Wednesday, August 29, 2007

The Black Dagger Brotherhood Series by J. R. Ward

This immensely popular series needs no introduction. The books have been reviewed to death, and I shall not spew more of the same. Rather, I’m just going to share with you why these books are so special, that even I, an inveterate non-series reader, am reduced to a shivering mass of anticipation for the next book…and the next…and the next…

The most compelling reason of all - these vamps are not vicious, blood-thirsty, monster-like undeads that gave me nightmares when I was little. They have feelings, they care, they love, and they sacrifice their all for those whom they love. Ok…they may be blood-thirsty…but only to vanquish the bad guys; the blood they crave and need most is the blood of the opposite sex of their own kind, not human’s. The six (ok, seven, now that Dhestroyer is onboard) warriors are gentlemanly and heroic, but definitely sappy and romantic when it comes to their mates. They may be big ass-kicking, black leather-and-shit kickers-wearing fighting machines, but they don’t come across as obnoxious or vile. In fact, they can be downright funny and sweet at times. Kudos to their creator, Ms J. R. Ward, for giving us these realistic, forceful and unforgettable characters.

Book One – Dark Lover
The story of Wrath, the Blind King, and his mate, Beth. The background, the set-up of their world, as well as the introduction of the main characters are all here.

Book Two – Lover Eternal
My favourite one of the series. Story of Rhage and Mary. Rhage is the best fighter and the most handsome of the brothers (nickname Hollywood). Mary is a human who has terminal cancer. An emotional, romantic read.

Book Three – Lover Awakened
Story of Zsadist and Bella. My second favourite book, not because of the romance, rather, it’s all about Zsadist and his identical twin (and fellow warrior) Phury. Their story makes me cry. Heart-wrenching stuff.

Book Four – Lover Revealed
Story of Butch, a human cop who somehow got assimilated into the brothers’ world, and the object of his desire, Marissa. For me, this is the weakest romance of the series. What makes this book awesome is the bond, connection and interaction between Butch and the aloof brother, Vishous. This book is all about Butch and V.

Book Five – Lover Unbound
To be officially released on 25 September 2007. Story of Vishous and Jane, a human surgeon. I just CAN’T WAIT to find out how V, the brainiest brother with terrifying powers, will succumb to Jane. Theirs is going to be a brilliant and gripping story. If you MUST read a review with SPOILERS, you can do so here.
Addendum: read my review here.

Book Six – Lover Enshrined
Coming out in June 2008. Story of Phury and Cormia. She's a Chosen. Their story begins in V's book (somewhat like Z and Bella's in Lover Eternal). I loathe the title of the book, and feel that it doesn’t gel with the rest. Phury is a celibate, extremely loyal, heroic and an all-round nice guy. “Enshrined” brings to mind a marble-casted Phury being put up on a pedestal for everyone to worship or admire. A definite and resounding NO! Granted, Ms Ward may not have any say as to the title selection – in which case, I lay the blame and my ire squarely on her ill-informed, or simply apathetic, publisher. Addendum: links to reviews here.

My overall rating up to Book Four: 4.5
Overall sensuality rating: Hot

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