Wow. What the hell happened there?! What a major let down! Serpent and Dove was a legit 5 star for me! I enjoyed the hell out of it! It was one of my favourite reads of 2020, so naturally, I was 100% looking forward to this sequel and honestly, I don’t know how I could have been let down more. I’m also using photos of Serpent Dove rather than Blood & Honey because 1 – I don’t have a copy yet. 2 – I don’t feel like it deserves it, Serpent & Dove was far superior.
I can’t even find much to praise this book for. I mean…the cover? Sure. The cover is absolutely outstanding. It’s truly beautiful. But the contents? Well, that’s just ugly. Let me get into why.
Before I start, I also did a video review, so if you’d rather watch than read, here you go. If not, just keep scrolling!
Let me start with the plot…what plot?! There is literally no plot! None! You know what the whole book was about and went on about? The cast of characters and a few randoms wandering aimlessly through a forest. Sounds boring? That’s cos it fucking is. It really, really is!
Now, if they wandered through the forest for a few chapters or so, I’d understand that, I’d get that. Sure. But the whole book?! Over 500 pages…of wandering through the forest. Jesus. I mean, they kinda leave the forest a bit here and there, but I only remember the forest.
And the point? They are looking for allies to take on Lou’s mum (yep, she’s still the bad guy). Nope. No thanks, not spending the whole book trying to do that. *yawn*. Not even werewolves could save it. In fact, the inclusion of werewolves felt shoe-horned in, sloppy and rushed.
The whole thing was a mess. And you know what’s worse? Even with NO plot there are still plot holes! Are you kidding me? Urgh. And the magic system in this book…who the fuck knows what’s even going on anymore! It’s like there’s no consequences, no meaning and it’s just arbitrary now. Ridiculous. It’s the biggest plot armour I’ve ever seen.
But let’s get on to what I hated the most. The characters. YEP! The main reason I had for loving Serpent & Dove is now the reason I hate the sequel.
Now in a series, you’d expect for the characters to go on a character arc. Mostly this means progression with a few hurdles here and there but they end up better for it – sometimes it might lead to their total and utter demise etc and that’s all cool. But guess what, here the characters FULLY regress and become NOTHING like what they were in Serpent & Dove.
Let me talk about them in more detail.
I’m gonna put Coco, Ansel and Beau all in one group considering they pretty much only exist to form this stupid fucking love triangle. *eyeroll*. Coco deserved better, that’s pretty much all I’m going to say there. She deserved so SO much better than what she got. Hands down. What a waste of a great character.
Beau was only there for comedic relief, which he rarely ever fulfilled and ended up as a pointless character. He’s just….there too. That’s it.
And Ansel. Oh, my poor little baby. That’s exactly what he became. A useless, whimpering baby who only existed to be useless and then was fucked over in the most annoying way. I’m so sorry Ansel, you – like Coco – deserved better.
And what about the minor characters? I don’t remember any of their names, or anything about them. They were not interesting – making someone overly quirky doesn’t equal interesting. The only plus point for them is they were a diverse bunch of characters. It’s a shame I couldn’t care less about any of them.
And our dear Madam Labelle – excuse me but what exactly is the fucking point of this character? She’s dull, boring and serves pretty much ZERO purpose to the story.
Now – onto the big guns. Lou and Reid. Urgh.
Reid pretty much became a giant fucking emo through the whole book – and that’s not an insult in itself, I was kinda an emo myself in the 2000’s. But it was just SO out of character for him. He moped around for the entire fucking book! It was insufferable, like – dude…get a grip!
What the hell happened? In the first book he was a bit too noble and all that, but he was such a good balance for Lou. But now? Gross.
Don’t get me wrong, I get the inner struggle of the whole ‘life long belief system’ being shaken to his core and he needs to look inside himself and do some soul searching and all that jazz. But the dude lost his entire personality in the process.
All he did was mope and it was so out of character for him. So was his sudden fondness for swearing. He was completely unrecognisable from Serpent & Dove.
Now for Lou. As much as I hated the other characters, they have nothing on Lou. Lou is a strong character but has no brains in this book. Again, what the fuck happened to her? She is SO ridiculously out of character here! I get she’s feisty, that’s why I liked her so much. But her whole purpose for living in this book was to defy other people for nothing more than the sake of it! At least that’s how it seemed. She was completely unlikable and I absolutely hated her.
And Lou and Reid as a couple? WHAT THE FUCK HAPPENED THERE? Their romance in the first book was deliciously slow-burning, enemies to lovers and had a bit of an angsty arc that I really enjoyed. Obviously, with the enemies to lovers thing fulfilled in the first book, they can’t do that again – but the author tried to make that happen! WTF?! It. was. awful!
They went back and forth on and off like they were fucking teenagers. And the sex scene was fucking laughable. The first one was so tender and loving and well written.
I hated everything about this book. I hated Lou, I hated Reid and I hated their relationship.
Wanna know what I think happened? This was supposed to be a duology, but due to money and/or wanting to milk the popularity for all it’s worth, it became a trilogy. But there’s not enough here to make a trilogy, so the author bashed out a quick, careless and poorly thought out and badly written filler book to buy her time for the next one. What a shame.
I’ll read the third book in case I’m right and a good story picks back up from the greatness that was Serpent & Dove, and everything goes back to how it was (well, not everything can, but I don’t wanna do spoilers, but as much as possible should go back). But what I fear is actually going to be the case is that I end up treating Serpent & Dove as a standalone book.
I’ve honestly never seen such disregard for character development/arc or established story by an author before. The whole book lacks charm or even good writing.
Blood & Honey is easily going to win the Worst Sequel of 2020 Award.
What a shame. What a waste.
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