BOOK REVIEW: House of Earth and Blood {Crescent City Book 1} by Sarah J. Maas

"The scent of her still lingered on the sidewalk, lilac and nutmeg and something he couldn’t quite place — like the gleam of the first stars at nightfall."

Let me preface this review by stating that Sarah J. Maas' House of Earth and Blood almost ended up in my DNF pile. I literally struggled for the first 200 pages or so, disliking the characters and feeling overall underwhelmed; and then everything started to fall into place and I could not put it downo , so pleasepleaseplease let this be a sign to you to keep on. Maas' first books focus a lot on world-building in the beginning, but the payoff is incredible - and so worth sticking around. Just saying.

Bryce Quinlan had the perfect life. Sure, as a half-Fae half-human she wasn't always accepted by either species, not to mention the fact that her powerful Fae father has never wanted anything to do with her; but there were some who thought the world of her - specifically, her BFF Danika. Danika...the yin to Bryce's yang - two party girls navigating the world of hook-ups and screw-ups. The singular oddity being Danika's role as leader of the pack - and we're not talking about the Regina George type of leader; rather, we're talking full-fledged werewolf pack leader. And yes, you read that right.

On a night when Bryce decides to ditch her bestie for an evening of drugs, drinking, and overall debauchery, however, indescribable tragedy occurs in the form of a demon who savagely murders all of the people Bryce cares most about, leaving her alone - a mere shell of herself. The accused being behind bars is a small consolation to her loss; but two years later, when the murders begin again, Bryce is back in the spotlight. This time, acting as the literal heartbeat of the investigation - and at the end of the day, she will do anything to avenge the deaths of her friends. That includes working side by side with an intolerable Fallen Angel.

Hunt Athalar, the Fallen Angel in question, is notorious for his prior bad behavior. Currently serving a slavery sentence to the very Archangels he once attempted to overthrow, Hunt is known for his strength and brutality {thus the reason he was so good at his job as assassin}. Now, Hunt is willing to say yes to any job that will shorten his slavery punishment - and if that means working side by side with Bryce to find the murderer, so be it. But as the two begin digging deep into the gritty underbelly of Crescent City, it soon becomes clear that a dark power is at work, placing everyone they love in grave danger. And surprisingly enough, one of the things they love most is none other than...each other. Whether they'll be able to save Crescent City and its residents forever as they know it to see if the spark between them can survive, however, depends on how much they're both willing to risk.

Y'all, when I say that I didn't like Bryce at the beginning of this book, I am not lying. I found her to be immature and obnoxious; but seeing her growth from beginning to end was insane. I'm not sure if it was Hunt's presence in her life, or simply going through everything she went through, that changed her; but, in the end, I loved her, and I loved Hunt, and I loved Bryce and Hunt together, and I loved the fact that they essentially became the Nancy Drew and Ned Nickerson of the supernatural world. Their personalities just vibed in all of the best ways, and I could not resist their chemistry. And then when you toss in the bad Fae Prince that is Ruhn Danaan? NGL...literally dying.

This right here is what incredible urban romantasy looks like. It doesn't matter if you weren't a fan of A Court of Thorns and Roses or Throne of Glass...you absolutely must try Crescent City on for size because it. is. amazing. I literally cannot wait to spiral into House of Sky and Breath, because if it is anything like its predecessor, you know it is a literal chef's kiss. Thank you for this gem, Ms. Maas!

Star Rating: *****



ellie said...

Urban Romantasy❤️ I like that! thanks for the great review!

Ivy's Closet said...

Awesome! Loved reading your write up. She is a fantastic author. Thanks so much!

Caitlin'nMegan said...

Impressive review! Wonderful to know about this novel. I can see you enjoyed it so much. It's hard to find a series like this that just keeps going. Thanks so much!

R's Rue said...

Now i must read. Thanks friend.

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