Release Date: May 13, 2014
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Recommended By: Jenese of Readers Confession
Genre: Urban Fantasy
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.
Kristen Painter: The Crescent City series if fae focused, whereas the House of Comarre series was all about vampires (for the most part.) But the two series share a world and there will be some character crossover. Augustine is a bit of a different kind of hero for me. He's much more laid back, he loves life (generally), loves all the pleasures it brings and really has no desire to change his status quo. He's basically a playboy.
There's been a lot of vampire series released. How is Crescent City similar and unique from what's already out there in terms of myth, plot, etc?
Kristen Painter: The vamps that do occur in the Crescent City series follow the same rules since the two series are set in the same world. Crescent City takes place about three months after House of Comarre ends.
I know there will be a lot of questions about the main characters so I'll go the other way and ask you about the bad guys. Who or what are they and why are they menacing?
Kristen Painter: I don't want to give away too much but I will say the main bad guy in this series is menacing because he's so close to home. There are other baddies afoot, however, and I'd have to say their menace comes from their unpredictability. They've all been really fun to write!
Welcome to my HOUSE OF THE RISING SUN tour stop, book 1 of Kristen Painter's latest series, Crescent City, a spin-off of her award winning urban fantasy series, House of Comarre! With all the published reviews and a few more coming your way, I'll trim the fat and get to the meat of things.
PLOT: HOUSE OF THE RISING SUN is a fae vs. vampire story set in New Orleans in the year 2068. The setting is still fairly familiar as New Orleans pretty much "resisted" the modern world and stayed old school for the most part. Aside from a few innovations, the world KPainter created isn't too advanced for this to be science fiction. On the side of world-building, she took her time setting up her game board and positioning her characters. My regret is I wish I had the pleasure of reading HoC just to familiarize myself with the fae terms. That or an index or glossary of terms would've been helpful, fae jargon are thrown in the mix casually, the explanation either minimal or came later so this part was kinda way over my head.
HOUSE OF THE RISING SUN is very character driven which is one of this novel's stronger points. The plot is yet to thicken fully, for now the drama is more familial than overarching but I'm pretty sure that will change in the coming books. The conflict-resolution was a bit predictable, once the identities of all the players have been revealed, it was quite easy to figure out the mysteries and motivation behind Olivia's murder and Harlow's personal strife. The pace is pretty even for the most part but it slowed down for me midway towards the end. Also, and this is probably just me, the tone of Crescent City 1 felt more like YA than UF. I can't put my finger on it exactly... it lacked a certain kind of grit and daring one usually finds in UF.
AUGUSTINE ROBELAIS : HOUSE OF THE RISING SUN is told in his and Haven's POV but mostly his which I love because we don't get to read a lot of UF told in the male POV. A brief overview, Augustine is a powerful and unique mix of fae, half smokesinger half shadeux fae (told ya I need a glossary). He has gray skin and horns, quite attractive for a fae, protective of his loved ones and friends, and can be aggressive and hot headed. Augustine has the makings of being a great hero but right now, he comes across as too eager and all muscle for my taste. He doesn't have that quiet, calculating, and imposing command Alphas have but I have no doubt he'll get to that level soon enough.
HARLOW GOODWIN: The heroine of the story and Olivia Goodwin's (Augustine's foster mother) biological daughter. Harlow is a fae too, some sort of an empath but her talents lie on cyber stuff like hacking and programming. Harlow's relationship with Olivia is strained to say the least and just when she's ready to reconcile with her, Olivia was killed by vampires who are after Augustine. This automatically created tension between Harlow and Augustine not to mention the latter sort of filling Harlow's role in Olivia's life which bred some resentment between the two. They eventually found themselves on the same side but not without some serious words exchanged. There's a love/hate going on between these two and as they're obviously strongly attracted to each other, it's only a matter of time before they become a couple. For now both are playing the game of love and we'll see how it turns out. As a heroine, I didn't connect much with Harlow either. Like with Augustine, I felt her characters to be a little flat. Hopefully that will change in book 2 since they're the ones driving the story at this point.
WINDUP: HOUSE OF THE RISING SUN is a good start for the spin-off. If only there's some sort of "crutch" that newbies like me can lean to regarding the world-building. Not that it's difficult to understand but it's always best if one has complete understanding of basic myths from the get-go. Still I like the world that KPainter created, it's a perfect mix of the traditional/old world and futuristic and what better place to set this mayhem than in NOLA?! Would I still continue the series? Yes I would because I'm intrigued by Augustine's paternity and his world plus I want to know what's up with the actual House of The Rising Sun and what magic it holds. For now these are enough motivation for me to keep on reading.
A little about me: I’m a former college English teacher, but I've held a crazy mix of other jobs including maitre’d for Wolfgang Puck, personal trainer, and sales for Christian Dior Bijoux. On the writing side of things, I’m a two-time Golden Heart finalist and have been on the board of three different RWA chapters. What can I say? I like getting involved. I’m not adverse to bossing people around either.
I have a *slight* shoe addiction and occasionally indulge in an unnecessary handbag. Hah! That was a joke. There is no such thing as an unnecessary handbag. I love make up and jewelry and spa days. Yes, I’m a girly girl. But don’t think that makes me weak. I can (and do) kill off characters with the best of them. Speaking of which…
My forays into writing have been as varied as the jobs I’ve held. I’ve written poetry, articles for magazines, short stories, paranormal romances (that include fantasy, contemporary and steampunk genres) and now I’ve found a home with urban fantasy. I love worldbuilding and few genres give you the kind of license urban fantasy does.
I’m also the co-founder of the award-winning writer’s site Romancedivas.com. I tweet attwitter.com/Kristen_Painter more often than I should. You can also find me on my Facebook author page here: www.facebook.com/KristenPainterAuthor
I live in FL with my retired Air Force husband and a horde of feline dependents. I’m represented by The Knight Agency.