It was inevitable, right? This might only be my third post in this blog series, but you all had to know this one’d come sooner rather than later, didn’t you?
Yep, because I have no will power and can’t hold out any longer, this month’s series up for scrutiny is:
BLACK DAGGER BROTHERHOOD by J.R. WARD
Let me take a moment to introduce you to the Brother’s I’ve met so far: Wrath, Rhage, Vishous, Phury, Zsadist, Tohrment. Not to mention other (just as delish) character’s I’ve met along the way: Butch, Rhevenge, John-Matthew, Quinn, Blay …
Now, I’ll admit, within the first couple of chapters of Dark Lover (book one), once I’d been introduced to the Brother’s, I snorted out loud every time one of them was addressed by name. But by book eight—the last one I read—I was no longer laughing. By book two, in fact, calling the Brother’s by these (admittedly ridiculous) names seemed as natural as summer sunlight.
I began reading this back in July. Why? Because everyone I conversed with on Goodreads spoke of it, talking about the ‘Brothers’ as though they had some kind of possession rights over them, so my curiosity got the better of me and I just couldn’t help myself but delve in and figure out what all the fuss was about.
Too often, I’ve been left disappointed by this curious nature of mine.
That wasn’t the case with the BDB<<as the Goodreads folk like to call them.
No, Dark Lover wasn’t the best thing I’ve ever read. But I was pleasantly surprised by how easily I connected with the characters. And I was pleasantly surprised by how eager I was to read on.
Here’s my (extremely narrowed down) thoughts on where I’ve got to so far:
Dark Lover. Not my favourite. However, I think this has way more to do with the fact that it’s a first in series and Wrath (the male mc) didn’t get his full spotlight as so much of the book was spent introducing the reader to everybody else at the same time. Still, it is deffo a half-decent read.
Lover Eternal. What can I say? When I found out book 2 was all about Rhage I was mega excited. I mean, who wouldn’t love a shot at a masculine vampire with an inner beast just begging to be tamed? And he certainly did not disappoint.
Lover Awakened. Zsadist. I didn’t get it. Not prior to reading this. Loads of folk were raving about Z and how book 3 was their favourite and I was like, huh? Why? By the end of this one, I certainly got it. There’s a lot of tenderness, a whole lot of love, and boy oh boy, this one made me cry and tugged at my toughened heartstrings.
Lover Revealed. Butch. I really like Butch. As a human cop in book 1, he ended up dragged into the Brotherhood and never quite left once there. I don’t want to give too much away, but book 4 is where we discover the relevance of his presence, and it certainly surprised me with how much I enjoyed it as I didn’t expect to with him not being one of the Brother’s I’d come to love.
Lover Unbound. Vishoush. *sigh* I LOVE V. And so was left somewhat disappointed by his book. This was the first one since Dark Lover where I felt Ward had stumbled. There have been a lot of complaints—and I’m very inclined to agree—with her choice of female for V. There have also been a whole other lot of complaints—and I wholeheartedly agree—about just how much suspension of belief she expects from her readers with regards to the ending. The ending pretty much trainwrecked this one. Any avid readers who got so far and gave up on BDB? Chances are this is where they stalled out.
Not me. I decided to give her a chance to redeem herself and continued on to:
Lover Enshrined. Phury’s tale—I’d heard a lot of mixed feelings about this one. Some thought the pacing all off. Some thought it far longer than it needed to be for what it contained. Me? I thought the problem was that she used Phury’s spotlight to focus on way too much around him. Pretty much as had happened to Wrath in book 1, Phury didn’t really get his full chance to shine.
Lover Avenged. Well, boy oh boy, I was in love with the Rhevenge on my UK cover before I’d even opened the pages. And even once I was in there, Rhev did not disappoint. After her slight lapse, her lull, this book proved to her readers that Ward still had it in her to weave a decent tale. I was mucho happy by the end.
Lover Mine. I didn’t really get the appeal of John-Matthew. I think it may have been my age and the knowledge that he was a little young for me, maybe. So I didn’t go into Lover Mine expecting to fall in love with him. Silly me. This is another roller coaster of emotions. I totally adored John-Matthew by the end. And kudos to Ward for writing an entire novel with a mute as male mc, and not once confusing the reader or having a lapse in communications.
That’s as far as I’ve got.
I do have Lover Unleashed on my Kindle, waiting for my attention. But because I know Lover Reborn isn’t due out for months, I’m holding off as best I can because I know I’ll get crabby if I can’t go straight from one to the other.
Ward’s outlook on the species is fresh, and her world building is pretty cool. So if you love vampire novels, but are bored of the same old cardboard cutout characters, then I’d say give this one a chance. I did. And I haven’t regretted a single moment I’ve spent between the pages with these guys. As usual (because I always try to avoid spoilers on my blog), all book title links go direct to my reviews for each if you’re interested in my more detailed opinion.
My rating for this series:
Maybe you’ve read it already, have it on your TBR pile, or have heard lots about it but don’t know if it’s for you. Either way, I’d love to hear your thoughts.