Sometimes, there is a book that you see over. and over. and over. and over to the point where you just want to read it so you can stop thinking about the bloody cover. The new Sarah J Maas book is definately that for me. I kept seeing the red cover with the crescent moon on my instagram, and even though I’ve never read any Sarah J Maas, I decided to give her new adult series a try. Perhaps, I reasoned, as I added the book to my home delivery basket, it would be like Samantha Shannon where I adored the Priory of the Orange Tree, even as Bone Season wasn’t up my alley.
Bookstagram made me do it.
It sounded too romancey for my tastes and there were some very mixed reviews which didn’t help my curiosity. And it’s a long book! 800 pages. But, I bought it, left it on my shelf a few days so the other TBR books didn’t get jealous and started it.
It’s a sloooooowwwwww start. I promise you. It’s a lot of worldbuilding, a lot of information, a lot of names and types of magical beings and what they can do and who is important and… it’s at least 50 plus pages before it really gets into the plot and what happens and it actually kicks off. So you need to stick with it. Really stick with it. I actually wandered off several times because my attention couldn’t stick.
The characters aren’t ctively likeable at first, but they grow on you as motivations are revealed and it’s a little like an advanced YA in that they are legally allowed to swear every page and are extremely horny on main. And there is a big emphasis on street drugs. I quite liked that it had some of the themes I am fond of in YA, and a mid-twenties protagonist.
I was able to work out how the plot was going to progrss for a fair chunk of it – at least one or two cases of ‘they’re going to accuse this person next which means it isn’t them because we are only 500 pages in – and some of the suprises weren’t really all that much of a suprise. But again, I enjoyed that I was right about some things and wrong about others and I was really sad at the fate of one of the characters!
Honestly, this was a mixed bag for me. I did get to the point where I was sucked into the narrative and the fight and the escalating politics of their world and I couldn’t stop reading, but it was so slow to start I almost gave up, and the characters aren’t meant to be likeable to start off with. So bear with it and it’s good. I haven’t read any other Sarah J Maas so I can’t pass comment on similarities between this book and other series, and having read the start of the Crescent City series, I don’t think I’m going to give the courts a try.
I am thinking of doing some painted edges for my hardbacks, and I think this book would look pretty good with painted edges…