House of Earth and Blood (Crescent City #1), by Sarah J. Maas

June 29, 2021

House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J. Maas

My rating: 1 of 5 stars


Phew… 816 pages, 10 days and I feel like I aged 10 years because this was such a tiresome read.

We find ourselves in the most fanciful and easiest fantasy world to write: A (probably) dystopian future on planet Midgard (yes… the subtlety is killing me…) in which humans are in a constant state of rebellion against their angel/fae/werewolf/ overlords who enslaved and/or killed their leaders.

Fortunately, not only does this Midgard feature powerful magic, supernatural beings and great weapons of mass destruction (brimstone missiles!), no, it also features modern technology like smartphones and email…

Bryce Quinlan is a “half-breed” between human and fae and, of course, supernaturally beautiful, tall, sexy and almost suicidally depressed about the murder of her more-than-a-friend-but-not-quite-a-lover-even-though-their-love-is-eternal werewolf companion and the latter’s entire pack.

Along comes the “dark and brooding” kind of male angel (yes… an angel… of death to boot…), Hunt Athalar, enslaved to the afore-mentioned overlords for being the rebellion’s leading general and the deceased rebellion leader’s lover.

Both having lost their respective lover/love interest/ they initially loathe each other to fall all the harder later on. To be honest, this romance aspect in a “GoodReads Choice Award” winner for fantasy was a minor reason for me to read this.

Do not fall into the same trap, though: Most of the time, the tension between both is luke-warm at best due to their insecurities, the level of which surpasses that of a 14-year old. Whenever they’re really “hot and bothered” (yes, actually spelt out like that because we’re all morons…) and are about to rip into each other, their phone rings and… interruptus. It’s unbelievable.

As if all that wouldn’t yet be enough to thoroughly ruin any book, Maas tops it off: Maas seems to be primarily a young-adult author. She tries hard (and completely unsuccessfully) to make this an “adult book” – but she lacks the means and resorts to liberally sprinkling a “fuck” into pretty much every sentence.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I couldn’t care less about expletives in general if used “normally” – most of us swear from time to time. Here, though, we’re exposed to so many that it’s just annoying:

»Ruhn’s blue eyes glimmered in his shadow-nest or whatever the fuck he called it.«

That would still be fine and simply make me roll my eyes (which the characters here do all the time as well…) but even Maas’ story drags on, and on, and on, and on.

There are so many false leads, minor twists, dead ends and what-not that I oftenly got confused about why someone did something and about the motives of the plethora of annoying stereotyped characters.

I don’t think any major cliché in the world is absent from this book; from the ambitious mother who’s envious of her daughter’s success, that daughter being a “wild child” with substance-abuse issues, to Bryce’s daddy issues and both hers and Hunt’s survivor’s guilt. The adorable sidekick who makes a valiant sacrifice – it never stops until the very end of the book.

The last 200 pages at least pick up the pace but it’s all way too late, too cheesy and cliched to redeem this book.

While I do understand that many adoring young girls probably voted a billion times for this turd to become a winner, there’s no reason whatsoever an adult with a working brain should expose themselves to this kind of drivel.

One star out of five – and I’d like all those wasted hours back, please!





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