Gods & Monsters by Shelby Mahurin | Book Review
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Something is wrong with Lou. Tragedy and guilt follow her every step, but the problem goes deeper than emotions. And as her companions begin to catch on to her bizarre behavior, they will have to find a way to bring their Lou back. A journey that will force them to confront entities long thought to be myths.
Lou’s situation at the start of Gods and Monsters was rife with tension and conflict. While the mystery itself wasn’t hard to piece together as a reader, once the characters figured it out the real fun began. Lou’s chapters were grim and shined a light on the reasoning behind certain character actions. I enjoyed reading about Lou’s resolve and determination. As well as the lengths to which the characters would go in order to restore Lou to her normal self.
But once one major character conflict resolved itself, another almost immediately cropped up. The reader isn’t given a chance to enjoy the group comradery for very long. Reading how the characters interacted with one another is what made Serpent & Dove so entertaining. Seeing Lou and Reid together was what I wanted the most out of Gods & Monsters. And while urging them to fight to be together is a draw, after a while the back and forth becomes repetitive. Fatigue set in with yet another major conflict keeping them apart. The chemistry between Lou and Reid struggled to make a presence throughout the story.
As the book title proclaims, gods and monsters do make an appearance. The involvement of the gods was background to the plot, and while they did appear at times, they weren’t exactly helpful. They could not directly involve themselves but did find ways around the rules. This was frustrating to me, but it also was to the characters, which means it hit just the right emotions it was supposed to. I did enjoy the scenes when they made an appearance. They danced around the answers and caused a little bit of mayhem. I do wish there had been more monsters though. There are a few chapters that expand the world by showcasing mermaids and even a dragon, but they do not have many pages till the end of the novel.
While Gods & Monsters expands the world of Serpent & Dove, this added world-building made the story hit quite a few lulls. I will admit I did enjoy learning more about the history of witches and watching the use of magic expand. And the story did have some scenes where I once again became fully invested. But the pacing was slow, the characters ran into too many obstacles and time stretched too far between plot points. I’m glad this final novel wrapped up the storylines as it did. The ending was satisfying, I just wish it hadn’t taken as long to reach it.
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