House of the Rising Sun, the first book in the Crescent City series, could actually be considered a spin off from Painter's House of Comarré series since Augustine was a secondary character that appeared and helped Chrysabelle out of a tight situation when she traveled to New Orleans.
If you have read the Comarre series, you know that Painter has a pretty unique, and interesting world that she has created. One that is set in the not too distant future (2068). It is a world where humans find themselves sharing living places like New Orleans, which has become a Haven City, and a place to rub shoulders and mingle with the supernaturals that live there. Her characters are far from perfect, but you can't help but follow them along on their quests and determination to find happiness and to root out evil.
When the story opens, Augustine is in a bit of trouble with the Elektos for helping Chrysabelle enter Claustrum. After deciding to flee the city for several months, Augustine returns only to have his world shattered by vampires who kill Olivia Goodwin, retired movie star, and the person who took Augustine in when his mother dumped him on the streets. Augustine is a shadeux/smokesinger fae who doesn't hide who or what he is. He is straight forward and determined, and a bit on the dangerous side as seen as he goes on a mission to rid Orleans of the vampire infestation and find out who was responsible for bringing them into the city. Augustine also becomes the new Guardian of the City, which comes with even more responsibilities and challenges. It is a position that means that he is responsible for EVERYONE who lives in the city including the rather put out Harlow who has her own agenda.
Harlow Goodwin, who refuses to accept her fae heritage, has gotten into a bit of trouble, and is facing a major fine, and jail time for cyber crimes. Although she clearly believes that someone purposefully set her up to fail, she can't prove it because they are really good at covering their tracks. Harlow has the ability to feel people's emotions, read computers, and see the future. Harlow was a tough pill for me to swallow at times, but it didn't stop me from hoping that she will grow as a character. Harlow also has major issues with her mother (Olivia Goodwin) because she refuses, for good reasons, to reveal who her real father is. Needless to say, this is an underlying story that doesn't just go away quickly until the riddle is revealed in all its glory, and the story and series takes an interesting turn.
House of the Rising Sun flips between the two characters and leaves an interesting avenue for the second novel City of Eternal Night to follow. I will say that I kind of wish that Painter could come up with a reference section for the various Fae that she creates for readers who weren't lucky to read the Comarre series as I was. I would love to know the differences between Raptor Fae, and Shadow Fae, and dozen others that appear in this story.
I am happy that Painter, who is infamous of having a plethora of POV's in her stories, remained with Harlow and Augustine this time out. I love Dulcinea, and Lally, and can't wait to see where Painter takes her next installment. I would hope that readers do actually take time out and read the House of Commarre series. There are correlations. I appreciated that Painter added Chrysabelle and Malcolm to the story line. I liked getting caught up on what happened to them after the Comarre series ended, and finding out that Malcolm, who is Augustine's half brother, has found a HEA all his own.
Author - Kristen Painter
Title - House of the Rising Sun (Crescent City # 1)
Publisher - Hachette/Orbit
Released: May 13, 2014
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Formate: Paperback 403 pages