Series: Crescent City #1
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Published by Orbit on May 13, 2014
Source: NetGalley, Publisher
Reviewed by: Kate
References to sex, kissing
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.
I’ll admit that I must not have read the description of HOUSE OF THE RISING SUN very carefully, and was taken in by the pretty girl on the cover, only to discover the main character happens to be a guy. Oops. Luckily, once I got past that, it did not diminish my enjoyment of the novel, which was fun and mysterious, and did include some great female characters, too.
Despite originally not being pleased with the central character being male, Augustine turned into a character I cared about and wanted to read more about for a few reasons. First of all, I liked his moral code. He had gotten in trouble in the past, and knew it, and was basically forced into taking the guardianship of New Orleans. However, once there, he didn’t treat it like something he was forced into doing. He truly cared about the city and keeping its residents safe, and was a pretty badass fighter, on top of it. Olivia turned out to be pretty awesome, as well. Her abilities were fascinating and her personal journey and growth - also as a result of doing something not particularly legal - was interesting to watch.
My one complaint was the death of a character pretty early on in the book as being one of the major motivations for some of the actions of the characters. I didn’t feel like we’d gotten a chance to see the relationship of the characters enough to necessarily understand where such strong emotions were coming from. As the time went on, it became more clear, as we learned more about Augustine, but right in the beginning it was a little hard to understand how deeply it impacted him.
Overall, HOUSE OF THE RISING SUN was a nice new take on fae and urban fantasy in general. While the world building was strong, the characters were the highlight of the novel, and I will definitely be looking for more from this series, as well as checking out Painter’s previous works.
- House of the Rising Sun
- City of Eternal Night