Crescent City: House of Earth & Blood - Sarah J Maas

House of Earth and Blood (Crescent City, #1)Title: House of Earth & Blood

Author: Sarah J Maas
Source: Publisher

Bound by blood.Tempted by desire.Unleashed by destiny.
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.
With unforgettable characters, sizzling romance, and page-turning suspense, this richly inventive new fantasy series by #1 New York Times bestselling author Sarah J. Maas delves into the heartache of loss, the price of freedom—and the power of love.

I'm planning to just refer to this book as Crescent City throughout this review because I have had enough of these ‘­­­­_____ of _____ and ______’ titles. They are too long and all start to sound the same and I’m not wasting my time typing it out.

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Crescent City is a hot mess of a book, that is the only way I can think to describe it. I have no idea how to actually review this one, so this review is about to be as much of a hot mess as the book is. Was this book terrible? No. Was it amazing? Definitely not. Do I recommend it? I don't know, it depends if you want another cookie cutter SJM book or not. This book basically goes the way all of her books do, even to the point where she seems to have copied and pasted characters and plot points from one series to the next. If you aren't a big SJM fan or are just done with her books in general, you are probably going to want to avoid it. Her other series were hard for me because I enjoyed them both in the beginning but both had big issues and I was disappointed with the finales for both books. I still seem to come back to her books though because they are addictive and easy to read.

When I first heard that Maas was writing her first adult fiction book, I was a little worried that it would just be like her YA novels, except now she could fill them with even more unnecessary and poorly written sex scenes. I was right, this is definitely just another one of her YA books being packaged as an adult fiction because the characters say fuck a lot and think about fucking each other just as much. Some authors effortlessly write great sex scenes that don't make you cringe, Maas is not that author. This is the woman who thought referring to a penis as 'velvet-wrapped steel' was a good idea.

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I somehow also avoided the fact that this was an urban fantasy, I didn't realise until I started reading. I'll be honest, I am not a fan of urban fantasy and it just doesn't work for me and I feel it didn't really add much to this story either. Other than this being an urban fantasy and trying to masquerade as 'adult fiction', this book is literally just what you'd expect from Sarah J Maas, basically a copy of her other books. It has fae, magic, characters hiding who they really are, winged men, doors between worlds and a romance between a centuries old guy and a super young woman. At this point I'm not sure SJM knows how to write anything else, I think her and Cassandra Clare are the same person at this point. They both write the same thing over and over, they also both seem to have editors too scared to tell them that less is more and that their 800 page books only have about 350 pages worth of plot and actual substance.

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Me when I read a new SJMaas book

I can't be the only one who finds it hard to look passed the fact that Maas copies and pastes versions of the same characters over and over again, the same with her plots. There are big similarities between ToG and ACOWAR and it is the same with Crescent City. I'll admit that the plot she loves to use that I HATE the most is her trying to get the audience to believe that a human losing their mortal life and becoming immortal and getting to spend eternity with someone they love is a sacrifice. NO! 

Crescent City has so many similarities to her other books. We get a very similar scene to a characters death in Crown of Midnight, even to the location their body is found and the relationship to the main character. We get a centuries old winged love interest who is of course the most powerful of anyone ever, and then the female lead who is essentially a baby in comparison. Then we have the Rowan/Celaena working relationship of being forced to work together whilst the guy completely misjudges her, makes assumptions and looks down on her. We even get the scene where he then sees her scars and starts to think he might be wrong about her. Hunt, the male lead, has Rowan's personality and Rhysand's wings. It just feels like I've literally seen it all before and read it all before.

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Another thing that really lets this book down is the world building, which is not great. Maas relies far too heavily on just having massive sections of info dumping. There is soooooo much info dumping in this book and it was a headache to get through. The urban fantasy world is also a mess, it is really American but then seems to just throw in aspects from other cultures and doesn't quite know what it is. I really just don't get along well with urban fantasy, I still think this would have worked better as a standard fantasy - but I guess then it would have just been an exact copy of her other books and she needed some way to set it apart.

My other issue that I will never shut up about, because she does it with every single book now -  the length. This book is 800 pages and has about 400 pages worth of shit that you need to actually read. She needs an editor that actually edits her and is willing to tell her that less is more and certain things need to be cut. I've watched her live shows recently and it is very clear she is basically on non-stop deadlines and I feel her work suffers for it. Publishers seem to want quantity over quality and it really shows when I'm reading. This book was so fun in the beginning but the longer it dragged on, the worse it got.

I'm also not over the fact it was an 800 page book where Bryce and Hunt are trying to track down a murderer. It is supposed to be the main focus of the book, but they are literally the worst detectives in the world. The obvious number one suspect isn't brought up for hundreds of pages. They also figure basically nothing out. Instead we get the worst thing in the world that everyone hates in books, TV shows and movies, the cop out where the baddie just gives a long drawn out explanation of everything they did. You waste 712 pages of a book with two characters being useless, lusting after each other and being shitty detectives trying to solve a crime and we get the cop out of the villain speech at the end.

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This was still an easy read and was fun in the beginning but the length and slow pacing really lets this book down. A lot of the other stuff I didn't like I was expecting because I've read enough Maas now to know what she is going to do. I'd really like to see her do something different. I'd love to read one of her books and not feel like I've read it all before. 



  1. Amen! I totally agree with you on this one. I liked it, but didn't love it.

  2. Ooh it sounds like you got pretty much what you expected from this one. I don't know why author's think "adult" just means more graphic sex scenes and language. It sounds like she would have been better off just sticking to YA.

    1. I think I did. I know what I'm getting, so I can't really be shocked when it is exactly what I predict. I don't know why I find her books so easy and fun to read at the start.

  3. I heard a rumor that SJM doesn't allow her editor to cut down her word count which I really wish she did. I haven't gotten this one yet, but will eventually. I was listening to a podcast where SJM said writing an adult novel meant that she could write "fuck" as much as she wanted so everything you said tracks.

    1. Yeah, she mostly just added a bunch of swearing, drugs and lots of thoughts about fucking but surprisingly not that many sex scenes. I can believe that about her editor, her books are much longer than they need to be. I feel her books could really improve if they had decent editing and a cut to her bloated word counts.

  4. In my opinion, this book was simply perfection. And I can’t wait for everyone else to read it. (And for me to be able to reread it over and over and over again). I’ll be counting down the days until the next installment.

    Hail Claims

  5. It must of been hard for Bryce to have such a "perfect" life then, be thrown in a life with no friends! Even just finding out demons were real would've been hard.


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