publishers less is more! Now this book most definitely has Sarah J. Maas’ signature fae characters, and the main character Bryce is definitely reminiscent of Feyre and Aelin so if you don’t like either of those aspects in her previous series Throne of Glass or ACOTAR this probably isn’t the book for you. But for some reason Maas’ aesthetic is my aesthetic and I absolutely adore everything she writes. Crescent City is a urban fantasy style setting with technology and a more advanced civilisation however in a wholly fantastical world. This definitely was a new style for Maas and I love the direction she went in with the world building. I want to know so much more about the city and world surrounding and really hope we get more details in an upcoming sequel. The vibe reminded me of Daughter of Smoke and Bone but sexier and with a dash of a murder/mystery. The writing is easy digestible while having a lyrical and complex style and the content is definitely catered to a mature audience. The plot contains: graphic depictions of murder, death, gore, detail of injuries, violence, and sexual content. All of which are prominent throughout the entire novel. So just be careful and sure that your alright with reading about those things. You can really tell how far Sarah J. Maas has come in her writing, I do think this is one of her best written novels to date, there are still many things reminiscent of her previous books though. And that’s either a good thing or a bad thing depending on the reader. Plot wise I didn’t love this as much as the ACOTAR or Throne of Glass series but I still found it very enjoyable. But there were many things I liked more including that the characters were also slightly more diverse, I do think Maas could’ve gone a little further with it but I’m glad she’s listening to her readers. The set up at the end has me very intrigued as to where the sequel will go. Especially if we’ll see more of the side characters, I think Maas always does casts of characters well but this one I really did enjoy the interesting selection of side characters and really hope we see more of Ruhn, Aidas, and the witches. There are some masculine and feminine stereotypes used throughout the book that made me feel uncomfortable. Those were the only moments that really brought me out of the story. Although every time ‘alpha-hole’ was used, that made me cringe so hard, I realise it was like the author making fun of past characters but it didn’t need to make it into every chapter. I feel as though that depends on the reader though, as I’ve seen a few people say they enjoyed that aspect and found it funny. The romance isn’t my favourite and some stuff happens that I didn’t love, but the way it develops is interesting. However I do think it is my least favourite romance I’ve read by Sarah so far. I think that’s probably because Hunt reminded me of Tamlin and that’s not a good comparison for any character.😬 Although as whole there wasn’t that much romance in this, it was more a hole lot of sexual tension sprinkled throughout with the plot for the most part focusing on a mystery/investigation plot-line. Which is probably why it didn’t bother me so much. I don’t think it needed to be as long as it is, and some things certainly could’ve picked up pace in the middle. Several scenes were a little monotonous for a while there. But the slow pace and build up pays off in the end. The last two hundred pages or so are fast paced, shocking, heart breaking, and tear jerkingly wonderful! I literally sobbed at least three times and I’ve not gotten that emotional over a book in forever. There’s something about Sarah J. Maas’ style of writing that really gets me invested in the characters and makes me care for them so much. Overall I’m torn on how to rate this because the reading experience and readability is all consuming, but there are things I don’t think were done quite as well as I’d hope they would be. I do think the writing is excellent, but the plot wasn’t as enjoyable personally as either of the author’s previous series. So I think I’m going to go with four stars.
Rating: 4 Stars
Thanks for reading!