J.R. Ward is the number one New York Times bestselling author of the Black Dagger Brotherhood series of vampire books. She is a winner of the prestigious Romance Writers of America RITA award for Best Paranormal Romance and is a multiple RITA nominee. A graduate of Smith College, she was a double major in History and Art History with a medieval concentration in both and she still longs at times for a return to those days sitting in dark lecture halls, looking at slides of old triptychs and reliquaries. Prior to becoming a full time writer, she was a corporate attorney, serving for many years as the Chief of Staff of one of Harvard Medical Schools premier teaching sites. Her idea of absolute heaven is a day filled with nothing but her computer, her dog and her coffee pot and the Brothers, of course.
I've learned over the years that Ward's books will leave me mentally exhausted. Wrung the eff out. I've just realized that it's almost never the main couple that does this (with the exception of two- Z and Bella and Qhuinn and Blay)- but the supporting characters. In many cases the true meat of the story isn't with the two "main" characters, but with the supporting ones. I can't think of another author who does this so successfully. Ward does it and the results are fascinating. Her character-building skillz are unrivaled. I liked Cait and Duke. They were interesting and I liked their real world problems and hang-ups. Devina- The devil whose humanish quirks make her a somewhat sympathetic character at times (until you remember all the reasons we have to hate her).
All Ward's books have dark undertones, but this one was especially stygian. Jim, Adrian, Nigel, Colin- the story was full of overwhelming rawness. It was, at times, a viscerally painful read.
This latest installment of J.R. Wards depiction of the war between good and evil is everything I have come to expect from one of her novels. It is full of raw emotion that is often so devastating that at times I had to set the book down and take a moment away. However, this book is so good that within minutes I was picking it back up to continue.
This is really a book that you want to read only if you have read the four leading up to this installment. Immediately you are pulled into a story that has been building and one would be fairly lost if this was the first book you picked up. That doesn't mean it should stop you from getting this book, just buy the first four books as well. This truly is a series you don't want to miss out on.
I have been a huge fan of J.R. Ward for years and an avid follower of the Black Dagger Brotherhood series, so I like the gritty emotion that you find in one of her novels. These are not simple love stories. Her novels are complex, fully thought out journeys that drag you along, even at times if it pulls you kicking and screaming. Her characters are never only good or evil. The Angels in these novels are not purely holy characters. They are flawed, angry, aggressive, sexually deviant characters that you connect with because of their imperfections. The Demon, Devina is so wonderfully quirky that at times I almost forget all the reasons why I really hate her. As she talks to her therapist, or counts her lipsticks (again) you see the humanity in her and forget about all the evil she has done to Adrian, Jim and Sissy. Well, you forget it briefly and then hate yourself for having any positive thoughts afterward.
So, no spoilers, but if you've read any of the others in this series, you could see this one a mile away. 7 souls in play, you say? Why yes, despite the ending of the last book, you had to know she wouldn't finish this off with book 5...heck, not even with book 6. This one will go right until the last page, last paragraph, last word of book 7. Completely what I expected. As to what I did not expect? To feel so let down and disappointed and find myself really not caring about the 'souls in play'. The plot twist happened at the very end, and while it ended well for those lucky people with the all the 'heat', I found myself saying 'meh'. The wins and losses were much more of a deal in the other books, and this one was complete filler. I imagine the 6th and 7th books are going to be where the real feelings are, but man...how long do I have to wait. I'll finish the series, because at this point I am invested in the author and a fan for life, but wish I got some sort of a discount on this one. Just okay.
I generally like JR Ward's writing, but I thought this book was overall a boring read. There were two shockers. (I'm giving one star for each.) But, the rest is basically Jim running around with his head up his @ss, distracted by Sissy, and not doing his job. Sissy does a re-visit of her life. Eddie has not come back, even though he is mentioned through-out the book. It was nice that Xhex made a little cameo in the book. I did like the Duke character, but I didn't think he was fleshed out enough. Meanwhile, I thought there was too much superfluous info about Cait. Seriously, I think she may be the most boring chracter I've ever read in a JR Ward book.
But my biggest problem with this book is that there was way too much that made no sense. Even if I suspend my imagination and take into consideration this is a supernatual/paranormal themed book. EXAMPLE -- MILD SPOILER follows: Jim could sense when Devina was outside Cait's house, but he could not sense that she was impersonating Sissy and sitting right in his face? Really? Sorry not buying it.
I'm becoming really uninterested in this series. It's becoming too slow paced and dis-jointed.
How can I ever find the words to tell someone how wonderful a writer J.R. Ward is? I loved this part of the story. I have a strong feeling about what is going to happen in the next book but if I say anything about them then it will spoil this book for you. I was a little disappointed because the two lovers in the story are so awesome, but their romance was so steeped in sex and silence that I found it unbelievable that they were in love by the end of this book. I mean, it doesn't really feel like they know each other at all by the end of the book. The storyline was mainly about Jim and Sissy, who I also loved! Great, great book! Much love, Eard!