House of Earth and Blood

Reviewed by Samantha Hymer, East Central College.

Popular young adult author Sarah J. Mass is back and better than ever with “House of Earth and Blood,” the first in a new series, this one for adults.

Bryce Quinlan is a party girl; she works all day and parties until the sun comes up. Her life is exactly how she wants it—perfect in her eyes. That is until a demon murders her best friend.

When that happens Bryce is a devastated mess, alone in a world scattered with people who hate her. Bryce will do whatever it takes to revenge her lost friend, even it is the last thing she will ever do.

Hunt Athalar is powerful, known for his brutal skills in regard to murder. He is a fallen angel now under the command of the Archangels. Hunt is duty bound to assassinate his higher up’s enemies, but with a demon on the loose, Hunt finally has a chance to be free. All he has to do is help Bryce.

Bryce and Hunt will have to get past their differences to put a stop to the chaos. Diving deep into secrets that neither of them want to reveal, they discover they are willing to do anything for the ones they love, including making sacrifices.

I loved everything about “House of Earth and Blood, from the expansive world building to the raw emotions the characters displayed. But I must add this fantasy is not for young adults because it deals with mature subjects.

However, if you’re an adult who enjoys sci-fi/ fantasy genres then pick this one up. It will keep you on the edge of your seat wondering how Bryce is going to get out of her sticky situation. Your only regret might be having to wait for the second book in the series.

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Reviewed by Caroline Miller, St. Francis Borgia Regional High School

I have enjoyed every book that Sarah J. Mass has ever written, and if you haven’t read any of her books, do so immediately. “House of Earth and Blood” is her most current book after the finales of her two other series. It has the same spunk and magic that her books possess.

Bryce Quinlin is a mess. The only thing keeping her grounded is her best friend and powerful wolf shifter, Danika. The two share a bond like none other. After countless parties and a few near death experiences, they are bonded for life.

But on one particular night, when Bryce leaves to party and Danika and her wolf pack stay behind, the unbelievable happens. Danika and her fearsome Pack of Devils die and Bryce, who stumbles home drunk and high, later discovers her whole world shattered. The authorities swiftly find the perpetrator of the crimes and the case is closed.

Flash forward two years, Bryce is still grieving and working the same dead end job at a gallery when she gets conflicting news about Danika and the Pack’s murders. The man the authorities caught two years ago is believed to be innocent because new victims are found murdered in the same way.

The Archangel and Governor of the city go to the person who knew Danika best to help solve the crime. Bryce is challenged to delve back into her past and avenge Danika’s murder before the killer strikes again. The person assisting her in solving the case is Hunt Athalar, notorious Fallen Angel and slave to the Governor.

Hunt and Bryce butt heads as they struggle to solve the murders and uncover details about a missing magical artifact and the secrets Danika never shared. The unlikely situation between Hunt and Bryce has the two characters slowly breaking down their walls and opening their hearts to each other. Maas has created a wonderful cast of magical characters in her thought provoking world, a land so captivating readers will fall in love with it.

At the beginning of the book I was confused, because the book started with intense world building. Maas concocted a deeply intricate world that had me scratching my head, but as I read on the details became second nature to remember. I absolutely adored this book, it had everything: complex worlds, magical creatures, murder and romance.

Bryce grew as the story progressed, wasn’t one dimensional at all. She had complex stories and background woven into her character arc that made you love her even more. Hunt was very much the same way, making me root for him to win throughout the story. The supporting characters added additional spice, each uniquely different and important to the novel’s development.

When I finished this book I immediately wanted to pick it up again. It’s 800 pages of wonderful writing and gorgeous imagery that leaves the reader anticipating what is coming next.