THE SHADOWS Rips Your Guts Out (Audio)



THE SHADOWS AUDIOBlack Dagger Brotherhood #14
by J.R. Ward
Mar. 31, 2015
Penguin Audio:
Audio Book: Narrator Jim Frangione |44:18
Penguin/NAL: Hardcover & E-Book |  592 Pages |

Audiobook provided by publisher for review. No remuneration was exchanged and all opinion presented herein is my own except as noted.


Two brothers bound by more than blood fight to change a brutal destiny in the heart-wrenching new novel of the Black Dagger Brotherhood by #1 New York Times bestselling author J. R. Ward..

Trez “Latimer” doesn’t really exist. And not just because the identity was created so that a Shadow could function in the underbelly of the human world. Sold by his parents to the Queen of the S’Hsibe as a child, Trez escaped the Territory and has been a pimp and an enforcer in Caldwell, NY for years- all the while on the run from a destiny of sexual servitude. He’s never had anyone he could totally rely on… except for his brother, iAm.

iAm’s sole goal has always been to keep his brother from self-destructing- and he knows he’s failed. It’s not until the Chosen Serena enters Trez’s life that the male begins to turn things around… but by then it’s too late. The pledge to mate the Queen’s daughter comes due and there is nowhere to run, nowhere to hide, and no negotiating.

Trapped between his heart and a fate he never volunteered for, Trez must decide whether to endanger himself and others- or forever leave behind the female he’s in love with. But then an unimaginable tragedy strikes and changes everything. Staring out over an emotional abyss, Trez must find a reason to go on or risk losing himself and his soul forever. And iAm, in the name of brotherly love, is faced with making the ultimate sacrifice…


My Take Oblong

Seriously, I gave up on this smashing series by J. R. Ward after THE KING. It had gotten too crazy and had too many story lines – and that wasn’t an uncommon complaint.

I gobbled up the earlier books once I discovered them. They were over the top some of the time, and the brand-name dropping (or product placement) got annoying, but they were exciting, with a fairly tightly constructed world. Then, scratching-record noise, angels got involved and Ward started to go off the deep end with creative creation myths.

With THE SHADOWS JR seems to have dialed down some of the crazy! And, brought in a giant well of emotive content that had me weeping as I listened to the book, usually while painting trim.

In THE KING I was interested in Trez’s and Iam’s story and their people, Indeed, it was probably the best part of THE KING. Here, Ward brings them back, further ties them to the BDB and then wraps it up like a big sad present. Seriously! Kleenex are absolutely necessary.

Ward’s almost, but not quite English, naming concept doesn’t work terribly well when the extraneous “H”s and extra vowels are inaudible in the spoken word. That’s not the narrator’s fault and he does a great job with stuff that has to feel a little silly to say at times. I do feel he makes the more feminine women sound like idiots. But I feel that with most male narrators.

The story here focuses on Trez, the Chosen, Serena, Iam and the crown princess of the S’hibe.  The story for Trez and Serena is sensitive, heart wrenching and well-done. The sillier bits are worth it just for this story.

There is a very, very shocking bit that almost made me stop and DNF, but it was brief and there’s justice. It seems to violate one of those taboos for Paranormal Romance, but, Ward has never been too concerned with those.

I think if you have lost a child, you may want to skip the book or a few pages at least when the Queen’s executioner is in a room alone.  Maybe that’s an over reaction, but, as they say, Fair Warning. Or, you might just want more kleenex.

I found the story emotionally gut wrenching.  But, Rhage’s wondering why he and his Mary were spared and other couples made to suffer is hard to take; the big nasty dinosaur goes kind of soft. And it seems a little inconsequential unless he dies in the next book.

All in all, most of the book is good and chock full of feels. Ward does introduce some additional storylines and falls back on name-dropping, product placement.

There are some extraneous stories about the Band of Bastards that I think we’re so over by now. Women’s rights seem to be making headway in Vampire society, but someone’s going to get bloody and someone will break their heart.

If you like the series it is a must read; especially Trez and Serena’s story. If you want to read the series do not start here. I think this is a read in order series. Don’t forget hankies!



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