House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J. Maas
Genre: Fiction, Adult Fantasy, Romance
Published on: March 2020
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
My Rating: ★★★★★
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.
This was such an entertaining book to read! Despite liking some of Sarah J. Maas’ previous writing, I didn’t know what to expect considering this is her first “real” adult book, and it’s her first adult fantasy as well. I have to say, it’s not perfect but it’s so good! Will probably make the list of my favorite 2020 reads, but we’ll see about that when December comes.
This was such a big book that it took me a while to read it, and I was also annotating (!!!) but instead of just using tabs, like I usually do, I actually wrote down my thoughts as I was reading it. So for today’s review, I’m trying a new style and showing you my somewhat jumbled notes and opinions on this book.
my notes while reading:
- It was funny that Maas was making fun of alphaholes, but then that word was being used way too much. It became repetitive, annoying, and a bit cringy.
- I got attached to Danika way too quickly. Their friendship was so beautiful. What happened to her was so upsetting, like how did it affect me so much in less than 60 pages of knowing her? Also, it was spoiled in the synopsis??
- I still like the writing, very easy to get through.
- Bryce was a bit unlikeable at first, but she knows her worth and is not afraid to go after what she wants. The more I read, the more she grew on me.
- The banter was ~chef’s kiss~
- Loved the friends-to-lovers dynamic, it felt very natural and well-done. The slowest of slow burns but I also liked how it focused on friendships. In fact, this whole book is about friendships and I loved that.
- I really enjoyed the urban fantasy aspect of it all, the tech+magic combo is so interesting to see and understand how they coexist and work together. I think Maas did a wonderful job of explaining it all. Top-notch world-building.
- It was so interesting to see how Bryce’s perception of Danika was being challenged. In all honestly, we never know people 100% and I love when this pops up in books.
- So many twists and turns! The mystery was very intriguing, as well as the plot twists regarding the murders. I, for one, didn’t see the big reveal coming at all. On that, Sarah remains the queen of foreshadowing.
- The pacing was pretty ok for an adult fantasy book, with a slower beginning and then the action picking up from there. I gotta say though, the last 200 pages or so were a wild ride and I couldn’t put the book down.
- The ending could’ve been that of a stand-alone novel, but I’m definitely super interested in picking the sequel up, whenever it comes out.
Those were a lot of thoughts written down on post-it notes. It was a fun experience annotating like this though, I think I’ll try to incorporate it more often in my reading habits.
Please do let me know if you liked this new review format/style. Have you read this one yet?
Until next time,