Monday, April 6, 2020

Book Review: "House of Earth and Blood" by Sarah J. Maas

House of Earth and Blood (Crescent City, #1)
Title: House of Earth and Blood
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Series: "Crescent City" #1
Genre: Adult Fantasy
Page Length: 803 pages
Publication Date: March 3, 2020
Rating: 5 // 5 stars

This was my most anticipated release of 2020 and I have to didn't disappoint. I had very high expectations going in and, while it was still different than what I expected, I'd say that overall this book did what I wanted it to.

Before I get into the bulk of the review, I also want to say that I got spoiled for a major plot point very early on in my reading of this book. I'd like to say that knowing that didn't impact my enjoyment, but I think a lot of the tension from this book comes from the murder investigation and the question of who committed all the murders. However, since I was spoiled for who was behind it all, I noticed that I felt like a lot of the tension and stakes in the book weren't hitting me as hard as they would have if I hadn't been spoiled. And it makes me mad because this was my most anticipated book and I didn't get to find everything out on my own.

But other than being spoiled, my experience reading this book was very good. This is Sarah's first official adult book and it definitely felt like it. While her others books have dealt with mature things, they've always been less descriptive in terms of cursing, violence, and sex. This book didn't hold back on any of those things and I loved it! Say what you want about Sarah J. Maas but she built a readership with Throne of Glass and a lot of those original readers are now adults and she's provided more content for them (aka me) throughout the years that ages with us. Despite the content she wrote about being different, this still felt like a Sarah J. Maas book to me.

Alright let's get into the actual book. So the world itself was a bit confusing at first, understandably, as it's an entirely new city, time period, magic system, etc. The world-building was pretty good throughout most of the book but the front end felt very info-dumpy to me. Looking back, I was a bit overwhelmed with all of the details and names being thrown at me that I just kinda skimmed most of the info-dumps at the beginning. Throughout the rest of the book, I was able to get a better understanding of what all was what so I definitely think that I would have been fine without the info-dumps.

The world itself is fascinating. It's a modern fantasy world with technology mixed in with magic and different non-human beings. It felt very much like an urban fantasy, which I enjoyed since I don't really read much urban fantasy. We got a lot of looks at different magic and I'm excited to see the magic system explored in more depth in the upcoming books. Not to mention, I really want to know more about all of the Vanir (non-human magical beings) and their systems, magic, etc.

The plot itself was interesting. Like I said, I did get spoiled for the outcome of one of the biggest questions of the book so that was a bit disappointing. I enjoyed everything else and there were plenty of smaller plot lines that I was thrilled to read about. The plot twists were also quite good. What really drove this story for me, however, (like all of Sarah's other books) was the characters.

We follow a pretty solid cast of characters and I think that's my favorite thing about all of Sarah's books--the ability to write solid characters and friendships. In this book, the importance of friendship is very much emphasized from page one and I'm glad that we got to see that continue throughout the book.

My favorite character was obviously Bryce. I feel for her and I'm so excited to see where her story goes. There were a couple things that I felt were a bit too easy plot-wise with Bryce's character, but overall I loved Bryce and I'm excited to read more about her.

As for the main love interest, I won't say who it is, but I liked him. I liked him and I really connected with him as a character. I liked how his and Bryce's relationship developed, though I do think I need another book for them to be cemented as one of my top ships. I've noticed in Sarah's books it usually takes me until the second book with the pairing to fully ship it.

I liked all the side characters as well. We've got a lot of characters who are on Bryce's side but not necessarily after the same things and there's a lot of interesting characters in the mix. Sarah made each of the side characters stand out from each other and I was able to form connections to them all very easily.

That being said, because I connected to well to the characters, I had a lot of feels throughout this book. From the beginning all the way to the end, I was emotionally invested in Bryce but, as the story grew, I became attached to other characters as well. The last 60 pages of the book involved me just crying the whole time. There were happy tears, sad tears--just so many tears! I love that Sarah can bring out such emotion in me, though, because it's a sign that I really connected with the book.

I am very interested to see where book two goes. This one wrapped up well and there wasn't a big cliffhanger, but there were a lot of open plot lines and questions I had at the end. I think there's so many ways that Sarah could take this book and I'm not quite sure where the next ones are going to go. Either way, I'm excited to explore more with these characters and world.

I'm not sure how coherent this review was, but overall my thoughts boil down to this: I really enjoyed this book. I think being spoiled made me enjoy it a little less than I would have if I could have experienced all the tension and mystery like I was supposed to, but I still loved it. We have a very solid beginning to Sarah's new series and I'm excited to see what happens next!

Thanks for reading!

You can follow my bookstagram here for more bookish content!

To get more awesome posts like this post, click the follow button to the right!

Get free worldwide shipping with Book Depository using my affiliate link

No comments:

Post a Comment