It’s been about a month or so, so I’ve decided that it was more than time for another retrospective book review.
Retrospective Book Reviews (previously Reading Retrospectives), for those who don’t know, are basically book reviews, but they’re on books that I read before I started this blog. So, in order for them to get their day in the sun, I go back through them and see if my opinion when I originally read them holds up.
This week, I’m re-reviewing a book I read a couple of years ago. it’s Blood & Honey by Shelby Mahurin.
Blood & Honey by Shelby Mahurin
SERIES: Serpent & Dove (Book #2)
LENGTH: 544 pages
GENRES: Fantasy, Romance, YA, Fiction
RELEASE DATE: 1 September 2020
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 world didn’t end in a scream.
It ended in a gasp.
A single, startled exhalation.
And then— Nothing.
Nothing but silence.
This book continues to disappoint me. I didn’t like it when I first read it, soon after it came out in 2020, and I like it even less now. Or is it that I’m willing to be a little less nice in my reviews now? I’m not quite sure. All I know is that I hated this book.
Serpent & Dove was what I knew it would be: it was decent, yet it was (in my opinion at least) romantasy trash, very much like ACOTAR. But it was trash that I treasured – you might call it my guilty pleasure. I could tell it was kind of bad, but I had fun with it anyway.
Blood & Honey, on the other hand, is actual trash. It has a facsimile of a plot, and the characters really don’t do anything throughout the book. It’s a complete and utter slog to get through.
With an exasperated sigh, he turned his head to kiss my fingers. “You’re impossible.”
“I’m impractical, improbable, but never impossible.
Lou was even more annoying here than she was in the first book. Everything that she did irritated me, and I had considerable trouble sympathizing with her character on anything. And I still don’t buy her and Reid’s romance. At. All.
Reid was somewhat more tolerable, especially compared to Lou. I really liked that he was working through his feelings on the arch bishop/his father figure’s death (though he shouldn’t have had to in the first place because it doesn’t make any sense that he chose to save a girl he knew barely a month over his dad!!). I felt like he had the most of what could be considered a character arc out of everybody here.
Oh, and I’m sure you all were wondering, but Big Titty Liddy is back. And she was apparently a real person in S&D canon. Fan-freaking-tastic. Ugh.
It’s a real pity,” Beau finally muttered, shaking his head and looking at each of us in turn. His eyes shone with disappointment. “I know you’re all too preoccupied with your pining to notice, but I just caught my reflection in that last puddle—and damn, I look good.
Beau was honestly the best character here (besides Ansel, who was a cinnamon roll that Mahurin absolutely did not protect), which is something that I was happily surprised by. But that’s just because he’s a sassy a-hole, who secretly has a secret heart of gold, which happens to be one of my favorite character tropes. He was an entertaining beacon in the sludge that was this novel.
The climax was very… anticlimactic. Which is the opposite of what you want for a piece of your book specifically designated the climax. It was so effing boring – the most boring part of Blood & Honey, if I’m being honest. Which I am. The ending sucked too, even though it attempted a Hail Mary cliffhanger. (Which I wasn’t interested in in the slightest.)
So yeah, I have absolutely no desire or any kind of motivation to finish off this trilogy with Gods & Monsters. That’s just how far off the mountain this series tumbled for me.
When a person brings you more hurt than happiness, you’re allowed to let them go.
In conclusion, I hated Blood & Honey. It was a poorly written, slow and inconsistent mess, that was absolutely not fun to read. This book has some of the worst Middle Book Syndrome that I’ve ever read. I haven’t read the third book – and I never plan to – but I’m almost positive that this novel wasn’t necessarily. I think that this trilogy could have managed as a duology just fine.
Sorry, but I can’t really bring myself to recommend this one to anyone. I just despised it that much. This series is Walmart ACOTAR to the max, particularly in B&H.
If you’ve gotten here, congratulations and thank you for reading my lengthy tirade. I really hope you have a wonderful day/night.
See ya ~Mar