Jane immediately sees something between V and Butch but Marrissa seems forever blind on the "more than friends" connection. I was glad that they talked about their mutual feelings: Vishous admitting to being in love with Butch and desiring him sexually and Butch admitting that although not gay, there was a part of him that wanted Vishous too. But what disappointed me the most was Jane the Ghost Lover. That's just too weird by half. To top it off, SV is Vishous' non-virginal mother (so why does she keep the name now that the cat is out of the bag?), and there's a twin sister who's warrior material. So does she join the Brotherhood? Do she and Xhex create a sisterhood of fighters? Is Payne set up for a future Tohrment book?
It's hard to know just what Marissa may or may not know about Butch and V by now. She's not stupid. But she's been very sheltered. Just remember that the poor thing was so innocent in LR that she honestly believed everything (what little) she'd heard about 'first times' through the glymera, and she'd never even heard of some of what Butch wanted to do with her.
The Scribe Virgin's non-virginal status is only known to a very small, select group of individuals, so I guess she can keep the title if she wants to and the vast majority of the vampire population will have no idea (even Phury, one of Vishous' Brothers, for example, didn't know until V and the SV started their argument in LU). In any case, it's not her given name.
Regarding Payne, J.R. Ward has announced that V's twin sister will have her book as the next BDB one out (in 2011) after JM and Xhex's book, Lover Mine is released next spring. Payne's HEA, though, is confirmed to be Dr. Manny Manello, Jane's former boss. Payne will also be joining the Brotherhood. Don't look to see Xhex there, though.
I figure a nosy bunch like the Brotherhood, although presently distracted by the battle and the loss of Xhex, won't be able to go very long without wanting to find just out who's been beating the crud out of their King to his great pleasure. Someone (perhaps a number of them) will undoubtedly be going to the NTR realm to find out what's up. Perhaps that will be when Vishous finds out he has a twin sister he never knew about. (And per J.R. Ward, V's going to go "gorilla fertilizer"...aka ape-$**t when he finds out that bit of news.)
Xhex has two strikes against her regarding joining the Brotherhood...first, she's symphath, which might be problematic for Wrath, and second, J.R. Ward nixed the idea of a couple fighting together in the Brotherhood. Which doesn't mean Xhex wouldn't keep fighting unofficially. She is what she is. But mainly I see her returning to her old position as Rehv's head bodyguard...as Symphath King he'll need one he can truly trust, (and maybe she'll still act as Head of Security at the Iron Mask too.)
Well that's what's surprised me...how Beth hasn't wondered where all the dings, bruises, and cuts are coming from and asking "Who's Payne?" And man...what a birth it must've been for SV to name her kids Vishous Payne!
I guess if Payne is going to be paired up with Manny, and Ward doesn't do fighting spouses, then that means that what? Manny will stay human? That he won't opt to go through the transition like Butch did?
I don't get Rehv's future now. He's mate, Sympath King, club/restaurant owner, and Leadyhre of the Glymera? I mean, no one but the Brothers and Marissa know about his other half. Do the Glymera keep tabs on Sympath politics I wonder.
Re the Scribe Virgin's childbirth and naming, ROTFLOL! Seriously, though, I'm not surprised that Vishous was named as he was. His is a warrior's name, like those of the other Brothers. Payne, though, was an interesting choice for a female. It's also obviously a warrior name, but I don't think there was any expectation of that for her...it just turned out to suit her perfectly (as she was like her father, The Bloodletter.) Funny isn't it? The one turned over to be a warrior is actually more like his mother in temperment, glow, etc., while the one who would be considered just a 'worthless female' by her father, is actually far more like him.
I think the reason no body's asked too many questions yet is that their fights are still a comparatively rare occurrance (Payne can't currently leave the NTR, and Wrath isn't going over there daily) and the Brothers know that Wrath can hold his own and isn't worried in the slightest about it. If anything he's far more cheery since this began. So they're trusting in his judgement. But I'm sure their curiosity, if nothing else, will drive them to find out more. Or perhaps Beth will ask one of them to take a peek since it's her hellren who's ending up bruised. They'd definitely do it for her if she asked.
I doubt Manny will stay fully human in the long run...though I wouldn't mind seeing him stay so and get a permanent exemption to do the 'drink to stay young' thing. But Manny's got something else going on...remember that Xhex sensed something off him when they crossed paths at the hospital (Xhex was going to ID Chrissy's body). There's been a great deal of speculation that Manny might end up being revealed as Butch's half brother (fathered by that roving surgeon who was with Butch's mother...Manny's dad was a doctor too.) Manny might think twice about transitioning, though, if he sees Butch's hand. That little disfigurement (which doesn't really hamper Butch when he fights) might be a huge deal to a surgeon whose livelihood IS his hands.
Rehv's future should be interesting. I don't think he'll be revealed to the Glymera, but he's also 'dead', so it remains to be seen how his "rumors of my death have been greatly overstated" resurrection will be played out. Maybe he'll just assume a totally new human ID, but carry on as always among the vampire world with a simple explanation about needing to make a fresh start or some such. I wonder what will happen to his assets, though, since everything he had got willed away. Perhaps he's a kept man now, if Ehlena is presently supporting him...with the money he willed her. ;)
Well given the misogynistic view that only males can be Leadyhre, Marissa was passed over. Does that mean Havers is next in line to be Leadyhre? And I wonder why Payne hasn't left the OS when so many of the Chosen have ...erm, chosen to do so. Good point about Manny wanting to save his hand. I wondered why Butch had a disfigurement (and frankly still do) but it's a good plot point if she had Manny in mind. Which also explains the "Jane drink and live forever" sub-plot that was ultimately unnecessary. But Rehv can now live off of Elehna I suppose...not that Bella, Trez, iAm or Xhex would keep the money bequeathed to them.
Can't say whether Rehv will have permanently lost his position as Leadyhre. I hope not. He's a check, along with Marissa, on a group that desperately needs checks and balances. Havers and his hard Glymera head-in-the-sand has been quite enough trouble in the past (tried to have Wrath assassinated, nearly killed his sister), especially given that he's next in line for the throne unless and until Wrath fathers a child. Although J.R. Ward probably wasn't working so hard on shining his previously tarnished halo up the way she did in LAv for just no reason.
I believe Payne can't physically leave the NTR, at least not right now. Currently she's somehow restricted, probably due to something the SV has cooked up to protect the rest of the vampire populace from her wild child. This is undoubtedly yet another thing for V to wig out about when he finds out. (I can't wait to see that. :)
Butch is disfigured solely, near as I can tell, because it is one of the markers of the Destroyer prophecy which he fullfills. He just doesn't care because he can still fight and because transitioning meant he could be fully in a place where he feels a sense of belonging and he could be with Marissa. He figures it's (along with having to die and go through the pain of transition) small potatoes compared to what he gained out of the deal.
Omega is so happy that he "out-thought" the Dhestroyer prophecy by bringing Lash into the world. I wonder how he'll react when he finds out his father a child was out-done by his sister giving birth two twins. The whole "she's light covered in dark shroud" and "he's dark and wears white" is so ying-yang. I wonder who the "father" is they refer to. In any case, Lash seems fairly indestructible so I'm looking forward to his two cousins showing him the way...to hell. That said, I wonder if redemption is possible for Lash. SV kept saying that the Omega finger in Butch wouldn't matter b/c Butch's soul was intrinsically good. But Lash was always a bit "off" yet he did feel bad about his parents enough to pose them as having dinner and then go back and bury them. He's still living as a vampire of the glymera too.
It would be interesting to know if the SV & Omega's 'father' is also the same overarching deity that is the sidelined 'coach' on the side of good from Covet, or if their father is something else entirely.
I don't see a redemption for Lash. Butch absorbs evil, but can be cleansed of it and it doesn't permanently damage him because he's a fundamentally decent, honorable soul. He has his failings, but he wants to do right and be right. He was utterly willing, for example, to sacrifice his life for the good of others. Lash, OTOH, has always seemed to be a self-absorbed, self-satisfied selfish little creep who wanted things his own way and if he couldn't get it by buying or bullying, he'd try to take what he wanted by violence. Self sacrifice isn't in his vocabulary. And now that Lash's taken Xhex, he's got JM and the boys, the whole Brotherhood, Rehv and the Moors gunning for him. Not sure how they'll manage it since he's Omega-ized, but I think Lash is toast. And if the son is an indication of the father, it may be the Omega who does him in if Lash fails to prove 'useful' in the future.
Well Lash seems to be the Omega's only weakness. He genuinely loves that boy and didn't want to give him up when he was a baby. What's interesting is that Lash's parents picked Lash up at some "swap meet" so Lash doesn't have bloodlines to his family. And given Saxton's pre-occupation with bloodlines, he should be glad that he's out of the glymera.
Now we know more about sympaths (they were related to vampires, are almost hermaphroditic, split tongues, and sociopaths), but what are Moors and Shadows?
JM and Lash are both arguments for Nature over Nurture. Lash had the best of everything and he's rotten to the core. JM was raised with next to nothing and he's a good guy. It is rather ironic that the cousin that Qhuinn was constantly compared and found wanting to his whole life turns out to not even be any kind of blood relation (and I think we can now safely say that Qhuinn would be quite glad that he's not got family ties to the Omega and his evil halfling spawn.) Qhuinn's neglectful/abusive parents scorned their blood son over something he had no control over and had inherited biologically FROM THEM and fawned over the rotten little entitled creep who wound up slaughtering them...that's some kind of bizarre justice there. I just hope Qhuinn doesn't have to face up against his big brother if said brother was lesser-ized (apparently any living thing can be turned into a lesser.) Qhuinn has enough issues without dealing with killing a lampire sibling.
The Moors (aka Shadows) are enigmas right now. They can apparently shift form, however, as iAm did in LAv so that Xhex couldn't throw him out of her home. And we know that these two can cook...just don't ask Trez what kind of meat it is! (Secret's in de sauce...makes me think of Fried Green Tomatoes' dark side and shudder) Hopefully that's not how Sal's is run.
I'd forgotten Qhuinn's brother was kidnapped. I assumed it was for intel on the location of the glymera or mind-screw with Qhuinn was the reason. I thought that Lash got Lesser-isized b/c he already had a bit of the Omega in him. Otherwise, they would've been turning vamps for centuries.
According to J.R. Ward, any living thing can be turned into a lesser. I think the reason they didn't have lesserized vampires (lampires) before is because those are 'of the SV' and the Omega saw them only as things to be destroyed to hurt her. But Lash was born of and raised vampire. Yet he's also of the Omega.
I could absolutely see Lash deciding to have more of his mixed 'kind' created, if only to keep him company. Qhuinn's brother is of the same class and traditions, so Lash (who's not fond of the other lowly human-born lessers...not even forelesser Mr. D) wouldn't feel like he was slumming if he had him around. And Lash knew how Qhuinn's family scorned Qhuinn (whose guts Lash hates with a passion). Qhuinn's brother might seem the perfect candidate to be lesserized, if only because he'd be able to guess how badly it might rattle Qhuinn to face his lesserized brother. And Lash absolutely wants to torture Qhuinn for a while before he slaughters him. Facing a lampire sibling would do the trick.
I'm not too sure that JR Ward will take Xhex's abduction down the road of sexual abuse. Seems too obvious. How would a relationship between Xhex and JM work if they are both sex abuse victims? Seems like overkill for a story line. If she pursues that then you will Vishous, Rehvenge, Zsadist, JM and Xhex all with sex abuse stories. I would prefer that she follow another traditional line. I'm thinking that Lash will torture Xhex for Brotherhood names, locations, secrets, etc.
Ya know, in all fairness to the Omega, he should be more powerful. I mean his sister's all for goodness and mercy and all that... but are they not equals?? His creations should be able to stand up to more sterner stuff imho. I hope Lash comes back at some later time. Fair is fair, let there be some Omega-rized being strong enough to take on the brothers - I mean as long as none of my brothers get killed - and not get vaporized too quickly.