Writer, Allison Holcik
Welcome, fellow readers! This week, I am reviewing Sarah J. Maas’ newest novel, Crescent City; House of Earth and Blood, or HOEAB, for writing purposes. HOEAB is a crime drama set in a modern fantasy world. The book focuses on the journey of party-girl Bryce Quinlan as she navigates life after her best friend’s mysterious and untimely death two years before. This book made me cry many times, so beware! Bryce is definitely an interesting character, and though I hated her bad attitude and frivolous behaviour15 at the beginning, Bryce definitely grew on me as the story went on.
“”Loyal unto death- and beyond,” – HOEAB pg.675
However, the most interesting part of the novel, at least from my perspective, was Maas’ choice to focus on the importance of friendship, as opposed to the somewhat forced romance that drives most other works in the young/new adult genre. This refreshing choice on the author’s part did not prevent the novel from having a rich romantic subplot, but it did help display Bryce’s multifaceted character and her relationship with her best friend, Danika Fendyr. Bryce develops throughout the novel as she searches for answers regarding Danika’s death with her romantic interest, Hunt Athalar, but their romance is a slow burn that only continues to show how much Danika affected Bryce’s life.
“Only for Danika would she do this, risk this.” – HOEAB pg. 739
HOEAB is a fast-paced novel with the same rich world-building as Maas’ other award-winning books, but with a grasp on fiction modernity previously unexplored in her works. The whole novel is full of moments where you read a plot twist and everything you thought you knew about Bryce and Danika changes, and in re-reads, there are exquisite pieces of foreshadowing that make you wonder how you ever didn’t see what was coming. Crescent City is a wonderful and emotional novel that I would absolutely recommend for everyone’s To Read list!