House of Sky and Breath

- Sarah J. Maas

GOODREADS BOOK BLURB:

Bryce Quinlan and Hunt Athalar are trying to get back to normal―they may have saved Crescent City, but with so much upheaval in their lives lately, they mostly want a chance to relax. Slow down. Figure out what the future holds.

The Asteri have kept their word so far, leaving Bryce and Hunt alone. But with the rebels chipping away at the Asteri’s power, the threat the rulers pose is growing. As Bryce, Hunt, and their friends get pulled into the rebels’ plans, the choice becomes clear: stay silent while others are oppressed, or fight for what’s right. And they’ve never been very good at staying silent.

SERIES / GENRES:

MY REVIEW:

average:
3/5

I read ACOTAR first and loved it. I couldn’t believe it had taken me so long to find such a popular and incredible fantasy series. Every book is better than the last, growing in complexity and worldbuilding with, admittedly, too much discussion about mates and other romantic fantasy alpha nonsense but undeniably enjoyable reads. Then I turned my sights to ToG – incredibly highly rated with rave reviews, ‘if you love Maas and ACOTAR, ToG is even better‘ and was completely let down. Immature, boring, repetitive – leaving hints for excitement that never happened, forgetting about the best characters until they’re needed, making me hate Chaol and then read an entire book about him and have it be the best in the series – can you tell I’m still bitter about that? Unsurprisingly, I was hesitant to turn to Crescent City.

House of Earth and Blood was slow but seemed to be building to something, but House of Sky and Breath is moments of pure joy surrounded by hundreds of pages of dull wrapping. The perspective changes so rapidly that you’ve moved on to another storyline before you’re invested in the last one, or when something good starts happening, suddenly, you’re somewhere else. Talk about teleporting. So many poor plot devices are used to put off the inevitable or explain away bad decisions. Hunt and Bryce have the chemistry of Bryce and Ruhn (Exactly. It’s gross). Danika is a magical being who has managed to fill two books with the secrets she hid from her friends and family while being so present with them that no one realised anything was off.

This may be minor, but if everyone else could smell that Hunt and Bryce were mated, there’s no fucking way to explain Danika hiding her mate smell from a pack of wolves she spent every minute with

It’s like Maas was trying to ruin all of these characters. Tharion is pathetic and weak by the end, though she thoroughly destroys his character by this point, so you no longer care about him. Hunt is the big baddie with legendary powers who always seems to be the first disarmed or disabled. Ruhn is the caricature of a rebel high school prince – tattoos and piercings and daddy issues but no backbone. Ithan pines for a female he treated terribly and is so laser-focused on the dead that he misses everything around him. Bryce is gorgeous and sassy, and her true power is being irreverent to powerful beings – because that’s exactly what high tension dangerous situations need; a short skirt, a good manicure, and sass. She does things knowing the consequences and then is surprised when they hit, makes promises to everyone with no intention of keeping them, and does what she wants to the detriment of others. I could go on, but it only gets repetitive from here – they’re all variations of familiar tropes and overused themes.

While I wouldn’t relegate Crescent City to the ‘never read again’ pile of ToG, it’s nowhere near as good as ACOTAR. I would love to reread ACOTAR to confirm this, but I’m afraid it will not live up to my memory after Maas has put so much effort into sullying her reputation.

And that ending. Do I need to say anything about the ending?

Not everything needs to be a fucking metaverse.

Crescent City already suffers from an attempt to overcomplicate everything – this will not help. If anything, it’s made me less excited for the next book in the series.

Let’s hope there is no planned Aelin appearance. I cannot handle that.

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