Title: Blood & Honey (Serpent & Dove #2)
Author: Shelby Mahurin
Serpent & Dove was one of my favorite reads in 2019 and an absolute spectacular debut novel. I loved everything about it and so Blood & Honey quickly became one of the most anticipated releases for this year. I began to check my expectations when reviews started coming in and readers were finding the sequel disappointing. And while I didn’t seem to dislike Blood & Honey as much as other people, I’m sad to share that it did not live up to my hype and expectation.
Let’s start with everything I did enjoy and all the good aspects the book had going for it. First of all, Shelby Mahurin is a very talented writer and there is no disputing that. Despite not much going on throughout the story, I was still enchanted by the writing and easily transported in the world. The heartwarming friendships and relationships between the characters I loved from the first book remain, and new characters and friendships/relationships were formed that I really loved. One of the most important parts of Blood & Honey is Lou’s “descent” into darkness and becoming more and more like her mother as the story went on. This is super important for her character arc and I really liked how Mahurin handled it.
Now on to what didn’t work with this book. You cannot call Blood & Honey anything other than a filler. This series went from a planned duology to a trilogy and it shows. A whole lot of nothing happens for the majority of the book. And because nothing really ever happens, I found myself struggling to figure out what the point of most of what happens here is. There are many smaller subplots that I honestly believe could have just been nixed altogether and would not have changed the course of the story in any way.
Did I enjoy this as much as I had been hoping? No. Did I dislike this as much as many other people did? Also no. Blood & Honey was mediocre. I still really loved the writing, the world, the overarching plot, and the characters. It was just a disappointment. I remain hopeful, however, that the third book will blow us all away again!