I have decided to run away from my life and obligations into the deep pit that is The Black Dagger Brotherhood series of books and characters. And I say this with highest respect for the author and the series, but I am glad to be out.
First things first, I believe I will take the time to review each book individually, but it will be a while, like 2018 or so. In time for the next book in the series I guess.
I am writing this all-together-now, spoiler free (hopefully), run down of do-it and stay-away-from-it because I do not believe the past month of reading should go without acknowledgment. That, and I have not posted in months, so it was time.
I have read the books before, and I will read them again, so I believe that gives you an idea of where I stand. However, that is not all I have to say about them.
For those who don`t know, the books are romance novels that deal with the oldest dominating male kind there is. Vampires. A whole race of people that live in their own little bubble within our world. With their own laws, rules, biology, society and wars.
What makes a modern romance “I need relatable human emotions, and believable actions” lover like myself go for a vampire novel, you might ask. It works, that`s what. I can go for almost any scenario if the writer can make me buy it somehow. FYI, that does not include smoldering looks and bulging pecs, that is just window dressing.
The first story follows the king of vampires Wrath (the names are what made me roll my eyes the first time around, but by book 5 you get used to it) and a human woman Beth getting it on. It also creates a bigger stage for the rest of the crew (or the Brotherhood), their universe, and the whole “this is what is going on in our world” thing.
As the book progresses we get even more characters, more explanation, and more setups for future plots. Good thing to remember would be that if they have a name, they might do something.
Now, J. R. Ward took on a huge load of work with this universe. HUGE. You can tell there is so much more in her head than on the paper, and you can tell that the demand for more! more! more! is making her cut corners.
That is very evident in the way the stories start to overlap the further we go, the books stars to expand and more and more characters are getting their own angle and story. Try to imagine the storylines as a river that starts as a small stream that ends up getting bigger and faster and longer, going trough different kinds of terrain and ending up in one of the oceans. I feel like J. R. Ward follows the river on foot sometimes, then jumps on a train to catch up, before she just gives up and flies to some random beach to continue. For me at least, her writing shifts from being on point to scrambling to make it there. Thankfully, she is not trying to make an impact with her books, or reach the status of one of the greats.
As far as the characters go, they are what is keeping me with the books. End. Of. Story. (for all the non BDB lovers, that is a reference to the POV changes that end up sounding the same) The characters themselves tend to stay within their own personalities, most of the time, and they also show growth, an actual arc or two, and are affected by the goings-on (sometimes organically, sometimes forcefully). So the end result with the POV shift is easily ignored if you end up liking the characters. If you do not, on the other hand, you will find it annoying.
If you have time on your hands, and would like a taste, try the first two books and see how you like them. There is no point going forward with the books if you don`t feel even the slightest bit of attraction for them during the first two. I also can not recommend skipping some, or reading out of the order. It is hard to figure out where one story ends and another begins, so you will end up missing out on the arc you would like to follow.
All in all, I always have a good time taking a timeout for a month and catching up on my vampire action. You might even say I like the books. Although, now I just say I like Lassiter.