HomeReviewsFictionReview: Crescent City: House of Earth and Blood

Review: Crescent City: House of Earth and Blood

Crescent City

Title: Crescent City: House of Earth and Blood
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Genre: New Adult, Romance, Fantasy
Page Count: 799
Published by: Bloomsbury Publishing
Date Published: March 3, 2020
You can find it here: Bookshop.org

Synopsis

When Bryce’s perfect, partying, happy-go-lucky life is shattered by the murder of her beloved friends by a rogue demon, her world all but falls apart. With the person responsible for the deaths behind bars, Bryce is left alone with precious few friends and a job she hates, trying to stay away from excess attention. That is, until people start being murdered again and Bryce is relaunched into the investigation of her friends death to find the true culprit.

Paired with Hunt, the infamous Fallen Angel of unparalleled power and now a slave to the powerful leader of Crescent City, they will dive deep into the underbelly of the city exposing corruption, secrets, and dark powers that threaten to destroy everyone. All the while fighting for painful truths, freedom, and their powerful love.

Discussion

I have gone back and forth on this review so many times because my ultimate dilemma lies in: would I recommend it? I would, and I wouldn’t. The problem with Crescent City is that it is quite bloated and unforgivingly slowly paced for an exorbitant amount of its colossal 800 pages … but the last 200 pages? One of the best, most climatic endings I’ve ever read. You have to get through a lot of filler, a lot of meandering nonsense to get to this explosive conclusion.

So really, the liking and the recommending of this book, is going to be incredibly dependant on you. Do you want to invest the time?

Rather than a meandering review I am going to bullet point what I liked and didn’t.

What I liked:

  • Bryce: In true Sarah J. Maas style, this is a kick butt, strong heroine who lept off the page with her snarkiness, her bravery, her emotional pain, and her headstrong stubbornness.

  • Supporting side characters: Most of the side characters were so well done – standouts for me were her brother Ruhn (their dynamic was one of my favourite parts of the novel) and the fire sprite Lehabah … she just has my heart.

  • Very dynamic world building with a plethora of species, which definitely provides the book with a lot of meat. However this is also a criticism of mine because, in my opinion, there are waaaay too many characters and species to wrap the mind around. More on that below.

  • The quintessential Sarah J. Maas ability to make you really connect to and feel for the characters. I don’t know how she does it, but I always end up extremely emotionally invested in her characters and ugly cry at some point.

Here is what didn’t work for me:

  • Hunt: It is really a struggle if you aren’t connecting to the love interest in the story, especially an 800 page love story. He did grow on me towards the end, but for most of the novel I was pretty indifferent to their relationship.

  • Way!Too!Much!Detail! The info dumps, the hierarchies, the histories, the histories of the hierarchies within hierarchies for every single type of species … of which there are TWENTY-ONE! … divided into four houses and over multiple continents and hundreds of years. Honestly, I’m still so baffled by it all, I ended up just skimming these sections. For those who enjoy heavily detailed worlds and their histories, this will definitely resonate, but it just seemed exaggeratedly unnecessary for me.

Overall I am still conflicted in my opinion on Crescent City: House of Earth and Blood. I found Bryce to be a fantastically fierce leading character and many of the side characters were excellently established and the emotional connection to these characters really snuck up on me! The climatic conclusion of this 800 page tome was everything – one of the most exciting, dynamic, complex, emotionally pulling endings I’ve read in a long time. However, the info dumping of hierarchies and histories of over 21 character species was exaggeratedly too much  and the pacing of the first 500 pages ground along like a snail for me. While that ending is so stinking fabulous I lack full words, I don’t know if it is enough to make up for my struggles with the the convoluted, over-telling and overworking of that beginning. Also, and I know many will strike me down dead for this, but Hunt … I could take him or leave him for most of this tome.

You may also like:

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Six of CrowsSix of Crows

Written by Leigh Bardugo

Published by Square Fish

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Serpent & DoveSerpent & Dove

Written by Shelby Mahurin

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Full review HERE.

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Cheryl
Cherylhttps://www.aotales.com
Welcome to And other tales. The little corner of the interweb where we don’t count cups of coffee, believe cancelling plans to stay home & read is just good life advice, refuse to acknowledge the calories in baked goods and will never judge you on the number of marshmallows in your hot chocolate or the size of your TBR piles. Curl up, get comfy and click through for book reviews, life chats, playlists, vegan & gluten free baking recipes, gift guides and more.
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