Oct 19, 2021

Review--Gods & Monsters by Shelby Mahurin



Lou has spent her whole life running. Now, after a crushing blow from Morgane, the time has come to claim what is rightfully hers.


But this is no longer the Lou her friends know. No longer the Lou who captured a Chasseur's heart. A darkness has settled over her, and this time it will take more than love to drive it out.


While Lou battles her demons, and witches, Chasseurs, and the spirits of the land themselves rally for a final fight, Reid is faced with a terrible choice: a devastating sacrifice or the death of everyone he has come to hold dear.


After months of waiting for my special edition copy to arrive, I have finally read the conclusion to Shelby Mahurin's Serpent & Dove trilogy, Gods & Monsters and it was beyond amazing! You always hope for the best when it comes to series finales, you want that happy ending, you want justice and comeuppance in regards to the villains, you want that sense of finality, but also the hope of more stories and adventures for the characters, even if we the readers can't see them. I can safely say that Shelby provides all that and more!

From this point on, it's going to be hard to avoid spoilers from Blood & Honey. The description alludes to the main one, but I will be discussing that one next. So if you're not up to date on the series, tread carefully friends.

When we last left everyone, Lou had become possessed by someone or something, and naturally, none of her friends are aware of this year. The case of stolen identity always sets my blood on fire because I worry for the hero/heroine who is being hurt by this. In some cases, the heroine somehow becomes the villain and everyone is out to get them. Well, thankfully, this one didn't get THAT intense, but it was still frightful for Lou. We learn that one of her mother's witches is possessing her and pretending to be her, while Lou herself remains trapped in a deeper part of her mind, struggling to regain control.

Thankfully, it's not overly long before her friends realize that Lou is not Lou and they work to get the witch's spirit out of Lou to put her back in charge. Then of course there's still the whole battle with Morgane they need to prepare for. But before they can do that they need to gain one more ally, the melusines, who will require a favor before they lend their help. 

This book was a whirlwind of action and non-stop adventure. I was amazed by how much was done in a mere 600+ pages. That sounds extreme since the typical book is usually under 400. But let's just say that Shelby really knows how to dole out the pacing and keep things lively as we move from one small adventure to the next.

I was a bit sadden by the amount of time Reid and Lou spend separated. Lou isn't Lou for about 1/3 of the book, then, naturally, Reid becomes "occupied" with this own turmoil. I won't get too into that separation, but yeah, it was hard not having these two at each other's throats again, even in the loving sense! Coco and Beau definitely make up for that though with their budding relationship happening. Then of course we have a few other characters added to the gang that I won't mention as I don't want to spoil too many little things for you.

I will admit I had some confusion a few times in the beginning of the book. It was mostly with the warring points of view with Lou and Nicholina. It didn't help that Nicholin wasn't all to stable either. It was just hard to figure out what was happening a few times since Lou isn't really physically and mentally present. The confusion didn't last too long, so that was always a plus.

Gods & Monsters was certainly a page-turner as allies were gathered and we neared what was going to be an epic battle to end all battles. It's as they say, "the final countdown!" Shelby really hit the mark on the ending battle as well. What really hit home for me with this finale was that epilogue. I won't get into that one since I also didn't mention something else earlier that I wanted left as a surprise for other readers who may not have gotten to this one yet like myself. But needless to say, Shelby ended this story perfectly!

If you're looking for a highly entertaining series with an enemies-to-lovers romance, I cannot sing the praises high enough for Serpent & Dove! It has everything one would want in a fantasy series from magic, a smoldering slow burn romance, outrageous humor, endearing friendships, and so much more! This trilogy has been without a doubt one of my favorites! It is sure to enchant any reader who dares to read that first chapter!

Overall Rating 5/5 stars

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