So as you guys know, I wasn't always part of The Book Babe's Reads. I had my own personal blog before - which now lies abandoned... alongside all my old reviews. But because I feel like some of them don't deserve such an awful treatment, I'm going to slowly move my favorite reviews here! (though some editing may occur, as I'm a little OCD about my reviews, and the older they originally are, the more likely I am to have things I want to rephrase).
Dark Lover by J.R Ward
Series: Black Dagger Brotherhood #1
Source: borrowed from library
Age Genre: Adult
Original Review: April 12, 2013
In the shadows of the night in Caldwell, New York, there's a deadly turf war going on between vampires and their slayers. There exists a secret band of brothers like no other-six vampire warriors, defenders of their race. Yet none of them relishes killing more than Wrath, the leader of The Black Dagger Brotherhood.
The only purebred vampire left on earth, Wrath has a score to settle with the slayers who murdered his parents centuries ago. But, when one of his most trusted fighters is killed-leaving his half-breed daughter unaware of his existence or her fate-Wrath must usher her into the world
I'm going to be completely honest and start by saying that originally, I gave this book three stars. But reading through my review, I kept thinking to myself... whhhy? So, there goes half a star. Bye!
If we're already being honest with each other, I will also admit that while this review is mostly a rant - I have continued with this series, and I even loved some of the books in it. So... don't judge the series based on the first book!
The first of this (currently) thirteen long series is, unfortunately, completely underwhelming. I had this nagging sense of deja vu the entire read, like... been there, read this, and considering this was way back when I'd just started with adult books and these type of romance-centered fantasies, I cannot imagine how I'd feel about this now.
The characters were alright. I loved being inside Wrath's head, seeing the duality of his thoughts vs. words first hand, even though the guy got on my nerves sometimes. I loved seeing this really outwardly strong, big, tough guy turn out to be a sad, self doubting and loathing person who can't show his warmth to anyone. Call me sadistic.
What I didn't like was how the realization he loved Beth did a 180 degrees turn on his personality, suddenly making him show his emotions easily and whatnot. It doesn't work like this. Love is not an immediate cure-all medicine, it just serves to be the catalyst and the support system you need to help you bring the change.
As for Beth herself.. she was just a kind, strong, sweet girl, who is (for once, and thank god) aware of the fact she is beautiful but never uses it.
But it wasn't really Beth or Wrath who shone in this book and made me read the next one. Nope, that honor lies within the side-characters, all of whom I adored (Butch, V, Z...)
Then there were the villains, plural, because we have two types: The Lessers; soulless humans who kill without second thought and The "Righteous"; the vampires who think they're better than the brothers.
The ones that really pissed me off and brought emotions out of me is the second one (mainly, Marissa's brother). they are basically stuck up a-holes snobs who jump to their own (wrong) conclusions at the drop of the hat. As for the first group, the traditionally evil... I felt like they weren't well done, because ultimately, I didn't care a whit about them. They didn't generate any emotion out of me.
NOW FOR THE REAL RANT.
The romance in this book is pretty much goddamn awful.
Case in point: a humongous guy armed to the teeth breaks into your apartment in the middle of the night. You:
a) Call the police.
B) Run the hell away.
C) Try to knock him out with something.
D) Have wild, unprotected sex with him.
Do I really have to tell you which option Beth chooses?
Once they settled into the relationship, they're adorably sweet, I won't deny that. But as much as I tried, I couldn't shut up the nagging voice that kept reminding me of all the above points. That asked where does this relationship even come from. That kept doubting it.
And the writing... it's good, don't get me wrong, but there were so many povs my head was spinning. I wish Ward would have just focused on a few and discarded of the rest.
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