Author: Shelby Mahurin
Audiobook Length: 16 hours 58 minutes
The spellbinding conclusion to the New York Times and IndieBound bestselling trilogy Serpent & Dove. This stunning fantasy take on French witches and forbidden love is perfect for fans of Sarah J. Maas.
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 final novel in the Serpent & Dove trilogy. After my very mixed feelings on the second novel, I was nervous to begin this one as I did not know what to expect. This series continues right where the previous novel left off after the death of a main secondary character, Lou being possessed, and Morgane getting ready to attack. The relationships in this novel continue to be explored and I loved that they were complex. Beyond the romance, there were nice friendships and found family that was well done and helped me get through the series. This novel begins with a similar format as the previous where the group is gathering allies, facing obstacles, and preparing to finally face the villain. While the obstacles may be newer, the ally portion will feel familiar to the previous installment.
This novel cemented in my mind the initial thought that this series would have better served the audience as a duology. Like the second novel, there are many subplots that could have been reduced or cut entirely and the two novels could have been combined to make an epic conclusion. There is a slower pace in the beginning as the build-up to the finale grows, but the second half was great as the reader finally gets the unpredictability and wrap-ups they were waiting for. This slower pace felt a little disjointed as some pieces came across as tension for the sake of tension to justify having this novel be full-length on its own. Since I read the three novels back-to-back, the second and third novels had some repetition in structure and subplots that I may not have noticed as much if I spread out my reading.
From the very first introduction of the characters to the finale, there was some nice character growth throughout that was well-written. There were some ups and downs throughout that felt unnecessary at times, but the result worked well. I do wish that the author took some pages in this novel to dedicate to Morgane and give her some additional background and how she became this ultimate villain. As for Reid and Lou, I enjoyed their romantic relationship more in this one compared to the second. The angst between them fit well with the plot and worked well in terms of their relationship development. The two are opposites, but they do balance each other well. Since there is a lot of focus on their growing romance in the first novel, I wish that style of writing was tied into this installment more just to remind the reader of the initial romantic build-up from the beginning.
As I did the audiobook for the trilogy, I think that helped me enjoy it a little more as it helped me move through the drier sections a little more easily. The conclusion of this novel was not as epic as I was expecting, but it does wrap up some pieces nicely. There is still a little “open-endedness”, so it wasn’t my favorite ending, but it worked for the story. Other readers may have felt everything was fully wrapped up, but I felt it just needed a tiny bit more. The epilogue was excellent as it felt more connected to the feeling of the first novel and left me feeling more satisfied with my reading experience compared to the ending alone. As a whole, I enjoyed the characters themselves, but I am still on the fence about the actual series. For me, it would have a bigger impact as a duology, so if I ever re-read it there would be pieces, I would skip over; however, it was worth an initial read and I can see why readers would love the series as a whole.