Friday, May 7, 2021

Blood & Honey (Serpent & Dove #2) by Shelby Mahurin
๐ŸŽง Narrated by Holter Graham & Saskia Maarleveld

Synopsis (via Goodreads): After narrowly escaping death at the hands of the Dames Blanches, Lou, Reid, Coco, and Ansel are on the run from coven, kingdom, and church—fugitives with nowhere to hide.

To elude the scores of witches and throngs of chasseurs at their heels, Lou and Reid need allies. Strong ones. But protection comes at a price, and the group is forced to embark on separate quests to build their forces. As Lou and Reid try to close the widening rift between them, the dastardly Morgane baits them in a lethal game of cat and mouse that threatens to destroy something worth more than any coven.

The hotly anticipated sequel to the New York Times and IndieBound bestseller Serpent & Dove—packed with even steamier romance and darker magic—is perfect for fans of Sarah J. Maas.

If Serpent & Dove was an ocean – full of life and possibility – then Blood & Honey was a stagnant puddle of water – muddied and unremarkable.

I just finished Blood & Honey by Shelby Mahurin and I am so disappointed. I'm definitely not okay with how it ended, and I felt like the entire book was pointless in regard to the progression of the story. Everything happened over a span of what? A week? It felt like the characters were rushing from one thing to the next, but without any of the character development and plot devices from the first book. In Serpent & Dove I fell in love with Lou and Reid, Ansel and Coco. They grew individually and developed as a group, but both aspects were absent from Blood & Honey. Everyone basically stayed the same, and their repeated arguments were exhausting to read about. 

What happened to all of the characters I fell in love with? Lou and Reid kept fighting over the SAME things, and most of the time their arguments were superficial and lacked any real substance. Reid still struggles with magic and Lou by association. He hates himself for various reasons, yet is unwilling to look at anything differently (despite everything he’s been through and everything that’s happened). His mother, his wife, one of his companions - they all use magic, but he's too stubborn to set aside his beliefs and antiquated notions. All of the characters were unbearably obnoxious and whiny, and the story dragged despite everything happening in a very short timeline. Lou took things too far, Reid avoided everything he needed to face, and the others simply watched events unfold like little kids watching their parents fight.

I also hated how Ansel was treated the entire book. He more than earned their respect after everything he did in Serpent & Dove, yet they still saw him as a child that needed to be protected. They laughed at him when he tried to learn how to defend himself, and always viewed him as a liability. Over and over again he gets looked over and pushed aside, and I will never forgive Lou for the things she said to him towards the end. I don't care what her reasons were, she was needlessly cruel and should have kept her damn mouth shut. What Coco did to him wasn't any better, and her justifications only made me roll my eyes and sigh with disappointment. She shouldn't have toyed with him, and now the damage is done. Beau was always obnoxious when it came to Ansel. Reid didn't outright make fun of him or belittle his efforts, but he wasn't a staunch supporter either.

BEAU! I really thought we'd learn more about him during this book, but he's still a sadly underdeveloped secondary character. I thought his position and attitude would make him a more interesting character, but he rarely interjected with anything interesting to say. His childish behaviors and commentary got old really fast.

A lot of what happened felt like it was done for shock value, and not necessarily because it needed to happen. I really wanted to love Blood & Honey as much as I loved Serpent & Dove, but the second book lacked everything I enjoyed about the first. Yes, there were several awesome fight scenes, and the conflict between Lou and her mother was still there, but other than the addition of a few interesting new characters, this book didn't really add anything to the overall story. It was definitely a filler book, and I wish this series had remained the duology it was originally meant to be.

Pro: Listening to the audiobook was so much better than reading it on my own! I really struggled with the French words and pronunciations in Serpent & Dove, and having a narrator meant I didn't have to worry about butchering anything in Blood & Honey. Holter Graham and Saskia Maarleveld were amazing, despite Graham not really have the voice I imagined for Reid. Oh, and this one ends with a really annoying cliffhanger. You've been warned. (★★⋆☆☆)

*this post has been backdated


  1. I am sorry that this one did not work for you. Now I am not sure if I want to start the series.

    1. I was so disappointed by this one BECAUSE I loved the first book so much. ๐Ÿ™„

  2. UGH this is such a shame! And sadly, you are not the only one who feels this way- I genuinely don't think I have seen a positive review of this one. I too enjoyed the first book quite a bit and was looking forward to this, but unless the third one is MUCH better, I think I am skipping the rest of this series. Great review, sorry it was such a letdown!

    1. I gave my neighbor the first book to read when I started the second, but then had to tell her that it wasn't great. ๐Ÿ˜… She's really enjoying Serpent & Dove, so I'm bummed Blood & Honey was such a letdown. All of the spunk Lou had in the first book? Gone. Now she's obnoxious and childish. All of the progress Reid made in book one? Gone. He's back to his brooding, unwavering morals. Ansel and Coco? Ghostly versions of the people they were in S&D.


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“Stuff and nonsense. Nonsense and stuff and much of a muchness and nonsense all over again. We are all mad here, don't you know?”
― Marissa Meyer, Heartless