Fantasy, romance

Blood & Honey by Shelby Mahurin

A disappointing sequel…

Themes: fantasy, romance, witches

The synopsis

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 review

I’m always afraid of starting the second book of a trilogy since I’m generally disappointed by it and unfortunately Blood & Honey wasn’t an exception to this rule. I’ll start with the positive points because there are some, fortunately. First, I liked Shelby Mahurin’s writing style as much as I had in the first book. It really contributes to creating a specific atmosphere and world, that we discover a bit more with several new places. These new places we are going with our heroes are very different from one another and from the city since when the latter was bright and full of life, the former are dark and full of death and dangers. The only thing I regret concerning the writing style is the absence of the irony and humour present in the first book which really had made my reading experience a really good one.

We are also meeting some new characters, very different from the cast we already know but all interesting and well-integrated into the story. In parallel, the ones we know are evolving, particularly Lou who is losing her innocence and is leaning towards a dark path. Reid is also fighting against himself and is trying to reconcile his newly discovered nature and what he has learned to believe since he was a child. However, I didn’t appreciate how selfish this internal conflict is making him or how he’s projecting his fears on Lou. As you can guess from that, there is some tension in our lovely couple during the entire book.

But my main issue with this book was its pace which is much slower than the first one. It surprised me at first but then I learned the series was supposed to be a duology. Obviously, when you’re asking an author to stretch her story to fit one more book in it, it impacts both its rhythm and plot. And concerning the plot, I’m still looking for it. Basically, nothing is happening in this book apart from some action scenes which seemed to have been put there for the show. What is really important in Blood & Honey could have been put in one chapter at the beginning of the final book…

In brief: I struggled a bit to read this book and was disappointed by its pace and lack of meaningful plot elements. I’ll still read the third one since I still like the series a lot but sincerely hope the author will save her series from falling from very good to forgettable.

My rating: 3,5/5

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