Thursday, April 9, 2015

Review: The Shadows by J.R. Ward

Publication Date: 3/31/2015
Series: The Black Dagger Brotherhood #13
Rating: 5 Stars

Official Blurb:

Two brothers bound by more than blood fight to change a brutal destiny in the heart-wrenching new novel of the Black Dagger Brotherhood by #1 New York Times bestselling author J. R. Ward.

Trez “Latimer” doesn’t really exist. And not just because the identity was created so that a Shadow could function in the underbelly of the human world. Sold by his parents to the Queen of the S’Hsibe as a child, Trez escaped the Territory and has been a pimp and an enforcer in Caldwell, NY for years- all the while on the run from a destiny of sexual servitude. He’s never had anyone he could totally rely on... except for his brother, iAm.

iAm’s sole goal has always been to keep his brother from self-destructing- and he knows he’s failed. It’s not until the Chosen Serena enters Trez’s life that the male begins to turn things around... but by then it’s too late. The pledge to mate the Queen’s daughter comes due and there is nowhere to run, nowhere to hide, and no negotiating.

Trapped between his heart and a fate he never volunteered for, Trez must decide whether to endanger himself and others- or forever leave behind the female he’s in love with. But then an unimaginable tragedy strikes and changes everything. Staring out over an emotional abyss, Trez must find a reason to go on or risk losing himself and his soul forever. And iAm, in the name of brotherly love, is faced with making the ultimate sacrifice...

With this review, I am taking a completely different approach to how I am writing it.  There are so many different important storylines going on within it pages that I can’t spoil the book for BDB fans. The Shadows really took an emotional toll on me. For the first time EVER in a BDB, Ward pulls the rug out from under us with a character death that can’t be saved. I hoped beyond hope that there was some magical way that this person could be brought back like Mary, but alas it did not come to fruition. It’s not that the death ruptured the BDB world, but it made me realize that sometimes HEA’s will not happened and put a healthy dose of fear in me for future books. What if next time a Brother dies? I don’t think I could handle that happening.

Don’t get me wrong, The Shadows, was a great story! I didn’t find myself skipping some of the filler and next book introduction stories quite as much as I did with previous books. Ward gives us a glimpse as to what’s to come with the new BDB spin off series. Female trainees!! YES!! The Brothers and Lassister were quite the riot this time around as well. Plus, there’s something brewing with our favorite beastly brother Rhage, which makes sense as it was announced at the Cincinnati signing Q&A that the next BDB original series will feature Rhage and Mary.

To sum up this book, I think it’s only fair to say that it is an emotional journey with multiple characters. They are some surprises along the way that will be major storylines in the future. You’ll laugh, cry, and grieve with every single Brother and Shadow. You might want to pick up the industrial sized Kleenex box for this nearly 600 page novel. You’ll need them. 

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