This review includes spoilers for Serpent & Dove and Blood & Honey, but none for Gods & Monsters.
Finale books are exceptionally tough to pull off. How do you give a satisfying ending to all story arcs and characters without it feeling contrived? Many, MANY times we pick up a finale book sad to let go of the characters and hopeful about all the book holds, and with those types of expectations – it is easy to be let down. Gods & Monsters is anything but a letdown. It is the finale book that gives hope to all finale books and proves it can be done. It supersedes our love of Serpent & Dove as the previous reigning champ in the series – in fact, it does LAPS around it.
Gods & Monsters picks up much where we left off in Blood & Honey with Lou and company slowly making their way towards Chateau le Blanc and reeling from their confrontation with Morgane. From page one we are immediately thrown into action. The company is always on the move, facing new challenges in almost every chapter. This book is consistent with the others in that there is ALWAYS a complication. Very little goes to plan, and it always falls apart in a masterful way. And just when you think one challenge has been overcome it gets turned on its head once again. So. Much. Action. You’ll have whiplash – in the best way possible!
All the characters in Gods & Monsters really shine. The humor, the sass, is all threaded throughout the book – even in the dark times. And it is a dark book. Mahurin really drives home what it is to face grief head-on and not be able to fall apart. To have to KEEP going, keep surviving even when it does not seem possible. This crew has faced some very big blows with the loss of Ansel (and Lou for that matter), and while it takes a while for those wounds to heal, they are irrevocably themselves throughout it.
Mahurin does a really great job juxtaposing “found family” against dysfunctional blood family relationships. Not only do individual friendships really make an impact (Coco and Lou for example) on the reader, the friendship the group maintains is amazing as well. It makes the reader feel as if you could also be part of the family that is their friend group. It also serves as inspiration in case maybe your family life is not quite as picture-perfect as one would wish. Your family is out there! Obviously, we’ve had front row seats into the le Blanc dysfunction for the last two books, but this book brings us more insight into Coco and her relationship with both her mother and aunt. We also get to witness Reid making tough choices about Madame LaBelle and facing the emotional consequences of his part in the Archbishop’s death.
Gods & Monsters may have the best Reid and Lou scenes out of the whole series. Seeing them come together after so much miscommunication and strife in Blood & Honey is SO satisfying (if you know what we mean). I hope everyone loves their ending as much as we did – it’s perfect for them.
Honestly, Gods & Monsters surpassed all expectations and will go down as a fantastic representation of a series ending. While we will ALWAYS wish for more Lou and Reid content, we feel beyond satisfied with the note in witch (ha) we are leaving this world behind!