Are you crying? 'Cause I'm not crying... who am I kidding? At times I cried so much my breath hitched. BUT don't get me wrong, this isn't a gushy book... quite the opposite in fact... it's a (not so) subtle bludgeoning to where it hurts most... your adrenaline glands... BUT if you can muster even the teensiest of emotions then you will find them tossed about and afterwards, you'll surely beg for more. It'll suck you into its vast technicolor world and by the end, you will be rooting fervently either for or against each unique character... either way, you'll be 100% invested.
House of Earth and Blood is a racy Fantasy that Does Not Disappoint!! My mind was constantly on this gritty world, with its fascinating yet morally questionable characters. And the dialogue... well, the dialogue was organic and felt real... it had me completely immersed, absorbed and dialled in! I listened to this book using Audible and the audiobook's narrator was spot on. She showcased a slew of voices, with differing inflections and varying pitches... it drew me into this dynamic world even more and held me captive.
AND don't get me started on the sexual tension... it'll grip you tightly and take you on a wild ride with a steaming Hate ~~~> You're Not That Bad ~~~~> I'm Dying To Have You All To Myself tale of desire and woe that will surely delight. There is a Male MC called Hunt aka Athalar, Umbra Mortis and shhhhh also known to a select few as Orion (his birth name)... who was so tasty, my mouth still waters every time I think about him. Hunt is sexy as all heck and will make you pray to any God that will listen for your very own badass angel bodyguard. Hunt will have you rooting for the cynical, brooding, tortured yet willing to try again, lightning wielding powerhouse. He is now tied with Rhysand for my #2 literary crush and that's saying a lot! What he and Bryce are building together (and who they are becoming just by knowing one another) is formidable... miraculous. Speaking about Bryce... you should know that she is a sassy, loyal to the point of blindness, complicated, misunderstood, kick ass MFer that is also relatable and both beautiful AND a beautifully broken thing. I thought I would tire of her and her snarky all the time behavior BUT her brash, abrasive attitude is warranted. She grew on me. She is on the ledge until the middle(ish) of the story, then she slowly pulls herself back from the brink and finds her true self once again... all thanks to a strong will and a gorgeous, I'll cook breakfast for you every morning, God send. Don't mess with the Umbra Mortis or Bryce Quinlan for that matter because they are a savage team... a duo ready to prove to a brutal (oft times unjust) world just how much ass a magically hobbled angelic slave and a Fae-Human half breed can kick.
What can top that? Well, not much but there is the matter of the writing. The writing is smooth and flows like hot honey. The writing is in your face and the dialogue is effortless. The plot never suffers from clunky info dumping, slogging spots or areas of mind numbing boredom. It is Finnesse and Talent and all sorts of Life Is A Bitch But We'll Overcome This Together grandeur. The book is peppered throughout with racy bits so yummmmy (with a capital YUM) it had me furiously blushing the whole time I was out and about (solo) or just home practicing responsible Social Distancing. I HIGHLY recommend you experience this book via Audible (not a paid for endorsement)... it was intense.
What can trump the writing? Well, the world development happens to be just as good! House of Earth and Blood has Demonaki, Angels, Fae, merman, Sprites, shapeshifters, mixed half breeds and things from hell that go BUMP...BANG... (stab, claw, chew) now you're dead, especially if you haven't made the drop... you'll see. Anyway, there is so much action I couldn't walk away for fear of missing something. I HAD to know what happens next. I was all in and attuned to every dip, turn and curve this adrenaline pumping thrill ride made. I know that the platitudes "heart pounding action" and "thrill ride" are thrown about quite loosely BUT this book actually had my heart pounding... especially during the big confrontation. The big fight scene started out with our female MC (and her Sprite friend Lehabah) in a (lopsided) battle against a majorly twisted Archangel and continued straight on through to her fighting Hell's demon hoards. MIND BLOWN! It was so intense I didn't realize how dramatically my heart was POUNDING in my chest until I sat down in the thick of things... it threw itself against my ribcage as if it could break free and join the fight... it was beating so loud I thought the neighbors could hear it.
Anyway, I read this nearly straight through and any time I was pulled away, I struggled. I instantly wanted to run back to it and apologize like a cheating lover would.... fervent and amorous. This is so far one of the top books of the year in my opinion and I have read/listened to a swarm of novels that were started and promptly aborted.The House of Earth and Blood was so far from that experience the others would need binoculars to even catch a glimpse of this book. Am I unabashedly gushing? Yes! Am I fangirling like I'm getting paid for it? Again, Yes! BUT this book is worth every siccofantic bit of fanatical praise and then some.
And what about the ending you might ask? Well, we were gifted with an ending that was both satisfying and open ended. It smoothly wrapped things up and perfectly set the stage for more to come.
My husband has been a Sarah. J Maas fanboy for a while and now I understand why. I loved it ...loved it... loved it with a capital L loved it! The writing is on point! The world building is impressively lush! The character development is a work of art and the overall product is sublime.
This is NOT an offhanded recommendation. House of Earth and Blood is a MUST READ especially for Fantasy lovers and those looking for a tachycardia inducing read.
This book is everything an avid Fantasy reader could dream of. I'm a betting woman and I'll wager good money that if you give this one a chance, you'll get just as hooked as I am and may even start fangirling yourself.