HOUSE OF EARTH AND BLOOD
Written by Sarah J Maas
Published by Bloomsbury Publishing, March 3, 2020
My star rating: 4 stars
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. Find it on Goodreads
Me and this book have a very interesting relationship. This was hands down the most difficult start to a Sarah J Maas book i’ve ever read….. and i’ve read all of them. From page one we are immediately grabbed by the balls and thrown head first into the middle of a story. That was a tough one for me! It’s an urban fantasy type story which was the first thing to throw me off. This seemed to be a somewhat normal world (well, kinda) where we had restaurants, art galleries, night clubs, etc. But it was filled with non humans. Make sense? There were so many different types of “beings”. We had werewolves, fae (this is a SJM book after all – what else did you expect), vampires, witches, demons, and SO much more….. I mean A LOT more. On top of that, all of these different “beings” belonged to different houses….. the beginning of this book was just overwhelming! I almost considered DNF’ing it because I was convinced I would never get my head around it all! Trust me though, it does balance out. The book is split into parts and, if you can make it to part 2, I assure you that you’ll feel more grounded.
A little tip for you – don’t drown yourself in the details! Yes, there are a million different creatures, houses, characters, and a handful of other shit to remember, but you don’t need to bank all the specifics in your mind. Trust me – I tried. I thought that all of the specifics would matter to the story and it doesn’t. You’ll sort it out eventually!
Once things get going, the story is pretty damn good! And there’s a lot happening to keep you going. We have a character that descends into the depts of grief (damn my heart hurt for her!), a murder mystery, political puzzle pieces, house hierarchy, friendships, and a few other things. Each of these things melts into the other and creates a story that will have you turning pages. One thing that Sarah J Maas does effortlessly is create a story and a world that just feels so large!
I wasn’t a fan of the romance. They didn’t make sense – sorry. They were just so different from each other. I know differences attract but they still didn’t work for me. One thing that I did appreciate though was that it wasn’t insta love. They hated each other actually. It took about half the book before they finally started looking at each other like there might be a bit of an attraction. She was a well known “half breed” party girl. She worked and partied and that was about it. He was known as a brute. An archangel who was slaved to the Governor and went around killing people and avenging justice without a second thought. They met each other with strong assumptions due to their reputations. Slowly from there they built an attraction and relationship that was more than just friends. I love relationships that start that way. But still – I don’t like them together….
I also went into this expecting steam! It’s an adult fantasy from SJM and we all know that she is fully capable of steam and smut – but there wasn’t as much as I was hoping for. I know, you’re totally thinking “but if you didn’t like them together why would you want to read that?” Don’t judge me ok… I needed a steamy distraction right now lol.
Another small issue – this book was too long. Honestly, it could have been condensed by a few hundred pages if i’m being honest. Ok, I was interested. Ok, things were still happening. And, I wasn’t bored really. BUT – I often wondered when we would get to the point. Worst of all, after reading 100 pages or so, I would reflect back on what I just read and think to myself that it wasn’t all necessary!
The last 150-200 pages though…… HOLY SHIT!!! That was probably the most non stop and action packed ending i’ve ever read!!! When you thought that it was over and it would start to slow down, something would happen to set the pace racing again. Honestly, it didn’t give me an emotional break! I literally yelled, jumped for joy, cried, did a happy dance, cried again, smiled because it was beautiful, cried, and danced again.
I know that I had a lot of negative things to say about this book but I really loved it! This was just the type of book that was easy to pinpoint the things that I didn’t enjoy. But, the story itself, the main character, the plot – it was a wild ride! I have a feeling that since all the world building and character introductions are out of the way, book 2 is going to be freaking epic!!!!!!!!
Until next time, happy reading!