The Ability to Love (Lover Awakened by J.R. Ward)

A review of 
Lover Awakened by J.R. Ward

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…

I knew ahead that I was going to have some trouble writing a review about Lover Awakened. I turned out to be a little more correct on that one than I had thought. 

So I really had a hard time putting thoughts into words on page. It's one of the series' most emotional books - this is a roller coaster, people are so moody - and it’s filled with some things that would probably need extra warnings and trigger warnings if we were to discuss them on the internet. But here Ward’s really pulled the big guns out and the Big Plot makes an appearance. 

Lover Awakened is a lot about the struggle the main pair has in their relationship with each other and the struggle they have with themselves - the romance may be big, but the wheels have started turning. The book makes some twists that shock you and well, will quite probably hook you for the rest of the series. 
And, I’m not sure if I’d really talk about romance with this one. There are some really dark parts and the romance moves slowly and both the main lady and guy have a lot of dark things to deal with. There’s some really big emotions, but the “happier” parts are rare. Not that there aren’t any good or happy parts! But many of the characters are uncertain in this book and it really feels like a crossroads for the series. 

Bella's one of my favorite characters. She's a gentle female, I think generally just wanting to be happy and the others around her to be happy, too. She just wants to live a long and healthy life, happy and all, but things just haven’t gone the way she’s wanted. It definitely makes her seem less oh-so-perfect, as there are times that she acts just like the race’s perfect female. 
I think that she’s got a backbone, though she chooses the more peaceful way more often. It is obvious, that if she has to she will fight for the people she loves and for herself, though she isn’t a fighter. 
Seeing that she’s from a pretty wealthy, respected family that’s on top of the race’s hierarchy, I think that during the book she has to go through some adjustments, that maybe the world isn’t as rightful as she’s thought. And, that with Bella not being naïve or innocent, but I think that she can’t understand people hurting each other. 
Also, she’s herself a truly honest person, who’ll go after things that she wants and is pretty honest with herself about things, so that makes her clash with Z several times. There are times that Z is more callous that she’s used to people ever being and then he’s more innocent at times than she is. So she has to adjust to that, too and perhaps a little to the fact that happy endings come in very different packages. 

Zsadist is one of my favorites of the brothers and this seems to be the general opinion of everyone who’s read the books. Zsadist never really got over his past and unlike his brothers, who also have messed up history, he never really saw a reason to even try live a normal happy life. I mean, he pretty much has nothing going for him and then, he was plucked away from everything he knew and someone just told him to live a happy life. I really wonder what Phury was thinking, that he’d just magically be okay? 
But he still commits to the Brotherhood, no matter unsocial and unhappy he may seem about it. He still has his brothers’ backs and protects them fiercely. And that’s why I love him. The others think of him just as a brutal fighter, who enjoys the fight, but in reality I think he’s a lot more “aware” of things than the others think.
As the story goes on, we get to see the many sides that he has. We get to see, that he really cares about his brothers and the females, but he just doesn’t understand affection. And with his past, he has serious trust issues, even with his brothers. There’s also a surprising innocence that he has towards himself, as if he’s shut himself off from feeling so well that he’s shocked that he has them. 

Mary, the heroine of the previous book is actually the first one, I think, to see that, yes, Zsadist is broken but there’s more to him. And then there’s Bella, who treats him just like another male and not a wild beast who’ll bite her - like his brothers do. And that’s I think, one of the reasons he realizes that living might be a good thing after all. 

Bella and Zsadist’s start is bad, thinking about them meeting in Lover Eternal and there are seriously stupid moments in this one, too. Zsadist is pretty messed up and I think Bella, coming from a wealthy family, is used to the idea that everything can be fixed. 
They clash a lot, with Zsadist pretty much freaking out and trying to push her away and Bella pushing back. I do feel like she’s sometimes a little too much in his space, too focused on him. But I like that she admits that at first she was interested because of the thrill. It doesn’t make it okay, but it’s good that she sees and realizes it. 
In the end, I think they’re a good match in the sense that she’s stubborn enough to push him when he’s being stupid. But she’s gentle, too, something that just clicks with Zsadist.

I also like that Ward doesn’t just write off Z’s past, that we see him struggle with it constantly and he even says he’ll probably never be as happy as he would have been if things would have gone as they should have. But he soldiers on and enjoys the things he can, in the end. 
Unfortunately, the same isn’t quite done to Bella. Her past isn’t focused on as much as Z’s is and by the time they meet, they’ve both been through a lot and while Z’s is slightly grander, hers deserves the same attention. But it is a little forgotten alongside Z’s issues and that bothers me a little. 

The emotion of the book is visible in every way, not just between the main pair. It's in John Matthew's story, who is such an incredible character, at the same time both vulnerable and strong. We see the real emotion between the brotherhood, how they really care about each other, though as males probably share it very little. This extends to the ladies, which continues as a side plot through out the books. I do wish that the past ladies would get more time on the page as the males do, but I guess with a big cast Ward has to make choices. 

Final thoughts: Lover Awakened is one of the stand outs in the series, tight with tension, action and well, romance. It’s emotional and there are points that can put the reader to the test - to see if you really like the series. But you really will if you can get along with Zsadist, who can be a really tough nut to crack. And with this one Ward really gets things going, with everything being big - big plot movements, big shockers and lots of emotion. 


Flash Review of Wildefire by Karsten Knight

A flash review of 
Wildefire by Karsten Knight

Every flame begins with a spark.

Blackwood Academy was supposed to be a fresh start for Ashline Wilde. A secluded boarding school deep in the heart of California's redwood forests, three thousand miles from her old life - it sounded like the new beginning she needed after an act of unspeakable violence left a girl in her hometown dead. 

But Blackwood is far from the peaceful haven Ashline was searching for. 
Because terrifying, supernatural beasts roam the forests around campus. 
Because the murderer from Ashline's hometown - her own sister - has followed her across the country. 

Because a group of reincarnated gods and goddesses has been mysteriously summoned to Blackwood...
... And Ashline's one of them. 

I found this book almost by accident, but when I read an excerpt in which Ashline kicks ass, I was hooked. I love me a girl who can kick ass. 

Ashline Wilde, the main character, is spirited and still insecure in other ways. For some heroines, the heroic actions and sacrifices come easily, but that’s not the feeling I get with Ash. I like it that she just sort of goes with it. 
Ash’s life was shaken up by the things that happen at the beginning of the book. She’s a little lost because of that, but she’s still sure of herself. That’s obvious in how she’s extremely independent, almost to a fault. She doesn’t want to rely on others, but has to take care of things by herself. I think she definitely hates being a burden and doesn’t like burdening others, so she tries to take care of things herself. Some of it might also come from the fact that her trust has been betrayed badly before. Basically, she’s got a smart head, but her need to take care of things by herself gets in the way.
I like the fact that she’s still got her friends, even though she has some lone wolf traits going on. She doesn’t hate on people easily - possibly because she’s been there herself - unless it’s with a good reason. 

The side characters are just as well handled as the main character. I’m trying to be cautious and not say anything specific, so I won’t spoil you. 
There’s quite a lot of characters with Ashline and I love how some seemed like a typical stereotype, but turned out to be the almost opposite. And I also loved how we were shown through Ash’s perspective that she made mistakes in judging people: they turned out to be something else other than they thought, that the characters had more sides to them than she had thought. 

The plot isn’t something that I guessed but it’s very simple. And there’s nothing wrong with simple, in fact I liked it that the action wasn’t the main thing. It’s more about following the character about their normal lives and then something strange happens and more of than not, someone does something seemingly out of character. This book just seems to show only pieces of a bigger mystery that’s going on behind the scenes. And frankly, from what I’ve read about the second book, I think there could be enough good stuff for a long series. Knight gives us just enough of hints of the mystery to make us curious and I’m definitely curious to find out what is going on.

The idea is original, even you might stop for a second when ancient gods are mentioned. They’re used a lot in literature and co., but Knight succeeds in making them his own. Like I said, it’s more about the characters themselves than the massive powers they’ve got. I’ve read other books that have done that before - downplayed the god-aspect and made them more “normal - and I seriously have to applaud Knight for handling it the best. 

And the writing is excellent. I’m not sure how to describe it, but it flows well, fastly paced at some times and then it calms and the humor just jumps out behind a tree. I love how there’s sort of this sense of normalcy and then a huge tragedy strikes or after a wild action scene there’s humor where you wouldn’t expect it. 

Final thoughts: I liked the book, it was a great read that had me jumping up and down and laughing aloud. The whole god-thing, mythology and mystery is tied well together. The book has got some serious “What are you doing, you’re not doing that, stop it!” -scenes going on and I love them. Also, Knight is pretty good at cliffhangers or just giving important hints and not revealing more. 



Hello there. Sorry I've been absent for so long! But now I have three posts almost ready, so expect updates this and next week! 
(If you're wondering how ready, that means I have to check some points and make sure the sentences make sense in English.) 


Found the Place to Rest My Head (Lover Eternal by J.R. Ward)

A review of 
Lover Eternal by J.R. Ward

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 bound 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 ferocious curse cast by the Scribe Virgin. Owned by this dark side, Rhage fears the times 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 to 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...

Now, I explained in the review of Dark Lover, how introductionary it was and I’m ashamed to admit, so is Lover Eternal. We see more of the Brothers and their daily lives and more of the actual workings of the world. At this point it really feels more like people are just going about their things and not as, “hey look, this is how we feed”. Since I know how the series goes on, it’s really hard to say does this bother the whole reading experience. I don’t think it’s bad, but it’s still worth mentioning. 

At least to me Rhage is the most kind and gentle of the brothers, in the end. And I guess that’s basically the idea with his beast: he’s forced to feel these hightened emotions, forced to wear himself out and to hulk out even though he’d really rather not. It’s a great contrast. And thinking his backstory, I think it really does say a lot about him as a character: that he is this good warrior who you can trust with your life, when you think how he’s forced himself to change. Hell, Rhage is not perfect, but not everyone would be so afraid of hurting others around him. I imagine some would embrace the beast and go on a bloody rampage. But Rhage is highly emotional and he pretty much follows his instincts, which is pretty obvious and can be sometimes a little off-putting: he makes a lot of fast choices and does some highly dubious decisions. It can’t be explained away, but it’s Rhage with all his faults. 
It gets me everytime I read this book, the way that Rhage just suddenly makes his world about Mary. It’s a little whiplash-inducing, but I think Rhage is looking for someone to hold onto, someone who can let him relax and who’ll hold him back. It’s somehow a little more bigger and deeper, with his quick instincts and fast decisions and what not.

I like Mary Luce a lot, because she’s head-strong and just a normal lady. When we meet her, she’s basically feeling kicked around by the world and that’s just a feeling that I can understand and I do like the way it’s portrayed: Mary’s feeling a little weak and there are moments when we see her crumbling and doubting herself. I like that, especially when she stubbornly moves on. I think she’s a very stubborn person: she’s decided she’ll survive and so she bloody will. And she doesn’t like leaning on others, because her mother’s seemingly useless faith. 
But she’s also a person who likes doing stuff to others, because she hates seeing people - especially those close to her - in pain. This combination of stubborn survival and the need to take care of others is not only interesting, but she’s such a good person. And I also think that that hatred of seeing people hurt is what makes her open up to Rhage at first. And the fact that, you know, he’s incredibly hot and that he seems to care for her honestly and she hasn’t had a lot of that. 

And parts of those are the reasons why I like these two together so much. They’re maybe not so obviously a good couple as Wrath and Beth are - with them we basically see this connection just happening the moment they meet. They meet and zap! they have this chemistry. With Rhage and Mary, you have these two people, who both feel like the world’s kicked them about a lot and are just waiting for that final hit. They’re both stubborn as shit, but then, Rhage is more emotional and Mary is more reserved with her feelings. They’re two people, who are the same in some ways, but then where they are different, they compliment each other. And I love it how they begin to see that in each other throughout the book.  

Okay, so what most grates me about this books is definitely the way that Rhage introduces and tries to get to know Mary. It does fit his character as the ladies man who’s used to women falling for him - but that’s just it. He’s used to women doing what he wants, he expects them to do this for him. And he is so very pushy! And Rhage is generally a good guy, gentle and caring so it’s a horror to see him act like every other douchebag. I love Lover Eternal for many reasons - Mary and Rhage’s dynamics are awesome - but I don’t how to tell you about this. It sucks but we love him anyway? I feel like by saying that I’m saying it’s okay when men try to do it in real life. 

Lover Eternal introduces some of the main players in the next books. I’m not referring to the introductionary thing I’ve been talking about, but here, as I’ve read this before, the game has already begun. We start to see these characters as who they really are but we don’t that yet. Some new characters are introduced and we’re given hints about them, too. Ward uses foreshadowing quite a lot, you see pieces of important things in earlier books. It’s not very obvious, but you can sort of see that they could be important. 

Also, with  Lover Eternal begins the tradition of A) the next books heroine and hero meeting - this doesn’t always happen, but more often than you’d think, the next couple is shown interacting. But, there could be two couples meeting and one would be in the next book and the other in the book after that. Ward can be sneaky. B) the book’s title being worked into the dialogue. Now, some hate this but I’m a secret fan. It can be rather obvious and silly, but with these titles being rather easy for a books like these, they’re not weird in the conversation. I just like them and they’re not big moments if you don’t. 

Before I end this, I have to say something about John Matthew. He’s first introduced in this book and while I’m not saying he or his storyline are perfect, he’s pretty damn awesome. And his story is heart-wrenching. I think he begins another important side to the series and I adore this book especially for introducing him. I truly want to say more, but that would be too spoiler-y. Just keep an eye on him!

Final thoughts: Lover Eternal definitely picks up the speed from the previous one and introduces even more delicious characters. Rhage and Mary have a sort of tragic-turned-lovestory -thing going on and Ward handles it perfectly. In this one we really see the Brothers as males who live and fight together and who would die for each other -it’s one of my personal favorites. And of course, there’s John Matthew, quite possibly the best character ever. 


Progress report!

Do not worry internet! There's a post or two coming this weekend, but unfortunately not before that.
There's something big and horrible happening this Friday and it'll take the whole day. This past week has been filled with preparations and other stuff like panicking. I'm currently in complete panic-mode, if you're curious. 

So. I just wanted to inform anyone who might be poking around here that I'm not disappearing anywhere. 


Flash Review of Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan

A flash review of
Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan

I have come up with a new thingie! A flash review! Meaning, a short and quick review usually about a book that has been reviewed to death. I meant to stay around 500 words, but apparently I have too many feels.

Kami Glass loves someone she’s never met . . . a boy she’s talked to in her head ever since she was born. Having an imaginary friend has made fitting in hard -but that's never bothered Kami.  She has a best friend, runs the school newspaper, and is only occasionally caught talking to herself. Her life is just the way she likes it.

But all that changes when the mysterious Lynburns return to Kami's village, along with teenagers, Jared and Ash, one of whom is eerily familiar to Kami...

As life as she knows it begins to unravel, Kami is determined to get to the bottom of every mystery. Who is responsible for the bloody deed in the depths of the woods? What is her own mother hiding? And now that her imaginary friend has become a real boy, does she still love him? 

I'm sorry about the picture. It has to be the very crappy picture I took of my copy back when it arrived. Apparently good quality pictures of Unspoken are too awesome for Blogger. 
Actually, there seems to be just something too awesome about this for Blogger, it keeps looking weird... I apologize for that. 

In the month or so after its release, I feel like almost everyone and their mother has been reviewing Unspoken by the awesome and vastly talented Sarah Rees Brennan. 

And hell, it is no wonder. Unspoken is amazing: I don’t think I’ve ever read a book like it. I had some doubts when it arrived - I was worried it might be shadowed by my love for Demon’s Lexicon or that Rees Brennan wouldn’t be able to deliver her magic again. Well, I was worried for nothing. 
While you definitely recognize Rees Brennan’s writing, there’s a different feeling to Unspoken and it moves differently than Demon’s Lexicon. Which is a good thing, even though it might sound scary. 

What Rees Brennan really does well, is deliver humor while not letting go of this atmosphere of mystery and something just lurking over the readers’ and the book’s characters’ heads. The book has its light moments and its dark moments, but it moves through everything with this indescribable lightness, easiness. 
There are some unfortunate points that made the transition from Jared to Kami slightly confusing, but after a moment, it felt deliberate. They can’t tell each other apart, how should we? 

I also loved Sorry-in-the-Vale. I’ve lived almost my whole live in small towns and the feeling of a small town - with some added mystery - was spot on. It seemed very familiar to me and I just loved some of the details that were thrown in, but apparently I can’t find now, though I meant to give you an example. 

And just like the rest of the internet, I fell in love with Kami. The book has its very best moments - in my opinion - in its humor that peaks almost every time someone opens their mouth and in its main girl. Kami is so excellent as a narrator, fun to read about and follow her around. There’s one quality that makes me like her so much: she’s got this thing about her that she’ll go through any brick wall if she so decides. She’s not invincible and she knows that, but she will go after the answer if she knows how to find it.

The rest of the cast was perfect, too. They all had their own stories and small details that made them very interesting characters, even though we only glimpsed them. 

I guess I have to say something about Jared. Personally, I liked him, but not all of his choices, which is okay. I like imperfect characters. I don’t think Jared knows who Jared is, so how am I supposed to say something about him? And there was a lot of confusion going on in this book, that I hope has been cleared by the second one and then we can get to the making out -I mean solving the crime! 

Last but not least, the ending. I’ve seen a lot of talk about this ending and it’s starting to get old a little. Not to say people can’t say their opinion! Go ahead, I’m not saying you can’t say that. Just feels to me it’s being said A LOT. And it makes me feel weird because I liked that ending. I felt it was something that needed to happen, when you thought of some of the things that happened leading up to it.  

Final thoughts: If you’re thinking about should you or shouldn’t you buy/read this book, I say go for it! Brennan has the talent of sneaking up behind and whacking you on the head with awesomeness. This book delivers with gothic mansion, secrets, mysteries and trying to solve them and a whole lot of tension! What else would you need?

A Light in You (Dark Lover by J.R. Ward)

Review of 
Dark Lover by J.R. Ward

In the shadows of the night in Caldwell, New York, there's a deadly turf war going on between vampires and their slayers. There exists a secret band of brothers like no other-six vampire warriors, defenders of their race. Yet none of them relishes killing more than Wrath, the leader of The Black Dagger Brotherhood.

The only purebred vampire left on earth, Wrath has a score to settle with the slayers who murdered his parents centuries ago. But, when one of his most trusted fighters is killed -orphaning a half-breed daughter unaware of her heritage or her fate- Wrath must usher her into the world of the undead...

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 brotherhood and blood frighten her. But his touch ignites a dawning hunger that threatens to consume them both...

Let me start by saying that I was surprised how different the Goodreads' synopsis is from the one on my book. I always go there to do some good ol' copy/paste but I want it to be the one on my book, because they can be different and I feel more truthful by choosing that one. 
Anyway, the one on Goodreads is far more boring and for some reason it focuses on Wrath. Also, I hadn't thought about it before, but the whole first chapters sounds quite chilling , with the whole relishing in killing -thing. It's not that bad, I promise. 

So the first book in the series is very much focused around on Beth coming to terms with being a vampire and that’s generally pretty good, thinking that while she’s being introduced, so are we. Not everything is picture clear, but I kind of like a little bit of mystery.

I mentioned in the overview that this is not the best book in the series and that when reading it for the first time, you should go for the next book even if you’re not convinced by the first one. What I mean by that is that especially after reading all the books in the series several times, you really notice just how “introduce-y” the first one is. 
In the first book, all the characters are introduced and the setting is made very clear. It wasn’t very obvious on the first read, but now as I re-read the book for this review, I realized, that it’s very “here are all the players and settings that we’ll be playing with later on. Get used to them now and everything will good when things start moving.” Personally, on the first read I was so amazed by this book that I didn’t notice it. But now, looking at it from a different angle, I can see it. 
So if the first book seems simple to you or something else, don’t worry. It could just be the first book. Plus there’s a thing at the end that just might make you pick up the next one.

Also, this book is perhaps the most focused on “loves me, loves me not” -kind of plot as well as introducing the world to the reader (and Beth). It’s less so in the next books. The plots get a bigger part in the later installments and gets more complicated as the series goes on. The plot really gets bigger and badder with every book and we are given a lot more details along with it. 

So Wrath pretty much is a lone wolf, warrior used to kick ass first ask questions never, growl not speak, kind of a guy with an attitude problem. That's how he starts the story and yeah, he does stupid shit and is very stand-offish, but I like my characters complicated and not perfect. And already as the story progresses we see a change starting to come for him and we see more sides to him and he becomes more than a muscled guy draped in leather. 

Compared to Wrath's moody nature Beth seems at a glance almost dull. But I think that's what's great about her: she's as a person more simple than Wrath: she's fiercely independent, smart about things and caring. She's very straight-forward and resilient: she seems enjoy things as they come at her and doesn't seem like the kind of a person to hold a grudge -at least over the little things. 
I'm not sure if I've described her adequately, but she's very level-headed. As a match for Wrath she's  excellent since she thinks things through first and she doesn't have this huge honor-bound warrior status. She’s the calm point in the middle of his storm. (Just now realized what that sounds like. Oh well.)

And as for the rest of the brothers. They're first introduced in a rather vicious light, focusing on their strength and deadliness. Their masculinity is almost constantly mentioned, which does get a little too much at points. But I like Ward's writing so much it doesn't become a huge issue. It more or less seems like the way to describe an almost seven foot tall wall of muscle wrapped in skim tight leather and with hidden weapons. 
But what I think is the book's maybe most telling scene about them, is -I'm describing this in a way that shouldn't spoil too many things - when each is seen nodding off in different ways, holding onto a weapon, except for Zsadist, who's turn is to guard. I won't tell you the details, but the way it's written is really tender and caring and for guys who throw around death-threats and listen to hard-core rap for the rest of the book, it's a soft kind of moment. 
It's one of my favorite moments ever in the series and reading it the first time, the details and the context that I've left out make it even bigger and better. 

Re-reading this book especially  for this review I tried to see if there were any noticeable bad things. And yes, I suppose that the way the males and females of the vampire race are written in the books, it might taste weird to someone. If you’re wondering what I mean, to put it simply, the males are very male, meant to take care of the females who are rather fragile. 
Basically the males want to protect them with everything they have and have a lot of I’m a manly man -feelings. But if that sounds frightening, the problem is acknowledged in the books. It’s not all “oh my man wants to protect me, so dreamy”. And I do consider myself all equal rights to everyone and everything, but it is nice to think that someone cares enough to take a bullet for me. 

My biggest problem is the way that Wrath and Beth meet. I’m trying to say as little as possible, for fear of spoiling anyone. So skip this one, if you’re afraid. But Wrath, with the intention of protecting Beth, goes to her home and then they have sex. The two haven’t spoken a word to each other before that and then they’re both taken over by lust for each other. 
This happens so often in books like this and it makes me want to scream. Maybe I’m naïve, but really? Without speaking each other, they fall to bed on page 65? So that’s probably my only problem with this book. 

Now, my kinds of books are really those where the plot and romance walk hand in hand: neither dismissing either, but both being just as big or slightly so. It’s rare that I like a book that has only plot and very little romance or very little plot and a lot romance. I want both, so if that’s your thing, I highly suggest this series.  

Final thoughts: If you’re curious, try this book (and the next one.) If you’re not interested after that, forget it, don’t bother. But they’re definitely compelling books, with interesting characters who make mistakes and try to do good just like we all do. If anything that I’ve tried to describe sounds good to you, it’s definitely worth a try. I was hesitant at first about reading these books, but I’m so glad that I did. I’d be so very sorry if I hadn’t. 


Interlude: Yet Another Book Arrives!

Thank you for coming to read yet another post about a book arriving here! 

Yet again, Book Depository was lovely and fast with the mail and my local mail didn't fuck up everything. 

The book in question is.... *drum roll* 

Sherrilyn Kenyon's Born of Silence! It's the (checking to make sure) sixth in the League series. I've read other books in the series, too and I will be posting reviews about those and an overview about the series like I did about the Black Dagger Brotherhood. 

If you don't know, the League takes place in space, in a fictional space world and tells the story of various misfits who just happen to know each other! Like in BDB and in Kenyon's other series, Dark-Hunter, the hero and heroine change with every story. You'll notice that I seriously have a thing for series like that. 

But the really, really best part was the bookmark that Book Depository sent with it. 

Can you see it? Ah, not that well, sorry about that. Apparently I'm taking picture only at night, so the lighting is a little meg. But it's a bookmark about space! It's got "Our Solar System" on one side, the one you can see here. The other side isn't pictured, because it isn't as pretty (sorry bookmark), but it's: "Earth-class planets line up" and has these planets in a line and text about them.

But really? This was either the best coincidence ever or someone over at Book Depository really had fun. Thank you either way, it made my day! 

An overview about the Black Dagger Brotherhood series by J.R. Ward

An overview about the Black Dagger Brotherhood 

So in case you’re wondering what this is all about, this is sort of a review of J.R. Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood series as a whole. There are a lot of books in the series by now and since I basically adore this series, I have a lot of things to say about it. But basically, I wanted to just talk about this series as a whole, because this sort of considers all the books and I didn’t want to put it in one review. 
I will review the books separately, but they might not be extremely long since I’ve probably re-read them a thousand times. 

But I hope you enjoy and the fact that the books aren’t Young Adult won’t put you off from reading these books or my ramblings about them. 

First, story time! 

Okay, I heard about the Black Dagger Brotherhood via the grapevine and by that I mean the Youtube - it’s amazing how many books I’ve actually found via Youtube. 
So here we have a series about world-saving hot vampires and really, that right there sounds like my kind of a book. But when I tried to find any more information, all I got was miniature reviews - you know, in the sense of “Ward writes hot and steamy yet again and the characters jump off the page” -  and well, hardly anything that was written anything after 2007. Frustrating! Especially since JR Ward, though awesome, chooses to use mostly Facebook and her website offers no more information. (It was very frustrating!) 

Actually I think one reason why there was so little info about these books is because, oh the horror, they belong in the most terrifying genre of all: romance (Insert scary music.) I think there’s the whole soccer mom, chick lit -literature stamp over romance books and people aren’t going to talk about them that passionately as they talk about Young Adult or the big bestseller books out there. Romance books are thought to be easy reading, something you do when you have nothing better to do. This is just the same thing to me, that gets me everytime: my mother literally, literally, despises paperbacks. She doesn’t think they’re decent books at all, they think they’re actual trash and is always telling me to upgrade to actual books. 
So I feel like there’s the same attitude towards the romance books, that all these people riding this “We Read Actual Books, With Big Words And Metaphors” -wagon, are telling us that read romance or any other genre that isn’t as favored, to upgrade to bigger and better books. 
And then there’s a lot of sex in the books which I imagine makes some people hate them already because of that and hell, if I know. 

(Phew, rant over! Sorry about that) 

So I couldn’t get any information that I wanted about the books (this was before I discovered Goodreads) and one day I just went and ordered the first six books that were in a pretty package (destroyed now, sadly). When they arrived, I finished all six in one and a half weeks. And that’s the story of how I fell in love with these books. 

Let’s start breaking it down. Firstly, the books are about sex-ay vampires, so that’s got me hooked already. (I really need a shirt that says vampire girl.) 
And what I mostly want in a book is A)excellent characters B)awesome writing. And these two of course depend on the characters, but this series delivers on both. The characters are, well, perhaps not the most original, but extremely well done. They’re relatable even if they’re a little out of this world. The characters feel human, feel real enough to touch. If the whole vampires-as-a-precious-little-race-thingie is scaring you, I can assure that the characters could ift in our world if you took their vampirism away: some of them really feel like you could just walk next to them on the street and I’m pretty sure there are some assholes in these books that I’ve met in real life. 

Then there’s Ward’s spectacular writing. Seriously, it is amazing and mind-blowing. It’s true that one writer can’t re-write another’s story, but I seriously doubt there’s anyone else who could have pulled this series off. Perhaps some could have come up with the same idea, but no one could write these characters the way she does. There’s just this way she describes them and lets them take over the book. Ward seems to always have a little humor going on and the dialogue is most fantastic. But she really throws herself in to every little detail and everything that happens on the page. All the action scenes and well, even the sex, seems to be polished to its best. But it still feels like you’re looking at someone’s life and it just happens to be written down. It’s polished and at the same time it’s a little raw. It’s perfect.

Now, the series changes main characters with every book, this you might know already if you know anything about this series. I guess you could call this an ensemble cast series, a little like Sarah Rees Brennan’s Demon Lexicon series, if you want a YA version (sort of). And I actually love that kind of series. There’s a big storyline that flows through all the books, but then there’s all these little things in every book that combine them, things that pop up constantly throughout the series. People talking about a past thing, doing their favorite activity etc.
 A series that changes main characters might not be for everyone, but don’t be afraid, this doesn’t mean your favorite character won’t appear ever again. They’ll be there, more in some books and less in others: it depends on what happens, who’s eyes we’re looking through, are they necessary to the plot so that they need to be seen and heard. Sometimes they get POV scenes, too and they do make appearances in most books. 
And I like that, because you can pick your favorite book and you can even have your least favorite book. Thanks to the mail, I read two books out of order and that didn’t matter in the big scheme of things, only two minor scenes were spoiled to me. But I’m am pretty resistant to spoilers, so. 

The whole setting of the world just might be one of the most original things in the book. Alright, I can come up with similar settings, but it’s still pretty good. Ward puts her own twist to it and well, you really have to read one of her books to know what I mean. 
I like it that in saving the world, the bad guys are more or less obviously the bad guys. It’s always a little bothersome, when the good guys go against bad guys who are, for example, forced to do it. It’s personally, for me, hard to stand behind. But here, the bad guys are literally heartless, so I like that and it’s got an exciting pantheon and whole species and magic thing going on. (If that m-word is scary to you, don’t worry, it’s got more to do with the whole setting-thing.)

As final thoughts I’d say this: these books are not for everyone. Ward writes in a very particular way and if that’s not for you, then the books are going to be difficult to read. But I do encourage everyone to try, to try and get past the first book that isn’t in my opinion the best one in the series. 
And a little hint towards their awesomeness: I seldom re-read things often, because I basically remember the books I’ve read so well. But I just keep going back to this series. 


Hear Her Howl (Bloodrose by Andrea Cremer)

A review of 
Bloodrose by Andrea Cremer

Possible spoilers ahead if you haven’t read Nightshade or Wolfsbane. I have tried to make this as non-spoilery as I could.

There's no backing down. It's time to fight for freedom, or surrender to destiny. 
Failure is not an option. The pack's alliance is crucial to their victory. 
But in the end, the future of their world lies in HER hands.  

And if you thought my previous review of Wolfsbane was incoherent, this just might be even less so. 
No, seriously, I have no idea what I was thinking.

So, back when Bloodrose was released (too lazy to check the exact month/date) a few months ago, I hadn’t even started Wolfsbane. But based on the reaction that most reviewers and readers had, I had a bad feeling. I mean, a seriously bad feeling. There was no way this book could have a happy ending, was basically what I was thinking. 

And then it ended happily. Yet another proof of the talent that Cremer has. 

Of course, there were things that I cried about, obviously, but in general? I consider this a happy ending. I mean, endings are difficult. They’re probably difficult to write and they’re difficult to read. Nobody wants the story to end, but it has to. So how to do that, when things can’t be perfect? I’d rather have an ending that’s unhappy, then an ending that has the main character riding off in to Happily Ever After. 
So, I liked what Cremer did with the ending. The whole story revolved around a freak of nature -kind of thing, something that was seriously wrong. So, the ending couldn’t be a Happily Ever After. Except it kind of is, but the characters obviously have to work for that, have to build it. 
Also, the things I liked about this ending so much was that, Cremer has all the plot twists, all the cliffhangers and what-nots tightly in her capable hands. And she just had to tie them off, simply. It felt natural, like this is meant to be -which I suppose is the idea. 

Now, I’m pretty sure people are expecting me to mention Ren. I’m not going to. He was an idiot in the beginning, but he came through. It felt like both boys grew up a little. After all, both had lived in a world where things had been carved ready for them, just waiting for them to do as told. Shay and Ren work through that and fight for what’s right. Okay, it sounds cheesy, sorry. 

Calla grows too. She really becomes the Alpha that her pack needs. It is a shitty situation, that she handles well. And I did like how her internal struggle with doing what she wanted and what was neutral, or good for everyone. A lot of writers portray struggles like that, but Cremer really, really, pulled it off. 

All in all, I think Bloodrose is - at least in my opinion - the best book in the trilogy. My another favorite might be Nightshade just because it’ll always be the baby of the group, before all the bad things really begin. 

But Bloodrose is the final stand and even though there is this feeling that bad things are coming, it isn’t burdened by it. And the writing moves just as spectacularly as it does in the previous books. It’s like Cremer’s racing towards the ends just as eagerly with her writing, as the reader is when reading it. 

I just can’t get over the fact how many tiny details Cremer puts in her books, all these little things that are just amazing. My favorite moment is definitely the final battle against Bosque Mar. That was beautifully done, it was rather classic in the sense of good guys versus the big bad guy. But with that lightsaber of course. 

Final thoughts: If you’ve read the previous books, you’ll probably want to read the last one, too. But if you’re still feeling hesitant, thinking where the story will go, if there’s anything to look forward to, I really say you should. Bloodrose is definitely an excellent last piece of a trilogy and just excels in  most everything. There’s excellent dialogue, adrenaline-pumping action scenes, a bunch of awesome characters, an especially awesome leading lady, heart-wrenching boys and a lot of bad guys.