I’m going to go right ahead and say this review will most likely NOT BE SPOILER FREE. Sorry.
Turn back now if you don’t want spoilers.
Still here? Okay? Okay.
I’m going to start off by saying Serpent & Dove was a favourite read of mine at the back end of last year. I saw it on Instagram a lot so I joined a buddy read and EVERYONE in the group devoured it and gushed over it for a few days, lamenting the wait we had ahead of us for book two. While I was pleasantly surprised how much I enjoyed it – I made sure to tell everyone that while I loved reading it, it was good cheap fun. Some of the lines were cheesy and altogether cringeworthy but getting past that was easy – it was fun and the rapport between Lou and Reid was, frankly, adorable. Loved it like I said.
So when the chance to read Blood & Honey early popped up I was over the moon excited. I rushed to finish my current read and jumped right back into the adventures of Lou, Reid and Co which picked up pretty much right where book one left off, in the woods, hiding from witches and soldiers in a little bubble…. Where they still were 16% of the book later. I know that doesnt sound like long but in that 16% Mahurin has laid the basework of Lou and Reid snapping at each other pretty consistently – this is not what I signed on for and already you can see that was injected purely for some disruption designed to ruminate throughout the novel and rear it’s head later on. 10% later Lou and Reid have split up (as in they are no longer attached to each other’s faces physically) and I’m still not sure what the logic behind that was – it only lasts long enough for Lou to uncover a secret that she hides from Reid – no points for guessing how Reid reacts when he finds out (angry with more arguing) and when Lou and Reid are reunited (around 40%) I’m officially thinking not enough is happening. Every part of the story is now done to make a point which makes it feel forced and disjointed. I like my books to flow and for character decisions to make sense at least for the most part. Blood & Honey, to me, felt drawn out and if I’m brutally honest, kind of pointless for the overall story.
In terms of the characters- I enjoyed Lou’s sass towards Reid which I’m glad we’ve retained from book one and I appreciated Ansel and Coco maintaining a place at the forefront too (even if it is mostly focussing on their love lives). But this brings me to my next point – we are moving rather slowly through the narrative of Blood & Honey, with an endgame in sight but then at the last minute a god turns up, the evil witch gets away and she kills the only character I was mildly interested in by that point. We don’t need another reason to dislike Lou’s mother – this could have happily been a clean duology and we could have walked away happy.
I’m not sure if I will pursue book three when it is released to be honest despite the fact that Blood & Honey’s last couple of chapters have dangled a carrot for the storyline. I definitely won’t reread book two beforehand if I do!