Review Blood & Honey Shelby Mahurin Serpent & Dove Series Gods & Monsters
This review contains minor spoilers for Blood & Honey as well as Serpent & Dove.
This may be an unpopular opinion – but Blood & Honey is a better book then Serpent & Dove. Book two picks up right after the events of book one, with our lovers & their friends wandering the realm looking for allies in their fight against Morgane.
Blood & Honey is written in the same POV style as Serpent & Dove. When Reid & Lou are together, the story flows between their two perspectives, uninterrupted. When they are separated however, as events start unfolding in their respective places, the POV style writing starts to become distracting. Instead of adding to the story, it takes away from it. This was particularly frustrating during part two. We are pulled back and forth between two very pivotal moments in our main characters personal journeys. It was hard to feel connected to or satisfied by either storyline with the interruptions.
I still wish the characters were more open with the reader. It’s hard to connect with Reid or Lou, when neither of them are very open. Granted, they haven’t been very open or truthful with themselves, but I want more out of my main characters. I want to think and feel what they are thinking and feeling. Lou’s descent to madness could have been so much more powerful – if only more of her thoughts and feelings had been shared with the reader. Reid spends almost the entire book in turmoil & it wasn’t until the Archbishops funeral that he started to accept and make peace with everything that had happened. I wasn’t with him in that moment though. All the little moments throughout the book leading us there, were just too few and too far between to truly be invested in that moment on the rooftop.
We finally start to learn more details about our little ragtag group of friends. Beau was probably my least favorite character during Serpent & Dove. Where I was uninterested in him in book one, now I am. I liked the moments when he let his guard down & we see pieces of the real Beau. I enjoyed meeting his father, the King & his sisters. I’m interested in seeing how Beau & Reid’s relationship grows over the course of the next book.
We get more details about Coco & the Blood Witches when they visit the Blood camp. Nicholina is my favorite addition to Blood & Honey. What a treat she is. If only our little mouse had been paying more attention. And if only there was more detail in the writing. One particular scene comes to mind, when Nicholina licked Reid’s cheek. It could have been such a creepy bone chilling moment. Instead, it was just a moment.
Lou and crew also seek to rally the local werewolves to their cause. I liked them well enough. We learn more about Reid through his interactions with the pack & they bring a little something extra to the story. But those pages & words could have been used to flesh our our main characters more instead. We could have done without them, the story didn’t need them.
Our gang broker deals with the Blood Witches & the local werewolves in their mission to march against Morgane. The stakes are high as they race to stop Lou’s mother once and for all. Overall I found Blood & Honey to be a better story, even if Serpent & Dove had the stronger ending. It’s easy for me to sit here and critique Shelby’s work. But these are her first books & I believe that as Shelby continues to write, her books will only get better.
Gods & Monsters comes out on August 3, 2021