House of Earth and Blood: Crescent City, Book 1 Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
Number one New York Times best-selling author Sarah J. Maas launches her brand-new CRESCENT CITY series with House of Earth and Blood: the story of half-Fae and half-human Bryce Quinlan as she seeks revenge in a contemporary fantasy world of magic, danger, and searing romance.
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' 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 pause-resisting suspense, this richly inventive new fantasy series by number one New York Times best-selling author Sarah J. Maas delves into the heartache of loss, the price of freedom - and the power of love.
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|Listening Length||27 hours and 50 minutes|
|Author||Sarah J. Maas|
|Whispersync for Voice||Ready|
|Audible.com Release Date||March 03, 2020|
|Best Sellers Rank|| #104 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals) |
#1 in Urban Fantasy
#1 in Fantasy Romance (Audible Books & Originals)
#4 in Action & Adventure Fantasy (Audible Books & Originals)
Reviewed in the United States on March 3, 2020
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Top reviews from the United States
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House of Earth and Blood is the first book in a new adult series called Crescent City. The book follows Bryce Quinlan, a half fey living the life of a party girl with her best friend and roommate. When her friend is brutally murdered Bryce is left alone and devastated. That is until the murders start to happen again, this with the alleged killed behind bars. With the help of Hunt Athalar, a Fallen angel enslaved to an Archangel, the two of them dig into the secrets of Crescent City to uncover what really happened the night Bryce’s friend died and figure out how to stop it while also holding on to secrets of their own. It isn’t easy, but gets even more complicated when feelings get involved.
I can’t describe how much I loved House of Earth and Blood. I have said it to people already and I will say it again this is Sarah’s best book to date. Everything in this story was so flawlessly executed. The characters were flushed out nicely. You really got to know both Bryce and Hunt and what their motivations were. You got to understand them and see them develop. You got to understand how the other minor characters were woven through their lives and what they meant to them. And it was done at the perfect pace. At the end I felt like I knew Bryce and Hunt and I also wanted to know more of their stories.
And in typical Maas fashion my feelings were demolished. I knew what to expect after reading so many book by her, but this book really messed with my feelings. I was all over the place. I was anxious and happy and sobbing my face off. Sometimes I was crying because I was happy or because I was anticipating what was going to happen, or because I was just plain broken by the story. This one really did punch me in the gut though and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Can I tell you more about what I loved? Absolutely. I never even touched my love of Hunt and the chemistry between him and Bryce. There was a lot of this book that I haven’t touched on. The reason? I don’t want to ruin it for you because you see, this is a book everyone needs to read. Even if you have not been a fan of some of Sarah’s past books I strongly stand-by this one and say everything about it felt different to me, and it was wonderful. Do yourself a favor and go and buy it today. I’m already planning to reread it soon.
The heroine Bryce was the epitome of a Mary Sue. She was so special that is was unbelievable. Every guy liked her. And she was reckless and not at all likable.
The hero in the book also wasn’t that great. I quiet frankly couldn’t buy their relationship. It was completely based off lust and I get it what she is, but still the relationship was so superficial and he was just a duplicate of so many heroes in many other romance novels.
The romance wasn’t the best. It was trying too hard. There wasn’t any gradual build up. It felt too insta-love. I needed to see that the characters were great together and I didn’t see that.
The world building and action were okay. But not great. For all the hype of the book, I didn’t get the wow factor. I couldn’t understand what was so unique about this spin of the fae lore.
Overall, I was pretty disappointed in this book. I expected a lot more. I can see why people liked this book. But it wasn’t my cup of tea
An interesting story that deserved better writing.
Top reviews from other countries
I had expected this book to be a great starter for a new series, as typically the first books in a new series are the ones that SJ writes the best. Plus this was meant to be an Adult series rather than her usual YA / teen fantasy, a bold new move that should indicate a good level of confidence in the novel and subsequent series
However, the information exposition overload in the first few chapters was a warning for the strength of the rest of the novel. It became a compilation of SJ’s of plot repetition from previous novels.
There’s a Mary Sue main character (Bryce) that has the most obviously implied talent (no subtly at all with that one - when the sword mysteriously started humming a quarter in, I knew that was going to go down) but of course some extra mad skillz because why not make her super powerful like the other female characters in the other series’ (Celena and Feyre) but with no real justification or logic as a half human / Fae.
There’s obviously a SUPER powerful hero (Hunt a replacement for Rhys and Rowan) that has been abused at the hands of female villains (Maeve / Amarantha) but has instant feelings for the main character possibly because it’s not possible to play the “mate” card across different species. There’s no clear reason why Hunt, a hardened and haunted ancient fallen angel, suddenly softens to Bryce other than the fact that she’s very attractive but very much out of character, he enjoys their ridiculously annoying banter and made up words such as alphahole. That, or, the character is so badly shaped that to a reader, it makes no sense.
This book reads as though it has many different attempts of plot threads but they’ve been thrown together in a frantic rush to get them all into one book. This has resulted in a romantic pairing that isn’t believable (or based mainly on lust), main characters that I don’t really like or care about, supplementary characters that I also don’t care about or understand why they were needed in the first place, lots of “watching” the plot unfold but not really “doing” anything aka not much action - mainly exposition, and a jumble of plot threads: grief over dead friend, insta-love with mysterious misunderstood killer, crazy boss that has unlimited supplies of random crap that coincidentally happens to be useful, villainous female torturing hero, crazy one-of-a-kind super powers defying all odds, drug addiction, unjust class structure etc etc (the list goes on) all within the new structure of a paranormal fantasy world mix of every single possible type of creature, categorised in a new system, layered into a hierarchy.
Basically, I am disappointed and not sure I can be bothered to look out for the next one. There’s not enough for me to remain interested.
If you want a good world building fantasy that IS adult, check out Ilona Andrews and put this glorified older teen / YA book away.
Em um universo dominado pelos Asteri, seres com poderes comparados aos de deuses, conhecemos Bryce Quinlan, uma universitária e autêntica “party girl”, metade humana e metade feérica, que vê sua vida se modificar drasticamente com o assassinato brutal de seus amigos mais próximos.
Dois anos após tentar seguir com sua vida, mas sem realmente conseguir, ela é convocada pelo governador de Crescent City para, junto à Hunt Athalar, um anjo escravizado por liderar a maior e mais conhecida rebelião da história contra a hierarquia instaurada em seu povo, investigar e desvendar os eventos que culminaram na morte prematura daqueles que tanto amou, já que o suposto assassino voltou a atacar.
Conforme a investigação se desenrola, segredos e mistérios são revelados, Bryce é obrigada a revisitar as lembranças dolorosas e os traumas deixados pelo acontecimento mais horripilante de sua vida e a antipatia inicial que sente em relação à Hunt dá lugar a um sentimento enorme de identificação e compreensão que passa pela amizade e paixão até chegar ao amor verdadeiro.
É um enredo cheio de suspense, aventura/ação, mistério e romance que se apresenta bem denso e difícil no início, em razão da complexidade e quantidade de criaturas e divisões políticas introduzidas, com uma personagem principal que não agrada muito a princípio, mas que cresce de forma exponencial e inesperada, surpreendendo a cada reviravolta inimaginável e culminando em um final arrebatador que não só te deixa ávido por mais como te conquista completamente.
Temos aqui aquele tipo de história que se inicia de forma despretensiosa e relativamente comum e se torna algo gigante ao longo dos capítulos. Excelente início de uma série que possui pleno potencial para se tornar a melhor escrita pela autora!
Firstly, this is not what I'd describe as an adult novel. In fact, the writing seemed less sophisticated than TOG. The only thing that made it more 'adult' was a littering of swear words which felt forced/contrived - as though that's what the author feels is needed to elevate a novel from YA to adult. Really, the dialogue felt incredibly YA still (almost childish in a way when it came to the 'romance' and Bryce's inclination to call all strong males 'alpha holes'. It was a sort of high school language almost.
This novel isn't set in our reality either. Not, of course, a valid criticism of the book; just something that (probably via fan rumour) had been mis-communicated. However, I would have loved for Maas to do a new spin and start a novel in this reality. Like I say though, it's not a reason to have a dig at CC; just something to be aware of if you were hoping for this novel to be set on 'earth'.
Next, let's talk about sex/sizzle. Way disappointing. Now I realise that this is the first in the series, and Maas may want to leave some titillation for later books. However, this was woefully disappointing for an 800 page grownup novel. When it comes to writing smouldering fiction, Laura Thalassa is waayyyy better - her Bargainer series knocks Maas out of the park. Even Natalia Jaster brings it on more. And I found Natalia Jaster's writing in Trick (admittedly the only novel I've read by her so far) to be a lot more sophisticated.
I struggled getting into this book - it started slow and there was a ton of info dumping at the start. It didn't seem to build as naturally or organically as TOG. I'd hoped to see Maas getting better as a writer but this felt very paint-by-numbers. There was one part (a couple of hundred pages in) which was a 'wow' moment. But that was then obliterated by a storyline that I found less than engaging. It seemed to go round and round in circles regarding the search for a stolen fae artifact and somthing called synth. A bit like a fantasy detective story but without being very gripping. I hung on in there though because, well, it's Maas. The book finally picked up in the last 150-so pages but it was all quite predicable. In fact, the whole thing just felt like a re-skinning of Maas's other novels, with nothing very original (just a change of scene and character). We have a heroine (who doesn't know she's got powers - but of course the reader knows she's going to come into great power because Celaena did, and so did Feyre). We've got winged males - but this time it's the angles. The angels bothered me because we have fae too, and I couldn't really see what the difference was, except for the wings. The angels in this novel don't feel very different to the winged fae in Maas's other novels; I couldn't pick out a quirk or feature that made the angels interesting. I'd have found CC more interesting had there been a greater distinction between them and the fae. In fact, I'd have probably preferred it if the love interest was a shifter because at least that's a point of difference. There were repeated turns of phrase that I've grown bored with now, across thousands of pages of Maas's work (characters 'huffing laughs' 'grinding out' phrases' and the amount of times Bryce's 'toes curled' to indicate she was horny was laughable). The sex scenes were also laughable: 'hard, considerable length' - I ask you! Okay, I get the author wants (as always) to convey her lead male is well hung - but find a new way to do this!
Generally, the romance between Bryce and Hunt was predictable and dull. There was certainly not enough conflict/tension for it to be a satisfying hate to love storyline; this is no Rhys and Feyre. Hunt isn't dark enough either - he's actually quite boring. Ruhn, Bryce's brother, is a more interesting character who seems to have more of an edge - and maybe he'll appear more in the next books. If this remains Bryce and Hunter's series though, I'm just not sure how much I care about them or how invested I am in their story at the moment. Will I read the next book when it comes out? Probably - I'll give in one more bash. Generally, though, unless Maas ups her game and makes this a more adult, well-written series, then I think I've seen her do it all before - and better.
Saying that, I adorned the journey that the main character, Bryce, goes on. The themes are more adult in nature but her journey through grief is universal and I love how it’s portrayed - even if it’s hard to read sometimes!
Bryce is a solid female character with a hatred of ‘alpha holes’ and a vulnerable yet independent streak that is so often missing from female character led stories. I really like her, for all her flaws more than anything else.
Overall, I did enjoy it - a lot - but it didn’t capture me as much as her previous work. For starters, it felt like it took a long time to get going - the first third of the book felt long and drawn out. Then, there’s a major plot twist (which I won’t spoil), that comes out of nowhere and it’s so frustrating because it’s a great twist and the remainder of the book becomes fast, punchy and addictive. The plot twist though has no real foreshadowing (and I’m not convinced it makes that much sense for those characters to be doing those things at that time due to injuries/the laws of time and physics), it just...it really threw me out of the story and I had to decide to ignore the fact that it makes no sense and instead just keep going - driven by my love for the characters and the typically addictive nature of the love story. (Lets be honest, Rhys and Feyre will always have the best love story)
Unlike her other series, I probably wouldn’t reread this one - I’m glad I read it but I have no burning need to go back to it (where as I couldn’t get enough of TOG and kept rereading it).
It feels like there’s going to be a sequel and now that all the clunky world building is done, the sequel is probably going to be amazing.
Overall, I would recommend but maybe don’t put it at the top of your list... but if you’re a massive Sarah J Maas fan...then what the ‘hel’ are you waiting for? Go read it!