Ashton’s Literary Ramblings Review: Sarah J. Maas: Crescent City: House of Earth and Blood

So if you are a die hard fan of anything, then you know the anticipation and the eagerness that fills your veins when they (whoever they are) announce an addition or new item. Well, Sarah J. Maas announced early last year that she was starting an adult fantasy series called Crescent City. I was like a little kid in a candy shop with unlimited money; I was so, so excited. Then, of course, I had to wait…and I had to wait. As a reader, we know the definition of waiting. While some authors can publish a book each month (James Patterson, I’m pointing my fingers at you) or at least publish a few novels a year (Danielle Steel, this is where you come in), other authors take a long, long, long time. Look at Stephenie Meyer. She’s finally finishing Midnight Sun after thirteen years, but that’s a whole other blog post (coming soon).

First off as always:

Crescent City: House of Earth and Blood

This cover is absolutely breathtaking! The cover is made by artist Carlos Quevedo, a Venezuelan graphic artist. The intricacy of his artwork is amazing and makes this perfectly suited for Sarah’s book.

Now let’s get to the point: the book. First, here’s the summary taken from Goodreads:

Bound by blood.
Tempted by desire.
Unleashed by destiny.

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.

 

At first, I struggled with this book. I didn’t like the set up of it or how Bryce was perceived as a ‘party girl’. Eventually, I started becoming more interested in the story. While I was still confused about how Sarah set up the world of Crescent City and how that world operated, I eventually became invested in the characters and the mystery revolving around the horn. Hunt and Bryce, of course, became a top contender of my favorite fictional couples. I could see how bruised and hurt they both were by things that had either happened to them in the past or things they had done in the past and how those things had shaped them as characters. Their relationship evolved from one of loathing to loving. However, if you’ve read anything by Sarah J. Maas, then you know about her plot switches. I won’t invest myself in any specific relationship in this series until book two comes out because I know how her plot switch upended my whole world when I read her other series, A Court of Thorns and Roses. 

Now, I’m back to waiting for the next installment in the series (no publication date yet). I’m hoping Maas will use Book 2 to fill in the cracks about this world in Crescent City.

Twilight: 10 Years Later

We thought we were in the Twilight clear since the release of the last movie was released six years ago, didn’t we? However, this year is the tenth anniversary of the release of the movie Twilight, which came about three years after the first book in the series was published. And while I will never recommend reading Twilight for literary purposes, the series still makes me a bit nostalgic. Ten years ago, I was a freshman in high school; I was the perfect age and in the perfect place for all of the hype that suddenly surrounded the books and movies, and, boy, did I fangirl hard.

The Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer is nothing short of problematic in all kinds of areas, but when you’re fourteen, it seems like the greatest love story ever told. I wasn’t thinking about how accurate the representation of certain cultures were in the novel, or that Bella Swan might have been suffering from Stockholm Syndrome a little bit; I was too busy trying to decide if I was Team Edward or Team Jacob, like 75% of my high school (For the record, I was Team Edward). For me, the series is definitely something to cringe about now, but it will always have a special place on the bottom of my bookshelf because I still can’t bring myself to get rid of them.

I’ve heard the Twilight series compared to the Harry Potter series in that the books got kids (and adults) reading. My philosophy has always been that it doesn’t matter what you’re reading as long as you’re reading something, because if you’re reading, you’re learning. My little sister recently discovered Twilight and is currently devouring the series as fast as she can. While I want to recommend other books to her, with more powerful female characters, diverse characters, and accurate representation of various cultures, I’m stopping myself because I’m just glad she’s reading. And I’m glad that she’s enjoying what she’s reading, too. Who am I to dictate what people should be reading? Who am I to judge them based on their reading preferences?

I will gladly congratulate the Twilight movie franchise on its tenth anniversary, as well as the book series for getting people to read. It can even be argued that Twilight helped popularize the paranormal subgenre in teen, young adult, and adult fiction, which is still one of the most checked out subgenres from our shelves to this day.

So enjoy reading or rereading Twilight and watching the movies in honor of the anniversary! And don’t let anyone tell you anything different!

Happy Reading!