Book Review: Serpent and Dove by Shelby Mahurin

5/5 stars

Two 5 ★ reads for me in a row! (The Last Girl Child was my last) I had high hopes going into Serpent & Dove and was not disappointed. Which is great, because before I read the book I had already ordered two copies and know it’s coming in a subscription box 🙈. Oh, and I had also already bought tickets to the Epic Reads Meetup fall tour to meet her, so there was a lot of hype for this book to live up to and it absolutely did.

Serpent and Dove is a dual-POV YA fantasy debut from Shelby Mahurin. There are so many things I loved about this novel I just made a list. Also, I’m super busy this week at work and my kids are back to baseball this week so I have to make it shorter.

  • strong women
  • excellent enemies to friends love story (my favvv)
  • witches! And a unique take on how they cast spells
  • flawed characters – I love this especially. Please don’t give me a Mary Sue. I’m not interested.
  • swearing. Why is this on the list? Because I’m a sailor and I love to swear. Characters who swear are instantly more relate-able to me. Mahurin uses real swear words too (fuck, shit, etc.) Made up swear words are tiresome.
  • sexy. The sex isn’t explicit and no parts are actually named, but the sex scenes are really well done. The fade-to-black gets annoying sometimes so I’m glad to see authors writing about loving consensual sexual relationships. Shelby tweeted about this earlier (see below).
  • lots of action, but also strong character development. It was like the perfect combo for me and I never once got bored or wanted to fast forward the audio. Seeing the characters grow and develop was something I really enjoyed, and I am normally much more of a story-driven reader.
  • super funny -the witty banter between Lou and Reid was 10/10
  • well-built story arc. No plot holes (that I found) and a satisfying ending. Of course I still have questions because this is a series, but that’s to be expected.
  • piggybacking off the one above – the REVEALS. I loved the way the story unfolded and how major surprises were revealed. They felt natural.

The absolute worst thing about this book is that I can’t read what happens next until 2020. ugh.

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