Monday, June 29, 2020

Black Dagger Brotherhood #1 - #5 by J.R. Ward ~ Review

The only purebred vampire left on the planet and the leader of the Black Dagger Brotherhood, Wrath has a score to settle with the slayers who killed his parents centuries ago. But when his most trusted fighter is killed—orphaning a half-breed daughter unaware of her heritage or her fate—Wrath must put down his dagger and usher the beautiful female into another world.
Racked by a restlessness in her body that wasn’t there before, Beth Randall is helpless against the dangerously sexy man who comes to her at night with shadows in his eyes. His tales of the Brotherhood and blood frighten her. Yet his touch ignites a dawning new hunger—one that threatens to consume them both…

In the shadows of the night in Caldwell, New York, there's a deadly turf war raging between vampires and their slayers. There exists a secret band of brothers like no other-six vampire warriors, defenders of their race. Possessed by a deadly beast, Rhage is the most dangerous of the Black Dagger Brotherhood.

Within the brotherhood, Rhage is the vampire with the strongest appetites. He's the best fighter, the quickest to act on his impulses, and the most voracious lover-for inside him burns a ferocious curse cast by the Scribe Virgin. Owned by this dark side, Rhage fears the time when his inner dragon is unleashed, making him a danger to everyone around him.

Mary Luce, a survivor of many hardships is unwittingly thrown into the vampire world and reliant on Rhage's protection. With a life-threatening curse of her own, Mary is not looking for love. She lost her faith in miracles years ago. But when Rhage's intense animal attraction turns into something more emotional, he knows that he must make Mary his alone. And while their enemies close in, Mary fights desperately to gain life eternal with the one she loves... 

In the shadows of the night in Caldwell, New York, there’s a deadly war raging between vampires and their slayers. And there exists a secret band of brothers like no other - six vampire warriors, defenders of their race. Of these, Zsadist is the most terrifying member of the Black Dagger Brotherhood.

A former blood slave, the vampire Zsadist still bears the scars from a past filled with suffering and humiliation. Renowned for his unquenchable fury and sinister deeds, he is a savage feared by humans and vampires alike. Anger is his only companion, and terror is his only passion—until he rescues a beautiful aristocrat from the evil Lessening Society.

Bella is instantly entranced by the seething power Zsadist possesses. But even as their desire for one another begins to overtake them both, Zsadist’s thirst for vengeance against Bella’s tormentors drives him to the brink of madness. Now, Bella must help her lover overcome the wounds of his tortured past, and find a future with her…

Butch O'Neal is a fighter by nature. A hard-living ex-homicide cop, he's the only human ever to be allowed in the inner circle of the Black Dagger Brotherhood. And he wants to go even deeper into the vampire world—to engage in the turf war with the lessers. He's got nothing to lose. His heart belongs to a female vampire, an aristocratic beauty who's way out of his league. If he can't have Marissa, then at least he can fight side by side with the Brothers...

Fate curses him with the very thing he wants. When Butch sacrifices himself to save a civilian vampire from the slayers, he falls prey to the darkest force in the war. Left for dead, he's found by a miracle, and the Brotherhood calls on Marissa to bring him back. But even her love may not be enough to save him...

The ruthless and brilliant brother Vishous possesses a destructive curse and a frightening ability to see the future. As a member of the Brotherhood, he has no interest in love or emotion, only the battle with the Lessening Society. But when a mortal injury puts him in the care of a human surgeon, Dr. Jane Whitcomb compels him to reveal his inner pain and taste true pleasure for the first time-until a destiny he didn't choose takes him into a future that does not include her...

I know I'm late to the party but I finally started reading the Black Dagger Brotherhood.  I've read the first 5 books in the series and I think I'm done.  I may change my mind later and return to this series but as of right now, I'm done.

Overall, the books are good paranormal books.  It's a different take on vampires with a dark world tucked inside our own world.  There are civilian vampires and warrior vampires.  The brotherhood is the later.  Vampires only drink from other vampires of the opposite sex.  The civilian world has a old world snobbery where bloodlines are more important than individuals.  Add in the lessening society, who are headed by the Omega.  Yeah, he's the badest baddy you can think of.  Some of humans mythology is there.  Heaven and hell.  But there is also the scribe virgin who is the creator of the vampire world.  

In the first book, we have Wrath (the blind king) and Beth's (half-blood) story.  This book does a good job of setting up the world while still driving the story along.  I loved Wrath.  But I wanted something to happen that didn't and it really made me angry.  I thought his scribe virgin was uppity and not as willing to support the vampire society as she should be.

The second book is Rhage (warrior) and Mary (human).  This one touches on some of the weirdness that these books deal with.  Rhage can't feed from a human.  I was never completely happy about how it was resolved or the lifespan issue.

Book three is Zsadist (former blood slave and warrior) and Bella's (civilian) story.  Poor Zsadist.  His past is beyond brutal.  I felt for him so much but it was hard to care for him.  He was so hard and at times cruel.  And the whole thing with Phury was just awkward.  

Book four is Butch (former human cop) and Marissa's (Wrath's former shellen) story.  So humans can't become vampires, or so we have been told.  But there is some convenient clause that fixes things for Butch.  Yeah, he's a warrior now.  A lot of rules just get overlooked for the good of the war with the lessening society.  I really don't like it when everything is "no that can't be" and then someone just changes it because it's convenient.  I will admit to liking Butch and I'm glad he got Marissa.  They are a well mated pair.  It just too convenient for my liking.

Book five is Vishous (warrior with interesting mother issues) and Jane's (human doctor) story.  I think that while I liked this story the best, it was the one that caused me to decide to stop reading this series.  At this point, I can't stand the scribe virgin no matter her "sacrifice".  What she allowed to happen to Vishous went over a line for me.  It's one of those trust issues that can't be fixed for me.

While I liked the series, I grew tired of the slang, true?  Yeah, that came up a lot.  I get that this series is older and these books were releases in the early 2000's but it got old after a while.  I just couldn't take one more "feel me?".  The vampires were stuck in the 90's watching old (even then) reruns and talking like the million dollar man.  

And those breaking of trust issues I had?  I learn to trust certain authors not to do things that I can't get past.  While it may be more like real life, it isn't what I want from my books.  Things like guys having sex with another girl while crushing on someone else.  Yeah, it was in the book before their story, but I couldn't let it go.  And impossible situations.  I get that this is fiction and an author can write whatever they want but some things go too far.  The example of this is a spoiler so I won't say it but it really deflated me to the point I didn't want to read.  Not good.

Also, it was just too easy to see things coming in these books.  I really wasn't surprised, even with what should have been major events.  I like hints and they are necessary but these were too obvious.  

I guess the last think has to do with how much the stories are tied together.  You learn so much about other heroes well before their story.  While that's usually a good thing, it started to bug me.  I wanted the story focused on this couple.  These books are not so much companion as they are slices of a vampire soap opera.  I guess I bore easily and this one had me yawning.  

If you are a vampire book person, I would guess this series would still interest you.  The writing is strong and the sex is always hot.  I'm not sure the romance is strong, it wasn't for me.  But a lot of people love these books.  I kept hoping I'd love them more.  It just didn't happen.


1 comment:

  1. I felt the exact same way about the first book in this series... I normally LOVE vampire books, but this one fell really flat for me. The romance was blah... You hit the nail on the head with this one!