Gods & Monsters
by Shelby Mahurin
Published by HarperTeen
Book 3 in the Serpent & Dove Trilogy
Evil always seeks a foothold. We must not give it one.
After a heartbreaking loss, Lou, Reid, Beau, and Coco are bent on vengeance more than ever before—and none more so than Lou.
But this is no longer the Lou they thought they knew. No longer the Lou that captured a chasseur’s heart. A darkness has settled over her, and this time it will take more than love to drive it out.
Gods & Monsters is the third and final book in Shelby Mahurin's Serpent & Dove trilogy, and centers mostly on Louise - Lou - who is possessed by a very powerful, enemy witch. After the heart-wrenching loss of the group's youngest and sweetest member, Ansel, everyone wants revenge. But before that happens, they need Lou back. And Lou is acting strange. When they finally realize what is going on, they are going to need more than the love of her life, and the love of her friends, to get her back. And if she comes back, will she be strong enough to go to war?
Such high hopes. I honestly did I have high hopes that Shelby could bring us a finale worthy of Serpent & Dove, and we could all forget the ... awfulness of Blood & Honey. Sadly, it didn't happen. At least for me, it didn't. Serpent & Dove had a simple plot - Lou in hiding from her mother who was trying to sacrifice her for some prophecy, eventually finds herself in a tough spot, and forced to marry Reid, captain of the Chausseurs (Witch-Hunters), forcing her to hide her identity from him, or be burned at the stake. Lou and Reid's chemistry was INSANE in Serpent & Dove, and when they finally succumb to their feelings, its amazing. Serpent & Dove was AMAZING. And then something happened. Blood & Honey happened.
Blood & Honey was boring filler, and just ... a mess. All of a sudden, the simple, clean plot of Serpent & Dove was pushed aside, and other magical beings were introduced. With barely a word in Serpent & Dove that there was other beings, it felt like it came out of left field. And a whole bunch more characters, that I couldn't get attached to. Reid's character becomes insufferable, with his refusal to acknowledge his heritage, and often putting other's in danger because of it. And the romance - all the chemistry, the delightful banter, and magic between Reid and Lou, was gone.
I have a point talking about the last two books. I swear. Despite Blood & Honey, I truly hoped Shelby Mahurin would reign in her story, go back to a cleaner plot, less characters, less magical creatures, and bring back the MAGIC that was Lou and Reid. But no. Instead she does Blood & Honey 2.0, with the gang taking WAY too long to realize Lou was Lou, and the only way to get her back, leads them to ... surprise, surprise ... looking for allies. Again. ------spoiler-------->A totally new being. Mermaids. Freaking mermaids. Ugh. Oh, and we can't forget Reid casting a spell, and his sacrifice was him forgetting Lou and all the growth he made in the last two books. I think she was trying to recapture the enemies to lovers magic she had in Serpent & Dove, but it didn't work this time. Reid seemed even more insufferable, and it took way too long for him to remember. <----------end of spoiler----------
So sadly, Gods & Monsters was a disappointment for me. But I'm sure it wasn't for everyone. I mean, as of August 5th, it has a 4.31 on Goodreads. I think if you were one of the readers who enjoyed Blood & Honey, you will enjoy this one too. It just wasn't for me. It was a weird mix of trying to bring back what made Serpent & Dove good, while still repeating the mistakes of Blood & Honey. But let me know - what did you think?
Lou becoming herself again
Ansel giving Lou and Coco peace
Coco and Lou bonding with Celie
Jean Luc bringing Reid back to the group
The drinking game
Lou and Reid masturbating in front of each other. HOT!
Celie helping Lou take down her mother, so Lou could kill her
Reid; "Most in the church wouldn't welcome us."
Father Achille: "Most in the Church wouldn't welcome their own mother if she was a sinner."
Beau: "What are we supposed to do, then? We have an empty bandolier, a negligent god, and -"
he gestured to Nicholina in distaste
Beau: "-an abysmal poet. Oh, don't give me that look. Your work is derivative at best and juvenile at worst."
Beau burst into laughter
Celie; "What? Is it not convincing?"
Beau: "Oh, it's convincing. You look like an idiot."
Ansel: "You've lived in fear too long."
Lou: "Fear has helped me survive."
Ansel: "Fear has kept you from living."
Angelica: "Are you well, Cosette? Have your own injuries healed?"
Coco: "It's Coco. And I've survived worse."
Angelica: "That isn't what I asked."
Coco: "I know what you asked."
Angelica: "Are you warm enough?"
Coco: "I'm fine."
Angelica: "Your hair looks lovely, I must say. Look how long it's grown."
Coco: "I look like a drowned rat."
Angelica: "Nonsense. You could never look like a drowned rat."
Beau: "Though you do look a bit peaky. A bit limp."
They both turned cold gazes upon him, and he shrugged, not at all contrite. When they turned away once more, I elbowed him in the ribs, hissing
Lou: "You ass."
Beau: "What? That's likely the first time they've ever agreed on something. I'm trying to help."
Lou: "You shouldn't care what we think, Celie - or anyone else, for that matter. Don't forfeit your power like that."
Coco: "Because who cares if you're a prude? Who care if we're whores? They're just words."
Lou: "And we can't get it right no matter what we do. We might as well do it our own way. Being a prude or being a whore are both better than being what they want us to be."
Celie: "What do they want us to be?"
Lou: "Be prudish and proud, Celie. We'll be whorish and happy."
Coco: "You should both show your scars. They mean you survived."
Beau: "Put your knife down, Reid. You're outnumbered if not outmanned, and I have no interest in seeing your second asshole."
Coco: "He isn't dead, you know."
Lou: "He loathes me."
She shrugged and rifled through her bag, extracting a bottle of honey.
Coco: "I seem to remember him loathing you once before. You both rose to the occasion."
Celie: "This may come as a surprise, but I can take care of myself. I may be a woman - I may be gentle and meek and refined, like a pretty doll - but I have survived more in my eighteen years than you and my parents combined. Do not mistake me for porcelain. Do not mistake me for weak."
I scarcely heard the exchange. With each stride of the horse, the witch's backside moved against my lap, up and down, rhythmic, until heat suffused my entire body. I glared determinedly at the sky overhead. The situation had grown dire. Soon, she would notice, and soon, I would have to kill her for it.
Lou: "Is there a problem, Chass?"
She said nothing for several seconds. Then -
Lou: "You can tell me if there is."
She cleared her throat. It sounded suspiciously like a laugh.
Lou: "It must be hard, riding with me like this."
I would have to kill her.
Lou: "Oh, come on, Chass."
I rose to my tiptoes, clasping my hands together at my chest and swaying.
Lou: "Please? I promise I won't make you measure your dick against Jean Luc's."
Jean Luc smirked
Jean Luc: "Now that is for the best. I wouldn't want to embarrass anyone."
Reid: "You - you can't-"
Reid: "What are the rules?"
Lou: "I love you. I loved you then, I love you now, and I'll love you after. Before my mother slit my throat on Modraniht, I thought I'd never see you again. A witch and a witch hunter can't have each other in the afterlife."
Reid: "I'll find you again, Lou."
Lou: "I know."
Morgane: "I gave you purpose. What should I have done, darling? Cradled you in my arms while others' daughters perished? While they burned? Should I have valued your life more than theirs?"
Lou: "Yes! You should have valued me - you should've protected me - because I am the only person in this world who still loves you!"
Lou: "What are you doing? You need to be nice to Pan."
Reid: "I'm always nice to -"
Lou: "You're ringing his bell."
Reid: "Isn't that why it's here?"
Beau: "He isn't a cat, Reid."
Coco: "It's rude to ring the bell."
Lou: "Also annoying."
I grimaced at them all.
Reid: "I am trying to purchase us sticky buns. I think I owe you one, in particular."
Her face cleared instantly, and she leaned forward with bright eyes, knitting her fingers together atop the table.
Lou: "Have I told you today how absolutely and completely attractive I find your ass?"