Blood & Honey by Shelby Mahurin – A Book Review

”We’re natural enemies, Reid. You’ll always be a witch hunter. I’ll always be a witch. And we’ll always bring each other pain.”

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.

When it came out a year ago, Serpent & Dove was a welcome addition to the Fantasy Romance genre for me. I devoured it overnight and was really looking forward to reading this sequel and once again revisiting Reid and Lou’s deliciously angsty and banter filled romance. Unfortunately, the the excitement I had when I picked this book up quickly deflated and was instead replaced with bitter disappointment that can be surmised by this series becoming a trilogy instead of just staying a duology as originally intended.

Blood & Honey’s biggest problem is that it’s grappling for a purpose. Characteristically of popular YA series, it’s joining the club of “should’ve been a duology but was made into a trilogy.” I don’t know about you, but I thought trilogy was no longer a buzzword? It feels weird to condemn this series for having more books. Once upon a time, I might’ve welcomed more books in a beloved series. However I’m realising quality > quantity and this instalment felt like it cheapened a lot of what Serpent & Dove so great for me.

There’s a lot of wandering in this book trying to gather allies and also a lot of nothing happening. I can’t express how characters just journeying places does my head in. Often because it’s so boring. The one redeeming aspect of Blood & Honey was learning more about Coco and the blood witches.

I won’t lie, the biggest draw of the first book for me was the enemies to lovers romance. It’s hard to keep up that momentum when your characters get together in book one. I’m actually wholly opposed to endgame characters officially getting together before a final book. The honey moon phase is clearly over between Lou and Reid, who aside from their own inner turmoils, have to face their innate differences. Consequently this book hardly felt romantic at all. I felt like they were fighting not for the sake of actual character growth, but for the sake of fighting because the author needed to beef this book out with more plot. 

As the saying goes, less is sometimes more. One thing I’m sure of is that a duology would’ve been more impactful than what was delivered in this sequel.

How are you feeling about this sequel? I’m interested to hear if anyone had the same problems as I did, or if unlike me, you really enjoyed this instalment. (On that note, I hope it was the latter!)

From Reading Is My Kind of Thing, Carly



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