RELEASED: March 3, 2020
PUBLISHER: Bloomsbury Publishing
GENRE: NA Fantasy
GOODREADS RATING: 4.49
TRIGGERS: Violence, drugs, addictions, slavery
REPS: LGBTQIA+ (side characters)
Half-Fae, half-human Bryce Quinlan loves her life. By day, she works for an antiquities dealer, selling barely legal magical artifacts, and by night, she parties with her friends, savouring every pleasure Lunathion—otherwise known as Crescent City— has to offer. But it all comes crumbling down when a ruthless murder shakes the very foundations of the city—and Bryce’s world.
Two years later, her job has become a dead end, and she now seeks only blissful oblivion in the city’s most notorious nightclubs. But when the murderer attacks again, Bryce finds herself dragged into the investigation and paired with an infamous Fallen angel whose own brutal past haunts his every step.
Hunt Athalar, personal assassin for the Archangels, wants nothing to do with Bryce Quinlan, despite being ordered to protect her. She stands for everything he once rebelled against and seems more interested in partying than solving the murder, no matter how close to home it might hit. But Hunt soon realizes there’s far more to Bryce than meets the eye—and that he’s going to have to find a way to work with her if they want to solve this case.
As Bryce and Hunt race to untangle the mystery, they have no way of knowing the threads they tug ripple through the underbelly of the city, across warring continents, and down to the darkest levels of Hel, where things that have been sleeping for millennia are beginning to stir…
I.. I’m still at a loss for words when writing this intro. I was intrigued and scared by this book at the same time, but my need for fantasy was unreal so.. I decided I should use it to tackle this monster of a book. Did it deliver? Well.. uh.. I’m still not over this book so.. Let’s just start this review.
This was an absolute hectic, torturous yet amazing roller coaster of a book, a monstrous-sized one at that. Story-wise I was hooked. I couldn’t stop reading and I also kept reading even though there were times I should’ve really put the book aside to do some mom- and life-things, haha. It’s safe – and predictable – to say SJM did it again by writing a story that grabs you and doesn’t let go at all.
Especially since there is a certain event at the start of the book I did not see coming. It’s that event that had me even more invested in the story than I already was. I was slowly easing into it and all of a sudden – bam – hook, line and sinker. The guts SJM had by doing something like.. the thing she did.. I’m amazed, really. And she pulled it off too!
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.
Bryce, our main character, is half-elf and half-human. She has a very strong personality, even though she’s going through a lot of things. Rough relationships, grief, the consequences of things in her past.. All of those things make for a very interesting, powerful and fleshed-out character. I truly felt like I knew her, understood her.
Then there’s Hunt and.. well.. I feel like he might become my new favorite SJM-character, maybe. Rhysand is a hard one to beat but Hunt is coming close. He also has that broodiness, that rough past going on. Only thing is that I feel a little bit like Hunt’s character has been done better. Which is a good thing, really, since it means SJM has grown in her writing once again and that’s what we all want!
There are worse fates than death, you know.
The tension between those two? I was ready to hit my book at some points. It builds and builds and then it feels like it’ll explode but it doesn’t and it goes back to building up again and.. It drove me insane in a good way?
Not only that aspect, but also the events in the book, the story in general. House of Earth and Blood is 800 pages and it held my attention from start to finish. I truly didn’t expect that. Yes, the first fifty-ish pages are slow since there’s a lot of world-building, but it’s needed for the story so you can enjoy it more once it truly starts. And when it did? Boy, was I lost. I kept reading. The events followed one another. Not only action, no. The switching between character-growth, the growth of relationships, the actual “big plot” evolving… All those aspects were entwined in such a brilliant and perfect way. Everything was balanced and I enjoyed it so, so much.
As for other characters.. There are honestly so many who were introduced and so many characters I bonded with. I don’t even want to mention them in case I spoil certain things, haha! Let’s just say it doesn’t matter what kind of creature, there are some truly precious beings in this book apart from the two main characters.
It’s those minor characters that made this story the biggest roller coaster for me, I think. I got roped into those and when certain things happened.. I smiled, I snorted, I cried. Not only over the main characters, but also over some of the smaller ones that still ended up being so special to me.
Through love, all is possible.
I honestly cannot get over how much I enjoyed this book. I loved it. Adored it. And I can’t wait to read more of SJM’s work! Maybe I should just reread her books or something..
Have you read this yet? Are you planning on it?
What are some authors you’d throw in the same “group” as SJM, Holly Black and Cassandra Clare? [Asking because I am forever looking for fantasy like this.]