Review in 10 words: I missed the point of this. Will not read third book. 2/5
How to consume: It’s Winter and I feel like this story warrants a hot toddy. Go heavy on the honey. It’s in the dang title after all.
Following on from the story of Serpent & Dove, Honey & Blood follows Lou as she attempts to bring together a band of misfits to destroy her mother and save Reid and his many, many brothers and sisters.
The story mostly revolves around Lou & Reid working together to gather allies to fight against the throne and chasseurs as well as her mother.
(I’m giving a spoiler warning here)
“Never before had I allowed myself to feel small, to feel ashamed, and I refused to start now.“
I am not sure where to start with this. I gave B&H a 2 out of 5 and I think I was being generous. I didn’t LOVE Serpent & Dover but it seems like such a treat compared to the sequel. Obviously it has some pull for some people as it has a nice, solid 3.7 on Goodreads so if you haven’t read it I would still recommend!
I’ll start with what I enjoyed:
1. I love the magic system- I am really intrigued by the idea of magic being a give and take with nature. It’s a nice change from many other magic systems I have read about.
2. I loved Lou’s inner turmoil in this book- it gave me strong Anakin Skywalker vibes.. and watching her toy with becoming evil/ bowing to the darkness was super captivating.
3. I loved the characters of Cosette and Ansel- though Ansel especially could have been more developed and I hated how self deprecating he was. I just didn’t believe him.
4. There were some lovely bits of writing through the novel that I connected with.
Ok. Now. The bad:
Reid was frustrating. I just found reading his perspectives irritating. I found his lack of communication with Lou irritating. Just. Irritating.
As much as I loved the magic system, there were some inconsistencies. We hear all of this talk about how magic requires sacrifice and that is why Lou is struggling and Reid refuses to use it.. but how can Labelle use it so easily? She literally put a spell on the entire hollow for an extended amount of time and nothing was said about it impacting her? And whilst we are on Labelle’s character- she was my least favourite. I hated the good mummy act. THE AUDACITY.
(Also side note. If your blood witch friend uses blood on your skin to protect you- maybe don’t go swimming in a lake where it is all going to wash off?)
The plot felt like we didn’t really get where we needed to go? I remember noting at the 300-350 page mark that I had finally been drawn in to the story. The first 300 pages just seemed like a huge digression from the actual point. I would even offer that you could skip the first 10-150 pages and still gather much of the plot. I had heard that this was originally a duology that has been stretched to a trilogy so this may be a result of that..
I didn’t bond with any of the new characters. I thought they were creepy and they felt unneeded. If anything I just wanted more Coco. She was betrayed in this story.
Ok. Let’s talk about the ending.
So at the end of the book Lou has finally found Morgane, lost half of the allies we spent the better part of the book gathering and NOTHING GETS RESOLVED.
When Lou is finally given the chance to kill her mother (and I say mother in purely the biological sense. This woman is evil)- she hesitates. Which makes no sense. Lou has become this impulsive, no holds barred witch for this whole book and now she has a conscious?
And CLAUD??? Him being a woodwose. What? We, as readers are meant to believe this guy is godly and it is the first we have heard of him? It also seemed like a cop out that Morgane was spared purely because of his word and she escapes- he acted like some weird umpire who had come in and broken up a fight amongst siblings.. nothing was settled. WHAT WAS THE POINTTTTTT.
I enjoyed Serpent & Dove, I tolerated Blood & Honey and I will not be reading book three- BUT I think Shelby Mahurin is an amazing writer and for some reason this book was just lost on me a little bit.
If you read Blood & Honey and loved it please let me know!