Title: Crescent City: House of Earth and Blood
Author: Sarah J Maas
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
Format: Hardcover, 803 pages
Review: THIS REVIEW CONTAINS MINOR PLOT SPOILERS
This book took me pleasantly by surprised and is probably my favorite Sarah J Maas book that I’ve read. The plot was well paced for the most part, over all the characters were interesting and several events in the book took me by surprise.
I think one of the biggest elements working against this book is it’s length. I think the time and detail Maas spent laying the ground work for Bryce and Danika’s relationship and the events leading up to and thru their last day together would have been better presented in a separate novella. I also think that exploring those relationships and events thru flashbacks throughout the story, in addition to those that are present, would have been a more interesting narrative device and would have created a more compelling story.
The major sticking point for me with this book was the token queer relationship that’s alluded too in the later half of the book. It’s mentioned in passing and not discussed in any way, let alone in a meaningful way, and given Maas’ lack of representation when it comes to Queer characters in her other books I’m hesitant to believe this relationship will see more, authentic, page time as the series continues. But for now I’ll hold on to some small hope that it will and that these characters will be authentically developed and explored in the future.
It was also refreshing to see Maas appropriately classified as New Adult and not thrown into Young Adult yet again. I don’t always enjoy her books, the ones I’ve read have always been hit or miss for me, but as a bookseller it’s often hard to discuss her books with customers. I never want to dissuade a person from reading what they’re interested in, but when teenagers pick up Maas’ books and their adult family member(s) ask me if I’d recommend it…it’s a hard discussion to navigate because of the adult content that is included in most of her books.
Overall I did enjoy this book and I look forward to continuing the series. I think many of Maas’ current readers will enjoy this book and I also think it will attract plenty of new readers now that her some of her books have broken free from their YA misclassification.