Jul 24, 2012

Dark Lover (Black Dagger Brotherhood #1) by J.R. Ward review

Dark Lover cover
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 of the undead-a world of sensuality beyond her wildest dreams.

From Goodreads

Wrath really doesn't like to mingle...among anyone. If he had his way he would withdraw from society, vampire & human alike. Unfortunately for him, as the leader of the Black Dagger Brotherhood (and reluctant king of vampires) he doesn't have much of a choice. What he does have a choice over are his actions. So when one of his brothers is killed, after asking Wrath to care for his soon-to-become-a-vampire daughter, he feels compelled to complete this final task as an homage to a brave warrior.

Beth has no idea why she is feeling so off lately, but chalks it up to the stress of a near-fatal assault & her gore-filled news reporting job. That is until he shows up & changes her world. He's larger than life, and with a name like Wrath, he's obviously got a violent streak. Yet something in her is drawn to him unlike anyone else in the world. He becomes her guide to the deadly new world she can't help but enter.

I had seen this book all over the place. Lots of people have it as a recommendation for a Gena Showalter read alike. While I get the comparison (believe me there is a lot of crossover) I just wasn't as big a fan of this one as I was hoping to be. That doesn't mean I loathed the book, but there was just something too off about it for me. Don't ask me to explain how Gena Showalter's mythology makes more sense to me than J.R. Ward's mythology, but Showalter's just flowed better for me.

Dark Lover introduces a wide cast of characters that revolve all the time. If I remember correctly the majority of the story is told from 5 points of view with a few glimpses into other character's heads along the way. I can handle up to 3 narrators quite well. Anything beyond that (when they are all trying to tell the same story) & my head starts to get a bit jumbled. The writing was quite well done, with adequate transitions between narrators & scenes.

I went into this book with my eyes wide open. I knew there would be sex scenes (a bit gratuitous & over the top for my tastes) & violence, but I was surprised to see so many elements of the story (like deep-seated plot) built in to these usually superfluous scenes. I must hand it to the woman, she knows how to keep you reading.

On the whole, this was worth the read, but for my personal tastes, I could take or leave the series. I think I'll give the next one a shot in a few weeks to see how the story progresses. Who knows, it may draw me in. :)

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