Jul 10, 2020

Review--House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J. Maas

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.

Well, it took me a very long time, but I finally finished Sarah J. Maas' House of Earth and Blood! Sarah's debut into "adult" writing was interest...but honestly, it didn't feel too different from her YA stuff except for character ages and perhaps a little more attention on sex and drugs, and possibly language. I can't remember how much swearing was done in her YA series. At 799 pages this was a whopper of a read too, was it necessary for it to be this long, well I guess that depends on your mood and reading speed. Had I more days off I could've easily read this in half the time it took me! But all in all,  I did really enjoy this one.

One thing I wish, like really, really wish Sarah had included was a glossary, there were just some terms I was not familiar with. Many creature features, and how she names angels, vampires and the like. Some were obvious, others not so much. I also would've like a bit of a character guide there were names mentioned all over the place and I honestly wasn't sure if it was a "person" or "supernatural type" as the names are all outside the norm, which is the norm for fantasy, so take that as you will! Lol. But yeah, there were just too many "names" in general that made it hard to keep everybody straight and if I was suppose to note who this is or if were talking about a "people" in general. 

There was a lot of world-building to this one, a lot of history to be dealt with over certain matters. A character guide and glossary would've made this a thousand times easier to comprehend.

This is some sort of futuristic type world where supernatural creatures and humans blend together. But humans are in the minority and are so low on the totem pole they might as well not even be on it. Bryce herself is a half-Fae and half-human crossbreed if you will. Her human side makes her weak and not having any magic, so she's treated nearly as poorly as the rest of them, but gets some status because of her stepfather's standing.

Bryce was your average party girl one night when she was living it up only to come home to find her roommate, Danika and friends dead. A terrifying demon had killed them and seemingly vanished. Two years later, she never fully recovered from the ordeal when the attacks start happening again. And to her dismay, the angels--who are at the top of the pyramid--are making her help investigate.

Hunt is an angel and a slave. He was a part of an angel rebellion wanting to bring down the top and powerful angels, but he failed and many suffered for it. He was marked a slave and now must kill over 2000 people to help "right the wrongs" he partook in all those years ago. But the Governor of the city will reduce his sentence to 10 people if he and Bryce find the killer and put an end to his actions before a big Summit meeting of all the leaders of this cityscape.

Yeah, it's a lot to take in. The gist of the matter is, we've got a mystery on our hands! Bryce and Hunt are forced to work together to try to find the demon who is killing the citizens of Crescent City. It's believe that this same demon is the one who killed Danika and her friends.

So we watch as Bryce and Hunt traverse the city, trying to find clues to solve the murder mystery. But it's anything but easy as Bryce and Hunt don't get along at first. It's actually a good loooong while before the looks even begin to linger. This is most definitely what you would call a slow burn romance for the two are barely even friends in the beginning.

My recommendation for you for this book is erase all expectations. This book definitely has a slower pace. I'd liken it to A Court of Mist and Fury, but that was way too many books ago to say that with confidence. But don't expect a fast paced mystery thrill ride because you won't get that. What you will get is a mesmerizing tale woven carefully together with intricate detail. I won't say Sarah focuses on every minute detail, because she doesn't. There's just a lot of extra stuff here. Sometimes, you don't know if this scene or that scene really matters or if it's relevant. You just kind of have to go with it.

I would recommend trying to set days aside where you can just read all day, because I can honestly say within the eight days it took me to read this, I forgot a few things here and there. Like in the ending, there's a conversation with two characters and something BIG happens with one of them and all the while I was like...who were you again? I didn't take note of this character at the first appearance because it didn't feel really important. Well, it apparently was! Lol.

I do want to say that I appreciated the deliciously slow burn between Bryce and Hunt. I love it when the love take time to grow and you can actually see it slowly start to happen. It's like a wayyyy lengthier version of Beauty and the Beast--Disney style. Where the feelings between them take time to grow and show. I love it how it starts with just a linger look and seeing someone differently after realizations are made. Totally like Beauty and the Beast again!

I know this read won't be for everyone. It shocks me that I kept reading since it was so long. Not that I don't love a good long book because I do. But you know sometimes a book can be a tad too long and I was fearing that this one would fall under that. While I do think it could've done just as well at 500 or 600 pages, I still loved this book from cover to cover. The good thing about the length of this book is you can really watch the characters grow. All of them, but particularly Bryce and Hunt.

I know fans of Sarah J Maas have already devoured this one, but if you're the casual reader who was on the fence about this one, I would recommend giving it a try. Be aware of what you're getting into though, this is 800 pages of a long mystery and a heaping of character development. All good things, but I know pacing can be an issue for me sometimes, so while House of Earth and Blood was a totally amazing and spell-binding read, it did have a bit of a pacing issue. It was still fantastic overall and I am excited to see where Sarah will take things next in this world!

Overall Rating 4/5 stars

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