Updated: Apr 30, 2021
Overall Rating: 🤩🤩🤩🤩🤩/5
Spice Level: 🌶🌶🌶/5
A Quick Summary…
After the death of her closest friends, Half-Fae Bryce Quinlan gets pulled into an investigation with fallen angel Hunt Athalar when the crimes start happening again. Bryce is desperate to avenge her friend's death, and Hunt is desperate to free himself from being enslaved by the angels he once tried to overthrow. Bryce and Hunt embark on their mission to catch the culprit of the murders happening in Crescent City, and learn not only that solving the mystery won’t be easy, but they surprisingly have a lot more in common than they first thought. This is a new adult urban fantasy (with a heavy side of romance) that is complex, intoxicating, heart wrenching, and suspenseful 😬.
Wow. This book is a lot. But in the best possible way. We would definitely say that Crescent City: House of Earth and Blood is the most complex and confusing world building either of us have read 🌎. The first couple hundred pages were definitely a struggle to understand all the complexities of the world and info dumping that went on. It was definitely worth it though, because once you get past the intricate world building, this book is an amazing read. With 800 pages of storytelling, there is no way we could unpack every single reason we loved this book. While the world building is complex at first, we liked that Crescent City had every type of fantasy creature under the sun (fae, angels, witches, werewolves, vampires, mermaids, etc). We also found it really refreshing that this was an urban fantasy world with technology and modern elements such as phones, computers, cars, recreational drugs, and modern weapons 🔫.
While some may be disappointed that Crescent City does not have a crazy amount of spice 🌶, we personally loved to see Bryce and Hunt build a friendship and mutual trust in one another before considering each other romantically. Both go through a lot as a pair and as individuals, which made the story even more compelling. Bryce and Hunt definitely each have their own demons, and the way in which they learned to lean on each other was heartwarming. And trust us when we say that while it might not be spiced with a heavy hand, the sexual tension is real. You cannot help but root for Bryce and Hunt to open up and find happiness in each other. There were so many swoon-worthy scenes between this pair that made us so excited to see where their relationship will go in the second book ☺️.
Sarah J. Maas depicts grief and recovery from trauma so well, and we loved watching Bryce go through tons of hurdles and come out stronger from them while also learning how to embrace her vulnerability ❤️. She truly is such a badass female character that both of us would love to be friends with. Speaking of friendship, we absolutely LOVED Bryce and Danika and the overall focus on the power of friendship throughout the whole book 👯♀️. The side characters in Crescent City are also richly developed (Lehabeh 🔥) and we’re anxious to see how characters like Ruhn and Tharion continue to play into the story.
And as a fair warning let us tell you that the heart palpitations are REAL with Crescent City. The last quarter of the book was an unending rollercoaster of emotions that tore us apart in the best way 🤯. There were so many shocking twists and turns to the story and the action and pace of the last quarter was great. We cannot wait to see what SJM has in store for us with the second book, with all that went on in Crescent City we cannot wait to see how the journey will continue!
Similar Books: A Court of Thorns and Roses, Throne of Glass
“Through love, all is possible.” 🥺
“That's the point of it, Bryce. Of life. To live, to love, knowing that it might all vanish tomorrow. It makes everything that much more precious.”
"LIGHT IT UP, DANIKA!”
“I see you, Quinlan, he silently conveyed to her. And I like all of it. Right back at you, her half smile seemed to say.”
“You're the person I don't need to explain myself to - not when it matters. You see everything I am, and you don't run away from it.”