It pains me to write this review because even though I love J.R. Ward and the Black Dagger Brotherhood, I have to admit that this book has so many flaws and inconsistencies that I didn’t enjoy reading it. While reading, I kept wondering who the editor was and why they didn’t better keep this book on track.
One, it’s long… way too long and too many storylines. Two, it’s all feelings and little action. This is why we like the Brothers, because they get stuff done. Three, it’s a lot of telling without much showing. This probably goes hand in hand with number two, because everyone is just talking about feelings and not DOING anything. Four, the resolution is not very satisfying and there was no movement in the overall plot of the series (fighting lessers). Five, the plot is thin… really thin and totally focused on the relationship which only made it boring.Here is what I liked.
First, the moments between Xhex and her mother are gems, absolutely the best parts of the book. They are tender with genuine feeling, consistent with the characters and the situation, very well written. Second, I liked that the book takes place over a whole year. That added some nice symmetry. Last, I’m glad the John Matthew/ Xhex storyline continued and added some weight to their relationship.
Here is where I rant about the details, SPOILERS AHEAD
move on if you don’t want to know.
First of all, pages 1-75 were difficult to read because the traditional BDB speak (which I usually don’t mind) was way over the top. Had I been new to the series, I probably would have put the book down.
Second, character inconsistencies drive me nuts. In Lover Mine Xhex has a phobia about clinics and just about anything medical. I don’t remember this getting magically cleared up. So when she is injured early on in Lover Reborn and her transportation to the clinic is no biggie I find that way out of character. Plus, John Matthew who usually calms her in these situations bales on her and thinks she needs her space. Really?!? Actually, I thought most of the JM/Xhex scenes were out of character and even though I liked the idea of them having difficulties to work through it just wasn’t well done.
My overall biggest complaint has to do with the Band of Bastards. In Lover Unleashed they were introduced as majorly tough, highly experienced, viciously savage warriors. What could possibly bring these soldiers to their knees… cell phones. For more than one hundred pages these tough guys whine about getting a cell phone. When did they turn into tweens? It was truly annoying, especially since they are practically starving themselves on human blood. An army walks on its stomach and cell phones are what they choose to blame their deficiencies on. Just ridiculous.
And last but not least, where is this plot train going? Lessers… remember those guys? Not just background characters who give you a workout every once in a while when you decide to go to the city. There used to be a reason for the lessening society with an actual leader and followers (and plot driver). Now it is like, “Eh, who cares. We’ll kill them if we see them, but we aren’t going to find out what their evil plans are for the future.”