Friday, November 30, 2007

Lover Unbound by J. R. Ward

Book Description

Ruthless and brilliant, Vishous, son of the Bloodletter, possesses a destructive curse and a frightening ability to see the future. As a pretrans growing up in his father’s war camp, he was tormented and abused. 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 cannot include her…

Let me start by saying that I had read some spoilers prior to reading this book, so I knew some plot details, but I went into this story with an open mind.

Since this is V’s story, I shall start with V and Jane. Two words – no chemistry. Sorry, I cannot see V with Jane. Jane on her own makes a decent heroine. But put her next to V and she pales vastly in comparison (maybe because I know him since 4 books ago). Jane as a character isn’t very appealing to me – she comes across as a colourless, sexless, independent woman who “pretends” to talk tough … and all that tough talk irritates me to no end because it’s phony. I don’t know why Ward chose to make Jane so damn unattractive … perhaps to show off her genius to better effect or to show that V loves her brain the most … but why can’t Jane be attractive and intelligent at the same time?

V has so much potential to be the most interesting, vivid and mind-blowing brother. Here, his dangerous and forbidding aura hardly comes through. Yes, his past breaks my heart. Yes, Jane changes him, so that accounts for his softer stance. Sorry … he’s no longer interesting to me. I want the old V back!!!

What I really like about this whole story is the same thing that I liked in Lover Revealed – V and Butch’s interaction. These two should have just got together! When V tells Butch of his feelings for him, I felt goose bumps all over my arms! And Butch is such a class act – he doesn’t deny that he knows how V feels, and he’s so real in his responses. I just love their scenes together – from goofing around, to mouthing off at each other, to their heart-to-heart talks.

Ok, the Scribe Virgin … whom I call Ward’s magic wand. The plots involving her are ridiculous and laughable. Her son, her reason why she couldn’t retrieve her son from his childhood abuses, the “kind” of partner she returns to her son, and finally, the revelation of her daughter, hitherto never mentioned – all these call for more than the suspension of logic.

Phury. Damn. My favourite tortured dude is losing his colour. Much too good, no edge. He may as well be a pretty wallpaper. I want back the Phury who bit Rehv on the lip when Rehv goaded him. I want the Phury who slayed everything in his path, and shot off his own leg, when he saved Z from slavery. Now I fear he is lost forever.

Bella. I hate how Ward throws her at Phury at every opportunity, in order to milk the reader’s compassion toward his yearning and misery. This is irritating and getting really old.

I’m surprised that I actually feel very sorry for Cormia. I feel more for her than Jane! A scene involving her, Phury and Bella causes my heart to break for her a little. I hope that Cormia’s character will bloom and she will come into her own in the next book. I truly hope Ward won’t screw this up.

Ok, my conclusion. I feel Ward is taking too many liberties with the characters that we have grown to love, and these aren’t improvements. The storylines are veering to the side of ridiculous. I am getting tired - the brothers are losing their edge and becoming boring, each shellan is more colourless than the last, and Ward’s writing is getting slack – too many repetitive words, too many urban lingo/jargon, and ramblings on unimportant stuff (e.g. page 324 – where V is making hot chocolate for Jane).

My rating3
Sensuality ratingHot

TBR Hill Challenge: 4 down, 6 to go


Kristie (J) said...

I'm just not 'feeling' this series the way so many others are. I read the first one and liked it and I read the second one too - Rhage I think and graded it real high - but still they haven't made me want to go read the rest of them. I have the next two, but judging from the reviews I've seen around, the series just seems to be falling apart, character personality changes, the Scribe Virgin thing, heroines who turn into ghosts - I'm not even going to bother buying them anymore.
But I can't help feel like I'm missing something by not loving them to pieces.

Jace said...

Hi Kristie,

I like the brothers, but I don't love every single book.

The first three books are fantastic. Like you, my favourite book is the 2nd - Lover Eternal - Rhage's story.

But with the 4th book (Lover Revealed), things started to get weird.

After reading this latest one, I'm not optimistic about the next book. But I'll still buy it simply because it's the story of Phury, my favourite guy. I just hope I won't be so disgusted and throw it out the window.

Brie said...

Ward is loosing me as well. She had a good thing going but the further along the series goes the more convoluted it becomes.

Phury's book is the one I've been waiting for and I'm also looking forward to Rehv, JM and Thor but at this point (If Lover Enshrined is a dud) I doubt I'll even read any of the books after Phury's. Which is sad because I really loved Wards style and the series up until LU.

Jace said...

Hi Brie ... welcome! :)

I hope, for Phury's fans' sake, that Ward gets his story right! I promise you, if she messes it up, that's the end of BDB for me.

I've got Lara Adrian's 3 books in the TBR, which I heard are getting better with each one. I can't wait to read and find out for myself. :)

Anonymous said...

Hi Jace. I love the Brothers (Phury and Rhage the most). I liked the first few books, but now I feel the same as you do. You took the words from my mouth. I pray LE will be better (did I mention I dislike the title).


Jace said...

Sarah, I think there are MANY BDB fans who are getting disillusioned with how the series is going. In a way, I feel bittersweet about it. The 6 brothers (ok, maybe with the exception of Tohr) are such familiar characters and it will be heart-breaking for me to have to say goodbye to them.

With regard to the title Lover Enshrined, yes, it's totally a jarring title ... it doesn't fit in with the 5 previous titles. I mentioned this in a prior blog entry - the title makes me think of Phury being cast in marble and put on a pedestal to be worshipped. The title alone makes me really pessimistic about his story. :( Poor Phury.