A Novel of the Black Dagger Brotherhood (#16?)
By J.R. Ward
Read by Jim Frangione
Category: Paranormal Fiction | Paranormal Romance | Audiobooks
Audiobook Download: Apr 05, 2016 | 1085 Minutes
Also available in print and digital editions
Audiofile provided by publisher for review. No remuneration was exchanged and all opinions presented herein are my own except as noted.
Nothing is as it used to be for the Black Dagger Brotherhood. After avoiding war with the Shadows, alliances have shifted and lines have been drawn. The slayers of the Lessening Society are stronger than ever, preying on human weakness to acquire more money, more weapons, more power. But as the Brotherhood readies for an all-out attack on them, one of their own fights a battle within himself…
For Rhage, the Brother with the biggest appetites, but also the biggest heart, life was supposed to be perfect—or at the very least, perfectly enjoyable. Mary, his beloved shellan, is by his side and his King and his brothers are thriving. But Rhage can’t understand—or control—the panic and insecurity that plague him…
And that terrifies him—as well as distances him from his mate. After suffering mortal injury in battle, Rhage must reassess his priorities—and the answer, when it comes to him, rocks his world…and Mary’s. But Mary is on a journey of her own, one that will either bring them closer together or cause a split that neither will recover from… http://www.jrward.com/bdb/
While this book, like most BDB stories, is fraught with tension and seething sexual energy, the “Beast,” a curse laid upon Rhage for some past transgression by the VS, is and, well, must be intended to be humorous as well as scary; all the description — from dinosaur to dragon ― makes me think of Barney. So even when the thing is running around, chomping on slayers it seems comical as I imagine Barney’s song playing in the background. People who had kids in the 1990s probably will still react with horror.
I enjoyed Frangione’s narration in this book. I thought he portrayed women’s voices well – I sometimes find it quite annoying when women are done as all breathy and vapid.
There’s a lot of tension in this one. I was constantly wondering if one of the beloved regulars would die. There are a lot of close calls.
Vishous learns a tough lesson, something most of us learn as young adults, about parents. Of course his understanding of his parentage is not as old as it is for most of his kind.
JR Ward seems to be mellowing at this point in this series. There were a lot of storylines, some were tied up; some people also get tied up. I really like how a “non-traditional” family is supported in the BDB. JR Ward’s BDB is more open than the rest of the stuffy side of vampire society.
I thought this book really did a lot to move the series forward had a tight structure in staying with individual storylines for a satisfying amount of time. She doesn’t pop around too much and brings a few storylines forward, while tying up others; such as Rhage and Mary’s story.
Finally, I enjoyed this story for the reasons I describe in the post and because Ward has ceased (most) name dropping/ product placement mentions. Occasionally we get to hear about Range Rovers, but Rhage’s car is a renovated American Muscle car. Now that many of the order members have family, they seem a little less preoccupied with suits, watches and Grey Goose. This novel is not a good place to start this series or any of the spin offs. Even I started at the beginning and rapidly consumed my way through the series. I recommend the same to any BDB virgin. If you have been following the series then I think this is a good entry!