📖Crescent City by Sarah J. Maas

Half-Fae, half-human Bryce Quinlan loves her life. Every night is a party and Bryce is going to savour all the pleasures Lunathion – also known as Crescent City – has to offer. But then a brutal murder shakes the very foundations of the city, and brings Bryce’s world crashing down.

Two years later, Bryce still haunts the city’s most notorious nightclubs – but seeking only oblivion now. Then the murderer attacks again. And when an infamous Fallen angel, Hunt Athalar, is assigned to watch her every footstep, Bryce knows she can’t forget any longer.

As Bryce and Hunt fight to unravel the mystery, and their own dark pasts, the threads they tug ripple through the underbelly of the city, across warring continents, and down to the deepest levels of Hel, where things that have been sleeping for millennia are beginning to stir …

I’m almost shamed to admit that this has been on my shelf since I bought it in 2020. I started reading it twice before and then got distracted by what life was hurtling my way. However, as I got the second book in the series for my birthday a week ago, I thought it was time to finally read this from beginning to end.

Let me start by saying that Sarah J. Mass is the only author of fantasy that grips me from beginning to end. Her books consume me and have me skipping out on sleep and food just to read another chapter. I had to force myself to go to bed one night around midnight as the yearning to keep reading was so strong and it actually made its way into my dreams last night!

Although I cry heavily at practically any film, I don’t cry when reading. The last major bawl I had was while reading Dumbledores death in ‘The Half-Blood Prince’, so when I say this book made me weep a few tears, I mean it.

There are many things I talk about that have meaning to me when I’m reading. Being able to take your reader on an emotional rollercoaster is a talent that takes great skill to produce. The Bryce I met at the beginning of the book could never be measured up to the Bryce I met at the end of the book. I never allowed myself to form such expectations on her because I wanted to be able to read her in the most unbiased way possible.

This chunky book has a lot of players in it but in true Maas form, every character mentioned has a backstory to be gleamed. It makes for a very involved reading. Maas has a wonderful way of writing characters that are never too much or too little and she has a knack for giving a character a wide scope for development as well as a varied spread of emotional and personable characteristics. It’s not gritty, it’s not haunted, it’s not troubled, it’s a character that has gone from strength to strength and showed every aspect, the good and the bad, and never dodged away from showing something that makes them vulnerable. It’s a fine line to tread, so often we label characters as being ‘jaded’, ‘burned’, ‘bitter’, ‘aggressive’ etc. and we never delve further into what made them that way.

This book more than anything, showed me the power of secrets and how a character can hide what they feel and how an author can twist the truth into many different meanings. I won’t necessarily talk much about the plot in this review, I wouldn’t want to spoil it for those that haven’t read it, but also, I’m not sure where my head is resting having finished the book. It was a powerful read.

EDIT: So I just realised that I half dictated this review back when I was still unable to use my hand and never finished it. So, I tried to edit it a month later, if it doesn’t make much sense, this is why.

I give this book: ✨✨✨✨✨

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