Title: House of the Rising Sun
Author: Kristen Painter
Series: Crescent City
Publication Date: May 13th, 2014
Synopsis: Augustine lives the perfect life in the Haven city of New Orleans. He rarely works a real job, spends most of his nights with a different human woman, and resides in a spectacular Garden District mansion paid for by retired movie star Olivia Goodwin, who has come to think of him as an adopted son, providing him room and board and whatever else he needs.
But when Augustine returns home to find Olivia’s been attacked by vampires, he knows his idyllic life has comes to an end. It’s time for revenge—and to take up the mantle of the city’s Guardian.
Review: This was a pretty good book but I want to start this review with talk of the cover. While this holds no bearing on my actual review it is an important part of the book selecting process. Covers are the first thing a reader/buyer sees and is what gets them to pick up the book. The cover for House of the Rising Sun, while done well and is attention grabbing, is disconnected from the summary and feels like the publisher chose to slap a hot chick on the cover to sell books. While the book does change point of views, the summary only mentions Augustine and leads the reader to believe that he is the main character and the story will mainly be told through him, making the choice of a female on the cover odd. I think that the publisher could have done a better job to connect the cover and the summary together.
The actual story takes place in New Orleans in 2068. I was really skeptical when I saw the time period the story takes place, I’m not much for futurist books but it wasn’t glaringly obvious in this book. There are not any hover cars or anything too off the wall futuristic and with the exception of some really nifty gadgets it was pretty easy to forget it was in the future and not the current time. This was explained as New Orleans tends to cling to the past. While that seems like an easy out, it didn’t bother me in the slightest and the ability to forget it was in the future made the book easier for me to read.
I was very, intrigued by the fae aspect of this story, and I really would loved for there to be extra content that gave more information about the fae and some words used. I felt the world building could have been done better, I get this is a spin-off series, but I think the transition could have been handle better and that Painter owes it to new readers to let them know as much as possible about the world she’s built, especially since this is technically the first in a new series. I really was hoping that this book would keep the darker fae feel I got at the beginning of the book but it almost felt like with the addition of the romance between the main characters the tone of the book changed. I did find myself wishing that there was a bit more depth to the plot. Characters were introduced and it was not too hard to figure out they were up to no good. There were not really any surprises for me, I figured things out before the characters.
For the most part the characters were enjoyable. The dialogue was weird for me in places, I found myself raising my eyebrow at some of the word choices and phrases. At times it felt as if the characters all had one voice and not individual voices and expressions. The pov changed quite a bit and to varying people, this is probably a factor in that. And while we learned quite a bit about most of the characters I don’t feel like I knew them at all, let alone connected with any of them. Though neither Augustine nor Harlowe felt two-dimensional, so that is something.
As I mentioned above I felt the world building was a little lacking. This is a companion/spinoff series from the House of Comarré series and as a new reader of this author I know nothing about her world. And after reading this book I don’t feel I know it as well as I would like to. After finishing this one, I did go back and read the first of the Comarré series, and I’m starting to get the feeling that I’m going to find the world building overall for both series lacking. I really, really would have loved more information and we were given to unreliable narrators who knew little about being fae or anything fae, which didn’t help things at all.
This was a really enjoyable book, I was entertained the entire time I was reading it, however, it’s unmemorable. It’s been a week or so since I’ve read the book and handwritten the review to me typing it, and I am having a hard time recalling a lot of what happened.
Recommendation: Borrow it
I received this book from Orbit on Netgalley for an honest review.