Title: Crescent City – House of Earth and Blood
Series: Crescent City #1
Author: Sarah J. Maas
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.
I didn’t really know what to expect when I started reading this book.
It started out a little slow and I struggled to keep up with all the names, species and places mentioned. But then shit hit the fan and things escalated. I’d forgotten it was mentioned in the synopsis so I was actually surprised and a little shocked (until I realised it was common knowledge).
Once things picked up I was instantly invested in both the characters and the story itself. Maas has a way of bringing the world around the story to life and makes you curious of what else is going on in this world. However, you can also tell it’s a Maas story by its romance and male characters.
My favourite part of this book was when Bryce Quinlan called out the stereotypical “Alphahole” that appears in many books nowadays (Maas’ own included):
“Alphahole. Possessive and aggressive.” She waved a hand at his bare torso. “You know – you males who rip your shirt off at the slightest provocation, who know how to kill people in twenty different ways, who have females falling over themselves to be with you; and when you finally bang one, you go full-on mating-frenzy with her, refusing to let another male look at or talk to her, deciding what and when she needs to eat, what she should wear, when she sees her friends-“
“What the fuck are you talking about?”
“Your favorite hobbies are brooding, fighting and roaring; you’ve perfected about thirty different types of snarls and growls; you’ve got a cabal of hot friends, and the moment one of you mates, the others fall like dominoes, too, and gods help you when you all start having babies-“Page 288
If this isn’t the most accurate description of the men in these types of books then I don’t know what is.. I laughed so hard because it’s so true!
Speaking of characters. I quite liked Bryce. She’s far from perfect, but has a nice character development throughout the story.
Hunt… well, he’s… he’s kind of your stereotypical Maas Male MC. Hot, brooding, secretive and perfectly chiselled. He’s definitely not perfect when it comes to decision-making and such, which I won’t spoil for those who haven’t read it yet, but for those of you who have read it, I think you know what I’m referring to.
Someone on Bookstagram called him boring and I can see why they’d think that. I wouldn’t call him boring per say, but just, very much cut from the same “Alphahole” template like many other male characters from fantasy books (or steamy romance books, sometimes that’s just the same).
I did enjoy the world-building and I’m excited to see if we’ll expand past Crescent City’s walls and further out into the world. Also, what characters we’ll follow next because I feel like Bryce and Hunt’s stories are over.
I’m hoping for a book about Ruhn, Juniper or Fury.
All in all a great book with an interesting storyline and characters to match. The start of a great new series by SJM.
Have you read Crescent City? What did you think of it?